No one who is born of God sins! 1 John 5:18b

18 We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him and the evil one does not touch him.
19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding, in order that we might know Him who is true, and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.
21 Little children, guard yourselves from idols.
(1 John 5:18-21, NASB).

So, upon reflection, it is true that no one who is born of God sins ( Of course it is true, it is Scripture! Our first inclination upon encountering this amazing statement is to question it, to put it in a box, and to explain it away. But here is something to consider as well: We know that no one who is born of God sins. As believers in the love which God has for us, we know together that no one who is born of God sins, and that when we see a brother sinning we know that it is anomalous and inconsistent with their true self.

If you doubt this, consider your feelings about yourself when you do sin. Do you think, “finally, I get to have some fun around here! I’m sick of all this odious restraint. It feels good to stretch my wings and sin like that!” Instead, do you feel heavy and full of regret and shame? Do you have a strong urge to repent? Do you joyfully concur with the law of God in your inner man? Is there a war between you and your flesh? Even if you don’t understand it, do you sense a division and a kind of war within yourself along these lines? Then guess what, your weird living dead zombie sinful flesh presence won a skirmish, but you yourself, your true self, loves the things of the Spirit and hates that sin. Why is that? Because your true self is incapable of sin.

That means that in reality, you can act with freedom because your real self doesn’t sin! There is therefore now no condemnation (Romans 8:1). You can trust your “new creature” self to lead yourself to heartfelt genuine repentance, because you are born of God. You can run right back to the light, confess everything freely, and be cleansed. Really cleansed. You view your own failures as dirt needing cleansing. You can say, my hatred of my sin pales with God’s retribution for my sin at the cross. It has all been hated with great authority and wrath. You can’t do better with your groveling and impotent regret than Jesus has done at the cross. You can go right back to your holy joy and your happy schemes to bring redemption to others and to build up the saints! You can act with boldness and freedom because your central identity is that you are irrevocably and forever loved by Christ, with a love that can never be overcome because it will only resurrect and love all the more! You have, right now, left the universe of judgment and entered the universe of grace, because you believe in the power of the blood of Jesus over your life. All threat of punishment and ending has been ended. We see this born out in the second half of the scripture: it is not that we develop this iron-clad machine-like will, but that Jesus keeps us and protects us from the evil one. The action of God superintends the day-to-day reality of this great truth. You may think it is too easy to say, “my flesh made me sin, but my true self never sins.” However, this is the exact NT scriptural answer. We see it in 1 John, and we see it in Paul’s writings, for example Romans 7:16,17.

Ask yourself this: if you knew you would never sin again, and you had absolute confidence and certainty about this, how would you live? How would this affect your decisions? What would your life be like? What are your holy schemes and your righteous exploits? What is the rich fruit you will bear since you are born of God, connected to Christ our vine (John 15:5)? You may have sinned and you may have even denied Him in the past, but He has raised from the dead above your sins, and His love for you is more perfect than your imperfections. This perfect love is what defines you. To this day, He says to you, “tend my lambs.” Because He loves you, He has entrusted some great task also to you. Your God-born commission has great meaning and significance. You are accepted and in His eyes you cannot sin; His perfect love will win out over you every single time. According to this scripture, the evil one cannot touch you. You are powerful because you actually believe the love which God has for us!

Posted in Blog and tagged .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *