1 John 3:3 Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.
This is an important verse, particularly in light of the section that follows. That following section has traditionally been badly misinterpreted, both into English and into a number of other languages. Greek has a continuing verb tense that is lacking in most languages, and that is the one used in verse five and several times afterward, talking about sin. For once the NIV gets it right! When we are in Christ we are uncomfortable with sin; it doesn’t feel good. If sin didn’t feel good on some level we would never do it, but sin does appeal to our flesh, and that’s what makes us vulnerable. However, as this verse says, when we have the hope of full integration into the Family of God, we do our best to distance ourselves from sin. It’s not at all that we never slip up. John himself makes that very clear in this very letter. (1 John 1:8- 2:2) Those who insist on sinless perfection aren’t being honest with themselves, much less with God and the people around them. However, that doesn’t mean at all that we are to take sin lightly, to wallow in it as it were. Children of God don’t do that. One of the most dangerous things you can do is to become comfortable with your sin. To do so is to abandon the hope of being like Jesus when He appears.
This of course applies as much to me as it does to anyone else. I have come perilously close to being comfortable with sin on more than one occasion, but God in His grace has always opened my eyes to what was happening, and I repented. Some sins are harder to recognize than others. Resentment, envy, and revenge certainly come under that category, because they often feel right and justified, when they are far from it. Just as Jesus didn’t indulge any sin at all, I must recognize and reject every impulse to be unlike Him. I have long loved the musical setting of verse one of this chapter, and a group of believers singing it as a round is to me indeed a taste of heaven, but since I indeed have that hope, I need to live like it on every level.
Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for all You did yesterday, as we completed a busy schedule and went to Nagasaki to lead a service there. Thank You for Your presence in that meeting and for blessing people through us. I ask Your anointing on the service here this morning, that each person would be aware of and open to Your touch on them, so that together we may be more and more transformed into the likeness of Christ, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!