Sin? Do I have a choice?
For all have sinned.....so now what?
If we say that 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 that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. (1 John 1:8-2:2)
“God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). God by intrinsic nature is completely free of the taint of sin. He cannot even be tempted to sin (James 1:13). He is too holy to tolerate sin in His presence (Habakkuk 1:13).
If we are to have fellowship with Him, to share the life that is in His Son, we must live the way He is (1 John 1:6-7). Our lives must be as free from the taint of sin as is His character.
But how can this be?! “Indeed, there is not a righteous man on the earth who continually does good and who ever sins” (Ecclesiastes 7:20, NASB).
“God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” (Luke 18:13) Those who honestly strive to please God through righteous living alone must cry in despair, “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24). How does the gospel solve the problem of sin in the life of the Christian? The first step to the solution of any difficulty is to recognize the problem. Before an alcoholic will turn from his drunkenness, he must realize and freely admit he is addicted. Before we can solve the problem of sin, we must realize we have sin. Until we face the fact that sin, all sin, any sin, every sin, separates us from God, the problem remains. To deny the problem is to practice deception on ourselves and to lie with both our lips and our lives. What we must do is “confess our sins.” To confess is literally “to speak the same thing” but denotes “to confess by way of admitting oneself guilty of what one is accused of” . When we sin, the Scriptures do ,and our own conscience should accuse us of our guilt (2 Timothy 3:16; Romans 2:15). This is how the Christian must handle sins in his life. He must confess them. We must confess our sins each time we sin, and then the blood of Christ will cleanse us.
This is the part of walking in the light that keeps sin from characterizing our lives. It is not a matter of how often we sin. It is what we do if we sin. Sin in the Christian’s life is like an intruder in his house. We don’t let it dwell there; we expel it.
The apostle does not say “confess our sinfulness.” He says, “confess our sins.” We must freely admit to God the way in which we have turned from His law. This implies we must know what we have done that is wrong. Ignorance is not a free pass. My little children, these things I wrote to you, so that you may not sin. (1 John 2:1a) The fact we have sinned does not mean we can’t keep from sinning. In fact, if we keep on sinning, we belong to Satan rather than God (1 John 3:7-8). And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. (1 John 2:1-2)
John doesn’t say, “when we sin.” He doesn’t teach that we have to sin. He says, ‘if anyone sins.” It is stated as a possibility, not a certainty. We choose to sin (James 1:13-15), and we can choose not to sin (Psalm 119:11). A purpose for First John is to give us the knowledge and incentive to avoid sin. If I sin, I can pray to the Father through the Son as my Advocate. He can make the case for me. He can plead, “Yes, Father, he is guilty and deserves to die. But the penalty has already been paid. I have already died for him.” And the Father in grace, mercy, love, faithfulness, and justice will forgive my sin, thus justifying me, and cleanse my unrighteousness, sanctifying me.
You see, the Son is also the “propitiation” for our sins. The Greek word rendered “propitiation” in this verse is also used only by John and only here and in 1 John 4:10. A very similar Greek word is translated “propitiation” in Romans 3:25. The word here means a means whereby sin is covered and remitted” . The death of the Son of God satisfied the just demand of God for the punishment of sin.
In fact, the value of the sacrifice of the sinless Son of God is so great, that it is not only for us but for the whole world. This wonderful declaration is the Waterloo of the Calvinistic doctrine of limited atonement, the belief Christ died only for those whom God unconditionally chose to save. This heartless doctrine cannot be reconciled with John’s statement that, Christ died not only for “our sins” (the sins of the elect), but He also died “for the whole world.” I can tell every lost sinner with the conviction of certainty – “Christ died for you.” Praise be to God for such a great salvation! Hear,Believe, Repent, Confess and be immersed in baptism and have your sins washed away. Decide , right now , to give your life to God. Live faithfully until death and receive a crown of life in Heaven.
By Penny Mae
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