It has been a while since I have been on RZIM Connect and so am uncertain if this question has been asked already. If it has I am happy to be directed to the discussion thread. My question is based on some of the passages in 1 John and I would appreciate others views and advice.
1 John 3:4-10: Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.
My question is around the certainty of salvation if you are a Christian who continues to willingly live in sin. I understand that there is often a sanctifying process that God does in believers, and so a new Christian (and old one) will undergo and continue to undergo a maturing process. But the passage in 1 John seems to be clear that when we are ‘born of God’ the desire or propensity to sin is removed from us because of God’s indwelling presence. However, many Christians continue to battle with the continuing falling into sin and some long-term Christians may be willingly living lives which are very much opposed to that expected of a transformed life in Christ. Another passage of Scripture which seems to point to the same message in the 1 John passage is Galatians 5:16-26 where Paul says in the second half of verse 21, after giving a list of the works of the flesh, that those who do the things of the flesh will not inherit the kingdom of God.
I understand that scripture needs to be read in the context of the whole letter but I would appreciate others understanding of these passages as I am sure there are a lot of people who may be living willingly in sin or perpetually falling into the sin and are wondering if their salvation is actually secure.
Thank you very everybody’s time in considering my question