For some Christians, becoming a Christian is a two-step process. First we receive Jesus and get forgiveness for all our past sins. Then we start working at keeping the clean life that we have gotten from Jesus, clean. It is as if Jesus wipes our slate clean once, out of sheer compassion, then tells us to make sure that we do not muck it up again. And some use this passage of scripture as justification for such an idea.

“Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him.
Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.” 1 John 3:4-9

From this passage, they therefore say that whoever sins after receiving Christ, is not a true Christian, that he has not really received Jesus into his life, he does not really know God; he has not been born again. For them, the true test of a born again Christian is living a completely sinless life. I wonder how many of them actually can.

But hey, Jesus never promised you a rose garden. He never said that there would be a big bang and you would be transformed immediately, spectacularly, in an instant, from sinner to saint, replete with halo and wings. In fact, all Christians know that the moment they received God was never marked by fireworks and huge spectacle. The sun did not explode; the moon did not give off fireworks. Life went on. For most, just the way it always was. So how do we live the sinless life instantaneously?

Beloved, Jesus wants you to know that while He has indeed wiped your slate clean and He did that out of sheer compassion for you; He does not need you to keep your slate clean on your own. He will do it for you. In fact, your sin is no longer the point. What is important to Him, is you.

In order to understand this, first we need to establish some irrefutable truths.

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

So Jesus who,

“He knew no sin.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

“He did no sin.” 1 Peter 2:22

“In Him was no sin.” 1 John 3:5

Was made the perfect sacrifice for us, by God our Father, bearing our sins on the cross, on our behalf. And when He did that,

“Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy].
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.” Isaiah 53:4-5 [AMPC]

So now not only are we righteous in Jesus, whole in the body, healed of our ailments, relieved of our sorrows and pains,

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1

“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:17

Beloved, this is the irrefutable foundation of truth that Jesus wants you to build your faith upon. He does not condemn you because He was condemned and punished for you, so that now you are righteous before God. So what happens when we sin?

Well beloved, good news, when we sin, that sin gets taken, brought back in time, and nailed to that cross for it is said,

“Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 7:25

The omniscient God, foreknowing all our sins; past, present and future; took them all and nailed them on Jesus, so all sins; past, present and future; have been dealt with. And just in case you, not Them, think it is not good enough, Jesus tells us that He is always at the right hand of God, making intercession for you, so that you can have a double guarantee of your right position with God.

So then this is why your sins are now no longer the point; you are. For all of us sin, even the great apostles. But what is important to Jesus and to our Father, is how we respond when we sin. Consider the difference between Judas and Peter.

Both betrayed Jesus. Both had Satan hot on their heels, and to some extent, both were taken over by Satan at some point.

“And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”” Luke 22:31-32

“Then after [he had taken] the bit of food, Satan entered into and took possession of [Judas]. Jesus said to him, What you are going to do, do more swiftly than you seem to intend and make quick work of it.” John 13:27 [AMPC]

Same sin, same cause, but what is important to note is a different response.

Jesus tells Peter that after the testing, after the sin, He should return to Him. Indeed, that is the response that we all should have after we sin, we return to Him; because if we do not return to Him, this is what the guilt will do to us.

“Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.”
And they said, “What is that to us? You see to it!”
Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself.” Matthew 27:3-5

Actually, Judas was no less remorseful than Peter for it is written,

“And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” So he went out and wept bitterly.” Matthew 26:75

But the difference is that one grieved, while the other, took the punishment upon himself and administered to himself what was rightful for his act, ignoring and therefore, by implicature, rejecting the gift of salvation that Jesus died to bring.

Beloved, when we slip up, we need to remember that Jesus has taken care of our sins so there is no reason for us to fear or worse, take the punishment upon ourselves anymore. All we need to do is come back to Him and thank Him for the gift of righteousness that He died to give us. Remember that,

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1

And that is what John meant when he said,

“Whoever abides in Him does not sin.” 1 John 3:6

“Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.” 1 John 3:9

Whoever has received Jesus cannot sin, not because he cannot commit the act. Of course he can. But what he cannot do is deliberately, knowingly, and habitually practice sin, for God’s nature abides in him (1 John 3:9) and more importantly, he cannot have his sin imputed, counted against him by God, for Jesus has already taken it upon Himself at the cross.

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines ‘practice’ as doing something again and again in order to become better at it; doing something regularly as an ordinary part of your life; or living according to its customs.

What that means is that for us who have received Christ, we cannot sin habitually such that we desire to become better at it, or have it become a part of our lives. When we do sin, we get uncomfortable, we do not like it. That is what John means when he says we cannot sin.

Therefore, stop focusing on your sin, and look to Jesus who already took your punishment for your sin on your behalf. Because of Jesus, your sin is no longer the point, but instead, what is important is how you choose to respond that the gift of righteousness that He came to bring. Will you choose to still carry the weight of your sin’s punishment on yourself, or will you let Him carry it for you on the cross, so that you can be righteous before God?

And if you want to cast the weight of your sin on Him, then say this prayer with me.

“Loving Father, thank You that in Your foreknowledge, You knew that You would call me today, and that today, I would listen. Thank You for sending Your Son Jesus to die on the cross for me so that by His death, I now die to sin, and by His rising, I am risen with Him and in Him to everlasting life. Thank You Jesus that by Your blood shed, I now receive full remission of sins, so that my sins, past, present and future, are now no longer the point because their punishment has been paid in full by You on the cross. I know that now I am the point. So now I choose to come to You, abiding in Your love and protection; knowing that whatever befall me, You are there with me to guide me and carry me; and I know that You will never condemn me for any sin anymore. I rest in Your love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Beloved, child of God, you are righteous now and always. Remember that your sin is now no longer the point, but you are. So live in His rest and His love.

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