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 
(Matt. 5:21-26). 
  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 
everlasting life."  
  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 
follow them. 
  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