1 John 1:10

Saturday, 14 March 2020

If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. 1 John 1:10

Here we have the second verse which is set out as a contrast to verse 1:9 (the other is 1:8). All three together read –

– If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (1:8)
– If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1:9)
– If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. (1:10)

Now, by taking 1:8 and 1:10 and putting them side by side, the two can be more fully understood –

– If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (1:8)
– If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. (1:10)

The words, “we have no sin,” speak of the state of the individual. It denies original sin, and it denies committed sin. The words, “we have not sinned,” deny any wrong moral actions of the individual.

The words, “we deceive ourselves,” speak of the supposed morally exalted state of the individual (reaching upward). The words, “we make Him a liar,” speak of diminishing the truth of God (pulling downward).

The words, “the truth is not in us,” are connected to the self-deception and speak of our own moral failing. The words, “His word is not in us,” are connected to the utterance of God which we have called into question and show that there is no connection to God because His word is truth.

This then ties into the purpose of Christ’s coming, which is to free man from the bondage of sin which he is bound with. That is why verse 1:9 is given between these two verses. The problem rests in us while the cure rests with God. As he said, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Therefore, the Bible presents it as fact that we have sin, that we have sinned, that when we deny this – or unless we confess our sinful state to correct it – we both deceive ourselves and we also call God a liar. In such a state, we continue in our state of moral failing, and we deny the only path to restoration with God, which is revealed in His word. Again, to understand John’s words, one must understand the gospel as stated by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 –

“For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4

The word says that “Christ died for our sins.” If we say we have no sin, and that we have not sinned, then we both deceive ourselves and we call God a liar. But God cannot lie. Therefore, the truth is not in us and His word is not in us – because God’s word, which comes from God who cannot lie, says that we have sinned, and that Christ died for our sins.

The gospel cannot be realized in a person who has not confessed his sin. But by saying, “I believe Christ died for my sin,” it is acknowledging that the person does have sin and has sinned. In this confession, God “is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Life application: John is not just rambling and arbitrarily making arbitrary statements which have no logical cohesion. Rather, he is methodically making statements which must be taken in the full context of his letter. In understanding John’s words, there is the inescapable truth that we either will come to Jesus and be saved, or we will continue to deceive ourselves, continue to call into question God’s word, and remain in a state of condemnation. The choice is left up to us, but the remedy has already been provided by God if we so choose to accept it.

Lord God, may the people of this world receive the truth of Your simple gospel message. You have said that Christ died for our sins. This, then, implies that we have sinned. If we confess this fact, believing that He gave His life for our moral failings, then Your word says that You are faithful and just to forgive us of those sins, and to then cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Help us to be wise and to accept this simple message of hope and reconciliation – to Your glory we pray. Amen.

 

 

 

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