1 John 3:4-9 / A Habit of Sin (Sermon notes and Audio)

Posted on April 15, 2014


This is the twelfth in a series of verse-by-verse expositions of the book of 1 John. This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on the evening of April 13, 2014. This message deals with one who lives in a habitual state of sin. This post contains an audio recording of my message, along with my sermon notes. Please note that the sermon notes are not a full transcript.

AUDIO – Listen Now:


1jon 3_4-11


1 John 3:4-9

The idea conveyed in the Greek is that of a habitual sin, whereas the word lawlessness conveys the ultimate sense of rebellion.

A born-again believer has a built in check against habitual sinning, due to a new nature.

Romans 6:12

The Christian will delight in the law of God, and sin is incompatible with that law.

Romans 7:22

The believer knows that Christ came to take away our sins, so here is a second reason to avoid sinful endeavors.

Christ died to sanctify the believer.

2 Corinthians 5:21

Therefore, sin is contrary to Christ’s work.

Remembering the context of habitual sin, we can surmise that one who unashamedly lives in a pattern of habitual sin, simply does not know Christ.

The implication of what John is saying, is that this type of person is not saved (despite what they may say to the contrary).

If no check against habitual sin exists in someone who professes to be a Christian, John’s pronouncement is absolutely clear—salvation never took place!

Words can deceive you, but a person’s true nature will be shown by their works.

Many people will claim to know Christ, but that doesn’t make it so.

Matthew 7:22-23

A true believer will not produce lawlessness, but the fruit of the Spirit.

Since Christ died on the cross to transform sinners, those truly born again have replaced the habit of sin with the habit of righteous living.

Romans 6:13–14

Those who are truly born again reflect the divine nature of Christ.

They behave like him, manifesting the power of His life in them.

Gal. 2:20

On the other hand, the deceiver who lives in sin is a child of the devil, and has taken on his nature.

This is much like what Jesus had to say.

John 8:44

Thankfully, the works of the devil cannot stand against the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

Some have taken this and some of the preceding verses to mean that a true believer cannot sin, but that is not the case.

Believers still live in a corruptible body, in a sin cursed world, and sin will happen.

In fact, the Bible makes it clear that we are not yet perfected.

It is interesting to note that even someone of the likes of Paul struggled with sin.

That, alone, should tell us that no believer is immune from sinning.

Romans 7:19–20

John, who wrote the entire letter of 1 John to a group of believers, tells them that if they say they have no sin that they are liars.

1 John 1:8

It’s not that the believer will never sin, its just that if we do sin we have an advocate in Jesus Christ.

The real meaning here, is that the believer won’t remain in a habitual state of sin.

There is a difference between committing a sin and continuing to sin.

Even the most faithful believers sometimes commit sins, but they do not love that sin or choose to continually commit it.

A believer who commits a sin can repent, confess it, and find forgiveness.

A person who continues to sin, by contrast, is not sorry for what he or she is doing. Thus, this person never confesses and never receives forgiveness.

Such a person is in opposition to God. No matter what religious claims he or she makes, that person is almost certainly not saved.

Thankfully, the believer has the conscience of the Holy Spirit, and we will hate our sin.

When sin does happen in the believer’s life, God is standing by.

1 John 1:9

Posted in: Sermons