“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”
1st John 1:8-10
After last weeks post, I wanted to keep writing! I can relate a lot with these verses (and the whole book!) and it really strikes a chord with me.
I’m really worried about deception. Deception being “to believe something that is not true, typically in order to gain some personal advantage”. With all the rage about the recent Ken Ham Bill Nye debate, deception was rampant (either on Kens, Bills, or both sides!).
I “side” with Ken on this, as I believe that The Bible speaks clearly on origins. But what bothers me most is that someone is wrong. People are being led astray on one side, and being led to Christ on the other (the latter not the one bothering me).
These verses speak to that. We know from last weeks study that genuine faith grows genuine fruit, so this week we see that with denial of sin in our lives shows that we’ve been demonstrably deceived by ourselves and, even more scary, “and the truth is not in us.”. That’s scary.
The real question is that of the heart, I, as a Christian (and all other Christians) will readily admit our inherent sinful nature, after all if we didn’t then we wouldn’t feel the need for a Savior! I think that’s what John is tackling here among other things.
So where’s the hope? John tells us:
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Memory verse (if you went to Sunday school/Youth group)! There it is. plain and simple. God is faithful to forgive us (not because of our works!) because He is just.
Christ’s death is credited (or, imputed if ya wanna get into christianese) to us, which is the just accreditation of our sins. So God is both faithful to forgive us, but also perfectly just (though we’re totally undeserving) in His forgiving us. This simple yet profound thought has sparked the passion of millions of Christians to be a witness for Christ! So cool.
I’m currently reading of one such man whom Christ led in a very powerful way, Dietrich Bonhoeffer titled on the cover as “Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy”. Though I’m not too far in it, it’s such a great read! I’m reading where they’re recounting His childhood memories, which are so cute! He was really quite the cute (but a little mischievous) kid.
Though I’m not particularly far in the book, nor do I know many details. I’ve heard that men like Him who had such a powerful testimony were the ones who knew who they were in Christ. Knew that they’re Savior forgave them despite who they were, which created such a gratitude and love in every other area of their lives that they couldn’t help but let their faith shine bright in a dim world. And as I read this great book, I’ll be sure to see that in Bonhoeffer.
Moving on… So as we’ve noticed in 1st John in the past, His writing style is very repetitious. He gets his points across. And he yet again does this when he mentions that if we say we haven’t sinned, we make him a liar (Rom 3:23) and his word is not in us. Those are such powerful words. I really don’t understand when people don’t challenge others in their walks with Christ, these verses call out many things that need to be challenged when a brother or sister is claiming genuine faith yet living radically opposed to Christ so we can see where their hearts are at, rather than assuming (See more about that last week).
So we’re called to examine ourselves, but also as Believers, to know that Christ has saved us and letting that be the lens by which we see our lives, sinners saved by an awesome savior!
Thanks for reading! I won’t be doing a Theologyish post this coming Thursday, so both days will be updates on NANC! (The disciplining conference I’m going to) So stick around for updates (if I have internet)!