Day 124: May 4, 2023

Death to Habitual Sinning

Key Verse to Read and Treasure

No one who abides in him keeps on sinning, no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or knows him…no one born of God makes a practice of sinning for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep in sinning because he has been born of God (I John 3:6,9, ESV)

For Insight

John takes us deeper in our understanding of willful sin and sinning without intent. Since, by nature and in this flesh, we will always be sinners. We cannot change this fact. But belonging to Christ and growing up in our salvation through the life we live in Christ we won’t always be slaves to our sinful nature. Before we were new creations in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17) It was our natural inclination to sin. We did not resist our urges to sin that made us enemies of God. Our flesh was our god and dictated to us how to live and act and speak and think. Apart from Christ we had no power to resist sinning nor any desire to not cease sinning. But rebirth through the waters of Baptism and living life in and though Jesus the Vine we are filled with the seed (Spirit) of God and are growing into our salvation.

As Paul wrote, the life we now live we live in Jesus. We have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer we that live, but Christ living in us. Crucified in Christ habitual sinning has ceased. (Read Galatians 2:20).

Many desire to make their spiritual practices such as reading their Bible, doing daily devotions, prayer, and going to worship a habit, yet habits are empty thoughts, the things we do without forethought or effortlessly. Habits leave gaps for sin to enter in without our thinking about what we are doing or how we are responding. Anything that has to do with our spiritual life and faith God does not want us to do without effort or thought, (like going to church out of habit: an empty thought) but that we will develop the practice of doing things intentionally and conscientiously. It is this practice as we live in Jesus that will help us overcome habitual sin. Sinning against God (or others) is no longer our habit or flesh response because the Holy Spirit abides in us as we are abiding in Jesus. The devil loves to get us to respond to him and go where he leads us out of habit and not take time to think or pray intentionally. Intentional actions, prayer, worship, and Bible Study take the power away from the devil and gives God room to lead and guide us.         

John recognized that the devil was trying to get believers to think they were (still) powerless to sin and to let sin remain their natural response even though they belonged to the Lord. He does the same thing to us today. But Jesus says because we are his, know him, and are in him, our sinful nature no longer has the reins, and the Holy Spirit will be the power who controls us. As John writes, because we abide in Christ, we have stopped practicing habitual sin. Sin is no longer in control of us.  

Jesus give us understanding of all your teachings so we can live the abundant life he promised to all who follow and abide in him.

Ask Yourself

Do I understand what John has written here? Can I see in my own life who this is certainly true? Is there any sin I am returning to habitually? How do I need the Spirit’s help to break this habit of sinning?                       

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