::||//\\GRACE & PEACE//\\//||::

 Home |  About Us  |   News & Views  |   Articles & Studies | Meditations  | E-periodical |    Audio  |   Links  |  Contact Us |

“Sin No More” John 5:14

By Nelson Thomas Mumbai

Our Lord’s response to the helpless man at the pool of Bethesda is something that will always comfort and strengthen all who feel lonely and needy. How terrible was his situation, suffering for 38 long years but still waiting for help.

“I have no one”
“I have no one” is the cry of many even today; but praise be to God, our Lord knows our true state and graciously comes forward to help and transform our life. Hence there is no need to feel rejected and deserted. Able men may abandon us, dear ones may depart from us, nevertheless, it is in such conditions that we experience the presence of God Almighty much more intimately.

Apostle Paul writes from experience, “At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me……. But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me…” (2Timothy 4: 16, 17a). The book of Acts reveals the special interventions of Christ when Paul was facing difficult circumstances. That r

However, the Lord’s warning to the man in John chapter 5 later at the temple is thought-provoking, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” (John 5:14).
The admonition, “Sin no more” reveals at least three realities:
a.         This man’s misery for all these years was due to his sin.
b.         Even after the divine healing he is still prone to a similar state.
c.         Yet, there is an option to escape the recurrence.
Let us consider each of these truths briefly.

1.         Sin and sickness.
It is true in a general sense that all sufferings and pain are the outcomes of sin. When sin spread to all from one man, its consequences like diseases and even death were passed on (Gene. 3: 16 – 19; Rom. 5:12; 1Cor. 15:21).

However, not all illness are due to one’s sin. Lord Jesus made it very clear when the disciples asked Him “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" (John 9:2) They were referring to the man who was blind from birth. The Lord answered, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.” (John 9:3)

Thus, there are many reasons why one may fall sick. At the same time, this passage teaches that one’s sin may lead to physical ailments. David refers to physical and mental affliction due to his unconfessed sins (Psa. 32:3). We may find it difficult to note that the inspired writer did not hide the sickness and the subsequent death of David’s child in the same context (2Samuel 12: 15 – 18).

To the assembly at Corinth Paul wrote, “For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this reason, many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.” (1Cori. 11:29, 30)

We should never even think that someone is reaping the consequences of their sins when they go through various miseries. We are nobody to judge the motives and personal experiences of another person.

Nonetheless, it is wise to examine ourselves individually, as we face unexpected troubles in whichever form they may be. Such self-examination will help us to take corrective measures before it’s too late.

2.         Believer and Sin
Notice Christ’s words again, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” (John 5:14) It also means that the present recovery should not make him slack and complacent. Sin still can occur in his life, and then the consequences would be worse than in the past.

Aiming for a perfect and holy life is very much commendable. Scripture repeatedly exhorts believers to live so (1Cor. 7:1; 1Thess. 4:7; Heb. 12: 14; 1Peter 1:15, 16, etc.).

But to claim sinless perfection is illusory. Such an assumption is damaging to oneself as well as to fellow believers. Apostle John asserts that denial of the sinful nature in us is deception and there is no truth in such a person (1John 1:8, 10). Further he writes, “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin.” (1 John 2:1a).

Plenty of such warnings and instructions in the New Testament emphasize not only the importance of a holy life but the likelihood of sin’s reappearance too. Notice a few more such scripture portions:
Rom 6:12a “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body”
Rom 12:9b “Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.”
1Th 4:3 “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality.”
1Th 5:22, 23a “Abstain from every form of evil. Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely...”

These admonitions to be away from all kinds of evil forcefully indicate the significance of practical holiness. But that is possible only when we are conscious of its possibility and be on guard.

The Three dimensions of Salvation
If a Christian would fall again, then what exactly happened on the day of his conversion? Notice the three aspects involved in the work of salvation.

a.         We have been saved from the penalty of sin. (cf. Rom. 8:1; 5:1; Eph. 2:8; 2Tim. 1:9a, etc.)

This is the positional reality by virtue of our being in Christ. Not only we have been forgiven and cleansed, even justified graciously because of the atoning death of Christ on the cross. It is a once-for-all act of God when we trust the Lord Jesus for salvation.

b.         We are being saved from the power of sin. (cf. Rom. 5:10; Phil. 2:12; 1 Tim. 4:16, etc.)

