No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.
1 John 3:6 NIV
1 John 3:6 NIV
When John makes these statements it sounds like he is talking about sinless perfection in believers. But I believe he is talking about continued sin in a given area. God usually works on one area of our lives at a time. We could not handle more. It would overwhelm and discourage us. So God often points out a sin area in our lives and then begins the process of changing and healing us. Sometimes he makes a change quickly and in a dramatic supernatural way. For instance, when I gave my life to Christ he immediately changed me so that I stopped using curse words. I've seen people who were immediately freed from smoking and other addictive sins. And then at times he has us work through these sin issues over time.
Thus reminds me of the battles the Israelites faced when coming into the promised land. Some were quick and supernatural, while others happened over years.
The key here is that when God starts working on an area in or lives that we yield to his hands. Our natural response is defensiveness (we don't like to be told we are doing something wrong), blameshifting (my upbringing made me do it), minimizing (everyone does this), hopelessness (I can't change this) and/ or condemnation (I'm evil and God hates me). The fact is that God loves us so much that he doesn't want to leave us as we are and that he is the one who will enable and make the changes if we surrender to him.
So our proper response is one of humble submission where we acknowledge our sin, confess it to God and ask him to change us. It is also helpful and important to have Christian leaders who walk with us and we can confess to and find support from as described in James 5.
God is good and he is working in our lives to make us like him!