How do we actually stop sinning?

One of the most wrongly taught passages of the Word is this one.

1 John 3:7-10

Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

Now the key to understanding this passage is the definition of “children of the devil”.

This is usually interpreted as unbelievers. This is not true.

The “children of the devil” here are the leaders of the Jews in Jesus’s days.

John 8:44

You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires.

Not the context here also.

John 8:33-34

They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”

Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin.

Notice how “everyone who practices sin” is actually referring to remaining in the old covenant and refusing to embrace the new covenant?

Also Jesus called them “vipers” little snakes. The seed of the serpent in the garden.

So when you read the passage in John you should therefore see this.

1 John 3:7-10

Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices (NEW COVENANT) righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous.

Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil (OLD COVENANT) for the devil (EXACTLY WHAT JESUS SAID ABOUT THE JEWS) has been sinning from the beginning.

The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil (THE LAW).

No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, (NOTE WHAT JESUS SAID ABOUT THE PRACTICE OF SINNING BY THE JEWS) for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God.

By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil (THE OLD COVENANT): whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. (NOTE THIS IS ABOUT THE LAW OF THE NEW COVENANT WHICH IS TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER WHICH JESUS INTRODUCED AS THE NEW COMMANDMENT UNDER THE AGE OF GRACE.)

So there you have it. That’s how we “stop sinning”. The “sinning” there is actually refusing to step into imputed righteousness by grace and not law.

May you finally be set free from condemnation to love Jesus and yourself.

3 Comments

  1. Hi Simon. I feel like there are these extremely strict rules I have to follow, and it gets me down. Even though I don’t think God will eternally torment me if I break this rule or that rule, I feel under tremendous pressure. An example of a text that gets me down is Galatians 5:19-21. Is it just me, or is it extremely hard to live righteously based on the standards laid out there and elsewhere in the epistles? Paul’s laundry lists of bad people are so exhaustive. It seems like virtually everyone could be classified as an evil person, unworthy of inheriting the kingdom. What are your thoughts on all the condemned behaviors in Galatians 5:19-21 and elsewhere?

    1. Dear Anthony, context is everything. The issue with that passage is what is the definition of sowing in the flesh?

      The answer is circumcision. Paul was writing to Christians who was turning back to the old covenant. He is not speaking about you.

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