The different shapes of sin - Hope 103.2

The different shapes of sin

By David ReayFriday 27 Mar 2015LifeWords DevotionalsCultureReading Time: 0 minutes


Read 1 John 3:6

6 No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. (NIV)

This is a very scary verse which at first glance puts all of us on the wrong side of God. We all sin and being Christians doesn’t make us sinless. Earlier in this very letter John reminds us of this: denying our imperfections does us no good.

So what is he saying? It can’t be that committing a sin disqualifies us as followers of Jesus. It can’t be that the only true Christians are those who are perfect. The key,perhaps,lies in the grammatical tense that John uses. He is describing a wilful,continuous act.

One writer clarified it for me by drawing a contrast between a pig and a sheep. If a pig falls into a mud hole it delights in it and wallows in it. The pig is in his element and has no wish to escape from the mud: the mud is his native territory.

In contrast,when the sheep falls into such a mud hole it bleats and complains and wants to get out of it. This is not where the sheep belongs: it is not its native territory. It may repeatedly fall into mud holes but each time it seeks to get out of it. And,importantly in terms of our theme,it needs help to do so.

A true follower of Jesus will sin and do so repeatedly and frustratingly. But that same true follower will recognise their predicament and cry out for help and deliverance. They experience the mud and the mess of sin but they neither embrace it nor wallow in it.

David Reay

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