That You May Not Sin
“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense, Jesus Christ the Righteous One.”(I John 2:1)
This thought hit me like a ton of bricks: “That you will not sin…” It helps me to understand something that I have wrestled with for a long time. Often the questions come to mind asking, “What is it all about? Why do we need fellowship? Why do we need to assemble? What is the real value of preaching to the saints?” In this verse we find the answer.
The Bible is very clear on why we are to be together. Obviously, we are to come together to observe the Lord’s Supper, to remember how He served us in His life and death, to remind us to be that kind of servant. Surely we are to come together to edify or build each other up. Without a doubt the church is to assemble to celebrate, if you will, the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and to recount the hope that we now have because of Him and His work.
For most preachers, the burden of preaching is to determine the purpose for the lesson. It is not a matter of what can I preach. It is a matter of what I preach.
John details the real purpose here in his writing. “I write this that you will not sin…” Wow! There is a real purpose.
According to the first chapter of this same book, we are all sinners and if we say we are not, we accuse God of lying.
John is not indicating that we will ever get to the point that we will live above sin. For in the same verse he goes on to show that there is provision made through Jesus our advocate when we do.
That we may not sin is the purpose of study. We should not study just to know. “Knowledge puffs up” as Paul said to the Corinthians. We should study to know more about living in purity. Study with this purpose in mind builds railings across the bridges of life to help keep us from going over the side into sin.
That we may not sin is the definitive purpose of preaching. Preaching is not to impart some new thing. It is not to woo people by oratory. Preaching must have the purpose of helping all of us to be “sin-less” people.
That we may not sin is a purpose of our assembling together. This puts us in an environment to touch base with others who struggle with sin and to act as a support group to help each other.
We must never get to the point of arrogance where we think that we have arrived at the pinnacle of being above sin. We are sinful and we do have a Savior who constantly cleanses us. We should however, want to “sin less.”