Updated: Jun 25, 2019
Ensure you read Yesterday's Sunrise
1 JOHN 1
1 John 1 is also a scripture that many struggle to understand. They often use it to attempt to disprove that the sons of God can live a sinless life in Christ Jesus. However, the problem is that this scriptures like all others must be kept in context. Let us begin by looking at the scripture often taken out of context.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. - 1 John 1:8
This scripture seems to be obvious. It seems as if it is saying that no one can ever say they are without sin. However, let us take this scripture from verse 1 and see how far from the truth that interpretation is.
1 John 1:1-2
1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; 2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)
In the beginning, Jesus was the Word of God. John is saying here, that the Word of God was manifested in flesh among him and the other disciples. They have seen and handled the sinless life that Christ lived. They have seen the power of God in flesh. However, that life was manifested unto us, or in other words it was manifested in us.
1 John 1:3
That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
This verse sets the perspective of the whole book of 1 John. The same life that was in Christ Jesus is now being declared through John. This declaration is more than just preaching, but it speaks to the fact that the same life that was in Christ is now in John. The life of Jesus within him is what is making the declaration. The life of Christ in John is testifying that Jesus indeed rose from the dead.
The Holy Spirit is the life of Jesus. When we receive the Holy Spirit we receive the life/Spirit of Jesus. This then means then that Jesus is living in and through us. Paul agrees with me saying; 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. - Gal 2:20.
What then is the power of that Christ in us? Well, the same power that He had 2000 years ago. The Spirit of Jesus Christ is the power of a sinless life; and it is that Spirit that is being declared through the sons of God.
Note also the word fellowship in 1 John 1:3, because It is crucial to understanding the rest of the scripture. He confesses in that verse that He is writing so that those who read and witness His life could have fellowship with God, the way he and his fellow disciples had fellowship with God. Remember that point.
1 John 1:4-5
4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. 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.
John was explaining to His members how to fellowship with the Father, because it is fellowship with the Father that will make their joy full. He then follows with an understanding that is crucial for us to fellowship with God. The message is that God is light and in Him is no darkness. However, what does that have to do with us? The next verse answers it.
1 John 1:6
If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
John is telling us that God is light and without darkness so that we can know that the only way to fellowship with Him is if we walk in the light and are without darkness. There can be no spot of blemish in our walk. If we are not sinless, we have no fellowship with God. God does not fellowship with darkness.
Before we move on, I want you to notice the colon at the end of verse 6. It means he is going to further expound on something he said before.
1 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.
Once again, John is making it known that we only have fellowship with God and with one another if we walk in the sinless light of God. However, he then says that if we walk in the light the blood of Jesus will cleans us from sin. This can sound as if he is saying that all have sin, and so the blood of Jesus has to constantly cleanse us from sin, however, this is not what he is saying.
Instead, he is responding to what he said earlier (the colon at the end of verse 6). He is showing someone who is walking in darkness how to come to fellowship with God. To do so, He must turn to righteousness, (walk in the light), and repent. If he repents the blood of Jesus will cleanse him from the darkness he was walking in.
This in itself is a direct contradiction to the belief that we will always sin. How can Jesus cleanse us from all sin if we will always have sin in our lives?
No, the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin. When we repent we are made holy and sinless again. We must continue in that sinless life. Only if we walk in the light can we have fellowship with God. We must be without any sin. Our walk must be as holy as God's holiness is. Thus Peter has said, Be ye holy; for I [God] am holy (1 Pet 1:16) and Jesus has said, Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
1 John 1:8
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
Here we go. What is this scripture saying? Well, it is further explaining the situation from verse 7. What is the situation? The situation is someone who is walking in darkness while saying they have fellowship with God. John teaches them that they can never be in fellowship with God if there is sin in their life. He instructs them to repent and turn from their sin. However, if that one who is walking in darkness, says that they have fellowship with God, (which is the same as saying they have no sin) they are lying.
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Once again, the scripture lets us know that we can be cleansed from all sin. We can be absolutely holy and sinless. However, let us keep it in context. He is still speaking to that one who is walking in darkness and saying they are in fellowship with God. If that one, confesses their sin (speak the truth about their spiritual disposition), then God can forgive them of the sin they did. However, as long as they are lying to themselves, they will never repent, and thus God can never forgive them. Their failure to confess the sin they know is in their lives is pride. To be forgiven they must humble their self.
1 John 1:10
If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
Keeping this scripture in context. He is still speaking to that one that is walking in darkness while saying they are in fellowship with God. If we are in sin and say that we are in fellowship with God we are lying, and instead we make God a liar. How do we do that? Well, because in verse 6 He told us that we cannot have fellowship with Him unless we are sinless. How then can we be in sin and fellowship with Him at the same time? To do so would be to lie.
I will end this blog with the following verse (the next verse).
1 John 2:1
My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
John, says here that His whole point of writing to us is so that we do not sin. Remember He said earlier that he was writing that our joy would be full. It is revealed in this scripture that only a sinless life will make our joy full. However take note of the next part.
And IF any man sin
If shows the ability not to sin. He is writing so we do not ever sin, but just in case someone does, we have an advocate with the Father.
Saints take heed to the word of God. His word is true and does not contradict itself. We are called to live a sinless life.