1 John 1:9 But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous, forgiving us our sins and cleansing us from all unrighteousness. (NET)
Sin seems to be a problem for most Christians.
Now that I have overstated the obvious, let’s look a little more deeply into the apostle’s teaching about sin.
John’s epistle is sort of circular in that he returns more than once to a particular thought or theme. His two main emphases are sin and love, both of which he discusses from various aspects more than once.
Many evangelical Christians claim to be “a sinner saved by grace.” Their focus is on their sin. Their testimony is about their sin. Their prayer request is for strength to stand strong against sin. They will remind anyone who will listen that we all sin on a regular basis.
That’s too bad. It certainly is not my experience.
2 Corinthians 5:17 says that I am a new creature. The old creature was a sinner. The new creature is a saint.
1 John 2:1 says that he wrote those things so that I might not sin. John thought it possible to not sin.
Are you sinning this very moment? Probably not. What about the next moment? Can you not sin for the next five minutes? If so, then why not for the next 10? 30? An hour? A day? Will you stretch with me for a week? A month?
If it is possible for one minute to not sin, then it is possible for more than one minute. Take the focus off sin and put it on grace and love.
BUT…if you DO fail…confess, and the Lord cleanses from all unrighteousness. (1 John. 1:9)
BUT…if you DO fail…we have an advocate with the Father who will plead our case and cause (1 John 2:1).
Just because John wrote, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8), does not mean that we must continually say that we have sin.
We should confess our sin and move on, never to mention it again, but totally trusting in the cleansing blood of Jesus and testifying to His love and forgiveness.