Does that fact that Jesus cleans me from all sin mean that I do not have any more sin to be cleansed from?
This question comes as a result of what we are told in this scripture:
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:9 (Emphasis supplied).
The key phrase in this scripture is, If we confess our sins because then and only then can God be faithful and just to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. However, this does not mean that we have no more sin to be cleansed from. It means that that what we are told in I John 4:9 is working. Again, notice what we are told in I John 4:9:
Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
This tells us that whoever is born of God does not commit sin. It also tells us that as long as God’s seed remain in us we cannot sin because we are born of God. We know that the seed is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit who convicts us of our sinfulness and our need of Jesus’ perfect righteousness. At that point we must make a choice: To either resist the Holy Spirit’s conviction or to surrender to the Holy Spirit’s conviction and confess our sins. Those who choose to surrender to the Holy Spirit’s conviction are not only forgiven that sin but also cleansed from all sin because whenever we surrender our will to the Holy Spirit’s convicting work we also experience the Holy Spirit’s converting work which is described as follows in Romans 8:9-13:
8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 8:10 And if Christ [be] in you, the body [is] dead because of sin; but the Spirit [is] life because of righteousness. 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. (Emphasis supplied).
Verse 9 tells us that when the Spirit of God dwells in us we no longer live in the flesh but rather we live in the Spirit. Verse 10 goes on to say that if Christ be in you that the body is dead because of its’ sinfulness but the Spirit is life because of its’ righteousness. In other words, this tells us that every time we surrender the will to the convicting work of the Holy Spirit we experience what is described by the apostle Paul in Galatians 2:20 where he said:
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Emphasis supplied).
Therefore, the righteousness that quickens us is not our righteousness but rather the righteousness of Jesus which has no unrighteousness or sin in it. But notice what Jesus must do in order to accomplish this miraculous transformation or new birth: Jesus must crucify us. In other words, every time we surrender the will to the convicting work of the Holy Spirit we must be willing to die. This is why in I Corinthians 15:31 Paul said, I die daily: It is also why Jesus said:
9:23 And he said to [them] all, If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. 9:24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. Luke 9:23-24 (Emphasis supplied).
So, the reason we are cleansed from all unrighteousness is because we are born of God every time we surrender our will to the convicting work of the Holy Spirit: Every time we surrender the will to the Holy Spirit’s convicting work we, are crucified with Christ and can say; nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ lives in me. So when God looks at us He does not see our sinfulness He only sees Jesus’ righteousness.
This is why we are told that there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1) because as long as we abide in Him it is guaranteed by the law of the Spirit of life that the righteousness of Jesus will be perfectly reproduced in us (see Romans 8:1-4 & Colossians 1:25-29). The apostle Paul stated this truth very eloquently in Ephesians 4:7 & 12-15 where he said:
4:7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. … 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: 4:14 That we [henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ:
Next week I will focus on giving the answer to this question:
Is daily surrender of the will to Jesus the key to understanding and living the gospel of Jesus Christ and if so why is it?
(Please email your questions to this address: firstname.lastname@example.org.)