Passage of the Day: 1st John 1: 6 [see underlined and highlighted verse in bold] … 6 If we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by 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, purifies us from all sin. 8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.
My Journal for Today: I strongly believe that John MacArthur is correct (from today’s Strength for Today devotional) that we live in an age where most people will not take responsibility for their sinfulness; and I contend this includes many who claim to be “christian,” blaming societal factors or genetics for their behavioral choices. And many non-believers in our culture even claim that studying and living by a strict biblical code of conduct will damage self esteem. Hence, we see groups like the ACLU and the People for the American Way doing all they can to strip concepts like “Christ, Christianity, and/or God” from the public arena of discussion. There is even a political move in this country to codify Christian rhetoric as “hate speech,” with a desire to prosecute those who use scriptural doctrine as behavioral standards for issues such as labeling homosexuality as “sinful” or trying to protect the traditional concept of marriage of “one man married to one woman” in our society.
Yet, we read in Scripture (see Mark 2: 17) that Jesus, Himself, pronounced His mission to be a healer for those sickened by their sin and His purpose to free those imprisoned by the effects of sin (see Luke 4: 18). And if that’s Christ’s mission – to save the lost from their bondage to sin and to heal and release the believers who remain bonded to Satan’s sin call – it should be our mission [i.e., as Christians] as well … i.e., to do all we can to eradicate sinful choices from our lives and to be a channel of the Savior to the blinded non-believers who need to see the truth of Christ’s saving mission.
The Apostle John, in today’s passage, clearly points Christians who continue to walk in the darkness of the flesh by denying their sin, are missing the mark of Christ’s mission. And the Apostle further teaches his readers that only those who have been cleansed by Christ’s blood [i.e., born-again believers] will be able to walk in His light (see 1st John 1: 7).
Of course, it is true that we cannot escape our inherited sin nature (see Rom. 3: 23); and if/when we do deny it, we deceive ourselves (the natural condition written of in Jer. 17: 9 and also by John in 1st John 1: 8). And worst of all, by John’s truth [see 1st John 1: 10], when we deny our sin, we make God out to be a liar (to ourselves or to others). And this, my dear fellow Christians, is serious blasphemy and will, if uncleansed by conversion (for the lost) or confession (for believers), leads the lost to the darkest place of all – Hell – or believers to a dark place in this life where that Christian’s witness is dissipated, damaged, and/or dampened. That place is separation from Christ’s fellowship; and it’s a place of death for the lost and a place of despair for the Christian.
In meditating on this, I ask myself, “What am I doing to be cleansed and purged of the effects of sin in my life today?” And I’m driven to my knees to confess and receive Christ’s blood-bought grace.
My Prayer Today: O, Lord, help me to see clearly where I have sinned and gone astray from Your path so that I can be cleansed and enlightened to stay on track. Amen