No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. (1 John 3:9)
He cannot sin.
God’s words not mine!
You know what this means? It means that if we are in Christ, in God’s eyes, we cannot sin. We can do no wrong in our Father’s loving eyes. All He sees when he sees us, is not our old sinful self, but the righteousness of Jesus, his perfect son.
Yep, even if we do sin, he doesn’t count our sins against us, Paul says.
Men may accuse us, the enemy may accuse us, but —
“If God is for us, who can be against us? Who can accuse those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies!” (Romans 8:33)
In the eyes of God the Judge we are innocent.
Our slates are wiped clean!
Our punishment for all our sin, past, present and future, paid in full – thanks to Jesus, suffering in our place, on that rugged cross.
But if we can’t sin in God’s eyes, what about that 1 John 1:9 verse that says we have to confess our sin? I hear you shout. Well, research has proved John was writing that part of the letter to the ‘Gnostics’ . Gnostics believed that they were saved but they had no sin.
This verse was written to the Gnostics but we have turned it into a Christian ‘bar of soap’ to cleanse us again and again every time we sin – but this repeated ‘confessing’ isn’t necessary.
As the writer of the letter to the Hebrews says:
“We have been made holy by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Hebrews 10:10)
So when John says —
“If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and The Truth is not in us.”
— he was saying to these Gnostic Christians ‘You can’t be in Christ if you say you have no sin’ because to enter God’s family we have to confess that we are sinners and ask for forgiveness.
Not again and again.
Hebrews 6 is clear that if we sin, once we have received a knowledge of the Truth, we cannot return to repentance because it’s like crucifying the Son of God all over again.
Just as with Christ’s sacrifice once was enough, so confessing that we are sinners once is enough.
Repenting again and again is crucifying Christ over and over again, or, as the Hebrews writer puts it, treating the blood of Christ as an ‘unholy thing’ – and as Simon Yap says on his brilliant website treating the precious blood of Christ like the blood of ‘bulls and goats.’
The Cross was good enough to cleanse us from our sin once for all – for eternity.
If it wasn’t once for all, the Hebrews writer says, Christ would have had to suffer ‘again and again.’
But God told Christ:
“From that cup, the goblet of my fury, you will never drink again.” (Isaiah 51:22)
When God sees us who are in Christ he doesn’t see our sin anymore – he sees Jesus.
This is the good news.
This is the gospel!
Gnostic Christians couldn’t accept the gospel. They couldn’t accept they were sinners, so therefore Christ (The Truth) wasn’t in them. They were deceiving themselves. And if they denied having sin, they made God out to be a liar. John was trying to make the Gnostics see that they weren’t actually saved.
They weren’t Christians.
Do you know anyone who thinks they are a Christian but they aren’t actually saved?
Someone who says ‘Yeh, I’m a Christian. I’m a good person. I’ve never done anything wrong.’
But we have been made holy once for all.
Our sin was crucified with Christ.
We have no sin to confess, ever.
It has all been dealt with, once for all, at The Cross.
And John says it twice, just in case we didn’t get it the first time!
“We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them.” (1 John 5:18)
“We died with Christ, and everyone who has died has been freed from sin.” (Romans 6:6)
Freed from sin!