1 John is a practical book about experiencing the love of God and all of its wonderful benefits. In chapter 1 these benefits include: eternal life, fellowship, joy, a life filled with light and truth instead of darkness and lies. At the heart of the matter is the true forgiveness and cleansing from sin that we have in Jesus! All of these wonderful blessings are available to us because Love Stood Up and did something that we were helpless to do for ourselves.
LOVE STANDS UP REGARDING THE ISSUE OF SIN. The human race has had thousands of years of practise to find ways to ignore, minimize and explain away sin. We can blame it on someone else or on a bad environment or upbringing. We can convince ourselves that we will gradually improve over time. Some claim that by becoming more educated, civilized, evolved and enlightened we will eventually overcome our tendency towards selfishness and evil.
God, however, took a very different approach to the issue of sin. “If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts” (1 John 1:8-10 NLT).
There is only one way to truly deal with the issue of sin and it begins by accepting the truth, authority and supremacy of God’s Word over all contrary philosophies,theories and arguments. God is telling us that human efforts to gloss over or explain away or ignore sin are outright deception. The sin issue required a permanent solution which human effort could not achieve, So Love Stood Up and Did Something! Why did Jesus come into the world? “Jesus came to take away our sins” (1 John 3:5).
Yes, Jesus is the permanent solution to sin and we experience this by agreeing with God that sin is real, serious and deadly but that Jesus is the great, faithful, victorious Saviour who has settled the sin issue once and for all on the cross! We experience the wonderful gift of God’s grace, forgiveness and salvation by acknowledging our need of Him and receiving His gift of cleansing and forgiveness.
For followers of Jesus, this becomes a way of life. We learn to walk in the light, avoid darkness and reject false sin solutions. Loving Jesus involves dealing honestly with areas of weakness when they appear. Rather than wallowing in guilt or making excuses for sin, we learn to bring everything to Him, acknowledge our need of His grace and forgiveness whenever we fall short.
I am so glad that victory over sin is not found in exercising will power, self-discipline, religious routines, New Year’s resolutions or any other kind of self-management or personal effort. When you sin, you don't have to cover it up, or condemn yourself or carry a cross. You see, Someone already did that for you.
LOVE STOOD UP!