Today’s Reading: 1 John 1-3
Today’s Reflection: 1 John 1:5-10
5) This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6) If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7) 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. 8) If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10) If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
Verse 7 of 1 John chapter 1 speaks of Christians walking in the light with God and being cleansed from sin by the blood of Jesus Christ. Then verse 8 goes on to say all people, including Christians, have sin, and to say they don’t is a lie. Is it possible to be a follower of Christ, be walking in the light with God, and have sin? This text says so. The key to understanding this seeming contradiction is in realizing there is a distinction between sin and living in sin or living with sin.
A follower of Jesus, walking in the light with God, and learning to obey His commandments, is still human and will still make mistakes. Over time God will perfect his or her character, but the Christian is still learning, and will at times sin. This is why God makes provision for those following Him for when they may sin.
Romans 8:1 – There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
1 John 2:1 – My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
For those striving to obey God, seeking the mind of Christ, and the teaching of the Holy Spirit to perfect mind, heart, character and behaviour, sin and error are covered by God’s grace and cleansed by Jesus blood. But there are those who sin deliberately and habitually, knowing their behaviour is contradictory to God’s instructions. Rather than seek God’s power to be changed and transformed, they merely attempt to excuse their behaviour. These people may intellectually know their behaviour is sin, but they don’t truly regard it as such. They are living in sin or living with sin. God has some very clear and stern words for people such as these.
1 John 3:8-10 – 8) Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 9) No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. 10) By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.
So truly being a child of God is born out of the seed of God in our hearts and minds and is observable in our behaviour. A child of God may sin, but will be led to repent, seek forgiveness and change. But one who lives comfortably with sin is not interested in repentance. They’re not a child of God at all because one cannot be born of God and live in comfort with something that opposes everything God is.
As you examine your own behaviour and walk with God, ask yourself, do you sin or are you comfortable with sin? Are you a child of God, (re-)born of His spirit? Or not?
Galatians 6:7-8 – 7) Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8) For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.