1 John 1:5-6 ESV
“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. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.”
God is light. He is truth. He is righteousness, holiness, and purity. There is no wickedness in him. No lie in him is to be found. He is completely trustworthy in all that he does. He is wholly without sin. His motives are always pure. And his actions are fully righteous.
So, if we claim to be in fellowship with him while we walk (in conduct, in practice) in darkness (wickedness, sin), then we are lying, and we are not those who make it our practice to tell the truth. For, Jesus delivered us from our bondage to sin and he empowers us to live holy and godly lives.
“So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” Rom 8:12-13 ESV
So, it isn’t just that those who make a practice of sin are liars if they claim to be in fellowship with God, but it is that if they continue living in sin that they will die in their sins. They will not have eternal life with God. For, Jesus died on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness (1 Pet 2:24; Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24; 2 Co 5:15).
1 John 1:7 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.”
In the New Testament, under the New Covenant, when we believe in Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Savior, with God-persuaded faith in him, we die with Christ to sin, we are raised with Christ to newness of life in him, and now by the power of God we walk (in conduct, in practice) no longer according to our flesh, but now according to the Spirit (Rom 8:1-17).
So, it isn’t that we are saved (past), and then we go on living our lives however we want, and then when we die we go to heaven. The Scriptures are clear. We are saved (past), we are being saved (present) and we will be saved (future) when our Lord returns and our salvation is complete.
But we must walk according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh. We must, by the Spirit, be putting to death the deeds of the flesh, and we must be walking in obedience to our Lord. And we must continue in these walks of faith until the very end of our lives if we want to have eternal life with God and be saved from our sins.
[Jn 8:31-32; Jn 15:1-12; Rom 11:17-24; 1 Co 15:2; Col 1:21-23; 2 Tim 2:10-13; Heb 3:6, 14-15; 2 Pet 1:5-11; 1 Jn 2:3-6, 24-25]
For, if we walk (in conduct, in practice) in sin, it will end in death, not in life everlasting. For we are all going to reap what we sow. If we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction. But if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will have eternal life (Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; 1 Co 6:9-10; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8).
1 John 1:8-10 ESV
“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.”
Many people quote verse 9 here out of context and they apply it across the board to anyone who confesses a sin (or sins). They will teach that you can continue living in sin as long as when you sin you confess it, and that no matter how many times you sin and confess that you are forgiven.
But we have to read verse 9 in the context of verses 5-8. For there we read that if we claim to be in fellowship with God but we walk in darkness (deliberately and habitually keep committing the same sins) that we are lying and the truth is not in us. And it is only as we walk in the light that the blood of Jesus cleanses us from every sin.
And then verse 9 is in contrast to verse 8. Confession of sin is in contrast to lying and saying we have no sin. This is not a doctrine in itself. We aren’t saved and forgiven our sins on a mere verbal confession of sin. The Scriptures require repentance, which is a turning away from our lifestyles of sin to now walking by the Spirit of God.
[Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-32; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; Tit 2:11-14; Jn 10:27-30; Jn 15:1-12; 2 Co 5:15; Col 3:5-11]
This is not to say that we will never sin (1 Jn 2:1-2), but that sin should not be what we practice. We should not deliberately keep on sinning.
Do You Love Me?
An Original Work / July 24, 2013
Do you love Me now?
Will you seek My face?
I have given you
My love and My grace.
Will you walk with Me
Ev’rywhere I lead?
Will you find in Me
All of what you need?
Won’t you meet with Me
Down upon your knees?
Will you obey Me,
And do what I please?
Will you hear My voice
Speaking now to you?
I am couns’ling you
To abide in truth.
I have died for you;
Taken all your sins –
Crucified with Me,
You have been forgiv’n.
I have set you free
From your slavery,
So that you can now
Live in victory.