Freed from lawlessness
Everyone who commits sin practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. You know that he was revealed so that he might take away sins, and there is no sin in him. Everyone who remains in him does not sin; everyone who sins has not seen him or known him. 1 John 3:4-6 CSB
John’s declaration in verses 4 and 5 are quite straight forward, “Everyone who commits sin practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.” John from the text is describing the root of sin which is lawlessness. “Sin” is singular. It is defiance of God’s commands. When we say that “God is love” it does not mean that He has no regulations for His family. Christ came to this world to reconcile us with God through His death at the cross. Since we believed in Him and repented of our sin, we became members of His family. Therefore, we are expected to live our lives following His commands. “This is how we know that we know him: if we keep his commands” (1 John 2:3). Since we received Christ as our Lord and Savior, we identify with Him and will not assert our will. When we rebel against God’s way, we are sinning and in essence such sin is lawlessness. When we are recipients of God’s grace by faith (see Ephesians 2:8-9), we cannot remain in rebellion to God’s Word. We are freed from lawlessness for Christ had set us free: “though I am not without God’s law but under the law of Christ” (1 Corinthians 9:21). We are saved once and for all if we believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior, but we should continue to pursue holiness, confessing our sin when we fail (1 John 1:9). Because we share with our Lord and Savior in the blessing of His death, we should not take for granted what He had accomplished on our behalf by deliberately disobeying His Word. His blood was shed at the cross to pay the price for our sin. Those who deliberately remain in their sin “are enemies of the cross” (Philippians 3:18). Everyone who is in Christ and abides in Him, does not practice sin. To “remain in Him” means that nothing should come between us and Christ. When we are born of Christ because of our union with Him, it makes it possible for us to be in constant fellowship with Him. This fellowship with Christ is what prevents us from deliberately disobeying His commands. Salvation is not just about freeing us from future judgment. His death at the cross broke the power of sin over our lives. Since Christ died for me and I had placed my life in His hand, that means I died to self. Now, I can submit to His will and sin will not have dominion over my life. “I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).
Isaac De Guzman