Slaves to Sin? Not Any Longer!

The Wednesday feature of the Worldly Saints blog is a Scriptural meditation whereby I take a verse or passage I have been pondering lately and seek to edify my readers with it’s promises, encouragements, warnings, rebukes, etc.

In I John 5:18 we read, “We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.”

John says that the Christian do “not keep on sinning.” Earlier in this Epistle, he wrote in I John 1:10, “If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” And then two chapters later, he wrote in I John 3:6, 9, “No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. … No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.”

Here is the balanced explanation: Christians sin and they sin often, but they are not habitual sinners. In other words, they may occasionally meet with their sin but they will never live together in harmony with their sin. And when they do sin, they don’t remain in it. They deal with it. They confess it. They repent of it. The one who lives in sin, loves his sin, and can’t wait to sin again is not a believer.

Why is this the case? Because Jesus freed us from that bondage. His death canceled the power of sin over us. It means we are no longer enslaved to sin. How do we know that? John says the Christian sees “God protect him, and the evil one does not touch him.” It means the Devil can’t do anything of eternal value to you. No one can snatch us out of the Father’s hand (John 10:28).

The Devil has no ability to fasten himself onto the Christian and destroy his life. He cannot steal his eternal birthright or remove his heritage. The Devil can tempt us to sin; he can deceive us unto thinking sin is good, he can even afflict us, but he cannot and will not and has no inkling of power to bring you back into bondage to him! That is tremendous news for all of us! He cannot hurt us because Our Protector is greater and stronger than our enemy! John Stott explains, “The devil does not touch the Christian because the Son keeps him, and so, because the Son keeps him, the Christian does not persist in sin.”[1]

Remember Paul in Romans 6? He is talking about our new slavery. We are no longer slaves to sin but slaves to a different master he says. “17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. … 20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. … 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life” (Rom 6:17-18, 20, 22). We are not under sin’s dominion; this life we now have is a slavery to grace (Rom 6:14). John Piper writes,

 “Sin is such a powerful influence in our lives that we must be liberated by God’s power, not by our own willpower. But since we are sinners we must ask, ‘Is the power of God directed toward our liberation or our condemnation? That’s where the suffering of Christ comes in. When Christ dies to remove our condemnation, he opened, as it were, the value of heaven’s mighty mercy to flow on behalf of our liberation from the power of sin.”[2]

We are no longer slaves to sin. How about mentioning a word of thanks to God for that blessing?

[1] Letters of John, pg. 195

[2] The Passion of Jesus Christ, pg. 77


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