This is the message God has given us to pass on to you:  God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.  So if we say we are His friends, but go on living in spiritual darkness and sin, we are lying.  But if we are living in the light of God’s presence, just as Christ does, then we have wonderful fellowship and joy with each other, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from every sin.

If we say that we have no sin, we are fooling ourselves, and refusing to accept the truth.  But if we confess our sins to Him, He can be depended on to forgive us and cleanse us from every wrong.  (And it is perfectly proper for God to do this for us because Christ died to wash away our sins.)  If we claim we have not sinned, we are lying and calling God a liar, for He says we have sinned. 1 John

But most of all, dear brothers, do not swear either by heaven or earth or anything else; just say yes or no, so that you will not sin and be condemned for it. James

Remember, too, that knowing what is right to do and then not doing it is sin. James

The day will surely come when at God’s command Jesus Christ will judge the secret lives of everyone, their innermost thoughts and motives; this is all part of God’s great plan which I proclaim. Romans

Do not let sin control your puny body any longer; do not give in to its sinful desires.  Do not let any part of your bodies become tools of wickedness, to be used for sinning; but give yourselves completely to God—every part of you—for you are back from death and you want to be tools in the hands of God.  To be used for his good purposes.  Sin need never again be your master, for now you are no longer tied to the law where sin enslaves you, but you are free under God’s favor and mercy.

Does this mean that now we can go ahead and sin and not worry about it?  (For our salvation does not depend on keeping the law, but on receiving God’s grace!) Of course not!

Don’t you realize that you can choose your own master?  You can choose sin (with death) or else obedience (with acquittal).  The one to whom you offer yourself - he will take you and be your master and you will be his slave.  Thank God that though you once chose to be slaves of sin, now you have obeyed with all your heart the teaching to which God has committed you.  And now you are free from your old master, sin; and you have become slaves to your new master, righteousness. Romans

In those days when you were slaves of sin, you didn’t bother much with goodness.  And what was the result?  Evidently not good, since you are ashamed now even to think about those things you used to do, for all of them end in eternal doom.  But now you are free from the power of sin and are slaves of God, and His benefits to you include holiness and everlasting life.  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans

But now God has shown us a different way to heaven - not by “Being good enough“ and trying to keep his laws, but by a new way (though not new, really, for the scriptures told about it long ago).  Now God says He will accept and acquit us - declare us “Not guilty” - if we trust Jesus Christ to take away our sins.  And we all can be saved in this same way, by coming to Christ, no matter who we are or what we have been like.  Yes, all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious ideal; yet now God declares us “Not guilty“ of offending Him if we trust in Jesus Christ, who in His kindness freely takes away our sins. Romans

Then what can we boast about doing, to earn our salvation?  Nothing at all.  Why? Because our acquittal is not based on our good deeds, it is based on what Christ has done and our faith in Him.  So it is that we are saved by faith in Christ and not by the good things we do. Romans

Now do you see it?  No one can ever be made right in God’s sight by doing what the law commands.  For the more we know of God’s laws, the clearer it becomes that we aren’t obeying them; His laws serve only to make us see that we are sinners. Romans

Can’t you see that He has been waiting all this time without punishing you to give you time to turn from your sin?  His kindness is meant to lead you to repentance.

But no, you won’t listen; so you are saving up terrible punishment for yourselves because of your stubbornness in refusing to turn from your sin; for there is going to come a day of wrath when God will be the Just Judge of all the world.  He will give each one whatever his deeds deserve.  He will give eternal life to those who patiently do the will of God, seeking for the unseen glory and honor and eternal life that He offers.  But He will terribly punish those who fight against the truth of God and walk in evil ways - God’s anger will be poured out upon them. Romans

So there is now no condemnation awaiting those who belong to Christ Jesus.  For the power of the life-giving spirit - and this power is mine through Christ Jesus - has freed me from the vicious circle of sin and death.  We aren’t saved from sin’s grasp by knowing the commandments of God, because we can’t and don’t keep them, but God put into effect a different plan to save us.  He sent His Son in a human body like ours - except that ours are sinful - and destroyed sin’s control over us by giving Himself as a sacrifice for our sins.  So now we can obey God’s laws if we follow after the Holy Spirit and no longer obey the old evil nature within us.

Those who let themselves be controlled by their lower natures love only to please themselves.  But those who follow after the Holy Spirit find themselves doing those things that please God.  Following after the Holy Spirit leads to life and peace, but following after the old nature leads to death, because the old sinful nature within us is against God.  It never did obey God’s laws and it never will.  That’s why those who are still under the control of their old sinful selves, bent on following their evil desires, can never please God.

But you are not like that.  You are controlled by your new nature if you have the spirit of God living in you.  (And remember that if anyone doesn’t have the spirit of Christ living in him, he is not a Christian at all.)  Yet even though Christ lives within you, your body will die because of sin; but your spirit will live, for Christ has pardoned it.  And if the spirit of God, who rose up Jesus from the dead, lives in you, He will make your dying bodies live again after you die, by means of this same Holy Spirit living within you.

So, dear brothers, you have no obligations whatever to your old sinful nature to do what it begs you to do.  For if you keep on following it, you are lost and will perish, but if through the power of the Holy Spirit you crush it and its evil deeds, you shall live.  For all who are led by the spirit of God are children of God. Romans

Jesus replied, “With all the earnestness I possess I tell you this:  Unless you are born again, you can never get into the Kingdom of God.

“What I am telling you so earnestly is this: unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.  Men can only reproduce human life, but the Holy Spirit gives new life from heaven; so don’t be surprised at My statement that you must be born again!” John