1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. I John 1:8-10 (Emphasis supplied).
In my last blog I established the fact that the law of the Spirit of life is guaranteed to make us righteous as long as we abide in Jesus. This week I will deal with what we must do in order to abide in Jesus.
We are told in I John 1:8-10 we must confess 2 things in order to abide in Jesus. I John 1:9 tells us that we must confess our sins before the Spirit can forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. However, before the Spirit of God can cleanse us of all unrighteousness we must also confess the source of our sins. Surprisingly that source is not the devil but our own flesh. This is why I John 1:8 says:
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (Emphasis supplied).
The reason this was said before we are told to confess our sins is because we must understand the depth of our sin (singular) before we can truly confess our sins (plural). In other words, our sins (plural) are committed because of our sin (singular). The apostle Paul expressed this truth when he said:
7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but [how] to perform that which is good I find not. 7:19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 7:20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. Romans 7:18-21 (Emphasis supplied).
We commit sins because our nature is sinful (see Romans 7:14 and also Ephesians 2:1-3). Therefore, as long as we walk in our flesh we will commit sins, even when we try to obey the law of God (see Romans 7:21 and also Isaiah 64:6): It is guaranteed by law (see Romans 7:21-23). When we realize that the source of sin lies within our own flesh we will not only confess our sins (wrong behavior) we will confess our need of Jesus to deliver us from sin (life in the flesh). This is also why Paul ended the 7th chapter of Romans by saying:
7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 7:25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. (Emphasis supplied).
So then, when we abide in Jesus the light of the Holy Spirit will cleanse us from all sin by not only revealing our sinful behavior but He will also reveal that the reason we have committed those sins is because we have unknowingly been living in sin: Which is depending on and trusting in the flesh to do what only Jesus can do. Let me explain what I mean when I use the phrase, we have unknowingly been living in sin. In order to do that I will share how God gave me victory over my addiction to alcohol.
Let me start by saying I have an addictive personality and when I first gave my life to Jesus I was addicted to a lot of sinful things (sins). Two of those things God gave me immediate and miraculous victory over: Drug addiction (heroin) and smoking (both cigarettes and marijuana). But it wasn’t long before I started drinking alcohol (at least a pint of Gin daily). I did this because I had depended on drugs for so long that I felt I needed something to hold me together until I was strong enough to stay sober. I chose alcohol because I thought I could control my use of that. God allowed me to walk in that lack of faith for a whole month. But believe it or not, during that month I grew in my fellowship with God. The reason I grew is because the Holy Spirit had not convicted me of my sin. Yes, I knew my drinking was sinful behavior (sins) but I was ignorant of my sin (depending on my flesh to do what only Jesus can do). God knew that my sins were a result of being ignorant of my sin and he gave me time to get to know the truth about Him and the power of His love through daily fellowship with Jesus. When I grew in my knowledge of God’s love for me and His power to save me through faith in Jesus’ living in me the Holy Spirit revealed my sin. He showed me that I had been depending on my flesh (my reasoning and my methods) to do what only Jesus could do and now it was time to choose between Jesus and my way of deliverance (the alcohol). At that moment I chose Jesus and cried out, Jesus please save me from myself: The moment I prayed that pray the desire for alcohol was gone and it has never returned.
I knew the fact that my drinking was sinful. I grew up in church and had heard many sermons about the evils of alcohol, but what I didn’t know was the truth: That in Jesus dwells all of the fullness of the Godhead bodily and in Him I am complete and if I just trust and depend on Him fully instead of the alcohol (my way, my wisdom, my strength) He would set me free (see Colossians 2:5-10 & John 8:32&36).
So in summary, there is no condemnation for those who abide in Jesus because it is guaranteed by the law of the spirit of life that is in Jesus that we will not only see our sins we will also see our sin and if we walk in that light we will not only confess our sins (our sinful behavior) we will also confess our sin ( living in the flesh): When we make this confession, Jesus is not only faithful to forgive us but He is also just; which means He has the legal right to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Next week I am going to go into more detail about how Jesus cleanses us from all unrighteousness. Until then I leave you with this scripture to ponder and pray over.
2:1 And you [hath he quickened], who were dead in trespasses and sins: 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) Ephesians 2:1-5 (Emphasis supplied).