No one who abides in Him [who lives and remains in communion with and in obedience to Him–deliberately, knowingly, and habitually] commits (practices) sin. No one who [habitually] sins has either seen or known Him [recognized, perceived, or understood Him, or has had an experiential acquaintance with Him].
Wow… let’s break this down into the two thoughts it presents:
No one who abides in Him [who lives and remains in communion with and in obedience to Him–deliberately, knowingly, and habitually] commits (practices) sin.
The word abide is the Greek word “meno” meaning to “sojourn, tarry; not to depart; dwell”. So if we dwell with God – if He is our focus and we do not depart from Him… we are not able to practice sin. In this case it specifies habitual sin – in other words, we may sin unintentionally, but if we dwell with Him, we cannot continue in habitual sin. And it takes it a step further:
No one who [habitually] sins has either seen or known Him [recognized, perceived, or understood Him, or has had an experiential acquaintance with Him].
So if we DO habitually sin – we either haven’t actually seen God (the Greek word here can also mean “perceive”) or we don’t know Him. This word “know” is the same word used of how a husband and wife “know” each other in a biblical sense. So in other words – if we are able to sin habitually, we don’t have an intimate relationship with God.
You see, one of God’s names is Kadosh (meaning The Holy One). Holiness is like perfectly pure water and (forgive the example, but it is fitting) sin is like feces. The two do not mix. We are called to pursue holiness (Hebrews 12:14). This word in the Greek means “to seek after eagerly, earnestly endeavour to acquire”. When we understand that God’s very nature is holiness – pursuing holiness means earnestly endeavoring to be more like Him.
God gives us a beautiful promise in Proverbs 9:10:
The reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is the beginning (the chief and choice part) of Wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight and understanding.
So at this point I have to pause for self-examination… are their areas where I walk in habitual sin? Sin isn’t always a blatant as living with someone out of wedlock (which regrettably I did) – it’s the heart issues too. Do I struggle regularly with jealousy, lust, fear, or unbelief? If the answer is yes to any of those (or a whole host of other things) – I can determine that I don’t have the intimacy with God that I should – because if I did, I couldn’t walk in habitual sin.
Lord, show us the area where we walk in habitual sin. We desire intimacy with You. We want to abide in You… to dwell with You. Help us to perceive who You really are… let us see Your greatness so that we can sumbit ourselves to the pursuit of holiness as we pour out our lives to You. Let us be swept away in the glorious love of our Maker! The One who knows us best… help us to KNOW You