I John 1:4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
8 If we say that 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 that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
We noted a few days ago that God does not want us to be ignorant of Biblical truth. God is not seeking to hide relevant facts from His children. We have also noted that New Evangelicalism has corrupted many Biblical doctrines. The doctrine of salvation has been corrupted. The doctrine of separation has been corrupted. The doctrine of the Lord Jesus Christ and many others have been corrupted. Many people are not equipped to study the Bible and they choose to let the “preacher” do the studying and they just believe what he says, if they trust him.
Those who are truly saved are actually equipped to do Bible study. Those who are saved have the Holy Spirit indwelling them. They can have the discernment needed to know what is truth and what is not truth. However, if the saved person is careless or carnal as we find among the saints in Corinth, then they will not be listening to what God is saying to them through His Word. They will be allowing the devil to twist God’s Word in their hearts and minds. They will take comfort in numbers, rather than in truth.
In verse 8 we are reminded that if we claim to have no sin, we deceive ourselves. We can and should challenge any born again Christian that claims not to sin anymore. They are deceived. God says that person does not have the truth in them.
II Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
Light and darkness cannot co-exist. The darkness must be rejected. It will be exposed by the light and the saved individual will want to be rid of the darkness.
Galatians 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
I Peter 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;
It is not an automatic thing that a saint will grow in the Lord. God has given every one of His children the ability to grow in the Lord, but if the saint is not obedient to what God wants of him or her, then they will not grow. Rather than grow, there will be confusion in their heart and life. Such a person will be unable to make wise decisions, because they have cluttered their heart and soul with sin.
In verse 9 we are reminded of the importance of confessing our sin to God. This is in the context of saved people. This verse is not addressing the unsaved person. The Catholics have their confessionals. They teach their people to confess their “sin” to the priest and wait for his instructions as to what to do to remove the guilt of that sin. Of course they can never remove the guilt of that sin through their false religion.
However, God declares that when a true Christian confesses their sin, God is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. It is possible for the true child of God to be washed clean again and step out in faith free from condemnation if he or she confesses their sin. Confession includes the desire to stop the sin. It is not a momentary confession with the intent of committing the sin again in five minutes or tomorrow. That does not work. The Christian might commit the same sin again, but he does not make provision for committing the sin again.
These verses are short but powerful. There is so much here that we could “mine”.
As the Bible tells us, we need to meditate on God’s Word. Even though there is much confusion today about the blessings associated with Biblical salvation, there is no legitimate reason for that confusion. The true saint has the Holy Spirit dwelling in them. They have a Bible to read and study. God has also provided good churches that a saved person can faithfully attend and grow in. We can know the truth. We need to know the truth. Keep in mind, that God is truth.
I Peter 2:1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,
2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
Verse three helps us to understand verses 1& 2. The key is salvation. If you are not saved, you cannot grow. If your life is still full of the sins mentioned in verse 1, you cannot grow in the Lord. The Greek word translated as “malice” in verse 1 means “badness or depravity”. The Greek word translated as “guile” means “craft or deceit”. The other words are generally understood. You notice that two times Peter was directed to write the word “all”. The true child of God cannot have any malice or any guilt or any of the other sins mentioned. Those few words, cover the sins that a person commits. As we noted from I John 3:4, any sin is a transgression of God’s law.
No true child of God can smugly suggest they are free from sin, when they are living in sin. If the Holy Spirit is indwelling them, and He is in every true child of God, He will convince them of sin, when it is present.
God is gracious and good. When the true child of God confesses their sin to God, He is faithful and just. He does not reject true confession. He forgives and He forgets. He removes the guilt of that sin from the saved person that confesses it to Him. He cleanses the saint from all unrighteousness.
That does not mean there are no consequences for the sin. The thief on the cross was forgiven and saved while on that cross. He was given eternal life at that moment. However, He still died physically on that cross that night.
In verse 10 God again reminds us that if we say we have not sinned, when His Word says we have sinned, we make Him a liar. In reality no one can make God a liar. Thus the final phrase tells us that if we try to do that, His Word is not in us.
In these few verses God has laid out very clearly the invitation for fellowship and what that invitation is based upon. He helps us to understand the necessity of the new birth and the importance of honesty in the Christian life. No true Christian needs to go around in a pious manner with their nose in the air because they assume they are better than others. The true child of God walks in humility and desires a clean walk with God. He or she will be spending quality time in God’s word on a daily basis. They will also be faithful in a true church where they can be challenged from the Word of God. They will know the fullness of God’s joy because they are walking in the light.