The concepts of sin and confession are not popular in our culture. But if we want to walk in Christ's light, we cannot stay in the darkness of sin. This week, Kyle walked us through 1 John 1:8-2:2, and we learned three important things about sin:
Sin is a reality in our lives.
The reality of sin is an essential tenet of the Christian faith. Sin is our basic problem. Sin shatters our relationship with God and affects all of creation. Here's a quick definition of sin: trying to take God's place. Yes, Jesus has defeated sin, but the whole world still deals with sin's presence and its consequences. We are no exception. John says that If we pretend sin doesn't exist or try to ignore it, we make God out to be a liar.
The goal is to not sin.
Just because sin exists doesn't mean we should throw up our hands in surrender to it. John says that he writes about sin and confession so that we will not sin. When we become believers we may not see the immediate removal of all sin from our lives, but we will see a stop to the pattern of sin. This is part of the process of sanctification.
There's a proper way to deal with sin in our lives.
John lays out an appropriate response to sin in our lives and it is quite different from what many of us are inclined to do. First, here's what not to do:
- Don't: run away from God or try to hide the sin
- Don't: act like it's no big deal just because everyone struggles with it
- Don't rationalize it.
Here's what to do instead: Admit and confess your sin
Confession is simply agreeing with God about our sin. Confession is not a condition for forgiveness; instead it is the mark of a believer who trusts God that his or her sin is forgiven. John tells us that God is "faithful and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." He's not only faithful; he is also JUST in forgiving us. Since Jesus already paid the penalty for our sin, it would be unjust for God not to forgive us.
Joy is the goal
David's Psalm of confession, Psalm 51, is a great example of the process of confession. He asks God to "restore...the joy of...salvation." That joy in a healthy relationship with God is the goal of our confession.
Questions to Consider:
- Am I justifying or glossing over sin in my life?
- What do I need to confess to God?
- Am I clinging to the fleeting pleasures of sin when I could be experiencing the joy of Christ?