Don’t sin. Hmm.

That seems painfully obvious and practically impossible at the same time.

1 John 2: 1-2

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

Sinless perfection even in salvation is impossible and unexpected. But we run the risk of creating a delusional, unachievable and self-righteous form of Christianity if we believe this passage is giving us permission to sin. 

1 John 3: 1-2

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that we did not know him. Dear friends, now we are the children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

All of these exhortations are being grounded in the position we have ALREADY with God. All of these exhortations are ground in who we already are and who we will one day be. Don’t we want to protect the dignity and the honor which God has already bestowed upon us?

1 John 3: 3-6

All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. Everyone who sins breaks the law: in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.

The entire heart of this letter is protection and assurance.


He wants us to have intimate, personal knowledge of our eternal life. This is not about avoiding condemnation, it is about avoiding needless consequences. This is not about following the letter of the law, it is about experiencing the fullness of your new life.

This is not about being perfect or not being perfect, it is about a life which proclaims with consistency the Perfection of Jesus.

So am I suppose to be perfect? No

So am I allowed to make poor choices, bad choices and willful choices? No.

We must learn to live in the tension of the unachievable and the unacceptable.

Psalm 119:133

Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.