The focus of the Daily Note yesterday was:
1Jn 1:8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
As the memory of that Note lingers in the mind, consider:
1Jn 1:10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.
I’m certain you will agree with me that it is too terrible to be the person in verse 10 … because saying one has never sinned makes God who accuses us of sin a liar! That position renders Jesus coming to earth and dying on the Cross unnecessary. If people are sinless … perfect, holy and righteous, why would God need to provide a substitute to pay for human sin? The whole incarnation, demonstration of holy living, the teaching of the Word to perfection, the miracles and healings (all pointing to a spiritual reality), coupled to His Death on the Cross and subsequent Resurrection from the dead … would all be in vain, useless and a grave mistake. The truth is that God is right and true about us. We are sinners, even once saved, and desperately need His Word in our lives. So … when we come to faith in Jesus Christ and believe His gospel fully and correctly, we confess our sin, repent from the godless life, received Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour and walk in His prescribed pathway. However … we still sin and this is the reason that, inspired by the Holy Spirit, the apostle John pens:
1Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Notice three things that jump out of this text …
1) Christians ought to confess their sins. Christians do still sin. We don’t live for sin. Sin no longer controls us, but the “sin bent” (inherit sinful disposition) remains and will remain until death. The Father sees us as perfect but He sees us by looking at Jesus and His perfection. Yet in ourselves we do and will sin until we die and are with Jesus in Glory. I say we “ought” to confess our sins because the text says “if”. The “if” here is supposing we will confess our sins as Christians. In fact we must. We have to confess our sins to God.
2) When we as Christians confess our sins to God, God is faithful and just. He is always faithful to His Nature and His Word and His Promises. If He says He will deal with the sin of His people in a certain way when they acknowledge their error and rebellious ways, He will honour His commitment. He cannot be anything other than He is … and more … God is just. His justice shall prevail. You see, God must deal with all matters according to His justice. If He says sin must be punished, it shall be punished. However, there is a “but” for us Christians. Our past, present and future sin has been dealt with justly for Jesus took the punishment for it … and the “but” is that just because we are already pardoned of all sin and guilt, it does not mean we are exempt from confessing our sin as we sin.
3) As we Christians confess our sin, God who is faithful and just continues to forgive and purify us! In God forgiving, it does not mean He requires another offering for sin. The sin price was paid by Jesus. It was a onetime offering for all time sin.
Heb 9:12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.
Heb 9:28 Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people.
What 1 John 1:9 means is that both the sinner and God are reminded that God has already pardoned our sin and because we confess as we sin, God purifies as we confess. That is, He deals with the confession immediately. You don’t have to do any penance. You don’t repeat a certain prayer over and over. You don’t go and personally suffer for a period so that God will forgive you. Honest and sincere confession ushers in immediate forgiveness followed by purification.
Here lies the absolute beauty of the Blood Sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross … as soon as confession is made by the believer, not only is there forgiveness applied … but cleansing of that sin and removal of the guilt happens immediately. You don’t need to “apply” to God for mercy. You don’t need to go through a middleman such as a priest. You personally go directly to God, state your sin, plead for pardon and immediately pardon is applied because of the “one time” Blood Offering of Jesus for “all sin of all believers of all time” and your sin and guilt are dealt with immediately.
Like so many Bible verses and passages, 1 John 1:8-10 is a rich gold mind whose ore runs deep and needs to be discovered through persistent daily seeking the face of God experimentally. For today though, we may take away the following:
1) Encouraged confession. This verse encourages and motivates the child of God to keep short accounts with God. When you sin, you seek forgiveness.
1Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins …
2) Granting pardon and cleansing. The verse encourages the child of God to enjoy daily and regular forgiveness and spiritual purification. Why live in an unclean spiritual condition before God when we can be sparkling clean? This is the reason He saved us:
Eph 1:4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.
Take note of that important phrase at the end of the verse … “in His sight” … now!
3) Demands holy living. God’s intention for us His people is that we be Christ-like. This is the end product of salvation and faith.
Rom 8:29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son.
Why walk with dirty spiritual garments when we can be spotlessly clean?
Our glorious, merciful Father, thank You for the means of grace, thank You for Your love and thank You for the privilege of being forgiven and cleansed of all our sin. Help us Lord to pursue holiness. It is hard because of our earthly environment, yet we have Your Spirit to empower us. Thank You for this through Jesus Christ. Amen.