Prayer for the remission of sin

If you see a fellow believer sinning in a way that does not lead to death, you should pray, and God will give that person life. But there is a sin that leads to death, and I am not saying you should pray for those who commit it. All wicked actions are sin, but not every sin leads to death. 1 John 5:16-17 NLT


Praying for one another includes praying for the remission of sin of an erring brother or sister in the Lord. Satan has many weapons in his arsenal to mislead a believer into committing sin. Satan is the god of this age: “Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4). He is the ruler of this world: “…we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). Believers are not perfect and can commit sin. “My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous” (1 John 2:1). Since they have a relationship with God, they will not practice the “sin that leads to death.” This is why John counsels the community of believers that if a brother or sister sins, they ought to ask God to “give that person life.” That is, God will forgive their sin and restore them to fellowship. John knows that in the Christian community many believers fall into sin. When John mentions “sin that leads to death,” he is not thinking of physical death but the spiritual death. The contrast is between dying without Christ that results to eternal separation from God and death that transitions to eternal life. John sets apart the believer, who possesses the life that comes from God, from the person who denies that Jesus is the Son of God. The person who rejects Jesus as the Christ and who does not love the believer commits the sin that leads to death. He does not share in the fellowship of the Father and the Son. “Anyone who says that Jesus is not the Christ. Anyone who denies the Father and the Son is an antichrist. Anyone who denies the Son doesn’t have the Father, either. But anyone who acknowledges the Son has the Father also” (1 John 2:22-23). God stands ready to forgive our sin. John teaches that “if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness” (1 John 1:9). God forgives sin when the sinner confesses and fellow Christians pray for that person, for “God will give that person life.”

Blessings,


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