Following on from yesterday's post we turn to 1 John 3:4 - and the surrounding verses - but verse 4 in particular. "Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness." (NIV translation) The passage in general is not so much an encouragement not to sin but rather an explanation that Christians (children of God) do not sin. In verse 10 John goes on to say "Anyone who does not do right is not a child of God". Gulp.
But of particular interest is John's moving away from the idea of sin as 'transgression' or breaking the law, to one of 'lawlessness'. Sin is saying that there is no law, there is no right and wrong, it doesn't matter what you do. Along with the man of lawlessness from Thessalonians, sin is saying 'it doesn't matter'.
But in John's words it is as if God is saying, "I'm not too hung up on the details - but believe me, there is a right way and a wrong way and I'd like you to be looking for it and to be obedient to it."