“Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.” 1 John 3:4
People don’t talk much about sin these days. According to progressive thinkers, it’s judgmental to label particular actions as sinful. Even in Christian circles the conversation has moved to acceptable sins versus unacceptable sins. And the list of what’s acceptable becomes more inclusive every day. The problem is—we don’t get to decide what is and what is not sinful. Sin is unchanged. It’s breaking God’s Law by acting independently from the will and the Word of God.
At its root, sin is rebellion. Think about how sin was introduced into the world. Adam and Eve acted independently from God’s will by eating fruit from the one tree that God said to stay away from. Now, eating fruit isn’t sinful; but rebelling against God’s instructions is. That single act also brought death into the world. Without sin, there is no death.
Everyone in the human race has participated in this rebellion. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). This is an important point. Over time, our culture has become so tolerant of evil that many children today say they’ve never sinned. That’s a problem. We’ve become a society that “practices lawlessness” without acknowledgment or shame.
Christians don’t live lives of sinless perfection. However, sinful thoughts and actions should be the exception rather than the rule. As believers, we need to examine where we’ve followed cultural trends by tolerating what God calls evil. While we may slip into sin occasionally, we should never willfully step into it. When we disagree with God about what sin is or simply choose to go on sinning, we’re actively participating in the rebellion. In which case, we are neither available or useful to God.
A believer cannot consistently practice sin without the conviction of the Holy Spirit. When we try to act independently from the righteousness of Christ within us, it produces conflict. That’s why 1 John 1:9 is so incredible, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
God hasn’t changed His mind. He still views sin as rebellion against His righteousness. But He also sacrificed His sinless Son so that we would no longer be slaves to sin. As Major Ian Thomas said, “The life Jesus lived qualified Him to die the death He died. The death Jesus died qualifies me to live the life I now live in Him.”
Read the previous devotion in this series: Truth is Unchanged
Read the next devotion in this series: Marriage is Unchanged