We are continuing in the study of what Abiding in Christ means, we have come to the understanding that abiding in Christ means that a person walks and is in fellowship with Him. We already noted the words of the prophet Amos - "Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?" If we are in fellowship with God, we are walking with Christ in an intimate and continual way. We cannot continue in habitual sin and abide with Jesus.
Some groups have tried to make this passage in 1 John point to sinless perfection of a believer. The fact is, that John understood that we continue to sin - even as believers. However, when we are abiding in Christ, the Spirit makes it plain when we are in sin.
In 1 John 1:10 (HCSB) it makes it clear that John knew we would sin. He writes, "If we say, “We don’t have any sin,” we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us." Now, as I read this I thought, well if I thought I hadn't sinned and said so, I just called God a liar - and that is sin. So, I am a sinner. He gives us the antidote for it in verse 9 of the first chapter. Confess it.
John here is not saying that if we sin we lose our salvation, he is stressing that we cannot have the fellowship we should have with Him. He is speaking here of a continual, habitual life of sin. If we think we can live in sin and still abide in Him, we are dead wrong. We do not truly know Jesus if we prefer to live in a life of habitual sin.
So, to abide in Christ, we need to keep short accounts with Him. When the Spirit makes us aware of a sin (or sinful lifestyle) we need to immediately confess it, and seek the forgiveness and restoration that He wants to freely give us. And, when we do - we regain the joy of abiding in Christ.
Muse today over your life. Is it a lifestyle that is truly pleasing to God - or is it one of habitual sin? If the Spirit brings anything to mind, confess it, and forsake it. And the abiding joy of Jesus will overflow you.