“If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness”
(1 John 1:8-9, NLT).
(1 John 1:8-9, NLT).
This “if we claim” statement introduces a worse lie among Christians. In verses 1 John 6-7, the lie was to claim to have “fellowship with God” and still walk in the darkness. The second lie (here) is to claim to be without sin. Some people just do not want to take responsibility of their sins. They say, “It was my upbringing – my parents didn’t do a very good parenting,” or “I come from a poor family that’s why I…” Or maybe it was too much pressure from friends. Whatever the reason, some people convince themselves that they are without sin, not guilty – it’s always somebody else’s fault; they thought that they are just victims of somebody else’s sins.
But the truth is that not only did all of us sin before we became Christians (see Romans 3:23), we still sin when we are out of fellowship with God. Even though we were created in the image of God, people have been sinning since the time of Adam and Eve. It’s just inborn in us. There is great danger in concealing or hiding something like sin. Very dangerous! It only gets worse and leads to more problems. This is true in our physical bodies. When I noticed some syndromes of hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), I didn’t went for check-up but instead I let it become worst. If I didn’t do anything back then, the decease will continue to grow and maybe even threaten my very life.
With sin, an open attitude is important. In the Proverbs we read, “People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy” (Proverbs 28:13). What God wants is not only a general confession such as “Please forgive me of my sins,” but confessing sins specifically – “Lord, forgive me for the way I treated Diannie;” or “Forgive me for the way I yelled at my mother,” and so on. As we call these sins to mind, God will forgive them, “he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness,” as He promised. He will not condemned or ridicule us but will show mercy. Making excuses or justifying ourselves doesn’t lead to forgiveness. It is through an attitude of being truly sorry that we repented from them and admitting these sins to God that we can experience forgiveness.
What a relief it is to know that we have been forgiven! No pilgrimages. No animal sacrifices. No money offerings. Many years before Apostle John wrote his letters, King David described how he felt when his sins had been forgiven: “Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty! When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, ‘I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.’ And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone” (Psalms 32:1-5).
Can you sense the relief and joy that David felt? And even though David was a great leader for God’s people, he committed many sins that needed God’s forgiveness. He felt so guilty that he thought he was wasting away. But when he was honest with God and confessed his sins, he was greatly relieved. What sins you haven’t confess to the Lord today? Don’t wait. He is ready to forgive you.
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.