As Christ-followers, we walk in the light of his presence within, and thus our thoughts and actions reflect that inner light to those we encounter. Yet, John continues to make clear this week as we close out this first chapter, that our relationship in Christ doesn’t mean we never sin. Listen to what he writes:
If we say, “We have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous 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.1 John 1:8-10 CSB
Have you ever met a Christian who said they never sinned? I have, and it’s hard not to laugh when they express their sincere belief in their purity. Thankfully, we have the written Word to which to turn and also the reality of man’s inability to live a sinless life.
Matthew, in chapter eighteen of his book, writes what Jesus said about sin when he was speaking to his disciples. He shares a parable about a lost sheep. We know from other passages, that sheep were considered his followers, so as one strays, the shepherd leaves the ninety-nine to go and search for it. It would be obvious as the church began and grew that sin would be a constant struggle within the Body.
After the parable, Jesus then goes on to give instructions to the disciples on how to handle situations when a brother sins against them. There is no way to interpret this passage other than with the understanding that believers will sin, and it can even cause pain and division in the church.
So, if we say, “We have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves.
Don’t pretend to be above sinning, just because you call yourself a Christian. We are all sinners saved by grace and continually dependent on his grace to forgive us until we are fully restored to him in eternity.
Thankfully, there’s hope for the sinner—It’s called forgiveness.
John makes it clear that Christ is faithful to forgive as we’re obedient to confess. He’s not going to forgive us for something we’re not sorry for, and the longer we hold on to that sin and let it fester and grow, the less room for the Spirit to work in our hearts and lives. He’s still there, but he’s quenched because of the sin we’ve refused to let go of.
Can Christians be liars?
Yes, when they refuse to acknowledge their own sin, they lie, and they make God look like a liar too. If we have no sin after salvation, what is the purpose of sanctification and growing in grace? As long as we’re in the flesh, there is a battle waging within. The flesh will always be fighting against the spirit in Satan’s last-ditch attempt to make us ineffective in our faith. That’s why we must stand up and acknowledge our sin and confess it to Christ. In keeping our slate clean, we give the Holy Spirit room to grow us more and more into the likeness of the One we follow.
So, let your life shine by walking in the light like Jesus while giving him those areas of darkness that cast shadows on your path.
Are you a sinner? Absolutely! And so am I! All the more reason to be grateful that we’re saved by his…
Grace, to live in his Peace.