So if we continue to live in him, we won’t sin either. But those who keep on sinning have never known him or understood who he is. 1 John 3:6 (Living Translation)
This verse holds the key to delivering you from any sin that has you bound. You can live a life that is relatively free from sin, and you don’t need to struggle anymore. How can you do it?
First of all, notice what this verse does NOT say. It doesn’t say, ‘try your hardest to just quit.’ Or ‘get on this three step plan,’ or ‘find an accountability partner who will keep you on track.’ No, some of these methods might do some good, but it is not the bible way to be rid of sin in your life. Look what this verse says: “if we continue to live in him, we won’t sin.”
Other bible translations of our title verse say this: “Whoever abides in Him does not sin.” The key phrases being “abide in Him” and “live in Him.” They mean the same thing. It means that we need to stay connected to Jesus.
Jesus gives us a good example of what this means when He talks about it in the book of John chapter 15. He compares Himself to a vine and us to the branches that come off the vine. He says that just like the branches abide in the vine, even so we must abide in Jesus. Why? So all of the power from the vine flows into the branches. We must stay connected to Jesus so all of His power flows to us. That power will keep us from sin and will also cause us to be effective in our everyday lives.
I can trace every single problem that I have had in my life to a breech in my relationship with Jesus. I became disconnected from Him and that is how problems started.
The key to all of this is to understand where to put your focus and to also understand where to expend your energy. Don’t spend your energy on trying to quit something. Spend it on time with Jesus. Focus on having quality times of prayer and quality time in the word.
The best times of my life are times that I have had in prayer (I promise you that it is the truth). Nothing compares to being in the presence of the Creator. You can’t possibly understand this if you haven’t experienced it, but once you do you will agree with me. But, ironically enough, those times in prayer are hard to come by. I have to fight for them. Why is that? It’s because my flesh doesn’t like to pray and if it does have to pray then it doesn’t want to stay long. Now once I break through and am experiencing God’s presence, my flesh does enjoy it. I become strengthened and quickened in my body (Rom 8:11). But besides that it is a fight between my inner desire to serve God and my fleshly desires. We must, by God’s grace, fight for our quality time with God. If the devil can keep us from abiding in Jesus, then he can trip us up with sin.
Can you see what I am getting at? Don’t you see that the Christian life is about knowing God and not about trying your hardest to be good? Do you not know that God is a person? He is not some mystic force or philosophical thought or some good idea that someone came up with to keep us in line. No, He is your Father!! He wants to be with you. Look at what the psalms say:
What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? Ps 8:4
See how God is thinking about us? See how He wants to be with us?
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand. Ps139:17-18
Have you ever thought about someone you loved? Isn’t it true that when you love someone you think a lot about them? Yes, but not near as much as God thinks about you. God loves us a lot and thinks about us a lot. And His thoughts towards you are good (Jer 29:11). AMEN!
So get with God. Learn about His love for you. You’ll sin less by accident than you ever would trying to stop sinning on purpose. God’s grace and power will work through you and deliver you.