Read 1 John 1:5-10 (including re-reading your text from yesterday). John uses the statement “if we say” (or “if we claim”) three times in these verses. Fill in the statements below:
Verse 6: If we say/claim “to have fellowship with Him” yet we “walk in the darkness,” we “lie and do not live by the truth.”
Verse 8: If we say/claim “to be without sin,” we “deceive ourselves” and the “truth is not in us.”
Verse 10: If we say/claim “we have not sinned,” we “make Him out to be a liar” and “His word has no place in our lives.”
How would you describe the difference between being without sin and not sinning? The difference is subtle, but do your best.
Being without sin means not sinning ever, not even once. Not sinning means making the right choice and doing what God wants. It’s doable a lot of the time – only Jesus did it all the time.
Choose one of the aforementioned mentalities and write about how we see this belief cropping up in current culture.
“So many people refuse to accept any responsibility for their choices and actions – it’s everybody else’s fault but theirs (e.g. on Doctor Phil or Judge Judy)”
Now let’s look at the effects of believing the three claims you’ve already listed.
Verse 6: We lie and “do not live by the truth”
Verse 8: We “deceive ourselves” and the truth is not in us
Verse 10: We make God a liar, and His “word” is not in us.
1.) Some said they knew God, but walked in ways contrary to God’s nature.
2.) Some said they were without sin.
3.) Some recognized sin in the world, but believed they had not sinned.
Of these three claims, which is the most difficult for you to handle in society? Why?
“I’d say the middle one, because to claim to be without sin is to claim to be as perfect as Jesus, and, certainly, to have no need of His salvation.”
“If we confess our sins, He is “faithful” and “just” and will forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Why do you think John used these particular two words in relation to God’s forgiveness toward us?
“I don’t know. Maybe they would feel reassuring about how much we can trust Him?”
When it comes to forgiveness of sins, which word – faithful or righteous – means the most to you and why?
“I think faithful. God’s not going to change his mind and decide He’s tired of forgiving me that 491st time.”
Dearest Rachel –
For all that this particular day’s study is about confession to God and receiving His forgiveness in turn, there’s precious little in the way of confession involved here. And that’s understandable; most of the questions have to do with reiterating what John said (as a memory aid) and your take on his phrasing. Besides, it’s not as if I ever used study guides like these for personal confession like you did, so I shouldn’t insist on seeing something from you every single day – or even ever.
That being said, I think the best thing here is your conclusion, that – like everyone else should be – you’re grateful for the fact that the Lord forgives us no matter how many times we screw up the very same way, over and over again. It’s something we all need to remind ourselves of, and be grateful for, because it’s certainly not something that’s unique to you.
Thanks so much for that, honey.