Links Daily Devotional

Born of God, Part 2: Removing Our Sin

No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. (1 John 3:9, NIV)

My brother is a golf instructor here in Atlanta and he teaches out of an indoor facility with a very high-quality golf simulator system that gives unbelievable data and analysis on every shot. This data allows for his students to trust what he’s saying, because they can see the numbers themselves and often they improve quicker because of this. He doesn’t really need a machine to tell him why so many of his students come to him hitting slices: they are coming significantly outside/in (or over-the-top) with their downswings. However, the numbers that pop up on the screen are unbelievably valuable for him to help convince the student that this is happening and that it is not possible to hit a straighter shot—or the draw they desire—until they can get the club path moving more down the line or inside out.

So for the purpose of this analogy, let’s consider a golfer’s over-the-top or outside/in swing that produces an ugly slice as their sin, and a nice little draw as the goal of doing what is right.

The apostle John, in today’s passage, was saying that we can never reach our goal of righteousness, or be characterized as a child of God, if we do not work to remove sin from our lives. This is not saying that those born of God never sin again or do not have areas to work on, but 1 John 3:6 does say, “No one who lives in [Christ] keeps on sinning.” This means that we cannot claim allegiance to Christ and allow sin to own us.

God wants us to remove areas of habitual sin from our lives, because “in him is no sin” (1 John 3:5), and as children of God we are to abide in him. Vice versa, as we abide in him, we will see less and less sin in our lives—but it takes work and diligence.

One of our good friends has been working with my brother for several months now on his golf swing. When he first came in, he was more than 10 degrees outside/in with his club path and had honestly never hit a real draw in his life. After only a few sessions, he was able get the club moving down-the-line and picked up about 30 yards with his driver. He can now even hit the occasional draw. However, in tournaments or playing under pressure, it is amazing how he returns to his bad habits of coming over-the-top and starts to hit his old slice.

God knows that as long as we live on this earth inside these sinful shells called our flesh, we will stumble from time to time when we are under pressure from the enemy. However, he sent his Son to die for us not only so that we could go to heaven when we die, but so that we can have direct communion with him and live and abide in him in this present life as his children. Therefore, as individuals claiming to be born of God, we must be conscious of the areas of sin in our life and work to remove them, so that we will not cause others to stumble nor erect a barrier between us and our Heavenly Father.

Josh Nelson

January 8, 2013

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