When John came to the end of his letter, he underscored the things every believer can know with absolute assurance.
Sin isn’t a popular word. Most people think of sin as doing something really bad, like murder, assault, or robbery. But the word “sin” has the idea of missing the mark, not hitting the target.
The idea is that God has set a glorious standard and when we fail to live by it, we sin. We say, do, and think things that are contrary to God's standard, and the problem is that no matter how much we try and achieve change by ourselves, we just can't succeed.
The Bible teaches that our nature is imprisoned to sin. We miss the mark because we choose creation over the Creator. We look to succeed by our own strength, yet we never shake our own selfish sin. No matter what our education, religious heritage, ethnicity, or financial status, we cannot overcome the power of sin by ourselves. This is a problem.
Being under grace beings being free in Christ and no longer a slave to sin. However, this doesn’t mean you’re free to do whatever you please. It means you do what pleases Christ.
The world is full of bad news because we’re full of sin and depravity. But here’s the Good News—God bought you a way out, a way back to Him.
Of the many things we could name that cause Christians grief and heartache, nothing can compare to sin.
Unfortunately, the battle between right and wrong, good and evil, will always be at war within us. Despite our best efforts, we will always be strugglers. But Christ enables us to overcome wrong. He gives us the power to do what’s right.
No matter what you’ve done God loves you. The Apostle Paul, who wrote much of the New Testament, calls himself the worst of sinners. Before he met Christ he killed Christians and yet he was rescued by God’s grace. And you can be too.
Sometimes as believers we become preoccupied with what we do wrong—we live as though we’re still slaves to sin. Instead, our focus should be on following Christ. He has set us free, and gives us the power to live free.
The Christian life is tough to get started because it’s not just a new way of thinking it’s a whole new way of living. It’s like moving from darkness to light; from being self-centred to being like Christ. But as you persevere, the journey keeps getting better and better.
Just like you can’t unscramble an egg that’s been broken, we all have a dark side we can’t quite shake. We have a root problem with sin, which sounds pretty hopeless until we remember God, in His mercy, doesn’t leave us there. Through His Son He provided a way out of our brokenness and despair.
“Whose slave are you?” It’s a great question. Are you a slave to work? Possessions? People’s opinions? Bad habits? The good news is you don’t have to be chained to any of these. As a child of God, you’re free.