Christians who allow for sin to take root in their lives are not people of faith. This is John’s conclusion. These are those who commit a sin to their core. They accept the sin as a root part of their identity and allow it to bring them to death. Christian faith in God does not allow for sin to cultivate death. Instead, it marches that sin onto the cross where it is crucified. This is the promise of faith in Jesus. It is not a promise of life immediacy in practice. It took thirty-three years for Christ to take sin to the cross. But it is a promise of the process and benefit of sanctification. It allows a Christian to live in hope. It ensures the eventual and imminent victory over the effect of sin upon the image of God in our lives. There are so many Christians who live with faith, but not by it. They believe that their efforts are the vehicle for weeding out sin in their lives and they are disheartened and lose hope when they can’t. But, it was never in their hands to begin with. It seems like a foregone conclusion, but it is one that Christians have wrestled with from the beginning, “do we have faith in Christ?” The successful Christian depends upon him past the cross and is not their own resurrection.
This post first appeared at JoshMcGary.com