I find it interesting that the word 'lawlessness' is used in this passage.  It begs the question:  Does that means that if I do something just for my own selfish purposes and leave God out of the equation that I am lawless?  I am led to believe this is so.  If I commit any kind of sin, it is that I am putting myself and my own interests first in the place of God and His own will for my life...and that IS lawlessness.  We have only to go back to the Garden of Eden and the original sin that started it all to see that this is so.

Christ's death on the cross was payment for the sins of the whole world. His blood covers our sin and makes us righteous before God.  Does this mean that only our past sins are covered by his blood and righteousness?  No!  It includes every sin we have ever committed or will ever commit.  We don't lose our sin nature when we come to Christ.  However, we do receive His Spirit which gives us the power to overcome any sin in our lives.  But there is a responsibility on our part to daily yield to the Spirit and allow Him to guide and control our thought life and the attitudes of our heart.  I walked away from a life of drunkenness never to do it again simply because of this.  In the next two verses we have what is called practical righteousness.  The opposite of that would be to continually live in sin and practice sin.  Some who profess to be Christians continue to practice sin so well that they can become experts at sinning.  Notice I said "profess" because one can claim to be or believe anything, but if your life doesn't match up to your profession, then perhaps you aren't who you claim to be.

Now in verse 9 we have two phrases:  'born of God" and "children of the devil".  There is a dividing line.  Christ is the great divide of all mankind.  If I am born of God then I am responsible with my character to show it. If I were a child of the devil it would be seen in me.  The way you act is a natural result of what is in your heart and will show the world whose child you really are! 




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