Let’s allow Piper to take a crack at it from 1 John. Great explanation:
(HT: Reformation Theology)
While I’m at it, I’d love to offer another plug for Piper’s recent book, Finally Alive. Or, listen to or watch the sermon series here. I say the title should have an exclamation point in it, because the book nails this very important issue in a very clear and life-giving way. Read it and be blessed in knowing what God has done to raise sinners to life through His Son.