1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 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 1:7-10 (Emphasis supplied).
Last week I used this text to establish the fact that as long as we abide in Jesus the Holy Spirit will not only convict us of our sins (plural) but more importantly He will also convict us of our sin (singular). I also stated that we cannot be cleansed from all unrighteousness unless we confess our sin (singular) because our sin is the reason we commit our sins. In order to explain why I said this I showed the difference between confessing our sins and confessing our sin: Confession of our sins only acknowledges our sinful acts but confession of our sin acknowledges the sinful nature of our flesh which is the reason we commit our sins. This week I want to express more fully why the confession of sin is the key to being cleansed from all unrighteousness.
Notice what we are told in I John 1:7:
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
It says all sin because our sin is the source of all unrighteousness. This is why we are told:
8:1 [There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 8:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Romans 8:1-4 (Emphasis supplied).
When we realize that living in the flesh is the source of all unrighteousness and in order to overcome all sin we must be born again in Jesus then, and only then, will we repent of sin. Notice what the apostle Paul said in I Corinthians 7:9&10 concerning repentance:
7:9 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. Emphasis supplied).
Haven’t you ever pointed out to a child that what they did was wrong and they said they were sorry and would not do it again. Yet, not long afterwards you caught them doing it again. That is because our nature is sinful and as long as we live in the flesh we cannot truly repent of our sins. This is why David wrote in Psalms 51: 5:
Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Here David is confessing his sin because he had been convicted by the Holy Spirit of the sinful nature of human flesh and it was because of this conviction that he prayed in this manner:
51:2 Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. 51:3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin [is] ever before me. 51:4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done [this] evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, [and] be clear when thou judgest. Psalms 51:2-4 (Emphasis supplied).
Yes, David’s transgressions (sins) had brought much harm to others, however the reason he had done these wicked and harmful things is because of his sin and sin is against God and God only. Sin is against God only because sin at its core is exalting self (flesh) above God (see Isaiah 14:12-14): This is what it means to walk in the flesh (see Romans 8:5-8). David committed the sins of adultery, lying and murder, because his flesh lusted after Bathsheba and he chose to exalt his fleshly desires above God’s will. Therefore his only hope of being forgiven of those sins and cleansed from all unrighteousness was to confess his sin of exalting self (his fleshly desires) above God’s will: This is the only confession that results in repentance unto salvation.
Next week we are going to look at why repentance is called godly sorrow and why it has saving power. Until then I leave you with this text of scripture to ponder and pray over:
5:30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. 5:31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand [to be] a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. 5:32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and [so is] also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him. Acts 5:30-32 (Emphasis supplied).