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Read Introduction to 1 John


“Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.”


Whoever commits sin

John continues his thought of cleansing from sin in the believer.  Now he takes up the subject of the believer out of fellowship, the carnal believer.

Sin is incompatible with spiritual birth (3:1-3).  It is contrary to our regenerate nature.  Sin stands in opposition to the purity of the previous verse. 


We must not take sin lightly because it is at heart rebellion against God. 


Sin is incompatible with our regeneration.  It is not befitting to a member of the family of God.  It is incompatible with the will of God. 

A believer in fellowship wants to do the will of God, not his own will.  When filled with the Spirit, he produces God’s character and lives according to God’s norms. 

A carnal believer wants to please the Lord by operation bootstraps.  He thinks that pseudo-spirituality will please God.  He believes that asceticism, emotionalism, or ecstatic experience pleases the Lord.  This is spirituality by works and not by the power of the Spirit.  When he allows the sin capacity to control him, he does nothing but sin and lawlessness.