Three ways to prevent sin
From 1 John: A 7-Day Devotional
Every Christian wants to know the secret to living free of sin. When Jesus tells the woman caught in adultery, “Sin no more,” we wonder, “How?” When He tells His disciples, “If you love me, keep my commands,” we ask, “Is loving Jesus possible?”
John, one of Jesus’ closest followers, says it is. In 1 John 2, John gives us three ways to live free of sin and show Jesus we love Him.
1. Keep His commands.
In 1 John 2:3, John says, “We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands.” Sin is a personal affront to God, a way of saying, “I love something more than God right now.” Our love for someone or something fuels our devotion to it, and our devotion demonstrates our love.
Sometimes emotion is lacking, but that doesn’t mean that the devotion should cease. Being disciplined and keeping God’s commands is a way of demonstrating our love for Him, even if we don’t “feel” like loving Him at the moment. Keeping God’s commands also helps us avoid sin before we ever approach it.
2. Do not love the things that belong to this world.
What we serve shows what we love. That’s why Jesus said believers cannot love both God and money (Matthew 6:24, Luke 16:13). John takes this one step further in 1 John 2:15, writing, “Do not love the world or anything in the world.” Living free means being careful not to direct our love and devotion to anything other than Jesus.
3. Remember that Jesus always advocates for us.
None of us are perfect. Sin may be unintentional, or we may knowingly step into sin. No matter how or why we may sin, John reminds us of an ultimate and freeing truth: Jesus is always advocating for us (1 John 2:1-2). To advocate is to defend, and Jesus defends us with His sacrifice on the cross.
All sins are forgiven in Jesus, so when you do find yourself in need of forgiveness, ask for it honestly and wholeheartedly, knowing that He does forgive. And then go, and sin no more.
- How has following God’s commands helped you to avoid sin in the past?
- If you look at where you spend your time, money and attention, is any area of your life getting more love and devotion than Jesus?
- What’s one way you need Jesus to advocate for you this week?