Is It Impossible For A Christian To Sin?

(Is It Impossible For A Christian To Sin?) Bible Question

Question:

“Could you explain 1 John 3:6? John tells us in 1 John 1:8 that we do sin and can’t say we don’t. Then he says we do not sin. How can a child of God not sin?”

Answer:

“If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.”

– 1 John 1:8 (New American Standard Bible)

In chapter one the apostle John is letting all of us know that we will sin in our lives. John will not pretend that once a person becomes a Christian, sin is no longer possible. Christians can and do fall short of God’s glory. So we can never be full of ourselves and suggest that our salvation is a result of our sinless performance. Salvation a result of the sinless Son of God and the grace that proceeds from His death.

But in chapter three, John is speaking not of a sin, but of a sinful lifestyle. . .

“No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him. Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.”

– 1 John 3:6 – 9 (New American Standard Bible)

Notice the emphasis on “practices” in this passage. In chapter three, John is explaining that Christians (who do sin) will not settle into a pattern of sin. In other words, they will make mistakes and incorrect choices. But they will also strive to be more obedient so that sin does not become their practice (a habit or a way of life).

So Christians do sin. But those who live in Christ make it their priority not to let sin become the practice or standard of their lives.

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