Let me start by saying hey this isn’t going to be a simple “do-these-three-things-and-you-will-automatically-stop-sinning” post. There is no quick mechanical way to all of a sudden stop sinning. Let me also say that no one will be completely perfect until Heaven. The Bible says that all of us sin and fall short of God’s perfect standard (Romans 3:23) it also says that if anyone says they don’t sin, they are lying (1 John 1:8) so let’s be clear: We are all sinners, and we will not completely stop sinning until we are with Jesus.
On the other hand, as a Christian, there should come a point in your life where sin no longer has control over you. You no longer live in a lifestyle of sinful behavior. Sin becomes something that you struggle with, and occasionally fall, but not something that defines who you are. Consider 1 John 3:6
This and other verses make it pretty clear that sinful patterns and behaviors should not define the Christian’s life. If you are comfortable living in sin, then you should question whether you are really born of God / born again.
So what should we do if we find ourselves living in sin? How can we stop sinning? And how should we treat “sinners” who come to our church who may not even know they are living in sin?
The simple answer is right there in 1 John 3:6
- See Jesus
- Know Jesus
- Abide in Jesus
First, see Jesus. This is referring to the initial encounter with Christ. People living in the darkness of sin need to see the true light of the world (John 1:4-5). Like Paul on the road to Damascus, we need a personal vision of Christ to see him as he truly is.
Second, know Jesus. This means that we must get to know him personally. We are not encouraging people to enter into a religious system of rules and regulations. We are encouraging people to enter into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Confess that you are a sinner and believe that Jesus died for you and rose from the dead. Then you will be saved. Now you can have fellowship with God. A relationship with Jesus.
Third, abide in Jesus. This is the key to overcoming sin. First we see Jesus, and then we enter into a personal relationship with Jesus, and now we daily walk with Jesus. Abiding means we are connected to him like a branch is connected to the tree. Our life comes from Him, and without him we can do nothing. (John 15:5)
Isn’t it interesting that the way we stop sinning is not by focusing on the sin, but rather, by focusing on the savior. It’s all about Jesus!