“Sin-any act regarded as a transgression; especially a willful or deliberate violation of a religious or moral principle” (Webster). [hamartia: violation of God’s law]
1 John 1:8 NIV If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
From this verse, John reminds us that even though the sacrifice/atonement for sin was completed on the cross (thereby needing no more physical sacrificial acts of atonement), people are still subject to sin–because they have free will and can make their own choices; some which are not always the right choices. If the world was without sin, there would be no need for us to have laws that govern the land. But since there is sin–and we do have laws–there are also consequences for violating the laws.
I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Since we are not perfect and capable of straying from the path upon which God set us, when we do commit an act of sin, deliberately, if we confess it (own it, take responsibility for it), He will forgive us and when repentance is made (turning completely away from the act, not practicing to do it again–surrendering our hearts), He will cleanse us and purify us from all unrighteousness. However, God’s forgiveness of our sins does not negate the consequences of our actions. This is a mis-teaching that has people believing that when God forgives–that is the end of the matter. It is not. When we violate a principle or law there are consequences to be paid. If we kill, we either spend time in prison or will be killed. If we steal–we go to jail. If we abuse children–we suffer the consequences. Whatever it is we do, we will reap the consequences of our actions. God forgives–but consequences are never negated.
1 John 1:10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.
Paul reminds us that we have all fallen short of the mark of perfection and committed some act of sin at some time or another. If we say we haven’t sinned; we lie and we are actually saying that God has lied, indicating we do not know or understand His Word. We know that Satan is the father of liars and if Satan is our father, God cannot be. But having sinned in the past, does not mean we should continue to sin. Once we know The Truth and make a decision to allow Him to be the Lord of our lives, we should not deliberately, plan or practice to commit acts that we know God would not like.
The work on the cross–the sacrifice made for all mankind–the atonement for sin, means no more sacrifices (as prescribed under The Law of Moses) are necessary, but if we do go astray, we have an advocate–who is interceding on our behalves to The Father. Sin was not eliminated on the cross–the need for a sacrifice to atone for sin was eliminated on the cross.
Lord Jesus, thank You for making the ultimate sacrifice for us to atone for our sins. Thank You for being our advocate, always interceding for us. Thank You for giving us understanding of Your Word through Your Spirit when we are willing to receive instruction from Holy Spirit. Thank You for loving us enough to die for us, now create in us a heart that is willing to be obedient to Your Word as a demonstration of our love for You. Thank You for revealing to us that relationship with You is better than religious affiliation since You reveal all truth to us, not religions. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!