Reasons why Jesus died on the cross

Woodrow Wilson’s father was a minister in the South. One day he joined a group of men caught up in a heated discussion. One of the men lost his temper and swore loudly. Only then did he see the Reverend Wilson in their midst. The man apologized profusely and said, “Si … More

Sin
John gives two reasons why Jesus died on the cross:
  1. To take away our sins (vv. 4-6).
  2. To destroy the works of the devil (vv. 7,8).

John does not deny that Christians sin, but he does deny that Christians can live in sin and enjoy it.  He is talking about people who make a practice of sinning and look for ways to justify it. Sin is basically a matter of the will. For us to seek our will in opposition to God’s will is rebellion. After a person has become a child of God he cannot practice lawlessness. The whole work of the cross is denied when a professing Christian practices deliberate sin.

It has been taught by some that it is possible for a Christian to reach a point in his life where he ceases to sin. This teaching is based on such verses as 6, 8 and 9 in this chapter. However in chapter 1 it clearly stated that no one can claim they do not have a sin nature, nor can a person claim that he does not commit individual acts of sin. This means that these verses cannot contradict each other. John is not speaking about committing an act of sin, but he is referring to a life of habitual sin. On the other hand, sometimes a person will tell about someone they say was truly born again but got out of fellowship with the Lord and lived in sin. However this really does not prove anything. A person who can enjoy deliberate sin and who does not feel convicted, or does not experience God’s chastening, needs to examine himself to see whether or not he is really a born again Christian.

Application

Thank you Lord for placing in my heart a desire not to sin and to want to please you.

I John 3:4-8 (English Standard Version)

Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »