LINK: 1 John 3
How can we continue (abide) in Him? This is the message from 2:28 on. Abiding with God means a manifestation in our actions. Continue/Abide is the same Greek verb, menō, which occurs in John 15. John used this word 66 of the 112 times it occurs in the New Testament (40 in John, 23 in 1 John, and 3 in 2 John). If we are abiding, then our actions will be manifested, and we will have no need to be ashamed before God.
At the beginning of 1 John 3, he asks his readers to contemplate the reality of God's great love for them as children. We can put our hope in the fact that we will see him face to face and be like Him! WOW!
John then talks about sin. Jesus came to take away our sins. If we are continuing in Him, we will not continue in sin! We do commit sins, but there is a difference between "committing" a sin and "continuing" in sin. When we continue in sin, we are making a pattern of practicing sin and lawlessness. When we commit a sin, according to 1 John 1:9, we repent, confess, and find forgiveness through Jesus Christ. The one who is in a pattern of sin, does not feel sorry for what he or she is doing and does not confess. If we are truly his children, we are working mightily to overcome sin through the power of the Holy Spirit!
One of the number one indicators of practicing righteousness will be love of and care for our brothers and sisters in Christ to the point of even laying down our lives for them like Jesus did for us. Love is righteousness in action. A true believer could never hate a fellow believer.
For those of us who feel like we are just not doing "enough" in the area of love, John assured us that God's voice overrides the voice of our conscience or a "condemning heart" (3:20) because the heart is "more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?" (Jeremiah 17:9). Our job is to cultivate a listening ear to the Spirit's revelation to us. God's voice is also louder than the condemning voice of the devil who accuses us before God night and day (Revelation 12:10). If we are practicing love for others, believing in the name of Jesus Christ, and setting our hearts on God's love, we need not listen to our condemning heart or the voice of the enemy! If we are doing these things, we can walk in confidence and pray boldly (3:21-22).
Are you continuing to commit certain sins and cannot get out of a sin habit? Here are "Six Sin Busters" that have helped me in my struggle against these sin habits:
1) Seek the power of the Holy Spirit daily
2) Ask God to "strengthen you in your inner person" according to Ephesians 3:16
3) Soak and abide in His presence through time in the Word (Psalm 119:9,11)
4) Pray against the enemy of your soul and put your armor on according to Ephesians 6:10-18 (satan wants to devour you [1 Peter 5:8] and cause you to be trapped in sin)
5) Stay away from tempting situations and people who lead you astray (1 John 3:7)
6) Seek help from others in the Body of Christ for prayer and accountability
7) Seek deeper inner healing prayer as sin can be rooted in lies that you believe based on how you interpreted past experiences in your life
Lord, I pray against the enemy in the name and the blood of Jesus Christ for any reading this who are stuck in a sin habit. I break that power. I pray that You would strengthen them in their inner person, Lord. create space so they can soak in Your presence. Help them to repent and receive Your love. Give them discernment and the power to resist tempting situations and people. Give them a body of believers who can surround them with prayer and accountability. Root out any lies they believe. I come boldly before You because I can have confidence in the shed blood of Jesus Christ to wipe away sin and keep them in Your presence. I pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.