Wednesday, May 23, 2012

(1 John 1:8-10 ESV) 
"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."

Today we will finish chapter 1 of this tremendously theologically rich book!

Verse 8- As we went over in my last post, the reason man can be reconciled to God is because of the atoning work Jesus did on the cross.

Some have wrongly assumed that when one becomes a Christian they can get to a point where they do not sin any longer. The book of 1 John is written to believers, not non-believers. 
That being said the apostle John is telling us that as believers we are not going to be perfected in this life to where we do not sin.
"If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves"

To deny that we are sinful is to be deceived. We need to distinguish between Justification which is the one time act of God declaring the sinner righteouss based on the work of Christ on the cross. When this happens we are brought from death to life (Romans 6:11).

This passage is dealing with sanctification. Here is a quote from an article on the gotquestions webpage and I would ask the readers look at this paper and study it so they are equipped to answer this question which comes up a lot:

"Sanctification is a three-stage process – past, present, and future. The first stage occurs at the beginning of our Christian lives. It is an initial moral change, a break from the power and love of sin. It is the point at which believers can count themselves “dead to sin but alive to God” (Romans 6:11). Once sanctification has begun, we are no longer under sin’s dominion (Romans 6:14). There is a reorientation of desires, and we develop a love of righteousness. Paul calls it “slavery to righteousness” (Romans 6:17-18).

The second stage of sanctification requires a lifetime to complete. As we grow in grace, we are gradually – but steadily – changing to be more like Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:18). This occurs in a process of daily spiritual renewal (Colossians 3:10). The apostle Paul himself was being sanctified even as he ministered to others. Paul claimed that he had not reached perfection, but that he “pressed on” to attain everything Christ desired for him (Philippians 3:12).

The third and final stage of sanctification occurs in the future. When believers die, their spirits go to be with Christ (2 Corinthians 5:6-8). Since nothing unclean can enter heaven (Revelation 21:27), we must be made perfect at that point. The sanctification of the whole person—body, soul, and spirit—will finally be complete when the Lord Jesus returns and we receive glorified bodies (Philippians 3:21; 1 Corinthians 15:35-49)."

Verse 9- "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

By being on our knees broken before the Lord we are confessing our need and dependence upon him. Sanctification is an ongoing process and will be until the day we die.  When we do not confess our sins we can drift from our Lord and end up very miserable and under the discipline of God.  We are told:

    (Hebrews 12:6) 
"For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”

It is for our own good that God drives us to our knees and recognizing our need in him so we do not get confident in our own abilities.

As the "Prince of Preachers" Charles Spurgeon said:

"The “superior” person will always be lost, take my word for it. The more superior he
is, the more sure he is to be lost; I mean not that he is superior, but that he thinks
himself so, superior to all teaching. He is not prepared to be a learner, he is ready to
set up as a teacher, and a master of anything you like. He is not the kind of man to
enter the gates of heaven; he carries his head too high for that. He is a man of broad
thought; and, of course, he goes the broad way. Narrow-minded people go in the
narrow way; but then it leadeth to life eternal, and therefore I commend it to you."  

Verse 10- "If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us."

We know that God is a God who can NOT lie

         (1 Samuel 15:29
"He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a man, that he should change his mind."

    (Numbers 23:19)
"God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?"

   (Titus 1:2)
"A faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time"

Take these truths friends and meditate on them. If you have sin that is separating you and your Savior then fall on your knees right away and ask for forgiveness.  Our Lord promises that He will forgive you and the discipline which we all endure is for our own good.

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