Tuesday 10 January 2017

Bible Book:
1 John

“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (v. 8)

1 John 1:5-10 Tuesday 10 January 2017

Psalm: Psalm 8


The writer has established the authenticity and purpose of theirmessage in 1 John 1:1-4. They now go on to refute thosewho claim fellowship with God, but maintain that they have no needof forgiveness for sin, nor any necessity for good behaviour. "Godis light" (v. 5) is one of the two most memorable statements in theletter, the other being "God is love" (1 John4:8). If the readers or hearers of the letter were familiarwith John's Gospel, then they would be aware of the light imageryin the Prologue - 'The light shines in the darkness, and thedarkness did not overcome it.' (John1:5) - and the relationship between light/dark, good/evil,spiritual sight/blindness in the Gospel. They would be aware too ofJesus saying "I am the light of the world" (John8:12).

The writer underlines their definition of God as light by sayingthat there is no darkness in God at all (verse 6). Therefore if ourlives are lived in the darkness of sin and we claim fellowship withGod, then this cannot be true. Walking in the light (ie living agood and faithful life) is the way of fellowship with God and witheach other (verse 7). At the heart of that relationship is therenewal of life and forgiveness of sin through the death of Jesuson the cross. In 1 John 2:1-2, the writer expands on thisidea.

Verse 8 is addressed to the heretics who claimed that asenlightened people they had been given a new nature, which meantthat they were sinless. But their self-deception can be shared byeveryone, and thus there is a need for sins to be confessed. Notethat the writer refers to "sins" (v. 9) rather than the generalstate of sin. Sins are the actual manifestation of the sinfulnature of humanity. In verse 10, another claim of the heretics,that since becoming enlightened, they have never sinned, isrefuted. We become aware of sin when we see the revelation of God'slove in Jesus Christ. If that can be seen as God revealing our sinto us, then to deny it is in effect to call God a liar.

To Ponder

  • How would you define 'sin' in the 21st century?
  • How important is confession of sin to you? In worship withothers? In private prayer?
Previous Page Monday 09 January 2017
Next Page Wednesday 11 January 2017