I’ve been having some thoughts on the book of 1st John. I would really like to have some feedback on this topic to help me out. I also want to say that this thought isn’t the result of some intensive theological study.
Me and a friend about a year ago did a study through the book of 1st john. we went through paragraph by paragraph. My friend kept taking issues with what appeared to be contradictions with other passages of Scripture. Of course I don’t believe there are any contradictions in the Bible, but I did have a hard time answering some of my friends objections.
The basic gist of the objections revolved around passages like:
“No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.” 3.6
“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.” 3.10
Now I know that key words in these verses is the phrase “keeps on sinning” or “practices sin”, but at the same time I’m not completely satisfied with this answer. It seems to me that that answer glosses over the point John is trying to get at.
A month or two ago I had this idea pop into my head. What if John is writing under the assumption that his readers are already trying to eradicate every little sin from their lives? Over the last year or so I’ve studied sin in various ways. Let me just say that I do not believe a Christian can be totally free of sin in this life. So in my studies I have learned that my view is grossly lower than the Bible takes.
What I’m trying to get at is that I, my friend, and many other Christians struggle with “pet sins.” I know that I am supposed to get rid of every sin in my life, but this one over here is rather enjoyable. I think I’ll hold on to it for a while. This mindset seems to be totally antithetical with what John is trying to say.
Basically what I’m saying is that Christians today don’t appreciate the gravity of sin enough. But like I said above, this post is not the result of critical or intensive study, just ponderings I have had in my spare time.
Let me know what you think!