“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.” (1 John 1:8-10, NIV)
God’s at it again. He’s setting the record straight. He’s calling folks liars to their face. If you say you are without sin, you are a liar. If you claim you have not sinned, you are a liar.
When I read those words about a week ago, my mind immediately went to the claims of the founder of Christian Science. Mary Baker Eddy, while she was living, repeatedly denied the existence of sin and evil.
“Evil has no reality. It is neither person, place nor thing but is simply a belief, an illusion of material sense.” (Science and Health, p. 237)
“There never was a moment in which evil was real.” (No and Yes, p. 33)
“The belief of sin…is an unconscious error in the beginning.” (Science and Health, p. 81)
“There is no sin…Man is incapable of sin…” (Science and Health, Edition of 1917, p. 447-475)
Such statements are ridiculous in light of the teaching of the Bible and, I might add, in light of reality. There is no one who lives as if there is no such thing as evil in the world. A person sees real atrocities done to real people and rightly reacts with real revulsion. Real evils are done to you and you rightly react in real anger to the real injustice of real sin.
Sin is real. It is not the figment of human imagination. It is not just a belief or an unconscious error. It is destructive, harmful, hurtful, wrong in the real world. I know that from experience as does every other person on planet earth. I’ve seen the damage my sins have caused myself and others. You’ve experienced the pain when your neighbor has sinned against you.
When we hear God’s words given to us through Paul – “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) – we nod our heads. That’s reality. We know it to be true. We laugh at the person who claims to be without sin. Ridiculous!
Now Mary Baker Eddy isn’t the only delusional liar out there. There are hundreds, thousands, dare I say millions or billions of people who rationalize away the real sin in their lives.
“As long as what I do doesn’t hurt anyone, what does it matter?”
“It’s not really adultery if my wife isn’t meeting my needs.”
“It may be wrong for you because that’s what you believe, but I don’t believe it’s wrong, so for me it’s okay.”
“It can’t be wrong when it feels so right.”
Nonsense! All of it! The illogical ramblings of mad men and liars.
“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8, NIV)
“If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.” (1 John 1:10, NIV)
A believer in Jesus cannot continually walk in darkness and will not claim to be without sin. A person who has put his faith in Jesus will admit he’s sinned and be forgiven. He will be cleansed by a faithful and just God from all unrighteousness. Confession – admitting what you know to be true – brings freedom. Denial – trying desperately to hide what you know to be true – enslaves.
If you are a faker, God is offering you freedom today. Put your faith in Jesus. Confess your sin and let God purify you. Be free!
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