What Does 1 John 3:4 Mean?

Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.

1 John 3:4(NASB)

Verse of the Day

The Scriptures are a treasure-trove that most people do not want to recognise as authoritative, nor do they want to adhere to its instructions... and so it is regarded as an outdated storybook which is ridiculed and rejected by the majority, rather than being treated with reverence and respect.

Nevertheless, the Bible is the Word of the living God and should be accepted as the plumb-line for truth. It is God's inerrant instruction manual on life and living. It is without error because it has been breathed out by the Spirit of the Almighty Creator - Who is Life and Truth. The Word of God is not only our daily bread but is living, powerful, and profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness.

It is because the Bible does not white-wash sin, but identifies it as a ruinous evil which impacts the lives of every human being, that it is held in such contempt by so many people. But we who have been saved by grace through faith in Christ, should recognise God's Word as the most precious tool in our Christian arsenal which provides all we need for life and godliness.

The apostle John, in writing his first epistle, sets out many criteria for true Christian fellowship. It gives guidelines on growing in grace and in maintaining godly intercourse with our fellow believers. And it identifies humility, obedience, love, and purity as godly characteristics which should be manifested in the life of the man or woman of God who is walking in spirit and truth.

John delights to emphasise the Father's love for His children, and he also reminds us that the love of Christ is the hallmark of a true Christian. Godly love should be manifested in the lives of all who have been born of the Spirit of God. Indeed, he reminds us that the world hates us, simply because we are His children - for they have rejected His gracious offer of salvation, spurned His only begotten Son, and reduced the inerrant Word of God to a foolish fairy tale that they regard with amusement, disdain, or sarcasm.

He also reminds us that we have a living hope in Christ, for when we finally see Him we shall be like Him... and this glorious hope keeps us pure, even as we are pure through faith in Christ - for by faith in Christ we are forgiven of our sins and covered in His own righteousness.

However, the opposite is true of those that reject the Lord Jesus and spurn His goodness. They are not pure in God's sight but are identified as lawless, disorderly, and ungovernable people. They are identified throughout the Word of God as rebellious, disruptive, mutinous, and seditious, and John makes it very clear in this verse: "Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness - for sin IS lawlessness."

Lawlessness (or sin) is antithetical to godliness and purity and the lawless sinner is always at variance with the forgiven child of God. The unsaved man does not simply transgress the law of God but is in direct opposition to Him, which is why we read that sin is lawlessness.

There are two world-views today. The first world view is biblical and the other is unbiblical. There is one that is godly and one that is lawless - one that is of God and one that is of Satan. There are only two types of people on earth today... the sinners and the saved... those who reject God's offer of salvation and live in direct opposition to His will and those that have accepted His gift of salvation.

There are those that are under God's righteous condemnation and those who are not under condemnation. Praise God that there is no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus - their sins are remembered no more and they are accepted in the Beloved and covered in His perfect righteousness - by faith.

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, I acknowledge You as the God of the universe and Lord of my life. I thank You that in Your grace, You sent the Lord Jesus to pay the price for my sin and declared me righteous in Your sight - by faith in His sacrificial death and glorious Resurrection. There are many, Lord, who are still walking in rebellion against You and are cloaked in sin and lawlessness. I pray that they would open their eyes to the truth in the precious Word of God and be saved by grace through faith in Christ - for which I give You thanks and praise. In Jesus' name, AMEN.

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