Saturday, November 8, 2014

November 7 – Being untouchable to the devil

We know that everyone who has been born of God does not sin, but the One who is born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.  (1 John 5:18 HCSB)

This verse has recently caused a degree of confusion among Christians, who claim to be sinless because they also claim to be born again.  But that’s not what God says through the apostle John.  Just a few chapters before this, John writes, “If we say, ‘We don’t have any sin,’ we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” (1 John 1:10)  So do we have sin, or do we not?  

As with a lot of verses in the Bible, the truth can be found out in the original language.  In Greek, the phrase “does not sin,” is better translated, “does not live in a constant state of practicing sin.”  That means that once a person is born of God, they have come to the point of killing their flesh, and hating sin to the point that they no longer live in it any more.  They are still sinners, but they also live in a constant state of repentance and purity, a dependence on God for their salvation.  The moment they realize they have sinned, they feel disgust for that sin and repent immediately.  They learn from that experience and do all they can to avoid ever falling into that sin again.  Their radar is constantly running, and they assess their relationship with God everyday, to assure that there is nothing blocking them from communing with Him.  They sin, but they don’t live in sin.

This is not what is being preached in many popular churches around the country and around the world.  The safety net that Christians like to fall back on, is the thought that grace is sufficient, that there is no longer a need to be vigilant to resist sin because Christ’s sacrifice has done it all for us.  Grace is free, therefore grace must be cheap.  

But this passage is a warning.  We are to look for the signs that we are truly born of God.  Those who are, have stopped practicing sin.  The yo-yo effect of grieving God, asking for forgiveness and lazily grieving Him again without a brokenness of spirit or an earnest attempt to kill that old temptation, is a great disrespect to our Lord who died for every sin we commit and will commit.  Self-labeled Christians who still enjoy getting drunk, pornography, gossip, rebellious attitudes towards the authority of God’s Word, cursing and sexual promiscuity, are not even close to being born of God.  They practice sin, and cannot be one with God.  There are far more false Christians than real ones today, just because of this misconception.

We are guaranteed to be kept by Jesus, the One (with a capitol O) who is born of God.  He is the example we should follow.  If we are born of Him, we live like Him.  And if we live like Him and for Him, we will be kept by Him, and be untouchable to the devil.  That’s the safest state to be in, and worth every sacrifice of our flesh.  But false believers have no such protection.  

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