Author: Ron Graham

1st John

Whole World in Wickedness
—What John Says About Sin~1

In this lesson we begin to examine what John says about sin. We will continue this subject in the next lesson.

1 What is sin?

Breaking any commandment of God is sin. "Sin is lawlessness" (1John 3:4). "All wrongdoing is sin" (1John 5:17). It's important to realise that there aren't two kinds of wrongdoing, some that is serious and regarded as sin, and other wrongdoing that is trivial or permissable and is not sin. This is because "God is light and in him there is no darkness at all" (1John 1:5).

2 Why worry about sin?

Sinners are not in fellowship with God. "...God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie" (1John 1:5-6). "No one who practises sin has seen him or knows him " (1John 3:6-9).

Our hope in Christ's second coming depends upon us purifying ourselves from sin through him. "Abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink away from him in shame at his coming" (1John 2:28). "Everyone who has this hope fixed on him, purifies himself just as he is pure" (1John 3:3).

3 The whole world is in the grip of sin

"The whole world lies in the power of the evil one" (1John 5:19). This is why we are warned, "Do not love the world, nor the things of the world" (1John 2:15-17).

4 Every Christian must confess sin

Every Christian must acknowledge personal sin. "If we say we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves... If we say we have not sinned we make God a liar" (1John 1:8,10). "If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1John 1:9).

5 True Christians do not practise sin

The previous point does not mean that Christians MUST sin. On the contrary, they should be overcoming sin, not practising it. "Everyone who practises righteousness is born of him... No one who is born of God practises sin... The one who practises sin is of the devil" (1John 2:29; 3:6-10).

Christians have the power not to practice sin. "No one who is born of God sins; but he who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him" (1John 5:18).

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