Monday, November 7, 2016

The Truth about Sin

Note from Jesus

Dear Beloved,

As God’s child, you need to know that some truth is very basic and very simple. You also need to realize that the evil one, whom John called the “diabolical one,” wants to confuse you. He wants things to appear to be complicated, and he lies to you about what’s important. Some believe him. However, you can tell those who are My disciples, God’s adopted children, and My younger siblings by faith. They live good moral lives full of good deeds, but those who don’t live this kind of life are not My disciples and are not God’s children.

You will not live life perfectly. None of the Father’s children, except for Me, ever has or ever will. You will slip into an occasional sin. However, My disciples do not, as John describes it, live “a life of habitual sin.” My disciples, the Father’s children, don’t “persist in sin”: Sin is not their way of life and certainly not their desired way to live.

My disciples long to live as I did, dedicated to the Father and reflecting His righteous character and gracious compassion. When they do stumble and sin, they confess it instead of trying to hide it. My sacrifice on the cross cleanses them of their sin (1 John 1:5-10). I don’t want you to sin even one sin because it entraps, damages, and brings with it harsh consequences. However, I will forgive and cleanse you of these unwanted sins. It’s the “habitual” nature of sin and the willingness to “persist” in sin that ultimately reveals the disloyalty to the Father in a person’s heart.

If you are struggling alone with your sin, please remember John’s call for you to confess your sins (1 John 1:7-9). That doesn’t mean that you confess them just to the Father or Me. You also need to get the help of another couple of brothers or sisters in the Father’s family to walk alongside you and strengthen you (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).

Confess your sins to these spiritual partners. You need confidants in the faith who can walk beside you, encourage you, challenge you to live the life you want to live in Me, and help you overcome the power of sin’s allure because it seeks to destroy you (James 1:13-15).

No one should want the “moral anarchy” of sin and the damage it brings. As James said:

So own up to your sins to one another and pray for one another. In the end, you may be healed. Your prayers are powerful when they are rooted in a righteous life.

(James 5:16).

Sin will not be your lifestyle because you are God’s child — the Father’s spiritual DNA is alive in you through the Holy Spirit. You have been adopted into My family of grace. So let the true Spirit-transformed you shine through in your daily life!

Verses to Live

John’s words are simple and clear. Don’t let anyone convince you of anything other than My high standards when it comes to morality. While none of you is perfect, the fruit of a good person’s life shows through in good deeds as well as in an obedient and godly lifestyle. John makes that very clear in the following verses from his short letter of 1 John.

You are my little children, so I am writing these things to help you avoid sin. If, however, any believer does sin, we have a high-powered defense lawyer — Jesus the Anointed, the righteous — arguing on our behalf before the Father. It was through His sacrificial death that our sins were atoned. But He did not stop there — He died for the sins of the whole world.

We know we have joined Him in an intimate relationship because we live out His commands. If someone claims, “I am in an intimate relationship with Him,” but this big talker doesn’t live out His commands, then this individual is a liar and a stranger to the truth. But if someone responds to and obeys His word, then God’s love has truly taken root and filled him. This is how we know we are in an intimate relationship with Him: anyone who says, “I live in intimacy with Him,” should walk the path Jesus walked.

(1 John 2:1-6).

So now, my little children, live in Him, so that whenever He is revealed, we will have confidence and not have to hang our heads in shame before Him when He comes. If you know that He is just and faithful, then you also know that everyone who lives faithfully and acts justly has been born into a new life through Him.

Consider the kind of extravagant love the Father has lavished on us — He calls us children of God! It’s true; we are His beloved children. And in the same way the world didn’t recognize Him, the world does not recognize us either.

My loved ones, we have been adopted into God’s family; and we are officially His children now. The full picture of our destiny is not yet clear, but we know this much: when Jesus appears, we will be like Him because we will see Him just as He is. All those who focus their hopes on Him and His coming seek to purify themselves just as He is pure.

Everyone who lives a life of habitual sin is living in moral anarchy. That’s what sin is. You realize that He came to eradicate sins, that there is not the slightest bit of sin in Him. The ones who live in an intimate relationship with Him do not persist in sin, but anyone who persists in sin has not seen and does not know the real Jesus.

Children, don’t let anyone pull one over on you. The one doing the right thing is just imitating Jesus, the Righteous One.

The one persisting in sin belongs to the diabolical one, who has been all about sin from the beginning. That is why the Son of God came into our world: to destroy the plague of destruction inflicted on the world by the diabolical one.

Everyone who has been born into God’s family avoids sin as a lifestyle because the genes of God’s children come from God Himself. Therefore, a child of God can’t live a life of persistent sin. So it is not hard to figure out who are the children of God and who are the children of the diabolical one: those who lack right standing and those who don’t show love for one another do not belong to God.

(1 John 2:28-29; 1 John 3:1-10)

Response in Prayer

Father in heaven, I want my life to display the character and compassion of Jesus. As Your child, I want My life to be full of goodness, obedience, kindness, and high moral character. I want to display the kind of character in my life that my older brother Jesus displayed when He walked this earth. To be adopted into Your family, to be called Your child, to have Jesus as my brother as well as my Lord and Savior is such an incredible blessing. So may my life display my thanks for Your grace so richly poured out on me. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

‘A Year with Jesus’ is written by Phil Ware.

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All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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