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Volume 22 - Page 156 of 214 Index | Zoom | |
This revelation of the essential nature of God makes it imperative that sin shall be
dealt with wherever and whenever it appears. The epistle is not treating of life; that is
the theme of John's Gospel. It is addressed, rather, to those who have known the Lord
from the beginning, who have overcome the wicked one, and whose sins are forgiven for
His Name's sake (I John 2: 12-14). It is not a question, therefore, of life, but of light, of
love and of fellowship:--
"And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full" (I John 1: 4).
Turning to I John 1: 7, we observe that it is part of a statement extending to 2: 1,
characterized by the repeated us of the word, "If":--
we say that we have fellowship."
we walk in the light."
we say that we have no sin."
we confess our sins."
we say that we have not sinned."
any man sin."
There is an alternation here of "saying" and "doing", "If we say" being contrasted
with "If we walk" and "If we confess".
Because God is light, it is impossible to walk with Him and to walk in darkness. But
it must not be assumed from this fact that those who do walk with God "have no sin" or
have not sinned", for the apostle makes it clear that any who claim such exemption
deceive themselves, and the truth is not in them and, worse still, they make God a liar. It
follows, therefore, that those who do walk in the light in fellowship with God are those
who have sinned and who know that they have sin. This may seem at first to raise an
insuperable difficulty, but when the great foundation of all acceptance comes into view--
"the blood of Christ"--the difficulty vanishes. This is so important to our subject and so
vital to our peace, that we must seek all grace and wisdom in understanding its bearing
upon our walk and fellowship with God.
"The blood of Jesus Christ His Son."
While we can never eliminate faith in our relationship with the great atonement of
Christ, it is well to realize that in this passage the blood of Jesus Christ stands as the
actual objective cause, once for all, of our justification, sanctification, access and peace.
We could never walk in the light with God were it not for that precious blood once shed.
Turning to verse 9, we shall see that a distinction is made between "forgiveness of
sins" and "cleansing from all unrighteousness". This is further amplified in 2: 1:--
"If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous."
Just as we distinguished righteousness from sanctification, so we should distinguish
cleansing from forgiving. He Who justified also sanctified. Our very walking in the light
will reveal sin and sins unseen and unknown before, but instead of being turned away