There is a great injustice with in the church of God today. It’s been brewing and growing forever and it needs to have the light of God shown upon it so that it can be purged from the body of Christ. What is this great injustice? It is the great deception of lack within the body on Christ! Countless times I have heard it quoted from the scriptures that “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8) But if we read the word of God we can and should see that this is not the life of a Believer in Christ.
“This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.
If you take a scripture like 1 John 1:8 out of its context, you are then in conflict with the ‘Whole’ Word of God because you are focusing on only one small part and not on the whole. When we do this we lose track of the timing that John was giving us. Let’s read this in whole the way John wrote it.
“This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
If we say that 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 that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
This whole passage is to show how Jesus washes us clean of our sins. But note that it also shows us how easy it is to be deceived. ‘ If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.’ If this is true, and God’s word is the truth, then to pull verse 8 out and hold it as a truth for the Christian life is false and contradictory. We need to read these and put them in proper order. Note how there are “bookends” here. The verses, ‘If we say that we have no sin,’ and, ‘If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us’ both book ended, surrounded by, the verses, ‘But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin… If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness… My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin.’
What is John saying? How can he in one breath say that Jesus cleanses us from all sin, and then turn around and say that if we say we have no sin then the truth is not in us? Look sin is either in you or not! Jesus has either cleansed us Christians or He hasn’t. Which is it? I believe that what John is saying when he wrote verses 8 and 10 is that we need Jesus because BEFORE WE BELIEVED IN CHRIST we were full of sin. And that many people who hear that gospel of Christ don’t believe that they have this sin within them and the word/truth is not in them.
My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin.
If sin is still in us then why would John write My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. If we are deceiving ourselves when we say that we have no sin, why is John saying he is writing these so that we don’t sin? Especially when he just got done saying that If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If the blood of Christ washed you clean of your sins and God was faithful, as we know that He is, and He forgave us our sins and then cleansed us of from all unrighteousness, and sin is unrighteousness, how could we still say that we still have sin?
These words, saying that we have no sin or that we have not sinned are only proof that Christ was not in us and that we truly were in need of a Savior! And His word is not in us. For His word says that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) His word – Jesus- is not in those who say these things. We who have Christ in us the hope of glory, admitted to ourselves and to God that we had sin within us and that we realized that we needed a Savior, why? Because the word – Jesus- was in us convicting our hearts unto repentance. To which we in turn then confessed our sins to God the Father who according to His own word, in verse 9, forgave us our sins, and cleansed us of ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS!
Look in chapter 4 of 1 John. Verses 15 and 16. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.
My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin.
When we confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, God came into us in the form of the Holy Spirit and He now abides in us. And to top that off, we now abide in Him. (see verse 15) If this is true and what John says in 1 John 1:5 is also true. This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. Sin is darkness. For it is not of God but of Satan. Now if 1 John 1:8 is true then how can a person who has sin abide in God for sin is not of the light but of darkness? But we know that in Him there is no darkness at all. So verse 8 must be before salvation.
So why do keep on saying these things which are in conflict with His word? We really should be striving for His great love to overcome us in every aspect of our lives. But in order for that to happen we need to believe the love that God has for us and abide in that love and then believe as John says, God that abides in us.
We need to believe what God is truly saying through John. And understand that we are no longer of this sinful world even though for now we still live in it. Let us strive for understanding, deep intimate understanding of His word. Especially when it pertains to who we are IN HIM! Let us believe the love that God has for us and in doing so overcome the world!
Look at 1 John 4:17 “Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.”
As who is? He who is the Love that has been perfected among us. Christ Jesus the Lord. It is He that we are to be like in this world. As He is, so are we in this world. We have the confidence of knowing that Christ is in us and we are in Him and He is in the Father and in Him there is no darkness. Hence there is no darkness within us. We have therefore overcome the world through Christ Jesus, born again in the image of the living God. 1 John 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. And our faith comes from hearing, and hearing from the word of God. Our faith builds our knowledge and understanding of God and the word of God as we read and listen to His word.
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
But if we don’t gain understanding and knowledge we will perish. Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. If we don’t gain the knowledge and understanding of who we are in Him, and rest in our Godly identity, we will continue read scriptures like 1 John 1:8 and think that we are still full of sin. Even though scripture speaks over and over again that we are free from sin. For example, …
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
…and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:7
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36
And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. 1 John 3:3
Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 2 Peter 1:2-4
‘O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
This is only a few scriptures that point us to the freedom from sin in our lives. But if this is true then how do we explain the likes of passages like Romans 7:14-25?
Could it be that we have been again reading them outside of the bookends that they are written within? Could Paul have written this passage about the conflict between the flesh and the law about what he was like Before Christ? Could it be that this is the great conflict of the soul that leads us to Christ in the first place? Could this be the reason we are in need of a Savior? Because our mind and spirit are at war with each other when we look upon the Law of God we need to be saved. But by whom? Paul said it right in Romans 7:24-25 ‘O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.’ This is the quandary. In our mind we serve the law but our flesh wants to serve the law of sin. So how can we live without sin? Our minds persecute us with the law, driving us deeper into the sin of the flesh through guilt and condemnation. But as Paul says… Thanks be to God – through our Lord Jesus Christ!
We need to be set free from the mind and flesh so that we can then be truly free from sin. I mean how can it be that we don’t live in 1 John 1:8. What is God saying when He says Be Holy for I am Holy? (See Leviticus 20:26 and 1 Peter 1:16) He is saying what Jesus said. Deny yourself, die to yourself, follow Him and live.
We need to deny the flesh every time it shows a longing for sin. Jesus is our master, not our flesh. Paul writes in Romans 6:1-4 ‘What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? 3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
If we have died to sin as Paul say’s, then again I ask… How can 1 John 1:8 be a Christian life? Look at them side by side.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:8
How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Romans 6:2
Do these sound like they are both spoken from the same person at the same point in their life?
To me it just doesn’t make any sense. And personally I refuse to believe that I am still a sinner when God my Father in heaven has called me, in His own words, a Saint. Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, Ephesians 2:19
So do we read the bible and truly believe as children what the living word of God says about those who believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God? Do we believe that we are truly forgiven and cleansed by the blood of Christ? Do we believe that we can walk holy and righteous and God has commanded us to do?
We have a choice. To find in the bible, reasons to live as Christ, or excuses to continue in the flesh.
The definition of the word excuse ex·cuse verb ikˈskyo͞oz/
- attempt to lessen the blame attaching to (a fault or offense); seek to defend or justify.
“he did nothing to hide or excuse Jacob’s cruelty”
synonyms: justify, defend, condone, vindicate;
- release (someone) from a duty or requirement.
“it will not be possible to excuse you from jury duty”
synonyms: let off, release, relieve, exempt, absolve, free
“she has been excused from her duties”
Let us not learn the word to excuse our behavior, but ask of The Lord our God to reveal to us our true nature in Christ. Because as it is written, ‘But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.
Say this aloud. From the heart knowing that God has spoken this over you.
I am a child of God. I have the Spirit of God living within me. I have been born again in the image of the living God. I have died with Christ and I no longer live but Christ lives in me. I am now holy, righteous, redeemed, sanctified and set apart, pure of heart, chosen to do the good works my Father in heaven as He has prepared for me to do that I may bring Him all Honor, Glory and Praise in Jesus name. I am no longer who I was, I am who God says I am. His child, the apple of His eye, the joy that was set before Him to endure the cross. Amen and Amen.