1 John 2:1-6 ESV
“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
“And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says ‘I know him’ but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.”
Are You a Liar?
I love this passage of Scripture because it gives a well rounded view of what it means to believe in Jesus Christ. It doesn’t mean that we will never sin again, but it means we will no longer walk in sin. Sin will not be what we practice. Obedience to our Lord Jesus is our practice.
We don’t lose our salvation every time we sin, but if sin is what we practice, we don’t have eternal life with God. For, if we say that we know God but we do not make it our practice to obey his commandments, then we are lying. The truth is not in us. For, the love of God is perfected in whoever keeps the word of God.
Now, this is not saying anything about what happens to us if we stray from the Lord and if we need to be brought back to repentance and renewed faith. It would appear Scripturally that it is possible for us to be walking in obedience to the Lord, and then stray, and thus need to repent and to be restored to the Lord (See Rev 2-3).
But this is not giving us permission to stray from the Lord, nor is it giving us any guarantee that eventually the Lord will bring us back. We can’t play with fire and expect not to get burned. We can’t cross over boundary lines and expect not to fall. The Scriptures are clear. If we make sin our practice, we will die in our sins, but if righteousness is what we practice, then we have eternal life with God.
[Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10]
The Bottom Line
So, what’s the bottom line here? It is that if we think we know God, if we think that we believe in Jesus Christ, that our sins are forgiven, and that we are on our way to heaven, but we don’t make it our practice to obey his commands (New Covenant), then we are liars.
So, where does that place all these people who now profess faith in Jesus Christ but they are not being taught that they have to obey the commandments of God? If they say they know God, but they don’t keep his commandments, they are liars. They don’t know God. They don’t know Jesus Christ. And heaven is not their destination. Hell is.
So, you can make all the professions of Christ as Savior and Lord as you want, and you can pray that prayer to receive Jesus Christ into your heart, but if you do not surrender your life to Jesus Christ, and if you do not die with him to sin in order to live to him and to his righteousness, but you believe you don’t have to obey him, then you don’t know him.
This doesn’t mean that we are now living in sinless perfection, for the Scripture indicates the possibility that we might, on occasion, sin. But it makes it quite clear that those who practice sin will die in their sins. They will not inherit eternal life with God. But those who practice righteousness are the ones who are promised eternal life with God (1 Jn 3:4-10).
Crucified with Christ
Basically, if we truly believe in Jesus Christ, we will be crucified with him in death to sin so that we will no longer live under the control of sin and so that we will no longer be addicted to sin. For, Jesus died on that cross to deliver us from our slavery to sin so we would now be slaves of righteousness.
God’s grace to us does not give us permission to keep on in our sins. In fact his grace, which brings us salvation, instructs and trains us to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s soon return (Tit 2:11-14).
As followers of Jesus Christ, we are to no longer live like the ungodly who make no profession of faith in Jesus Christ, but we are to put away our former lives of living for sin and for self, we are to be reborn of the Spirit of God, and now we are to walk in holiness in the power of God our Savior.
So, you can’t just confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and say that you believe God raised him from the dead and therefore you are saved for eternity no matter how you live your life on this earth. We have to read Scriptures in their context. The book of Romans, as a whole, makes it quite clear that those who walk in sin will die in their sins. They will not have eternal life with God.
So, please take this seriously. We are not saved from our sins just so we can go on living in our sins guilt free, or so we can just keep living in sin convinced that all our sins are forgiven, past, present, and future. The Scriptures teach that if we walk in sin we will not inherit eternal life.
The Goal of Our Salvation
So, what is the goal of our salvation? Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us. He shed his blood for us on that cross to buy us back for God (to redeem us) so that we would now honor God with our bodies (with our lives).
So, if we are truly in Christ Jesus, by God-given faith in him, then our lifestyles should resemble how Jesus lived. Our lives are to be patterned after Jesus Christ and the way in which he walked. We should be doing and saying the kinds of things he did and he said.
Our relationship with God the Father should be similar in nature, too, to Jesus’ relationship with God the Father, for we are his children. We should fear God, i.e. we should honor, respect, value, revere, and obey him like Jesus did. We should never take God for granted or begin to think that he is altogether like us. He is not!
So, if you have not done so, give your hearts to Jesus Christ today. Commit your lives to walking in his truth and to doing what he commands. Follow him wherever he leads you. Make him your Lord (owner-master) and serve him with your lives from now on until Jesus returns. There is no better way to live on this earth than to be walking in the will of the Lord.
[Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 2 Co 5:15; 1 Co 6:19-20; Jas 1:22-25; Eph 2:8-10; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 5:3-6]
By Jonathan Foreman
I give you my destiny
I’m giving you all of me
I want your symphony
Singing in all that I am
At the top of my lungs
I’m giving it my all
So, I lay my head back down
And I lift my hands and pray
To be only yours I pray
To be only yours I pray
To be only yours
I know now you’re my only hope
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