Claim It? or Do It?

1 John 1:5-10 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. 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.”

If We Say

If we pay attention closely to what we read in the Scriptures, in the New Testament, we will begin to see many “if” clauses. This word “if” usually is used to introduce a conditional clause, such as “if you do such and such, then this will be the result.” And we have many such “if” clauses in this passage of Scripture, too, showing that the things which are being said here are conditional on certain other things being true and taking place.

So, the first thing we learn here is that God is light (righteous, truthful, holy, word of God, the gospel of Christ) and in him is no darkness (wickedness, evil, absence of light). So IF we say (claim) that we have fellowship (a contributory relationship, communion, participation, partnership) with him while we walk (in conduct, in lifestyle, in practice) in darkness (wickedness, sin), then we lie and do not practice the truth. Why?

Because the Scriptures are very clear on this subject, which we will see if we pay close attention. Woven all throughout the New Testament we read that we must deny self and die daily to sin and follow Jesus in obedience and no longer walk in sin, making sin our practice. For if we continue to make sin our practice, and righteousness and obedience to our Lord are not what we practice, then we will not inherit eternal life with God but we will die in our sins. Heaven will not be our eternal destiny.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

If We Walk

Now we are being introduced to an “if” clause that expresses a condition opposite of the previous one. Here we are not walking in sin while claiming that we have fellowship with God. But here we are walking (in conduct, in practice) in the light (Jesus Christ, the Word of God, truth, righteousness, the gospel truth). So we are walking in righteousness and in obedience to our Lord and to his commands, and we are not walking in sin.

So, the result of this first of all, which is understood, is that we are now in true fellowship with Jesus Christ, which is why we are able to have genuine Christian fellowship with others who are also in genuine fellowship with the Lord. And the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. So this involves daily dying to sin and to self and following Jesus in obedience, and there is a daily cleansing of sin which then takes place (Luke 9:23-26).

And we need to understand this concept here for many have the idea that if they believe in Jesus (usually not defined) once that all their sins are forgiven (past, present, and future) and that heaven is now guaranteed them. That is not what the Scriptures teach. They teach daily denial of self and dying to sin and walking in obedience to the Lord Jesus and continuing in that walk of faith steadfast to the very end or we don’t have salvation. And this is walking by the faith God gifted to us, in his power and strength.

Now, we do not lose our salvation every time we sin (1 John 2:1-2). Let me make that clear. But our salvation ultimately is determined on how we live, how we walk. If sin is what we practice, and righteousness, holiness, godliness and obedience to our Lord are not what we practice, we will not inherit eternal life with God. For Jesus said that not everyone who says to him, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one DOING the will of God the Father who is in heaven (Matthew 7:21-23).

If We Confess

Now this word “confess” does not mean merely to just admit sin or to even verbalize that one has sinned. It means to speak the same as God about our sin, to come to the same conclusion as God about our sin, in full agreement with God, in alignment with what his word teaches about sin. So, this isn’t just about admitting sin, but this is about turning away from your sin, to no longer live in slavery to sin, and to now walk (in practice) according to the Spirit in walks of holiness and obedience to your Lord in all your conduct.

For not only is that what the Greek word for confess means, but we must read this verse in the context of verse 7 and really the whole of the book of 1st John. For it is not enough to just acknowledge that you have sinned, which you must do, too, but you must turn from your sin and then walk in obedience to the Lord in doing the things he says we must do.

So many people are going through a sin cycle of “sin, confess, sin, confess” but nothing changes in their lives. They just verbally admit their sin (many don’t) and then they go right back to it like a pig returning to his vomit. The words don’t mean anything. They are just words they say hoping they can get someone to believe that this time they really mean it. But those in this sin cycle rarely ever mean it, for they are driven to continue in their sin and not to surrender their lives to Jesus Christ.

So, if you want to be forgiven of your sin, repent, don’t just say words that usually don’t mean anything. Stop sinning! And now obey the Lord. Walk by the Spirit and you will not fulfill the sinful cravings of the flesh. Say “No!” to sin, and “Yes!” to God. Don’t play with sin. Don’t give the devil a foothold in your life. Don’t leave doors wide open for you to keep going back through. Decide once and for all who you are going to serve – yourself? or God?

Seek the Lord

An Original Work / July 20, 2012
Based off Isaiah 55

“Come to Me all you who thirst; come to waters.
Listen to Me, and eat what’s good today,
And your soul will delight in richest of fare.
Give ear to Me, and you will live.
I have made an eternal covenant with you.
Wash in the blood of the Lamb.”

Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him.
Let the wicked forsake his way, in truth.
Let him turn to the Lord, and he will receive mercy.
Freely, God pardons him.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,”
declares the Lord, our God.

“My word that goes out of My mouth is truthful.
It will not return to Me unfulfilled.
My word will accomplish all that I desire,
And achieve the goal I intend.
You will go in joy and be led forth in peace.
The mountains will burst into song… before you,
And all of the trees clap their hands.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s