Sometimes what people claim is actually only lies, part 2.

Having challenged the first claim from those who say they have a relationship with God without Jesus and calling them liars, John now tackles the second claim. There are those who say they are without sin. It would seem that within the Church there were those claiming that since coming to ‘know God’ and ‘receiving the Spirit’ they are sin-free. John says they are lying to themselves, they are deceived.

“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1 v 8-9)

John will go on to write about the Holy Spirit being the Spirit of truth (4:6) and who bears witness (5:6). All are guilty, but only Christians know it. This is because of the work of the Spirit who leads us to the place of confession and forgiveness and purification.

The Church continually needs to ask the question: what do we do with sin? Simply because it is inside and outside the Church. Politics, private agendas, whisperings, plans, stubborn refusal to move forward, to listen and learn, to change, criticisms, manipulative abuse, I see it every week and so do you. Worse, we have partaken in this. I don’t find this devotion easy to write because I am part of the problem. Everyone sins.

I received a letter from a complainant of a Pastor threatening to withhold their tithe if I didn’t sort the Pastor out. On the same day I heard that a different Pastor didn’t practice tithing at all as he didn’t believe in it (he was actually giving less than 2% to his church). Sin is everywhere. What do we do with it?

Do we still need forgiveness? Or have we become so spiritually mature we don’t need it? Or have we zero self-awareness?

But for those of us who are self-aware we are thankful for God’s faithfulness and justice. His mercy and grace are great but if I had to rely on those alone my mind would certainly be telling me that those precious qualities ran out for me years ago! I rely on an ACT. A COVENANT that cannot be broken. It HAPPENED. JUSTICE was achieved. He is ‘faithful and just’. It is not about only mercy and grace (of course this flows endlessly) but it is about a court of law in heaven centred around the achievement of Jesus Christ on the cross. So I confess and I am forgiven and I am purified from it all.

Who do I confess to? Definitely Jesus! But at times a friend is needed to help me on that journey of recovery.

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