This is the practical experience of a believer today when he/she is being delivered from the domination of sin and transformed into Christ-likeness. (2Cor. 3:18) It is possible only when we yield to the indwelling Spirit of God and His word. (cf. John 17:17; Rom. 8:2; Gal. 5:16; Eph. 5: 26)

c.         We will be saved from the presence of sin. (Phil. 1:6; Rom. 13:11; 1Thess. 5:9; Heb. 9:28; 1Peter 1: 3 – 10)

This is the completion of the work of salvation. Even though with death a believer leaves this sinful world to be with the Lord, it is at the time of rapture that their body too shall be glorified and the work of redemption will be completed (Rom. 8:23; 1John 3: 1, 2; 1Thess. 4: 14- 17).
Then alone we shall be perfect and conformed to the image of Christ (Eph. 5:27; Rom. 8: 29, 30).

Three basic facts about sin
We may have many explanations for our failures. Especially the flesh within, the world outside, and the evil forces around us are constantly at the fight with us. However, the primary reason for all failures is carelessness. That is why we should always remember the following elementary truths about sin and be watchful.

a.         It is a nature found within us. (Rom 7: 17c)
Modern man may neglect and even deny this, but the reality is that every one of us has this sin nature within us from the womb of our mother (Psa. 51:5). Sinful words and deeds are the visible fruits of this invisible root (Mark 7: 21 – 23; Jam. 4:17; 1 John 3:4). That is why any external effort is futile to get rid of this internal sin nature (Jer. 13:23).

We often hear comments from certain close associates of criminals caught by law enforcement agencies, that they will never do such barbarous acts. The reason behind such an impression is that often man behaves well and pretends to be decent.

But many forget that there is a sin nature within man that has the potential to do any form of wickedness. How strange it is to note that despite human development in every field, man is still corrupt and wicked more than ever. Such is the power of the sin nature that indwells in man.

b.         It is deceptive. (Heb 3:13)
Sin always promises pleasure but the enjoyment never lasts. As someone has rightly observed, sin comes as a guest, pretends to be our friend, promises to be our servant, and finally turns out to be our master.

Staying close to us, sin waits for the next opportunity to enslave us. (cf. Gen. 3: 4 – 7; 4:7; 1 Tim. 2:14; 2 Peter 2:19, etc.) Wise men will always be aware of this deceitfulness and keep a safe distance. (Heb. 11: 25; 12:3)

c.         It is destructive. (John 5:14)
Christ’s reference to 'a worse thing to happen’ refers to the damage that sin brings about in the lives of men. It takes away the glory, joy, boldness, freedom, etc. that man enjoys from God. It affects our relationship with God as well as one another. Thus, our associates too will have to reap the consequences of our sin (Rom. 3:23; Isa. 59:2; 1Cor. 5: 4, 5).

Further, the devastating consequences of sin are not only confined to the present day but even beyond (Heb. 12:6; 1Cor. 11:30; 1Cor. 3:15; Rev. 20: 11ff; 21:8).

Realization of such features and the effect of sin should prompt one to seek ways to escape.

3.         Victory is possible
Finally, the Lord’s admonition clearly states the opportunity for a triumphant life. Despite the indwelling sin nature, the believer needs not to be helpless and defeated by sin.

Apostle John who unequivocally asserted the reality of indwelling sin nature also forcefully emphasizes the practical holiness of a child of God. He writes, “No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed, abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God.” 1 John 3:9 (ESV) Notice some of the factors that facilitate a righteous life.

a.         The new nature. (1John 3:9; 2Peter 1:4)
b.         The Spirit of God. (Gal. 5:16)
c.         The present ministry of Christ. (1John 2:1, 2; Heb. 9:24; 4:15; Rom. 5:10)
d.         The cleansing by the word. (Eph. 5: 27; John 17:17)

There are many other truths connected with the redemptive work of God that assure our victory over sin and Satan. The Lord has provided enough resources and safety measures for a believer’s sustained righteous life.

It should be our constant experience of knowing and reckoning our death with Christ on the cross. Thereby we can wholeheartedly yield to righteousness (Rom. 6: 6, 11, 19; Gal. 6:24; Colo. 3:5). Then there is no need for a believer to be defeated. But the question is, are we willing?



More:- An index for all studies

Prepared by Nelson Thomas as part of his teaching ministry. You can reproduce this article in any medium, provided it is unedited, and retain the original author / copyright information and reference to this website. Please feel free to write to the author for details. Or contact    gracepeaceu AT gmail.com

Home |  About Us  |  Meditations |  E-periodical |  Site Map |  Comments |   Audio|   Search|   Brethren|

::||//\\GRACE & PEACE//\\//||::