Today, Saturday August 7
“We Cannot Keep on Sinning”
1 John 3:9-10 “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.”
Yesterday we discussed how we now have a new nature that we received the moment we trusted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. And just as physical children bear the nature of their parents, so God's spiritual children bear His nature. The divine "seed" is in us. The old nature produces sin, but the new nature leads one into a holy life. A Christian's responsibility is to live according to his new nature, not the old nature.
One way to illustrate this is by contrasting the "outer man" with the "inner man" (2 Cor. 4:16). The physical man needs food, and so does the inner, or spiritual man. "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God" (Matt. 4:4). Unless we spend time daily in meditating on the Word of God, our inner man will lack power. When we feed our new nature from the Word of God, we will have power to live a godly life. We are to "make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof" (Rom. 13:14).
The physical man needs cleansing, and so does the inner man. We wash our hands and face frequently. We should look into the mirror of God's Word daily (James 1:22-25) and examine ourselves. We must confess our sins and claim God's forgiveness (1 John 1:9). Otherwise the inner man will become unclean and this uncleanness will breed infection and "spiritual sickness."
Unconfessed sin is the first step in what the Bible calls "backsliding"—gradually moving away from a close walk with Christ into a life filled with the alien world in which we live. God's promise, "I will heal your backslidings" (Jeremiah 3:22), implies that backsliding resembles physical sickness. First is the secret invasion of the body by a disease germ. Then infection follows and there is a gradual decline: no pep, no appetite, no interest in normal activities. Then comes the collapse!
Spiritual decline works in a similar way. First sin invades us. Instead of fighting it, we yield to it (James 1:14) and infection sets in. A gradual decline follows. We lose our appetite for spiritual things, we become listless and even irritable, and finally we collapse. The only remedy is to confess and forsake our sin and turn to Christ for cleansing and healing.
It is my prayer today that you will grow spiritually by feeding on God’s Word and confessing any sin that has slipped into your life. Remember Jesus said, “Now you are clean through the word which I have spoken to you!” (John 15:3)