Bible Reading: 1 John 1.8-10
If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. 1 John 1.8-10
Just as in John’s day, we are confronted with people that attempt to minimize the effects of sin. They say, “there are no absolutes” or “don’t judge me, what’s wrong for you isn’t wrong for me.” Here John cuts to the chase and tells us to not be blinded by our own selfishness as it relates to our sinning. Charles Spurgeon echoed John’s sentiments when he said, “Our deceitful heart reveals an almost Satanic shrewdness in self-deception…If you say you have no sin you have achieved a fearful success, you have pulled out your own eyes, and perverted your own reason!”
Unfortunately, too many shy away from the realization that they are sinners – they deny that truth by attempting to excuse their behavior by saying “I’m not perfect,” “I’m only human,” or “We all make mistakes.” This is a very dangerous spot to be in – making excuses. Verse 9 tells us where God’s grace intersects with ours – in our confession of our sin. Did you catch that? It isn’t in the excuses, denial, or ho-hum attitude toward sin, but in the acknowledgement and confession of our sin. Victory is found in the proclamation of “I am a sinner” and in that confession God is “faithful and righteous to forgive us.”
Jesus spoke of a religious man (Pharisee) who bragged about being ‘righteous’ and a sinner (Publican-tax collector) who acknowledged his sin and cried out, “God, be merciful to me, the sinner!” (Luke 18:9-14). Notice the difference between the two - the confessed goodness of the Pharisee and the confessed sinfulness of the tax-collector. Jesus said it was the man who confessed his sin that was the one who was justified.
Where do you often stand? Do you attempt to rationalize your sin away or do you openly confess it to the Lord?
Weekly Memory Verse: Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. James 5.16