John’s First Epistle
1 Jno. 3:4-10
You Can’t Go On Sinning!
Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 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. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.
– 1 Jno. 3:4-10
Christians, in the ordinary course of daily living, may make mistakes, then immediately recover and repent. We are all in the process of growth, which means doing better, correcting our course, repenting of sins promptly.
In this passage, John is talking about those who make a practice of sinning, very similar to the statement in Heb. 10, concerning those who keep on sinning. The point John is making is (1) Jesus’ life and work was “to take away sins,” and (2) “no one who abides in him keeps on sinning.” John is concerned that his readers might be deceived into thinking sin is compatible with being a Christian.
He wants to take them back to the value of Christ’s life and death – and rely on that truth to motivate them to never excuse sin or keep on sinning without repentance.
In John’s typical bold (black and white) manner, he says that “whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.”