Union with Christ Prevents Sin
“No one who remains in union with him keeps on sinning.”
1 John 3:6 (ISV)
How easily we lose control at times. We fly off the handle and shout at someone we love, we lie because it’s the easy way out, we swear inwardly or out loud when something doesn’t go our way, we’re rude to others when we get impatient, and we think thoughts and act on them even when we know they are inappropriate.
The problem is the tendency to sin, which is part of our human nature. The apostle John wrote a lot about human nature, and knew that any movement away from God is the beginning of sin. He taught that the only way forward for us is to continue to live in union with Jesus Christ. We can’t repent in and of ourselves. For us to turn to God and thus away from sin is impossible without divine help.
The scripture above is phrased differently depending on the Bible translation used, but the underlying thought is evident in all of them. For example, the King James Version reads, “Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not”; the English Standard Version, “No one who abides in him keeps on sinning”; the New International Version, “No one who lives in him keeps on sinning”; and the Message rendition, “No one who lives deeply in Christ makes a practice of sin”. The International Standard Version seems to sum up these thoughts: “No one who remains in union with him keeps on sinning.”
John provides a description of this union with Christ: “We also know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding so that we may know the true God. We are in union with the one who is true, his Son Jesus the Messiah, who is the true God and eternal life” (1 John 5:20 ISV).
So how does the Christian begin to prevent sinful thoughts and to resist sin in his or her life? Again, it’s not something we can do alone. It comes out of our union with Jesus Christ. Remain united with him in prayer, thoughts, study and in actions.
Let’s no longer surrender to the impulses of sinful nature, but rather surrender to our union with Jesus and let his gracious Spirit guide us.
Help me please, Eternal Father, through the Holy Spirit, to remain in union with Jesus and thus resist the impulses to sin. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Study by James Henderson
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