(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 09 November 2014, Mayapur, India, Srimad Bhagavatam 6.1.19)
To be free from sin, is the secondary result of bhakti. It is a secondary benefit of bhakti. Of course, we want to become free from sin, but what is the point of being sinless if one has no love for Krsna?
yasyāsti bhaktir bhagavaty akiñcanā
sarvair guṇais tatra samāsate surāḥ
harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇā
mano-rathenāsati dhāvato bahiḥ (CC Adi-lila 8.58)
It is said that one can develop all good qualities… one can become more and more purified from sin and become situated in goodness… one can attain a position high in the universe and so on; but if you are not becoming a devotee of Krsna then you are still driving in the manorathe, in the chariot of the mind; and the chariot of the mind will take you again to degradation. So therefore, it is said ei rūpe brahmāṇḍa bhramite (CC Madhya-lila 19.151), sometimes we go upwards in the universe while other times we go downwards in the universe, and this can go on life-after-life.
Ultimately, without developing bhakti, becoming sinless is not a permanent benefit. The purification of getting free from sinful reactions is not complete without developing an attachment to serving Krsna and his devotees. By serving Krsna and his devotees, one automatically becomes sinless because it is said that a devotee will never engage in any sinful activity. An advanced devotee will never act in a sinful way because he will not act in anyway that is not pleasing to Krsna, so automatically he becomes sinless.
So, we have four regulative principles and that means no sinful activities, as well as chanting sixteen rounds and glorifying Krsna; these two go hand-in-hand. But if it was only the four regulative principles then our movement would not go very far! Without the glorification of Krsna and without the sankirtan, our movement would not go very far. But if there were no regulative principles then it would also be difficult, with just the result of chanting Hare Krsna.
Even if someone is totally engrossed in all kinds of illicit activities, if that person chants Hare Krsna then we are very happy because we know that person will be purified for sure. Even if someone is addicted to all the sinful activities and chants Hare Krsna, we know that person is getting ajnata-sukrti, unknown spiritual benefit, and will perform devotional service again. Our preaching is based on that!