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How Long Can You Hold Your Breath?

June 19, 2019

No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. 1 John 3:9 (NIV)

Notice John says that the person born of God will not continue to sin. The reason a Christian will not and cannot continue in sin is because he is born of God and God’s seed remains in him. The new birth makes continuing in sin impossible.

When a child is in the womb, she is surrounded by and lives in water. But as soon as the child’s first breath is taken something changes. From that moment on, the child can no longer live in water; she has to live in air. What used to be natural has now become not just difficult but impossible.

That’s what it’s like when you’re born again. You will fail; but when you do, you cannot live there. The sinner is comfortable with sin; but when you’re born again, your conscience is activated. Holding onto a sin, for a Christian, is like holding your breath under water. It takes great effort and you can’t do it for long.

James says, “Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God” (Jas. 4:4). If sin is your friend, if it’s welcome in your life, if you want to hang onto it, then God is your enemy. But when God becomes your friend, sin becomes your enemy.

Repentance is a life-long pursuit, and it begins with the new birth. If you want to be more holy than you are, if you hate your sins and want to be free from them, thank God for that. It is a sure sign that God’s life is in you.

Are you friends with God or friends with your sin?

The Author
Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He has authored a number of books, including Heaven, How I Got Here and Heaven, So Near - So Far. Colin is the president and teacher for Unlocking the Bible. Follow him on Twitter.

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