Sometimes we forget the logical. This passage by John states a basic truth, that is fundamental to our everyday Christian living. John is explaining to believers in his time why Christ followers don’t continue in sin. Why, you may ask? Well it's not because Christians are immune to temptation. It’s not even that Christians don’t sometimes want to sin. Unfortunately, the reality is that the struggle against sin will be present as long as we live in these earthly, fallen bodies.
The reminder John gives is this: “Jesus appeared so that He might take away our sins.” This truth is obvious but sometimes we fail to make the connection. Christians don’t continue in a lifestyle of sin because that would negate the whole reason Jesus came and died for our sins in the first place. Jesus came to defeat sin . . . to take our punishment of death and then to rise again. You may ask, “What impact does the resurrection have on my daily life?” Well, the answer is obvious, Christ’s death made forgiveness possible while His resurrection makes new life possible.
Have you ever seen someone baptized and heard the pastor say, “Buried with Christ in baptism, and raised to walk in newness of life?” When Christ saves us, it is not merely forgiveness of our sins (although that is certainly very important). Rather, it is forgiveness of sins and the gift of a new life. We must realize this new life isn’t like the old one. It is a life that desires to know Christ and to obey Him. The Holy Spirit is placed within every follower of Christ so that we do not have to live a lifestyle of sin. The Spirit convicts and guides us in our pursuit of Christ.
Believers often talk of our salvation from sin and its consequences. We talk of salvation from the wrath of God and from hell. But do we speak of salvation from sin now…in this fallen world…in this fleshly and weak body…in this brief yet difficult life? Write it down and don't forget that the Gospel should permeate our days, not just our eternities. No one who is a follower of Christ can keep on sinning – that is what Scripture teaches. This new life in Christ is a process. Sin will still be present; but it won’t dominate. Satan will still tempt; but he no longer imprisons. The flesh still battles; but it no longer rules.
Christ rose from the grave to give us a beautiful life. He takes broken, scarred prisoners of sin and sets us free. Sin, therefore, will no longer be a way of life.
Father, I am forever grateful for Your salvation of my soul. Thank You for setting me free from sin. Help me to remember from this day forward why Jesus came . . .to take away my sin. I desire for my life be a living testimony of the empty tomb! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.