So you say?
“If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” – Vs 6 NASB
“If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.” – Vs 8 NASB
“If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.” – Vs 10 NASB
Three times in the opening of this little letter, John uses this little phrase, “if we say.” And all three seem to have to do with saying or claiming something that is not really true. I say I have fellowship with God, but I still live in darkness (sin). I say I have no sin, but the reality is I do and I’m everyone knows it but me. I say I have never sinned, but by claiming that I contradict the word of God and make Him out to be a liar. Saying it doesn’t make it so. Words really are cheap. What I say really doesn’t matter if it isn’t backed up by truth and lived out in reality. I can say I believe in God, love God, worship God, and fear and respect God, but if it doesn’t show up in my daily life, it is nothing but lip-service and empty words.
John seems to be calling us to live it, not say it. Do it, not just claim it. He says, “if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another” (Vs 7 NASB). In other words, if we live lives that are in obedience to God and in daily fellowship with God, then it will be evident in the way we live with one another. We won’t have to say it, because others will see it. It will be visible proof that the blood of Jesus has cleansed us from all sin. John goes on to address this issue of sin. He says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (Vs 9 NASB). All we have to do is agree with God about the fact that we are sinners who sin. Confess it. Admit it. Fess up to it. To do so reveals that we have the truth of God’s word in us. To deny it just shows that we never really heard the truth. And one important point here is that we realize that to NOT confess is to say that we have no sin. When we refuse to confess, it is as if we are telling God that we have no sin to confess. We might as well just come out and say so. That’s John’s third point. Lack of confession is basically saying to God that we have not sinned. Every time we sin and refuse to confess it, we are telling God He is a liar, because God says we all sin. On top of that, His Holy Spirit personally convicts us of sin on a daily basis. His Word convicts us of sin. When that happens and we choose to ignore the sin in our lives and not confess it, we make Him out to be a liar. We are telling God that He is wrong.
So what do you say? Do you walk in the Light? Do you confess? Are your actions more powerful than your words? Do your actions speak louder than your words? John says, “God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all” (Vs 5 NASB). Are you living in that Light? If so, it will be evident to all those around you, no matter what you say.
Father, may our actions speak louder than our words. May we be a people who are known by how we live in the Light, not just what we have to say about it. When we fail to live in the Light, may we be willing to confess it and accept your forgiveness. Not deny it and claim to have never done it. Words are cheap. Your grace was not. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men