Wednesday, April 27, 2011
This morning I was reading from 1 John chapter 1. The writings of John have always intrigued me. I don't know if it's because he tended to focus on the deeper more spiritual side of things or because he wrote the book of Revelation or if it's simply because he was the only one of the twelve disciples to die a natural death. Whatever it is, I have spent a significant amount of time in my Christian life reading the writings of John.
So when I get to verses 8-10, I find their familiar exhortations familiar and comforting but then the context struck me, and I realized that I have been missing out on the big picture.
I think just about every Christian out their has heard 1 John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us out sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." This is an awesome and powerful verse. Plus confession in the life of a Christian is VERY important to maintaining an open and growing relationship with Christ.
What you miss by not reading it in context is the reason WHY we should confess our sins. Why is it so important? Why not pretend that we never sin or mess up? Why not just go on with life because our salvation is secure in Christ? Why confess? We find that out in verses 8 & 10...
1 John 1:8 says, "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." If we try to deny that we sin or we pretend that we are the perfect Christians we are lying to ourselves--we are liars because the truth is not in us. We must confess our sins to keep us from being deceived and to keep ourselves honest.
1 John 1:10 says, "If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us." If we lie about the sins we struggle with and the sins we commit then we make Christ a liar. The whole reason that God sent Jesus to die on the cross is because we are sinners, because we struggle with sin, and because we are imperfect. If we say that we are now perfect then we make God and Jesus liars. Plus God's Word is not being allowed to live and thrive in us.
It's all in the context.
All verses quoted today were in the English Standard Version (ESV).
Resources on 1 John