Christians Do Not Sin – 3
You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. 1 John 3:5-7 ESV
Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us. 1 John 3:24 ESV
The third reason that John gives for why Christians cannot make a place for sin in their lives is this: it is a violation of what Jesus came to earth to do. Here John is perfectly “in synch” with the Apostle Paul. Both of them agree on this point, and it is one that I don’t think most Christians think of when they explore the reason for Jesus’ coming. I think we would say that he came to forgive sin, or perhaps that he came to give us eternal life. Neither of those is wrong, and both Paul and John use them in other places, but here and in Romans 6:1-10, the reason they give is that he came to “do away with sin.”
That is pretty strong language, isn’t it? He did not only come to remove sin’s effects: the guilt, the condemnation, and the second death. He came to get rid of it altogether! Sin died in him! Really? Yes, really. If we only think the Cross procured our forgiveness, we think far too little of it. The Cross destroys sin. That is power. Think of it this way. You have a cancer, and the surgeon removes it. But then he tells you that it has gone into the lymph system and that there is nothing he can do about that. Good news? Hardly! But that is what we are saying when we limit the power of the Cross to forgiveness.
But how is this thing possible? What does the Cross do for us that makes a life of victory over sin possible? What the Cross does is to clean out our “temple” so that the promised Holy Spirit can come to live in us, or “abide” in us, to use John’s language. If you will let the Holy Spirit, who is already in you through Christ, take control of your life, you will find not only a new resistance to sinful desires, but a positive hatred for what nailed your Savior to the Cross. You can live a life where every motive of your heart is to please him. Let the Holy Spirit do his work and destroy sin in your life. The world needs you.