May 19
‘Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.’ John 8:34
Bible reading: 1 John 3:7-10 (Go to the Bible passage)
This passage begins with: ‘do not let anyone lead you astray’. How proper and fitting, for anyone who reads the following verses immediately feels a natural urge to be led astray!
We cannot stomach the straightforward words of the apostle of love. We seek a solution or an explanation to justify ourselves, for we are accustomed to measure the Bible by the standard of our daily practice instead of the other way round. But as long as we are so satisfied and full of self-confidence that we think we can explain the Bible from our impoverished Christian viewpoint, then reading this passage will not change us into well-founded Christians, who have become trustworthy through trials and whom the Lord can commend (2 Corinthians 10:18).
To God a little bit of righteousness does not exist. The one who does what is right, is righteous, just as Jesus is (:7), everything else is downplaying the biblical righteousness. The one who does what is sinful, is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning (:8). The same sentiment is expressed by Paul in slightly different words, ‘We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?’ (Romans 6:2).
These drastic words of John and Paul can only be explained from their faith in the radicalism of the fulfilled work of Jesus. ‘The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work’ (:8) and as Paul puts it, ‘…that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with’ (Romans 6:6).
Could it be that there is something missing in our radical submission to Jesus?

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