1 John 1:5-2:2 - 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. If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 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. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us. My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
John writes about an ongoing problem for Christians—the problem of sin. As children of God, we don't want to sin. Sin is not our home anymore—it makes us uncomfortable, unhappy, guilty, ashamed—even if there is no chance that anybody will ever find out about it. And yet, we can't seem to get entirely free of it. In fact, it often seems that the longer we live as Christians, the more aware we are of our own sinfulness!
John recognizes this fact. He encourages us not to sin, but he knows that we are never going to be sin-free in this life—not until we are with the Lord forever. John doesn't want us to deceive ourselves and think we can avoid sin altogether. Instead, he points us to the One who will help us every single time we fall—Jesus our Savior.
John calls Him our "advocate with the Father." An advocate is someone who speaks in your defense, someone who is on your side. And Jesus is definitely on our side—no one could ever be more so. If you lay down your life for someone, you clearly love them!
And so John points us back to the cross. "The blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin," he says. That includes sin we commit after we become Christians—after we are baptized, after we believe, even after seventy or eighty years in the faith! As a smart-aleck I know once said, "Jesus died even for Christians." Yes, He did—and He rose again for us as well.
So we can be patient with ourselves. If we keep tripping and falling in the mud, spiritually speaking, Jesus keeps picking us back up and washing us clean. He does not lose patience with us. He knows us through and through, and yet He loves us. He is not surprised or upset. God calls us His children, and children take a long, long time to grow. The Holy Spirit will keep doing His work in us lifelong, until the day He brings us safely to Jesus forever.
THE PRAYER: Lord, when I fall into sin, help me to keep trusting You. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. Do you think anyone can be perfect in this world? Why or why not?
2. What do you do when you keep falling into a particular sin again and again?
3. What will it feel like, do you think, when you finally stand before Jesus and the struggle with sin is over?
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