1 John 2:4 (ESV) Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him…
Can you claim to be a Christian and still willfully engage in sin? NO!
I see many people in the church willfully use the grace of God as a cover for them to continue in sin. And to those people I feel the need to say two words, “Wake up!” You either haven’t read the Bible or have embraced a tickling ear preacher on TV that never mentions the atonement, sin, or repentance. Yet the very ministry of Jesus started with this word, “REPENT.” It means to change your mind about what you are doing and how you are living. It doesn’t mean you’ll never sin again – but it does mean – your life should dynamically and noticeably change through KNOWING CHRIST.
1 John 2 gets even clearer: Verse 5b, “By this we may know that we are in him: 6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.”
In other words, I know I’m in Him because I’m living like Jesus. If I could summarize the life of Jesus in one word it his this: “Selflessness.” He was the selfless, sinless Son of God who gave up his rights, privilege and position to serve the will of the Father in redeeming us from our sins.
The heart of all sin is self. A lack of repentance from sin is therefore allowing self to be in control, obeyed, and worshipped. Make no mistake, this is NOT Christianity. And if this is you, you are deceived. This is why many who call Jesus “Lord, lord” will actually hear the words, “Depart from me, I never knew you.”
I fear the church has lost the art of true repentance. It doesn’t mean “feel bad”, it doesn’t mean, “think good thoughts” – it means change. CHANGE! Jesus said to the Laodiceans: Revelation 3:19 “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.”
Is there a known, willful sin in your life right now? Stop USING the death of Jesus as a license to sin, and start receiving the power of Jesus – to change, to walk away, to give up your rights, and be born again.