Verses to review today: 1 John 2:24-3:3
New Verse: 1 John 3:4
Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. (ESV)
Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. (KJV)
Greek: Πᾶς ὁ ποιῶν τὴν ἁμαρτίαν καὶ τὴν ἀνομίαν ποιεῖ, καὶ ἡ ἁμαρτία ἐστὶν ἡ ἀνομία.
Transliterated Greek: Pas ho poiōn tēn hamartian kai tēn anomian poiei, kai hē hamartia estin hē anomia.
Literal Word for Word Translation: everyone practicing/doing sin also practices lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.
Vocab: ποιῶν, poiōn, he is practicing/doing; ἁμαρτίαν, hamartian, sin; ἀνομίαν, anomian, no law/against the law.
Commentary: This seems pretty straight forward. If sin is lawlessness, or a transgression against the law, then it follows that one who practices sin also is practicing lawlessness. Lawlessness means to have no law. So, to act as if there is no law in essence is to break the law that exists.
The Gnostics thought they were not sinning (see 1 Jn 1:8,10) and yet had fellowship with God by their special knowledge. However, they were indeed sinning due to their complete disregard for the law whereby they were violating God’s very character as well as denying His truth. Since a child of God is being purified, the Gnostics, as they acted in lawlessness, could not have been children of God.
Notice that this statement by John is after Jesus’ resurrection. While the law does not justify and does not condemn a believer, it is not to be disregarded. So many claim the law is not a concern of a believer, but that isn’t what John is saying – and isn’t what Jesus said (Mt 7:17-19). The law entails the very character of God and to know God is to know the law of God. Jesus lived it perfectly because He was the very embodiment of it. To know Jesus is to know the law. The letter of the law itself has no power to one who has died to the law through the body of Jesus, but that does not mean the spirit of the law is not of importance in the life of a believer.