1 John 1:5-2:2 NSRV
God Is Light
5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true; 7 but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
Christ Our Advocate
2 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; 2 and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
In the message the author Eugene Peterson words it in this way.
Walk in the Light
5 This, in essence, is the message we heard from Christ and are passing on to you: God is light, pure light; there’s not a trace of darkness in him.
6-7 If we claim that we experience a shared life with him and continue to stumble around in the dark, we’re obviously lying through our teeth—we’re not living what we claim. But if we walk in the light, God himself being the light, we also experience a shared life with one another, as the sacrificed blood of Jesus, God’s Son, purges all our sin.
8-10 If we claim that we’re free of sin, we’re only fooling ourselves. A claim like that is errant nonsense. On the other hand, if we admit our sins—make a clean breast of them—he won’t let us down; he’ll be true to himself. He’ll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing. If we claim that we’ve never sinned, we out-and-out contradict God—make a liar out of him. A claim like that only shows off our ignorance of God.
2 1-2 I write this, dear children, to guide you out of sin. But if anyone does sin, we have a Priest-Friend in the presence of the Father: Jesus Christ, righteous Jesus. When he served as a sacrifice for our sins, he solved the sin problem for good—not only ours, but the whole world’s.
This is a very interesting passage of scripture and it is very relevant considering that we have just celebrated the birth of the Christ Child, Jesus Christ the light of the world as we are reminded in that greart painting by William Holman Hunt. Jesus Christ the light of the World who came to deliver us from the darkness of sin.
Sin in its purest form is an act of wrongdoing which causes us to be disobedient to God’s precepts or commands which have been laid down God and revealed to us through his Word and that act of wrongdoing can be in thought or in deed.
However , the dichotomy for us Christians is that which may be considered sinful according to scripture the law of the land may not consider illegal.
Now this was the conflict I faced as a Christian Police Officer. As Christians where do we draw our authority from ?. By the way that’s a question!
As Police officer my authority to enforce the law was taken from Acts of Parliament or from Common Law which had been handed down over a period of time. Indeed the basis of English and Scottish law is Christian in nature and is taken from tradition and practice. It could be said that an Act of Parliament is already flawed because those who put it together as just like us are flawed individuals with all the same weaknesses and facing all the same temptations that we all face as we travel along our journey of life or in an Act of Parliament can we see the prevenient grace of God.
It is true to say that those who govern over us are not without sin themselves and if any were to say that they were I guess I would have something to say about it and I often have.
Although some may find it easier to justify the commission of sin but the truth is there is no justification for sin no matter how small that act of wrongdoing may be.
Now when I was thinking about this portion of Scripture I happened to be in my local shopping centre and was looking through a shop window when something caught my eye and I thought to myself I must have that not that I needed it only that I wanted it and probably because I didn’t want anyone else to have it.
So not only was I being selfish I was also committing the sin of covetousness because there is a difference between need and want. Covetousness is a sin that we all guilty of more times than we care to admit and it is a sin that we must guard ourselves against because far too many of us are in the “I must” category.
Do you know when I was looking in that shop window coveting what I saw, this portion of scripture can and hit me on the head like a brick caused me to step back and to reflect on what I was thinking. At that moment I had allowed sinful thoughts to enter my mind.
But there is one sin that really comes between us and our relationship with God and probably between those whom we care for the most and that Sin is the Sin of Pride. The reason I know why the sin of pride is so bad is because I have been guilty of it.
The Sin of Pride rather than strengthening relationship destroys relationships because it destroyed mine. Pride can lead you to the cliff edge and push you over and that fall into the chasm of despair is very long and the landing is not a soft landing but the hardest of landings. The words in Proverbs 16:18 are deadly accurate and we should strive to take heed of them.
Pride strips you of everything, everything that you were, everything that you are but not everything you can be. There is only one word word that best describes everything you can be, and that word is humility. If you are humble in all things then one will be rewarded so it is important to banish all pride.
Remember pride and Humility are opposites pride is often as seductive as lust perhaps more so. Pride leads to conceit and conceit destroys the soul but humility leads to truthfulness and truthfulness puts life into a diseased soul because truthfulness is of God. So it is better to be humble that proud.
Finally my brothers and sisters we are told that Christ’s crucifixion was the forever sacrifice for sin so I just ask you all on bended knee not use the crucifixion of Christ as an excuse, do not use it as a way of appeasing our own conscience or as a crutch to continue behaving in a sinful way because if we do we make a mockery of Christ’s sacrifice and his Crucifixion a worthless act.
For a time will come when we will all stand before God and have to give account for all our actions throughout life and at that appointed time we won’t have to worry about legal aid because we will have our own defence barrister but I charge you to remember this what is given by God can be taken away by God.
And may God bless you this day.