#9 - Continuing To Sin - 1 John
Characteristic #5 said that if we obey His commands we are a Christian. When we were discussing characteristic #5 we saw that 1 John 2:3 says: "We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands."
But as I pointed out in that post, it is impossible for any of us to obey God's commands perfectly. In fact, the law was not given to us so that we can learn to obey it perfectly, the law was given to us so that we will know we are unable to obey God's law (Romans 7:7) and as a tutor that leads us to Christ (Galatians 3:24).
"I would not have known what sin was except through the law." - Romans 7:7
I explained in that previous post that while Christians do sin, it is because they fall into sin, they do not dive into sin. Christians struggle with sin, they do not accept sin as being good and right.
Here is today's verse:
#9 - "He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God." 1 John 3:8,9If we look at the original Greek for this verse, it has a deeper meaning than we get from the English translation. This verse is talking about having a continuing lifestyle of sin without repentance... without a struggle with sin.
The example that jumps right out is that of homosexuals being ordained as ministers, priests and bishops. To be a leader in a Christian church you must be a Christian. A homosexual who has turned away from homosexuality, and who is no longer practicing homosexuality can be a minister, priest or bishop. That person may even fall back into the sin of homosexuality... that is something that happens with fallen people such as us.
On the other hand, a homosexual who says, "I'm gay and I'm proud of it." is not a Christian and thus can not be a church leader, or even a church member. Instead of repenting of their sin, turning away from, and struggling with it, they are embracing their sin. That's what this verse is saying. If we embrace our sin... plan our sin... and do not struggle with our sin... then we are not a Christian.
One point I'd like to be very clear about: I said that a homosexual may not be a member of a church. This is true. The church is the body of Christ. If you are not a Christian you are not a part of the body of Christ, you are an enemy of God. However, that does not mean homosexuals are not welcome in church. Everyone is welcome to attend church services, classes and events. The doors are open to you. Come learn about Jesus Christ and how he died on the cross to pay the penalty you owe for disobeying God.
"By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me [Paul] also..." 1 Corinthians 15:2-8