By Theodore Epp
1 John 3:1-10
To live under the dominion of sin without any evidence of righteousness demonstrates that the person has not been born again. The reasons for this are clearly pointed out in some of these verses. First John 3:4, for example, says that sin is contrary to the law of God. Verse 5 says that sin is contrary to the mission, or the work, of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ not only came to take away the guilt of sin, but He broke sin's power so that the believer need not live under its dominion. When we do commit an act of sin and then confess it, God is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and our Advocate with the Father maintains our standing of righteousness before Him.
Some have used these verses to teach that a person reaches a certain place in his Christian life after which he no longer commits any sin. These verses do not give any license to sin, but they contrast the state, or behavior, of the children of God with the state, or behavior, of the children of the world.
A continual practice of sin in the life shows that the person is a child of the Devil rather than a child of God. "The devil sinneth from the beginning" (v. 8), and his children continue to live in sin, for that is in keeping with the character of their heredity.
"Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" (Rom. 6:16).