One of my first jobs as a teenager was at a full-service gas station. On occasion, the owner would ask me to drive his old truck to run errands. On one trip, I misjudged a barricade, hit it, and dented his truck. Driving back to the station, I fretted about telling him and worried that he would be very angry with me. I have always remembered how gracious he was to me. When I confessed the truth, he forgave me quickly and said no more about poor driving skills. In the years that followed, we maintained a close, familial relationship.
- How has confession of wrongdoing, or the lack thereof, affected your relationships with others and with God?
READ THE WORD: 1 JOHN 1:5-10 (ESV)
5 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. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 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. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- How did John describe God’s character in this passage (vss. 5, 7, 9)?
- What are the prerequisites for God’s forgiveness and cleansing of sin (vss. 7, 9)?
- List the words used by John to describe those who claim to be followers of Christ but do not practice these things (vss. 6, 8, 10).
- How would you describe your fellowship with God based on the principles of this passage?
RESPOND TO GOD
To the Christians who received John’s letter, his introductory remarks likely seemed harsh rather than encouraging. His purpose, however, was to assure them of their salvation based on their faith in Christ. John emphasized that their faith in Christ was trustworthy and unshakeable because God is truthful. In addition, he explained that the evidence of their fellowship with God would be demonstrated by their movement away from sin and towards God’s righteousness; their confession of sin and transformation by God through Christ’s sacrifice; and their obedience of God’s commands.
The same assurance and practical test of our fellowship with God are available to us today.
- Take time today to consider the habitual pattern of your life. What changes could you initiate to match John’s description of living in the light?
- Thank God for sending his son Jesus as the perfect example and once and for all sacrifice for the cleansing of our sin.