Chapter 1:7-10 (ESV) - But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 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.
Question to consider: What is sin?
The world defines light and truth and life in regard to the self. My light. My truth. My life. So whatever gives my life purpose or whatever makes my life feel complete is my truth, and if I’m walking according to that truth, then I’m experiencing the light of life. The apostle John however, defines these terms by our relationship with God, and that relationship is only through Christ. Jesus is the light. Jesus is the truth. Jesus is the life. Without Jesus, we have none of these things because it is only by His blood that we are cleansed from sin.
Sin is considered hate speech in our world, especially if it is describing something that is fundamental to my light, truth, or life. The chances are pretty good that it does considering that everything God has called true and good has been rejected by the world. God says we should worship Him alone, but the world says we should worship ourselves or our possessions. God says to honor our father and mother, but the world says that fathers and mothers are secondary to the community. God says we should not murder, but the world says that certain kinds of murder are okay, even noble. If you can think of something in which the world and God are still in agreement, please let me know.
John says here that if we deny our sin, we are living in denial, and our truth is actually a lie. When Christ was hung on the cross, it was with a pledge to pay the penalty for our sin. He is faithful to that pledge and will cleanse us from all unrighteousness. We need only to confess it and ask for that forgiveness. John points out though that Jesus is also just, so if we reject His payment for our sin, His justice still demands that the penalty be paid. So even though the world may not like the word sin, it is vital that we understand it since it defines our relationship with God.
Sin is defined as anything that goes against the established truth of God. Since God created the universe and everything in it, He is the sole arbiter of truth whether we like it or not. With all of the thousands of religions in the world, it is easy to be like Pontius Pilate and question “What is truth?” This is why it is important to start with the resurrection of Christ. Either Jesus rose from the dead, or He didn’t. If Christ rose, then everything He said was true, and we have it all laid out for us in the Bible. If Christ didn’t rise, then all my efforts over the last couple of years in writing this blog have been a colossal waste of time.
Most merciful God, we confess that we are by nature sinful and unclean. We have sinned against You in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We have not loved You with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We justly deserve Your present and eternal punishment. For the sake of Your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in Your will and walk in Your ways to the glory of Your holy name. Amen.