Jesus' Relationship to Sin

I Jn 3:4-5

4 Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.

5 And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. (NKJ)

This message was preached February 24, 2002 at FBC Toulon, by Albert Harmon. See it at

There are three very important concepts in this passage. They are closely related to one another. John talks quite a bit about sin. And in this passage he continues the discussion.

All three of these concepts are also linked together. They depend upon one another. If you deny anyone of them the others fall as well.


  1. We are sinners in need of a Savior.
    1. Now there is not a need to belabor the point but to simply lay down a few facts.
      1. Lawlessness is sin.
        1. That is the breaking of the laws of God.
        2. God has set forth the standard by which He expects us to live.
      2. We have broken that law.
        1. The ten commandments.
          1. the death penalty was prescribed.
          2. there was no parole or even a prison term.
        2. We have broken the two greatest commandments.
        3. We fall short of living by the sermon on the mount.
      3. The meaning of the word sin is to miss the mark.
        1. We do not love Him as He deserves.
        2. We do not honor Him as He demands.
        3. Our worship is so feeble and weak.
    2. Our sin separates us from God.
      1. Deut 31:16-18 16 And the LORD said to Moses: "Behold, you will rest with your fathers; and this people will rise and play the harlot with the gods of the foreigners of the land, where they go to be among them, and they will forsake Me and break My covenant which I have made with them. 17 "Then My anger shall be aroused against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide My face from them, and they shall be devoured. And many evils and troubles shall befall them, so that they will say in that day, 'Have not these evils come upon us because our God is not among us?' 18 "And I will surely hide My face in that day because of all the evil which they have done, in that they have turned to other gods. (NKJ)
    3. Sin makes us unfit for heaven and fellowship with Him.
      1. 1 Cor 6:9-10 9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. (NKJ)
      2. Ps 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. (NKJ)
  2. Jesus' purpose in coming to earth was to take away our sin.
    1. Rom 5:6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. (NKJ)
    2. Gal 1:3-4 Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, (NKJ)
    3. Heb 9:24-28 24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25 not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another- 26 He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly (NKJ)
    4. 1 Pet 2:24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness-- by whose stripes you were healed. (NKJ)
    5. Isa 53:5-6 But He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. (NKJ)
    6. Matt 20:27-28 "And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave- "just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." (NKJ)
    7. Matt 26:28 "For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. (NKJ)
    8. Rom 3:24-25 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, (NKJ)
    9. 1 Cor 6:19-20 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's. (NKJ)
    10. 1 Cor 15:3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, (NKJ)
    11. 2 Cor 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (NKJ)
    12. Titus 2:13-14 our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. (NKJ)
    13. Heb 9:12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. (NKJ)
    14. Rev 1:5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, (NKJ)
  3. Jesus has no sin in Him.
    1. Jesus was able to stand and ask if anyone could accuse Him of any sin.
      1. John 8:46 "Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? (NKJ)
      2. Would you like to try that?
    2. He knew no sin so that He might take away our sin.
      1. 2 Cor 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (NKJ)
    3. He was tempted but never sinned.
      1. Heb 4:15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. (NKJ)
    4. Not like the OT priest who must first make a sacrifice for themselves and then for the people.
      1. Heb 7:26-28 26 For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; 27 who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people's, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever. (NKJ)
    5. In this His sacrifice was pure, without blemish or spot.
      1. 1 Pet 1:19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. (NKJ)
    6. Although He was mistreated He never struck back but committed Himself to God.
      1. 1 Pet 2:22-23 "Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth"; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; (NKJ)

The point that John is making here is that if Jesus died for us to take away our sin, then we should not sin.

Contrary to popular opinion, sin is not what you want to do but can't; it is what you should not do because it will hurt you--and hurt you bad. ... God is not a policeman; He is a Father concerned about His children. When a child picks up a snake and the father says, "Put that down right this minute!" the child thinks he's losing a toy. The fact is, he is not losing a toy; he is losing a snake. -- Steve Brown in Key Life (July-August 1994). Christianity Today, Vol. 38, no. 11.