It’s Not What we Say, It’s What we Do

1 John 1:5-10 ESV

“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. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”

If We Say

God is light. He is truth. He is righteousness. He is all that is holy, pure, moral, upright, honest, and faithful. In him exists no darkness at all – no sin, no wickedness, no lies or adulteries or deceptions or manipulations. He is completely whole and trustworthy and faithful in all that he is and does. He and he alone can be trusted fully without reservation. And what he says he will do, it will be done. We can count on it, whether it be judgment or blessings or rewards and/or promises fulfilled, but according to his word.

So, if we say that we are in fellowship with God, i.e. that we are in partnership and communion with him, and that we are in participation with him in his plan of salvation for our lives, in an intimate relationship with him in the Spirit, in agreement and in accord with the Spirit of God, but then we walk (in conduct, in practice) in the darkness (in sin, wickedness, lying, and in immorality), we are lying, and we do not live by (practice) the truth.

For, the Scriptures teach that when we believe in Jesus with God-given faith in Jesus Christ, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Our old self was put to death with Christ in order that we would no longer be enslaved to sin, but to God and to his righteousness. So we are to no longer obey the sinful passions of the flesh.

The Scriptures also teach that for us to truly be in Christ, by faith in him, and to be in fellowship with him, and to be one of his disciples, and to have salvation from sin and the hope of eternal life with God, we must not only be crucified with Christ in death to sin, by faith in Jesus Christ, but daily we must be dying to sin and to self, by the Spirit, and we must be walking in obedience to our Lord and to his commands, as a matter of practice.

If We Walk

So, if we say that we have fellowship with God, but we habitually and deliberately keep on committing the same sins over and over again, without true repentance, we will not inherit eternal life with God. BUT if we walk (in conduct, in practice) in the light (truth, righteousness, holiness), by God’s Spirit, by faith in Jesus Christ, according to the Word of God, in the power of God, then we have fellowship first of all with Jesus Christ and then with one another who are also in fellowship with Jesus Christ, by his grace.

And if we walk in the light, as God is in the light, the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son (God the Son) cleanses us from all sin. Now we need to get this. This is not saying that if we pray a prayer to receive Jesus Christ into our hearts at one time in our lives that we are now saved and on our way to heaven which is secured for us and can’t be taken away. Our salvation from sin is NOT a one-time experience in our lives. We must walk (in conduct) in truth and righteousness and the blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin.

And John is not the only one who taught this. Paul taught it, too. He taught that we are slaves to whatever we obey, and if it be sin, it leads to death, but if it be obedience, it leads to righteousness and to sanctification, and its end is eternal life. And he taught that we must walk (in conduct, in practice) no longer according to the flesh but according to the Spirit if we want to have the life of Christ in us and if we want to have eternal life with God.

Paul also taught that if we make sin our practice, i.e. if we habitually and deliberately keep committing the same sins over and over, we will not inherit the kingdom of God. For whatever we sow, that we will also reap. And if we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction, but if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life, for we are all going to be judged by God according to our works.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15]

If We Confess

Now, if we deny that we have ever sinned, or if we are sinning presently, in practice, and we are denying that we are making sin our practice, we deceive ourselves. But this is what many addicts (those enslaved to sin) do. It is how they justify and rationalize their sins. They call them something other than sin, like “I messed up.” Or “I had a failure.” Both of these are minimizing the sin, and the sins are not being called what they are.

Or they will excuse away their sin by calling it entertainment or recreation and/or relaxation. Or they will justify it by saying that they had a bad day or by blaming someone else for their sin, claiming that the other person’s personality or behaviors are what caused them to sin, although the other person had no knowledge or association with their sin at all. The addicted to sin will typically pass the blame onto someone else and will not take responsibility for their own sin. So, the truth is not in them.

Now, here is the clincher. Many people quote this next verse (v. 9) out of context to console themselves in their sin by telling themselves that if they just admit they sinned, whatever that looks like, then God forgives them and he will cleanse them from all unrighteousness. But first of all, this verse must be understood in the context of the previous verses, for they all go together, and they don’t teach that we can sin, admit, sin, admit, sin, and admit sin, as a matter of life course, and that we are good to go with God.

For, this word “confess” does not mean merely to just admit sin or to even verbalize that one has sinned. It means to speak the same as God about our sin, to come to the same conclusion as God about our sin, in full agreement with God, in alignment with what his word teaches about sin. So, this isn’t just about admitting sin, but this is about turning away from your sin, to no longer live in slavery to sin, and to now walk (in practice) according to the Spirit in walks of holiness and obedience to your Lord in all your conduct.

I Pray for Them

An Original Work / June 4, 2013
Based off John 17

“Glorify Your Son, that Your Son
May glorify our God in heav’n.
Father, You granted Him all power
And all authority over men,
That He might give eternal life
To all those whom now
You have given Him.”

“This now then is eternal life:
That they may know You,
Father, and Your Son;
That they may know the only true God,
And Jesus Christ whom the Father sent.
I have brought You the glory by
Finishing the work that You’ve given Me.”

“I have shown You to those whom
You gave to Me out of the world;
They were Yours. You gave them to Me
And they have obeyed Your words
And they accepted them. They knew
That I came from You, and they believed
With certainty, I was sent.”

“Holy Father, I pray for them by the
Power of Your name: Protect them,
So that they may be one as we are,
For they are still living in this world.
I have given them Your word;
Because of Your word, the world
Has hated them.”

“I pray they may have the full measure of
My joy now living within them.
Father, I pray You sanctify them
By Your word; truly Your word is truth.
As You sent Me into the world,
I send them to tell the world to repent.”

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