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When I say “1st John” what verses come to mind? Probably 1 John 1:8-9 “ 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.”
Taken out of context as I’ve just done, the “we” sounds like it means “you and me” doesn’t it? Well, hold on now! John did not write this to convince us of our unworthiness. Or accuse us of denying we have sinned. Or make forgiveness conditional on our confession.
Read the 1st 4 verses of this letter. John opens by declaring that Jesus is real, tangible, has existed in the flesh, and he is telling them so that they too may have fellowship with him. Wait! Why aren’t they already in fellowship with him? Because the group he is writing to has a number of unbelievers. Maybe all of them. They believed the popular notions of the day which rejected Jesus as God coming in the flesh, early gnosticism, and they rejected the fact of sin and committing sin.
In context vs 8-9 make perfect sense! To those who reject the concept of sin – John says, you are wrong! You deceive yourself. Confess your sins to God – and as has He promised, He is faithful and just to forgive you your sins. He’ll make you totally righteous, approved, acceptable, to Him.
Don’t be distressed dear Christian. John is not accusing you of going around deceiving yourself; you are not a bundle of failure and denial committing sins left and right and then denying it.
You have the Holy Spirit to guide you, God has given you a new nature, His own, and you want to please Him and reject sin. Old things, like your old sin nature, have passed away. 2 Cor 5:17. You can’t keep sinning anymore – 1 John 3:9.
And, you have an Advocate with God, but that’s for next time! We’ll also hear about the Commandments Jesus want us to keep.
So remember, you are IN Him; He is IN you – and that means you have overcome in this life for the GREATER ONE is in you. Don’t you see? John is simply saying that you have COME ALIVE!
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