A Balanced Perspective On Sin

“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” (I John 2:1)

Here in the first verse of chapter 2, John teaches Christians to have a balanced attitude regarding sin:

— First of all, as God’s people we are to avoid sin: “I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin”. As we saw here we are NOT to be content to remain in sin. Our God is a holy God, and we cannot walk in sin, and remain fellowship with Him at the same time. We are to avoid sin entirely and seek to be holy as He is holy.

— But John is not unrealistic. As fallen human beings, he knows that we WILL sin. He said in 1:8 “if anyone says he has has (present tense) no sin, he is deceiving himself.” We are going to sin. So “if/when” anyone sins, we have a solution: “we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” We should claim the comforting promise of I John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

So there is a great balance here for the Christian: war against sin in your life, but when you do sin, know that there is always forgiveness for it. The IM-balance is: not caring whether you sin, or obsessing about it as if there were no forgiveness for it. Thank God there is, through ouur “Advocate” in heaven, Jesus Christ!

About Shawn Thomas

My blog, shawnethomas.com, provides brief devotions from own personal daily Bible reading, as well as some of my sermons, book reviews, and family life experiences.
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