Reading 1 John recently, I read this verse (and not for the first time): “Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.” (1 John 3:9)
OK. Time for true confessions.
My instantaneous response was: “That’s not true.” I barely got the statement out before my spirit was immediately quickened. Seriously, I responded in my flesh telling God His word was not true. It came out without any thought. I felt foolish. Indeed, I was foolish. I know and believe God’s Word is true – from beginning to end. Every word, every paragraph, every chapter.
Why was that my response? Truth be told, I responded like that because I know me. I know my continued wrestling with sin and flesh. I allowed my personal experience to supersede what I know to be true. This I do know with no shadow of doubt, if ever my personal experience contradicts what God says, it is I that is wrong, not God. I may not understand it, but I know it is true.
The part of the verse that pierced me was, “he cannot sin.” I know at regeneration the power of sin is defeated in the life of every child of God; however, we are not removed from the presence of sin until we reach glory. Therefore, although sin is all around me, I am no longer controlled by it. “…knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.”(Romans 6:6) I have a choice given to me by the work of Christ on the cross and remains in me by the power of the Holy Spirit. “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” (Romans 6:14)
Then we must ask…
Do I live out the reality of those truths in my life? Do I live daily in light of my option to choose to NOT sin? Do I rely on the Living Holy Spirit to overcome temptation when it comes into my day? Am I growing and making progress? Do I overcome temptation more today than a year ago? Am I experiencing the victory paid for at the cross?
We are not alone. Read Romans 7:15-20. Paul’s battle with sin sounds all too familiar. In light of all that… we can chose obedience today. By the power of the Holy Spirit Who resides in us and every other Christ-follower, by His power we can overcome.
“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Chose this day.
Diane Hunt served for 16 years on the staff of America’s Keswick until recently when she and her husband relocated to North Carolina. She now continues serving as a contributing writer and Partner Care consultant. Diane is also a Biblical Counselor, speaker, teacher, and author. She delights in the opportunities she has as a women’s conference and retreat speaker to share from God’s word. Many of her illustrations are drawn from her relational experiences as a wife, mother, and mema. They are the very relationships that bring her the greatest joy and the most fun!