1 John 3:4 - Definition of Sin.
1 John 3:4 - Definition of Sin.
1 John 3:4 (NLT) Everyone who sins is breaking God's law, for
all sin is contrary to the law of God.
1 John 3:4 (ICB) When a person sins, he breaks God's law. Yes,
sinning is the same as living against God's law.
1 John 3:4 (AMP) Everyone who commits (practices) sin is guilty
of lawlessness; for [that is what] sin is, lawlessness (the
breaking, violating of God's law by transgression or neglect--being
unrestrained and unregulated by His commands and His will).
Deliberate sin is a serious thing. When you deliberately sin,
you grieve the heart of the Father who loves you and has a wonderful
future planned for you (vv. 1-3). You grieve the Savior who died for
you and delivered you from the power of Satan (vv. 4-8).
Deliberate sin grieves the Holy Spirit who lives in you and
gave you new birth (vv. 9-15). You have a new nature and a new
Father; therefore, you should live a new life. To John, lack of love is
the same as hatred; and hatred is the moral equivalent of murder
Deliberate sin also grieves God's people (vv. 16-24) because
we cannot minister to them as we should if we are not walking in
love and in the light. Strive to have a heart that is right before
God and men (Acts 24:16). Ask God to use you to be an encouragement
and help to others (James 2). Love is more than a matter of words
(v. 18). [Chapter by Chapter Bible Commentary by Warren Wiersbe]
All sin is selfishness. Satan's first sin was selfishness. He
sought to grasp power, to exalt self. A species of insanity led him to
seek to supersede God. And the temptation which led Adam to sin, was
the false statement of Satan that it was possible for him to attain
to something more than he already enjoyed--possible for him to be
as God Himself. Thus seeds of selfishness were sown in the human
God desires everyone to understand the hateful character of
selfishness, and to co-operate with Him in guarding His human family against
its terrible, deceptive power. The first result of the entrance of
sin into the world was the birth of principles of selfishness. The
design of the gospel is, by means of remedial missionary work, to
confront this evil of selfishness and destroy its destructive power by
establishing enterprises of benevolence.
As a remedy for the terrible consequences into which
selfishness led the human race, God gave His only begotten Son to die for
them. And in this gift He gave Himself. How could He give more? "I and
My Father are one," said Christ. By the gift of His Son, God has
made it possible for man to be redeemed and restored to oneness with
Him. "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have
Sin has extinguished the love which God placed in man's heart.
The work of the church is to rekindle this love. She is to
co-operate with God by uprooting selfishness from the human heart, placing
in its stead the benevolence which was in man's heart in his
original state of perfection.
Love is the great principle that actuates the unfallen beings.
With what amazement then do the angels behold the indifference of
those who have light and knowledge! The heavenly host are filled with
an intense desire to work through human agencies to restore in man
the moral image of God. They are ready and waiting to do this work.
The combined power of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost is
pledged to recover man from his fallen state. Every attribute, every
power, of divinity has been placed at the command of those who unite
with the Saviour in winning men to God. O, that all would appreciate
the truth as it is in Jesus! O that all would love God in return for
the love wherewith He has loved them! 1888/1763-4
There is a difference between committing a sin and continuing to
sin. Even the most faithful believers sometimes commit sins, but they
do not cherish a particular sin and choose to commit it. A believer
who commits a sin repents, confesses, and finds forgiveness. Those
who continue to sin, by contrast, will not repent of what they are
doing. Thus, they never confess and never receive forgiveness. They
live in opposition to God, no matter what religious claims they make.
[Life Application Commentary]
It is a dangerous thing to live your life without a spiritual
"plumb line," or standard, by which you determine right from wrong.
God's Word is that plumb line. Spiritual laws, like physical laws, are
meant to protect you, not restrict you. You may exercise your freedom
to challenge the laws of electricity, but to do so can bring you
death. Likewise, you will not break God's laws, they will break you.
God established absolute moral and spiritual laws that we are free
to ignore, but we do so at our own peril. These laws are timeless.
Culture does not supersede them. Circumstances do not abrogate them.
God's laws are eternal, and they will save you from death if you
You may feel that God's laws restrict and bind you. On the
contrary, God's Word protects you from death (Ro 6:23). For example, when
God said that you are not to commit adultery, He wanted to free you
to experience the fullest pleasure of a marriage relationship.
Furthermore, He knew the devastating heartache that would come to you, your
spouse, your children, your relatives, your friends, and your church
family if you broke this law. How important the laws of God are for
your life! Without them, you would be robbed of the delights God has
in store for you. Sin is choosing a standard other than God's law
on which to base your life. If you are measuring your life by that
of your neighbors, or society at large, then you are basing your
life on lawlessness, and lawlessness is sin. [Experiencing God Day by
Day by Henry and Richard Blackaby re 1Jo. 3:4]
I remember when I was in grade school I had to do an
experiment growing a lima bean. I guess education hasn't advanced all that
much, because now, 50 years later, the nine-year-old in our house has
grown a lima been too. But what's interesting is that, the sprouting
plant will always grow toward the sun. Somehow the life of the bean is
drawn toward the light. You can turn the plant around, even lay it on
its side. Whatever you do, the sprout will orient toward the sun.
That's what John was saying about us when he wrote, "No one
who lives in Him keeps on sinning" (v. 6). The niv captures the
vital tense of the verb. It's not that a Christian never sins. It's
that believers will not "keep on sinning." John said the reason is
that God's seed--the principle of divine life --has been planted in our
personalities. God's life within us grows in the direction of godliness. His
life is oriented toward purity. And if God's life really is in us,
there will be a definite tilt toward what is right, and away from
Anyone may sin at times, and in all likelihood will. But you
can still tell the DIRECTION in which a person is growing. And so
can everyone else! [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary]
Long before there was any TV or radio, John Wesley's mother told
her children that if they wanted to know whether a pleasure was good
or bad, they were to take this rule: 'Whatever weakens your reason,
impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God or
takes away your relish for spiritual things; whatever increases the
authority of your body over your mind, that thing is sin.'" [John Wesley's