Today you’ll work to deny your sin or you’ll receive the Spirit’s conviction as grace and run to Christ for rescue and forgiveness.
The words are direct and humbling, and they are written to believers:
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:5–10)
Let’s examine the logic of this passage:
- Sin is a big deal. Grace has brought us into personal communion with a God who is holy in every way. He dwells in eternal light. The darkness of our sin is what separates us from him. The whole movement of history from the time of the fall announces to us that God takes sin so seriously that he wrote the story of history so that his Son would come and, through his life and death, deal with sin and bridge the gap between God and the creatures made in his image. You cannot be serious about your relationship with God and not take sin seriously.
- Because sin is a big deal, the cleansing blood of Jesus is our only hope. Jesus came and lived and died because there was no other way to deal with sin. It is so powerful, destructive, and comprehensive in its effects in us that there is no way we could have ever escaped it or defeated it on our own. Sin required the radical rescue of the shed-blood grace of the Savior.
- Denying remaining sin is the height of self-deception. You and I lay down so much daily empirical evidence of our struggle with sin that it takes a deep commitment to denial for us to convince ourselves that we are, in fact, okay. Every time we excuse, minimize, rationalize, or point the finger of blame, we are participating in that system of denial.
- God is always faithful to the promises of the cross of Jesus. Your Savior loves to forgive. He really is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love!
- Denying sin makes a liar out of God and denies the message of his Word. Here’s the bottom line—either God, in his Word, is true when he says that you have a problem you can’t solve or you’re right that you’re not so bad after all. It can’t be both ways.
So why deny today what grace has so completely forgiven and covered?
For further study and encouragement: 1 Timothy 1:12–17
Taken from New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional by Paul Tripp, © 2014, pp. 132-162. Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.