Please read: I John 1:5-10
I find human nature interesting because we are justified in our own eyes. Meaning that we can always find an excuse for why we sinned while remaining judgemental towards others’ sins. However, John is quite clear on light and darkness and sin and forgiveness in I John 1:5-10.
John defines his message by contrasting the light and darkness of the Secessionists. They claim to be walking in the light; however, they operate in darkness because they spread a false gospel. John points out that these Secessionists claiming to have fellowship with God cannot connect with Him because God is light; therefore, they walk in darkness. John furthers his point by identifying the light. God is full of light and has no darkness in him. Light refers to truth and holy, while darkness refers to false and evil.
If we walk in darkness, it signifies that we are rebellious towards God; if we walk in the light of the truth, we have fellowship with God.
When we walk in the light, it is signified or visible by the truth and holiness in our lives. Believers have a wiliness to be open to God and His revelation. This relationship and revelation are possible through the blood of Jesus. Jesus’ death paid the price for our sins. His resurrection makes our relationship with him possible after our earthly death.
Verse 10 raises an interesting point, “if we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves.” We must examine our hearts and become self-aware of our actions and thoughts. Paul in II Cor. 13:5 states, “examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith.” it is so easy to make excuses for our own sins while recognizing the sins of others, and so much more fun to judge others with our spiritual superiority. However, we should be more concerned about our spiritual condition than those around us. The scripture tells us to examine our own hearts (II Cor 13:5).
The beginning of the second chapter of I John raises an interesting point. “I write this to you so that you will not sin, but if anyone does sin, he has an advocate with the Father.” John is stating here that Christians can and do sin. The Secessionists believed that after accepting Christ, you could not sin. Here John implies that we are born with a sinful nature, and after we accept Christ and our sins are forgiven, we still have that same sinful nature. In Galatians 5:7, the Apostle Paul says, “For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other so that you are not to do whatever you want.” We must control our flesh and its evil appetite. If we sin, the good news is that we advocate with the Father. When Jesus atoned for our sins, he died for past, present, and future sins all at once. God knows we have a fallen, sinful nature, and at times we will, unfortunately, sin. Knowing that we have an advocate makes all the difference; we repent of our sins, receive forgiveness and move on in our walk with Christ.
Today, take some time to pray and reflect on your recent actions or words. Be self-aware of your own motives and sins, repent and ask for forgiveness. The only one you can change is yourself.