Read: 1 John 1
Consider: The Bible is clear in its teaching that ‘God is light; in him there is no darkness at all’. This can be very hard for us to imagine, primarily because our human nature contains such opposites of good and bad. We know that even when we are cleansed by Christ there still remains elements of darkness in us (the sinful nature) that rise to the surface too often. Paul in his letters talks about the sinful nature making him do the things he doesn’t want to do. There is a constant battle between the spiritual and worldly natures.
John, in his letter, is not putting forward the idea that Christians can be sinless. He does, however, make a clear distinction between ‘walking in the light’ and ‘walking in darkness’. This involves a conscious choice either to live in the way God wants, or to live as the world wants. As Christians our desire must be to live God’s way; he is light, so we also want to live that way.
Although we are walking in the light and have been purified from sin, the sinful nature still causes us to sin. This raises a dilemma for many. They question their salvation because they still sin. John tells his readers that they must face up to their sinful nature, confess their sin and receive forgiveness. This means that walking in the light isn’t a blank cheque, meaning that we are guaranteed not to sin. It does mean that those who walk in the light need to be aware of the need to acknowledge their sin and ask for forgiveness. Although our salvation is guaranteed and sure, the cleansing work of the Holy Spirit in our lives is ongoing.
Read again John’s words from 1 John 1 and let God show you what this means for you on a daily basis:
If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out 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, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us. 1 John 1:6-10 (NIV)
Pray: Father, we acknowledge that our desire is to live as children of the light, yet often we fall so easily into sin. Give us a heart that is willing to acknowledge our sinful nature, confess our sin and seek your forgiveness. Amen