VERSE: 1 John 3:6
No one who lives in him keeps on sinning.  No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.  

These can be some hard verses for us to read because none of us are perfect.  In fact, in 1 John 1:8, John tells us, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.”  So we need to grasp all that the scripture tells us about sin in our lives and how this scripture adds to our understanding.  

We can start with the foundational truth that God sent his only son, Jesus, to earth to die for our sins.  He paid the price for them and so they no longer hold power over us.  Paul in Romans 6 tells us much about how we are new creations once we accept Jesus as our savior.  Our old self was crucified with him.  “Count yourself dead to sin.”   He goes on to say, “Do not let sin reign in your mortal body.”

So if we put these all together (and try to understand the verb tense in keeps on sinning), John is telling us that we should not be living a life style of habitual sin.  When John says essentially in John 1:8 that we all sin, he is talking about occasional acts of sin.  We have slipped back into our old ways but we immediately turn away because we know that it grieves God.  We ask God for forgiveness.  This is much different from remaining in a life style of habitual sin where we easily dismiss the pattern of sin we are in.  

So the question is not do you sin or not.  We all sin.  The question is how do you react to your sinful acts?  Do you give in to them and let them dominate your lifestyle or do you battle against them with the power and love of Jesus, repenting and turning from them.

So now the last sentence in the verse makes more sense.  No one who lives a lifestyle of habitual sin “knows” Jesus.  They don’t really know him and his lifegiving power and his power to break you free from sin.  They don’t know that they can turn to him at any time and be made free from the shame and guilt that comes with continual sin.  This sentence is not a condemnation but is a call to “know” him more fully and to accept him more fully as our lord and savior.  

Jesus, we love you and we want to live our lives for you.  Thank you that you died for us so that we can live in you, a life free from the chains of sin.  Help us to realize this more deeply and to fully accept your promises for us as sons and daughters of our Father God.  

Author: Brad Dunn