“Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin. No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him. Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.” 1 John 3:4-8
What does it mean to practice sin? I looked up practice in the dictionary and here is what it says, “repeated performance or systematic exercise for the purpose of acquiring skill or proficiency” as in practice makes perfect. So everyone who practices sin is proficient at it or is becoming proficient at it. Not only do they practice sin but they also practice lawlessness. They see the laws as not pertaining to them. They pick and choose which ones they are going to follow. Sin and lawlessness are doing things intentionally that they know is wrong. God has written His Law on our hearts, so no one is without excuse. They can’t say that no one told them doing such and such was wrong, God has given them a witness and that is His Law written on their hearts.
"But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days," declares the LORD, "I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” Jeremiah 31:33
“For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.” Romans 2:14-16
I thank God almost every day for the sacrifice His Son made so we no longer need to live under the Law. I know that I was a Law breaker and that is why Jesus had to die. The only sacrifice that would wash away my sins was from the blood of a perfect sacrifice, one without sin. Jesus was the ONLY sinless one. The blood of goats, bulls and lambs only covered the sins of those in ancient times, but did not remove the guilt or the stain. Jesus not only forgives our sins, He washes us white as snow and removes the guilt involved in sin, since we have nothing to fear. Fear means there is guilt and guilt leads to punishment.
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.” 1 John 4:18
If people claim to be a Christian but continue practicing sin, they are not of God. For we become a new creation when we accept Christ as our Saviour. We might stumble or fall, but we will not practice sinning and lawlessness.
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”2 Corinthians 5:17
Praise God for His purpose in sending His Son... “to destroy the works of the devil.” May we do our part in living out our lives before this lost and dying world, so they can see the difference He has made in our lives and so they will listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and have the works of the devil destroyed in their lives.