8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.1 John 1:8-10
John warns of the danger of denying that we are sinners. He writes this first letter to remind the churches to confess their sins in order to have them forgiven. He’s writing to believers in the early church. In his absence they quickly forgot what they’d been taught and let themselves be deceived by unbelievers.
I think we can see similar patterns of behavior in our world today. Maybe we need to heed John’s warning. With the false representation and lies that are rampant, we continue to say we’re one thing and yet we act like something very different.
We often use ”if we” as a precursor to our sinful behaviors. But this isn’t confession at all! We have to own the sin in confession and this leads to transformation. When we truly confess our sins they are forgiven.
We can’t gloss over our sins by claiming that we’re not perfect or we’re only human. That isn’t admitting to anything.
Christians don’t become sinlessly perfect on this side of heaven.
Anyone who feels that they are sinless doesn’t believe what God says about sin. We are all sinners who fall short of the glory of God.
But we are changed by the grace of God. Even though we may be great sinners, God is greater!
Someone who claims to be a Christian but does hurtful things and then apologizes for it isn’t owning the sin or letting it change them. Saying you’re sorry isn’t good enough.
Saying we have no sin puts us in a dangerous place. God’s grace and mercy is extended to sinners.
We must be cleansed of our sins repetitively. The first time is at our baptism. That cleanses the dirt away, but we continue to get dirty. We confess our sins as we take communion. This repeated confession helps to keep us cleansed and in relationship with God.
Our confession is in agreement with God that we are sinners. We have to own the sin to receive forgiveness.
When you sin, and you will, own up to it.
If we deny the presence of sin… we are self-deceived and are denying God’s Word.
And sin is always present, but so is its remedy…
But if we refuse to see sin in us, we show that Jesus is not in us either.
Admitting sin is not always easy, but it is necessary!