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Know Thine Enemy - July 2018

When a believer caves to sin, we have One who is our advocate, Jesus Christ

The Devil and Defeat
If Anyone Sins

Scripture Reading: 1 John 2:2-6

Key Verse: 1 John 2:1

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense–Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.

Our key verse gives us two clear conclusions about a believer and sin. First, John assumes that we understand that we don’t have to sin. He said that he is writing this letter to the church to make that very clear: Do not sin. Sin is that known transgression against God (James 4:17). In other words, when we fail God because of an unthinking human frailty that is regrettable but not sinful. We apologize for those failures after we realize what we’ve done, but sinning is an act of premeditation. No one can sin accidentally or without thinking! Sin comes when we are confronted with a choice and we consciously choose against God—in favor of our flesh. When we do that, we don’t need to apologize, we need to repent!

Then the Apostle John moves on to his second conclusion: “But if anybody does sin.” John is recognizing that it certainly is possible that a believer would choose against God. This statement of John’s can never be taken as an excuse for sinning every day. John words this in such a way that it’s obvious that he looks at “sin in the believer” as a rare event. When it happens, we do not need to give up or feel damned. No, we have One who is our advocate, Jesus Christ. Jesus speaks to the Father in our defense. It is His atoning sacrifice that covers these rare moments when a believer sins!

Father, thank you for your power that works in me to keep me from making decisions that dishonor your name. Remind me today to lean on you. In Jesus’ Name, amen.