Wednesday, October 19, 2011

So that you may not sin... - October 19th, 2011

 1 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
1 John 2:1-2

History and Context:
1 John does not name an author, but it has been labeled as John's. This is because the style is extremely similar to the unique style of the Gospel written by the Apostle John. The date of this letter is probably at the close of the first century when the Christian faith was around 50 to 60 years old. At this time John was probably the last of the original apostles and the church was struggling to not be influenced by surrounding ideas and philosophies. Most notable was gnosticism: the belief that the physical and spiritual were completely separate, and that all things physical were evil and all things spiritual were good. This belief led to much immorality as they believed that what was done in the physical didn't matter and could not effect the spiritual, but it also ultimately led to the denial that Jesus came in human flesh and therefore the denial of Jesus' death as a spirit cannot die. These uprooted the very core of the Christian faith and John ultimately wrote this letter to counter that philosophy.
The Text:
Chapter one of 1 John ends with a couple statements about sin. First of all, he says that if we claim hat we have not sinned, we are liars. Secondly, he says that if we confess our sins, God will forgive us. these are both statements which people, with wrong motives, have used to justify their sin. First thing is that everyone has sinned. Sometimes we try to use that to justify our sin by saying, "everyone sins, so my sin isn't that bad." The other way we try to justify our sin is by saying, "God will forgive me anyway so I might as well go ahead and do it." John, realizing the potential for both of these responses, makes it clear right away that the point is not to give ourselves excuses, but to empower ourselves not to sin. The reason that it is important to know that we all have sinned is because it shows us our need for a savior and puts us in a position in which we can invite Him into our lives to free us from sin. The reason it is important to know that God will forgive us is so that we know that when we do sin we can go to Him and get cleansed of it and freed from the bondage it brings. Either way, the point is to be freed from sin, not to continue in it. John then goes on to describe Jesus as our advocate. This means that despite our sin Jesus is fighting for us. In legal terms an advocate is like the defense attorney. Jesus is coming to our defense before the judge and saying, "look, my blood has made them clean. Because of my blood they are righteous and deserving of eternal life."

The Challenge:
Today's challenge is simple, don't sin. Jesus Christ is fighting for you before the judge, before the Father. God the Father has promised to forgive you and already has forgiven you, but use that as motivation not to sin. You have been freed from it so walk in that freedom. But if you slip, simply go straight to the Father and repent.

The Prayer:
Lord, forgive me for all the wrong things that I have done. Bring me into your presence and empower me to walk in freedom. In Jesus' name, Amen!

No comments:

Post a Comment