Today we start 1 John. – This is what God gave me today in his word:
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:5-7)
We can either have fellowship with God, or we can lie to ourselves and live in darkness. Let’s assume everyone figured it would be good idea to think that the first option was better than the second, and ask a question: what does, “we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” mean? – Does that verse mean we can do whatever we want to now? Does it give us permission to sin? If Jesus cleanses us from all sin; with a big fat all-inclusive, all, does that mean we now can do whatever we want to?
Jesus has forgiven us: therefore we can whatever we want?
Yes and no. Let me explain, as this is a very important point:
1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? (Romans 6:1-2)
Yes, all our sins: past, present, and future, are forgiven. No, as Christians it isn’t that we never fall to temptation. Yes, all our sins being forgiven does mean we can do whatever we want. No (!) that doesn’t mean we should go and sin. You see, as Christians we are forgiven, but along with that forgiveness comes a changing in what we want. As Paul put it, we are those who have died to the sinful nature. – Therefore, we don’t sin? After all, if what we want is changed (i.e. If our passion switches from the world to God, so to speak) we should no longer want to sin. If we do want to sin, could that mean we’re not Christian?
What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? (James 4:1)
Being born again (the only way to become an actual Christian) requires dying to our old self and becoming a new person. Every Christian will, until death, have their flesh. Every Christian, too, will at some point fall. However, the difference between someone who has been born again and the world, is that through Jesus’ forgiveness, we are able to stand up again. – I’ll put things like this: if a baby cries loudly, that doesn’t so much mean something is wrong with the baby, as it means the baby has strong lungs and his healthy. If our passions are at war within us, it means there is a fight going on (it doesn’t mean we’re not Christian!). However, unlike with a baby, this isn’t so much a good thing in our case. As James just said, that’s the very reason arguments and fighting broke out.
Let’s go back to the beginning and clarify: We have died to the sinful nature and are now born again into Christ: we often mess up; babies often spill. But God will always forgive us, because Jesus was nailed on a cross for us. This does not mean we should purposefully go on a little toddler rampage. Instead, it means we should accept God’s forgiveness, accept his discipline (being forgiven doesn’t mean he wont discipline us), and change!
Our passions shouldn’t be at war within us, they should be focused on Christ on the cross. However if your passions are divided within you, refocus yourself on Jesus. In the race of life, the only way to keep from falling is stare up at Jesus, rather than looking at our feet: which would result in a stumble.
The point is this: We’re born again through Jesus’ death and Resurrection. That doesn’t mean we can sin without repercussion now. Rather, it means our passion should be to serve God.
You are Loved!