1 John 1:5-10 And this is the message which we have heard from Him and announce to you, “God is light, and darkness is not in Him. If perhaps we should say, “We have fellowship with Him.”, and walk in the darkness, we lie and do not do the truth. However, if perhaps we should walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another of the same kind, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If perhaps we should say that we have no sin, we cause ourselves to wander and the truth is not in us. If perhaps we should confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous in order that He should forgive our sins and should cleans us from all unrighteousness. If perhaps we say, “We are in a state of having never sinned.”, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.
The desire to produce sin is a constant struggle in the life of every believer. We all face those temptations that are just so hard to resist. We may struggle with these desires, and sometimes even put up a good fight, but ultimately we given in and get entangled with things that we know God does not wants us to be involved with in our lives. This often leads to a life of shame before God. We promise we will not do it again only to end up back on our knees for the same problem.
However, the Christian life does not need to be a life of shame and failure. to have victory over these desires, we need to understand where they come from and how God wants us to deal with them. God knows that we have a part of us that is always seeking to do things that are contrary to His standards. He even knows our internal struggle with desires that continually tempt us to commits acts that are offensive in His sight. He does not ignore the presence of our sin nature, but gives us the tools we need to overcome it. Part of what we received at salvation deals with this specific problem in our lives.
Living a life that glorifies God begins with a mind that is seeing things as they really are. We are to frame our minds on the things above, not on the things of the earth1. These “things” have to do with some very significant changes that happened at salvation. In God’s mind, we are no longer in Adam but rather we are in Christ. God puts the death and resurrection of Christ to our account. That is, He sees us as having died for our sins2 and having been raised to walk in newness of life before Him3. Since He puts this to our account, He also treats us as being raised and gives us all we need to live a life that manifests the new life that we now have in Christ. Which means, although we cannot control the thoughts that come through our mind, we can control which thoughts we allow to affect our actions.
In 1 John, the Apostle John writes about the sin nature and how we perceive its effect on our lives. The message that he is announcing is that God is light. Light manifests actions4. Since God dwells in the light5, He always presents things as they really are. There is no darkness in Him. Darkness describes the works that come from the flesh. These works are hidden and do not want to be manifested for what they really are. Since God is light, if we say that we share in common with Him, then we should also be walking in the light. However, if we are producing the works of the flesh, which are a manifestation of darkness, and saying that we share something in common with God, we are lying and the truth is not in us, since there is no darkness in Him.
“The truth” is referring to a specific set of facts that have to do with having victory over the sin nature. In John 8:32, while speaking to the Jews who believed, Jesus revealed that the truth was going to set them free from the sin nature6. Through the book of Romans God reveals the details of this doctrine. Starting in the fifth chapter and going well into the eighth chapter, Paul address the issue of the sin nature in a Christian’s life. Having victory over the sin nature requires that we take God at His word. He says that we have died with Christ and as a result of our death, we are no longer bound to the sin nature7. He also says we have been raised to walk in newness of life and therefore when we are living a life that manifests who we are in Christ the sin nature is rendered ineffective8. It is not that we will not get desires from the sin nature, but rather that we are no longer a slave to the sin nature and therefore do not have to perform those desires.
If we say we have fellowship with God, we need to be properly applying the truth to our lives so that we are having victory over our sin nature. Only then will we be walking in the light. Otherwise, we are lying. If we are manifesting the works of the flesh, walking in the darkness, we are not sharing in common with the Father because we are not applying the truth. Once the truth is applied to our lives and we begin to walk in the light, manifesting His character, the blood of Christ cleanses us from our sins. The blood of Christ will cleanse our conscience from dead works so that we can serve a living God9. This is a cleansing that takes place within time and is referring to the removal of the actions in our lives that are produced from the sin nature. In addition, when we properly apply the truth, we can weigh our actions with who we are in Christ, and if they are not lining up with God’s opinion of us, we need to agree with God that our actions are against His standard for us (sin) and when we do this, He cleanses us from our sins. You see, if we say we have no sin, we are just deceiving ourselves, but when our actions do not line up with who we are in Christ and we recognize the error, the reaction should be to apply the truth so that we begin having victory over whatever action we are producing that is sin.
In our Christian life, we need to put aside the things of the flesh and cleanse ourselves from everything that defiles the flesh and the spirit10. If we are saying that we have fellowship with God, but are manifesting what we know is sin, we need to agree with God that are actions are sin and apply the truth to our lives so that we can begin to walk in the light as He is in the light. Confession comes by identifying that our actions are not lining up with our words. If we agree with God that our actions are sinful, should we continue in those actions? Absolutely not! How can we, who have died to the sin nature11, continue to feel at ease with manifesting the works of the flesh? Realistically, we cannot continue to feel at ease with the sin nature because we are now slaves to righteousness. Therefore, we need to correctly apply the truth to our lives to have victory over the desires from the sin nature and start walking by the Spirit rather than by the flesh.
Know – Reckon – Yield. Know that you have died with Christ and have been raised to walk in newness of life, count what God says to be true, and yield your members to righteousness. Set your mind who you are in Christ and govern your life according to the Spirit not the flesh. for it is when we are waking by the Spirit that we will never fulfill the desires of the flesh. Only then can we truly say we have fellowship with the Father.