Jesus has dealt with our sins and removed them. God says, “I will forgive their wickedness and I will no longer hold their sins against them.” (Heb. 8:12).
We have God’s love, acceptance and forgiveness forever because of Christ. So why confess them? It is simple really.
1. Christ died not only to forgive our sins but to give his victory over sin to us. “We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.” (Rom. 6:6NIV).
John says, “The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” (1 John 3:7-8). Jesus appeared to destroy the works of the devil which are defined as sins power! This is part of our confession as Christians!
2. God is light and in him is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5). We were once darkness, but now we are light in the Lord and are to walk as children of light (see Eph. 5:8). Christians are not to make a practice of sin but seek by the power of the Holy Spirit to put it out of their life. The reality is this-Christian men and women do not have to live defeated lives (being harassed but habitual sin) for the presence of Christ’s overcoming life (his seed and nature) is in them. We confess that, “No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.” (1 John 3:9).
3. They are never to nurture guilt and condemnation (Rom 8:1). We must believe and have faith in Jesus that he has forgiven all our sins for all time (Rom 10:9-10; Heb. 11:6). The Apostle John is not asking Christians to participate in protestant penance in order to satisfy God and obtain forgiveness. Repentance is NOT some board on which we float to heaven. IT IS a change of mind and direction at the START of our Christian walk. We are already on a direction toward Christ as our goal (Phil 3:10-14). We walk by faith not by sight or feelings for that matter (2 Cor 5:7).
God desires us to know that sin does not have to be the rule, nor rule in our lives by guilt or by control. He says, “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:1-2). The Christian is already forgiven by the presence of his Advocate, Jesus the Righteous who lives in our hearts (Col. 1:27).
©2014 Rev. Stephen S. Gibney
I am taking a stab at what has become the 1 John 1:9 controversy, so be patient with me, I am still learning.
The warp and woof of cults and false doctrine is to make a square peg fit into a round hole so scripture must be interpreted by scripture not by what we want it to mean. OK?
John was writing this to two groups: the Gnostics and Catholics (code for true Christians not Roman papists). Many of the creeds were written due to Gnostic heresies. We are not talking about Agnostics but Gnostics. An Agnostic is one who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God. The Gnostics believed in an elite knowledge that brought an individual a cosmic “awakening” not salvation from sin by Christ. But then again they are not sure how to define themselves! To understand Gnosticism, they say, “one needs something very much like a musical ear. Such a Gnostic “musical ear” is not come by easily. ”
Christians commit sin or sins. Big surprise. The Bible says so. But we confess our sin. We agree with God who have fellowship with the Father and his Son Jesus Christ. Gnostics don’t homologeo or say the same thing that God says about the existence of sin in humans and in the world. Gnostics reject the law entirely or as they say, For man, the universe is a vast prison. He is enslaved both by the physical laws of nature and by such moral laws as the Mosaic code.
The Bible says you are a liar if you don’t see that sin is real. In fact, the Bible says you call God a liar if you don’t think so. The Gnostics were such liars. They do not believe man is spiritually dead in sin (Eph. 2:1) but they are in a state of stupefaction and need an some sort of “awakening” from this “stupid” semi-conscious or unconscious state-to knowledge of the universe and transcendence. Gnostics see no need for salvation or regeneration like the Bible teaches (John 3:3-8). They have no need for anything like faith or good works. They say, What effects the awakening is not obedience, faith, or good works, but knowledge.
But what does the Bible says about sin? It is breaking the law of God. “Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.” (1 John 3:4-6NIV).
Many who have rediscovered the gospel of grace face the false accusation of being antinomian or lawless. But those who study scripture realize that Christians do not mix the law and gospel for salvation. They understand like Luther, “The Law is for the proud and the Gospel for the brokenhearted.”
The law cannot save, no good works can satisfy God’s law which demands perfection. In fact the law crushes, “the sinner’s hopes of escaping God’s wrath through personal effort or even cooperation… first comes the law to proclaim judgment and death, then the gospel to proclaim justification and life.” (Bavnick).
©2014 Rev. Stephen S. Gibney
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