“We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin…” Isn’t this contradicted by Paul in Romans where he talks about doing the things he does’t want to do? Is this referring to a specific personal sin or the daily sins we all commit? I am confused. I know I sin every day even though I try hard not to, so I am not sure what this means.
@plantaseed Good question I think the key to understanding 1 John is to understand that John was refuting opponents who were threatening the Christians in that community with false doctrine. That is why John drew such a clear distinction between believers (who do not sin) and those who continue in sin - because he was contrasting true Christian doctrine with the false doctrine of these opponents. If we understand that John’s purpose was to refute false doctrine and protect God’s children, then we can better understand why he made statements that seem so extreme to us.
The bottom line is that John admits Christians do sin and still receive God’s forgiveness through repentance, but that they are on the journey towards holiness through the sanctifying work of God’s Spirit. The false teachers, in contrast, apparently encouraged sinful living through their teaching, which John was condemning.
Thank you. I definitely am not reading the Bible with an eye to ferret out issues, but for greater understanding. Knowing the cultural context is so important.
@plantaseed Indeed - it was a good question