1 John, 1
1: That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; 2: (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) 3: That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4: And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. 5: This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6: If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 7: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 8: If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10: If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
John picks up his pen to write the first of three biblical letters. He reminds his readers that what he is saying is the same as what was taught from the very beginning. He is writing that his readers might come right into the fellowship of the saints. The concept of Fellowship is the key to this letter. He writes that their joy might be full –the Joy of the realisation of fellowship with the Father and the Son. Then he comes right down to the message itself, which is that God is light and in him is no darkness at all. Then John puts forward two alternatives. The first is those who profess to walk in the light yet they walk in darkness. This sort of life is a living lie. They are saved but they live as though they are not. The second is the believer who walks – lives in the light of Gods blessing. They find that they have fellowship with all those who also are walking in the light. And they also find that the blood of Christ goes on cleansing from all sin. Then he returns to the first case. He says that those of us who say they are not sinners – just deceive ourselves. (Notice he includes himself – All of us do this sometimes!) Other people are not deceived one bit. But goes on to say, If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. The path of restoration in fellowship is not a path of reformation or resolutions. Don’t make New Year resolutions this year! Resolve to walk in the light and to confess your sin when they becomes apparent to you. Remember, it’s not prayer that restores you, or pleading for forgiveness, or turning over a new leaf, or making a decision to do better. It’s simply confession. Confession is owning up! Its saying ‘I’m wrong, I’m wrong, Lord I’ve sinned’. We do not ask for forgiveness. We confess our sins and when we confess our sins he is faithful and just and HE WILL FORGIVE US our sins and he will cleanse us from unrighteousness which would banish us from fellowship. And when we have confessed we believe that we are forgiven. This is not a new salvation its entering into fellowship again. And we must learn to forgive ourselves when God has forgiven us. And when God has forgiven us we must forgive our brethren.