Tuesday, May 20, 2008

God's Justice and Faithfulness (1 John)

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9 NIV)

There are two parts in this promise. They are 1) “He will forgive us our sins” and 2) He will “purify us from all unrighteousness.” The forgiven sins are the ones just confessed. This “all unrighteousness” is different from the sins we confessed. It is everything else that is unrighteous in us. He will purify us from all of this.

Let’s look back at verse seven.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. (1 John 1:7 NIV)

Notice the last phrase and its parallel in verse 9. Let’s put them together. Verse 7: “purifies us from all sin,” verse 9: “purifies us from all unrighteousness.” “Purifies” is a verb that has a continuous meaning: “keeps on purifying.”

There are conditions that are given for this complete and continual purifying. Verse 7: “If we walk in the light as He is in the light…” Verse 9: “If we confess our sins.”

Meeting these conditions results in putting into effect in our lives the character and work of God. Verse 7: “and the blood of Jesus, his Son.” Verse 9: “He is faithful and just.” The real cause of this wonderful forgiveness is God, who He is and what He did. The conditions for us to meet are secondary to the real cause: the justice and faithfulness of God and the blood of Jesus.


(An excerpt from On Being a Christian, p.210)

1 comment:

weswise said...

Thanks for this post- it is refreshing. It's easy to start getting anxious and self-righteous in a way that is like struggling in quick sand, when what is needed is simply giving up ourselves unto Christ and doing so confessingly and obediently by faith. Thanks again;

in Him,

Wesley G.