1 We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life. 2 This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us. 3 We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4 We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy.
Living in the Light
5 This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. 6 So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. 7 But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.
8 If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. 9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.
The word confess does not mean to ask for forgiveness. Christ’s work for us upon the cross has already done all that is necessary to forgive us. What God wants us to do is to look at the sin before us and call it what He calls it. That means to agree with God about it, and that is what the word confess means: “Fess” comes from a root which means “
to say”, and “con” means “
To say with” God what He says about something is confessing sin. There is a popular song that you sometimes hear in Christian circles:
If I have wounded any soul today, If I have caused one foot to go astray, If I have lived in my own selfish way, Dear Lord, forgive. That is not a confession at all. Do not say
Lord, I have caused some foot to go astray, I have lived in my own selfish way. That is confession, agreeing with God.
let me share a story I read today:
Do you know what happens when you do not confess? You become very unpleasant to live with. As a schoolboy in Montana I endured many bitter winters when the temperature would sometimes go down to sixty degrees below zero for a week at a time. In our homes, where we had no running water, no indoor plumbing, and no electricity, taking a bath was relatively akin to major surgery. In that painful setting, we performed our ablutions. It was difficult enough that some people did not think it necessary to bathe at all during the winter months. If you went into the heat of a one-room schoolhouse on a cold winter’s day, with about fifty or sixty sweating bodies there, you became very much aware of this fact.
Now I do not mind living with someone who knows he or she is dirty and therefore frequently washes, but it is terribly distressing to live with someone who thinks he or she never gets dirty. That is what John is saying. If we say we cannot get dirty, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
But if we face up to it and confess it, then the cleansing that the Lord Jesus has fully and abundantly provided for on the cross is immediately ours, and we are as though we had never sinned.
Lord, we thank you that you already forgave all my sins on the cross. Help me Lord to recognize when I sin and confess it immediately. Help to remove my pride to confess and allow me to live in that abundant life you promise. In Jesus name, amen.