1 John 1: 5-10
If someone told me today that I was being given one hundred million dollars, I’m pretty confident I’d leave my job. Actually, I’m positive I would leave my job. I would (I hope) put in my notice, make sure my customers were in good hands, and at the end of two weeks, I’d walk my butt out the front door, smiling the entire way. As soon as the money hit my pockets, or transferred into my account, my life would be different.
Sometimes, when we talk about faith, salvation, and grace, the questions comes up about people who live with sin in their lives, and never repent of it. We wonder, can a person truly know who Jesus is, and have no remorse, or no guilt, and bear no fruit through their life and truly know Jesus?
In the opening chapter of John’s letter, he does an amazing job of explaining this truth to us. He starts by explaining that anyone who says they know God and walk in darkness is lying. In other words, those who say they know Jesus but run off into the same blind lifestyle as before are liars. When we encounter Jesus, things change. Maybe not all at once, maybe not entirely even, but things change. Just like if you won the lottery tomorrow, the way you view and treat your job would change. John says when you meet Jesus, you start walking in the light and you don’t ever look at things the same way.
This is where John’s letters are so comforting, though, because he doesn’t stop there. The next logical question then is, “If I struggle with sin, do I not really know Jesus?” He answers that question before we can ask by saying that we’ve all walked in sin, and if we say we don’t have any sin, we’re lying. He goes a step further and says, if you say you don’t sin, you’re calling Jesus a liar and then you clearly have issues. So, he tells us first that a relationship with Jesus calls us out of the darkness and into the light, yet admittedly, we all still struggle with our sins.
When it comes to our walk with God, we often feel like failures when we know there is sin in our lives. John doesn’t excuse away our sin as a symptom, but he does give us a healthy outlet and remedy. Confession. Confess he says and you will be forgiven.
The way we stay in the light is not through perfect self-discipline, and it’s not through acting like we’re perfect. It comes from an honest heart, that confesses sin, and moves toward the light.
When have you confessed? What darkness have you been carrying that you don’t need to be?