Do You Practice the Truth?
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.”
It continues to amaze me how many people profess faith in Jesus Christ and claim to believe the Scriptures, and yet they deny the bulk of the teachings of Christ and of the New Testament apostles because these Scriptures do not fit with their theology, i.e., with their lifestyles.
For, they claim a faith in Jesus Christ and a grace coming from God as a gift to us which does not honor Christ as Lord, which does not submit to his will for their lives, which does not forsake one’s sinful lifestyle, and which does not walk in obedience to the commands of God (New Covenant).
And they teach that this is God’s grace to us, as though this comes from God, as though God would approve of us ignoring his commands, refusing to obey him, and refusing to repent of our sins. But that is not the God of the Bible who grants them such “grace” as that.
For, the God of the Scriptures is a holy and righteous God, a God full of grace and truth, who is just and good in all that he does and is, who has no darkness (sin, wickedness) in him at all, but who is wholly good and perfect, and who sent Jesus to die for us so we could also live righteously.
So, if we say we have fellowship (partnership, participation, community) with Christ, but we are walking (in conduct, in lifestyle) in darkness (sin, wickedness, disobedience), we are liars who do not practice the truth. For, we can’t be in partnership with God and continue living in sin (Rom 6:1-23).
As He is in the Light
1 John 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.”
We should not quote 1 John 1:9 independent of its context, for in context it is quite obvious that this is not teaching that a mere confession (admission) of our sins is enough to ensure us forgiveness of our sins, cleansing from all unrighteousness, and eternal life with God in heaven when we die.
For, it is entirely possible to confess sin (to admit one’s sins) and for there to be no repentance whatsoever. A person can confess sins with having no desire to turn away from them or to follow the Lord Jesus in surrender to his will and to his ways for his life.
For, it is as we walk in the light, as he is in the light that we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. And if we say we have fellowship with God, yet we walk (conduct our lives) in darkness (sin), we don’t live by the truth (1 Jn 1:5-10).
And this is taught all throughout the New Testament, especially by the Apostle Paul. He taught that we must walk (in conduct, in practice) according to the Spirit and not according to our flesh. For, if we walk according to our flesh, we will die in our sins (Rom 8:1-17).
And he taught that we are slaves of the one we obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness, which then leads to sanctification, and its end, eternal life (Rom 6:16-23).
Jesus taught the same. He said that if we would come after him we must deny self and take up our cross daily (daily die to sin and self) and follow (obey) him. For, he said that if we hold on to our lives (of living for sin and self) we will lose them for eternity. But if we lose our lives (die with Christ to sin) for his sake, then we will have eternal life with God (Lu 9:23-26).
As well, the Scriptures teach that Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to righteousness, and that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us. And we learn that we must walk by the Spirit so we will not gratify the desires of the flesh (1 Pet 2:24; 2 Co 5:15; Gal 5:16-17; Eph 4:17-24).
And then we are taught that if we walk according to the flesh, and that if we make sin our practice, that we will die in our sins. We will not have eternal life with God. For, we are all going to reap what we sow in this life (Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10).
Also, we are taught that our salvation is a process that won’t be complete until Jesus returns, and that we must continue in Christ until the very end if we want to be ensured of eternal life with God (1 Co 15:2; Col 1:21-23; Heb 3:6-15; 1 Jn 2:24-25; Jn 15:1-12; Rom 8:24; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 1:18).
Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897
Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.
O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.
O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.
Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
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