“No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.” – 1 John 3:6
Have you ever been reading the Bible and been stopped by a verse? Look back at the verse above. Are you kidding me? I do the best that I can, but I know that I still sin. Am I to believe that I have to be perfect to have known God?
For those familiar with this passage it starts out by the great love of the Father lavished on us and is followed by a call for us to love. in the middle is this section that those who sin are children of the devil and the children of God don’t sin.
Now, I am in love with my wife. I know that I have been given a great blessing being married to her. I really do not know how to love anyone else more. Even so, just coming off a move, she asked me to do some things that in the heat of the moment where anger and frustration started to rise. In that moment God was giving me a glimpse to an area in my heart that has not truly seen the fullness of God’s love.
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” – 1 John 3:16
John, in his inspired wisdom, is helping us to see sin as a tool of growth in the Lord. Before he looks at sin, he reminds us of the great love of God our Father. In the middle, he reminds us of the great expression of love of God the Son. And at the end, he reminds us of the gentle reminders of love from God the Spirit. Bathed in love, John can have us look at sin without the discouragement of condemnation.
What is John trying to say? Do not look at sin as something you need to remove solely on your own! Ask God what is hindering you from seeing Him completely which is leading to sin.
Take a look at the image above. As the sun was descending, mountains started to block the light and colors. In the full light of day, there were no shadows, but as the sun moves throughout the day, shadows comes and go. God works similarly in our lives. He is moving the light of His presence around in our lives to show us areas still untouched by His love. We are not to shrink back in shame when we are exposed. We are reminded of His complete love for us, so we can come to Him for not only exposure, but cleansing.
“Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him.” – 1 John 3:21-22
Cleansing leads us to confidence before God. We have opened ourselves to His correction and felt completely loved. As we move out of that experience, we know we are children of God, and we can ask anything from our Father who has moved every obstacle for us to experience the fullness of His affection for us.