1 John__1


1 John‬ ‭1:8-10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“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 is not in us.” 

Observation-What does it say?

John writes in this epistle (aka letter or message), that light and darkness do not mix. We cannot claim to live in Christ, while still living in the darkness. But then, he goes on to say that those who claim to be without sin have deceived themselves. Living in the light is impossible without dependence and surrender to the One who gives light, and that is Jesus Christ our Savior. 

UnderstandingWhat does it mean?
A self righteous attitude leads us away from Christ, rather than towards Him.
I like to let God’s Word speak for itself.  I am reminded of 2 passages to support the above understanding.  The first one is in Luke 18:9-14.  To paraphrase, Jesus was addressing the crowd, specifically those who were confident of their own righteousness and looking down on everyone else. it is about a Pharisee and a tax collector. The first one was self righteous, thanking God that he was not like the other sinners over there, because he fasted twice a week and gave a tenth of his wages.  The other man beat his breast and would not even look to heaven, asking God for mercy because he was a sinner.  Scripture says the one who was justified before God in this situation was the tax collector. 
The second passage I am reminded of is Matthew 19:16-26, where a man felt that it was his good works that would get him to heaven, and even told Jesus that He has kept all the commandments, and asked Him what he lacked.  Jesus knew the man’s heart and told him to sell his possessions and give to the poor.  The man ended up leaving sad because that was a sacrifice he couldn’t make.But then I love what Jesus told his disciples afterwards, when they asked him, “Who then can be saved?”  Jesus said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Life Application

The only way to stand firm in our faith; to stand firm in our calling and stand firm when the devil attacks is to remain in the One who is unchanging and stands firm forever. Jesus Christ our Savior. 

I woke up one morning and the Lord gave me 2 words: STAND FIRM. I started doing a study in His Word looking for all the verses and passages where the word “stand” or “stand firm” is mentioned in Scripture. He was speaking to me personally to stand firm in the faith, stand firm when attacked by the enemy, stand firm in His Word, and stand firm in His work. After a day (or less) of feeling good about myself and trying to stand firm in my own strength, I admit that I started getting discouraged, telling the Lord that I was not strong enough and too weak to do what He was calling me to do. Then He brought me to this Scripture to remind me that it is only He who is able to stand firm. It is only His word that endures forever and as long as I stay connected, humbled and surrendered to Him and His Word, I will be able to stand firm. It is impossible without Him. 

“A voice says, “Cry out.” And I said, “What shall I cry?” “All people are like grass, and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the LORD blows on them. Surely the people are grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures (STANDS) forever.”” Isaiah‬ ‭40:6-8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Dear Lord, I pray that we would all stand firm in being humbled and surrendered to You. May you take away all traces of self righteous pride in our hearts and may we be fully dependent on Your strength and righteousness alone. Teach us to live in the light as You are in the light and when darkness tries to overtake us or trap us, may we run to You for refuge. Purify our hearts Jesus and help us to repent and turn from our wicked ways for Your glory alone, so men would see our good deeds and glorify You (Matt. 5:16, 1 Peter 2:12). Amen.

-Michelle Gaddi