In my struggle with crossdressing, many Bible verses have been helpful to me. I’ve studied them, memorized some of them, and often read them after failures. I’ll periodically mention and comment on some of them and how they relate to our fight with sexual sin. For those of you who are still struggling, it would surely help you to write some of these down and read them daily, or in times of temptation, or after a failure when you need to be built back up by God’s Word.
1 John 3:1-10
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
4 Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. 5 You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. 6 No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. 7 Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. 8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 9 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. 10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.
This is a long passage. The first verses I add here simply because of how comforting it is. Sometimes when I failed with masturbation or crossdressing sin, such a passage was wonderful to read reminding me that I am God’s child, and I have the love of my Heavenly Father. It is also comforting because when I sin I often get really down on myself. I get really ashamed of my sin and depressed that I seem to be unable to be holy as God has called me to be. But these verses remind me that one day, when Jesus returns and appears, he will make us like him. We will receive new bodies. Our souls will be transformed. We will no longer desire to sin at all. And we will be unable to sin. I long for that day, and am so happy to know that one day my struggle with sin will be over, and I will be completely pure.
Verse 6 gives us a serious warning. It’s a verse I used to puzzle over. I think if we look at the whole biblical message we can not take it absolutely literally to mean that if you are a Christian you will never sin. ALL Christians continue to commit sin, so either there are no Christians, or we cannot take the verse that way. Since other New Testament passages clearly talk about Christians sinning (such as 1 John 1:8-10 in the same letter), and clearly talk about how we have forgiveness through Jesus when we sin, we cannot take the verse that way. So what does it mean? It means a “practice of sinning.” The word here in the Greek language is in the present tense with the connotation of “ongoing action.” It’s continual sin without repentance. It is saying that a person who continually engages in a specific sin, without repentance, is not a true Christian. This is not someone who has experienced Jesus in their life. This is why it becomes a warning. If there is a certain sin in our life that we just keep on doing, and we aren’t repenting or stopping that sin, then it is a wake up call for us to ask ourselves some hard questions. “Do I really know Jesus?” “Have I really given my life to him?” A true follower of Jesus is not someone who continues to sin in this way.
A true follower of Jesus has the Holy Spirit living within him. This will make him feel conviction and guilt when he sins. A true believer will want to live for Jesus and obey his commands out of love and thanksgiving and gratitude for his salvation. A true believer will fight against sin, (even though he may not always be perfectly successful in that fight). A true believer will repent and once again try to live rightly.
I do not know who is truly God’s child and who is not. I don’t know who knows Jesus and who does not. But my brothers, let this passage be a wake up call to you. If you have made a practice of sinning, without repentance, without fighting that sin, then perhaps you have not really accepted Jesus into your life. You have not yet been transformed by him. You have not yet experienced the joy of salvation that makes us want to run to Jesus and away from sin. If that is the case, let today be the day that you run to Jesus, accept his righteousness, accept that he took your punishment, and accept him as the Lord of your life.