A Decreasing Frequency of Sin

A Decreasing Frequency of Sin

“No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God” (1 John 3:9).

A decreasing pattern of sin in a believer’s life means his faith is genuine.

A sinful life pattern is incompatible with salvation. If you could continue in the same sinful pattern after being saved from sin, that would mean salvation is ineffective. Therefore, 1 John 3 deals with the saving work of Christ and reveals just how effective it is.

Verse 5 says Christ “appeared in order to take away sins.” If you say someone who has had the work of Christ applied to him is continuing in sin just as before, you are denying the purpose for which Christ came. He died to take away the pattern of sin as well as the penalty.

Therefore, if you are truly a believer you will relate to God in a totally new way, because the Christian “abides in Him” (v. 6). You are no longer a perpetual slave to sin, but you now have the option and ability to do good (see Rom. 6:14, 17-18). You will always be acutely sensitive to sin (Rom. 7; 1 John 1:8-9); yet, because of Christ’s abiding in you, your struggle will decrease over the years, and sin will be less and less a pattern in your life.

That brings us to 1 John 3:9, which is a reminder that believers have been born anew by the Holy Spirit. Your new nature or new disposition of life is the “seed” verse 9 speaks of. Just as the seed of a plant, when placed in the soil, produces a distinct kind of life, the divine seed produces a righteous life in you that ends sin’s dominance. And that seed will never die—1 Peter 1:23 says it is “imperishable.”

What does all this mean to you if you’re a genuine believer? It means you will see a decreasing pattern of sin in your life because you now have holy affections. It doesn’t mean sin will be eliminated, because your unredeemed flesh is still present. It means the more you practice righteousness—with its right motives, right desires, right words, and right actions—the less you sin, and the more you can be assured you’re a child of God.

Suggestions for Prayer

If there is a frequent sin you struggle with, ask God to help you defeat it.

For Further Study

Record at least five truths contained in Romans 6:1-11. How do they help give victory over sin?

From Strength for Today by John MacArthur Copyright © 1997. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.

Additional Resources



Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us

Here is the MacArthur Commentary Notes on Ephesians 5:2 pertaining to the offering of Christ.

5:2 Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us. The Lord is the supreme example in His self-sacrificing love for lost sinners (4:32; Ro 5:8–10). He took human sin upon Himself and gave up His very life that men might be redeemed from their sin, receive a new and holy nature, and inherit eternal life (see note on 2Co 5:21). They are henceforth to be imitators of His great love in the newness and power of the Holy Spirit, who enables them to demonstrate divine love. a fragrant aroma.

Christ’s offering of Himself for fallen man pleased and glorified His heavenly Father, because it demonstrated in the most complete and perfect way God’s sovereign, perfect, unconditional, and divine kind of love.
 


Manifestations of Pride, Part 3

pride-Hello-My-Sin-Is-Pride
The past few days, we have been looking at the problem of pride. Pride is blinding. This fact is why it is often difficult to see pride in ourselves, and yet so easy to see it in others. Here is a sample list of pride manifestations that can easily clear away the smoke of any self-righteousness.
      1. Resisting Authority or being disrespectful. A proud person may detest being told what to do. We might say he or she has a submission problem. What they actually have, however, is a pride problem. It is simply displaying itself in a lack of submission (1 Peter 2:13-17).
      2. Voicing preferences and opinions when not asked. A proud person might not be able to keep his preferences or opinions to himself. He will offer it when it is not asked for. These preferences are usually voiced without consideration for others (Philippians 2:1- 4). Read more…