Don’t listen to these “other” voices among us. These voices measure you with graceful sounding words, wanting to minister their successful way of living. They leave you tired or feeling like a failure, like you have to hide, or at least hide your “sin”. You “wanna know” what is real? Then listen, our fellowship is found in Christ, where we have been delivered from darkness into light by His grace. When you say you have no sin by your own “special knowledge” e.g. way, wisdom, efforts, initiation, technique, method, sacrifice, discipline you are repeating the words of the liar. If you say you have no sin by your own efforts while holding yourself separate from living from the grace, mercy and love of Jesus, you lie. While claiming ownership of “your part” you also hold yourself apart from truly being with each other in the God given reality of being in Christ. It is the only place (home) we can be truly with each other, where the appearance of our mess doesn’t offend the lie of “successful Christian living”. Being “In Christ” is a reality where you would never hear the words “Try harder” or “If you will just follow my principles, you will avoid sin, hurt, pain, or failure” or “I’m going to rededicate myself”. In other words, if you follow the world’s wisdom of self-effort to the logical end, it results in self-righteousness, self- sinlessness or for us, shame. In this reality of measurement you also hold yourself separate from messy people because they are an indictment to self-effort. Through the advice of the “lie” you are led to seek your righteousness not His righteousness. It is the opposite of the grace of Jesus which was meant for the messy, weak, hurt, broken people of this world. In the midst of our failures we find out what we have in common, a right standing before God based on the spilled blood and broken body of Christ. This is fellowship. A right standing found only IN HIM. If you say you have practiced your spiritual disciplines enough to stop sinning, to live a good Christian life, you make God out to be a liar. Because He said there is only one Way to Life and that is to be in Jesus.
So, instead of saying, “I know a way to not sin” say the same thing that God does. This “saying the same thing” can only come from that deepest place where the Spirit of God witnesses to your spirit. It is a springing forth of the living truth that I am free from sin because I died to sin in Christ. It is a lie that it is up to me to maintain this freedom. I don’t have to shrink back in shame from my Father in heaven because I can trust HIS faithfulness. It is the realization of His love that draws our attention away from sin management and to Life. It we know this truth from the conviction of the Holy Spirit, “God’s faithfulness though the blood of Jesus cleanses me from all unrighteousness.” It is not my faithfulness from my self-effort, from my self-righteousness.
Why do I say this? I say this because I want you not to be trapped in your own personal “law” promoted by the false teachers, by the wisdom of this world. I don’t want you to be trapped in the lie that keeps you in sin. The only way you find yourself trapped (sinning) is because your struggle is the result of the lie of separation and self-effort. As if there is still a “self” to provide effort. That “self” was crucified with Christ.
1 John 1:5 - 1 John 2:1
5 This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; 7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.
1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin.