KEEP THE RECORD CLEAN
My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father – Jesus Christ the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. (1 John 2: 1-2)
John – from “Boanerges”, a son of thunder to “the beloved disciple” – a changed man if ever there was one! What transformed him so completely? Was it the discovery of a love so great that he could never be the same again? It was a love that paid his debt and set him free to live and love in the power of the Holy Spirit.
John’s first chapter, artificially subdivided, but nevertheless significant, is all about fellowship. What must we do to protect our fellowship with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ? “Don’t fool yourself if you have sinned,” said John. “Own up and come clean with God. You can’t fool Him, and you will be estranged from Him until you admit your guilt and receive His pardon and His cleansing.”
Sin is no longer an issue to God but it is still an issue to us because it affects our fellowship with the Him. “So,” John said, “you don’t have to sin any more.” God has taken care of our sin, once for all, through the death of His Son. He has not only removed it from us, but He has also broken its power over us. He has unmasked the devil who deceived us into believing that we owed allegiance to him, masquerading as Lord, and holding us captive by our bias towards sin.
However, we are still left with the responsibility of making choices, and that makes us vulnerable to the remnants of our sin nature. We can still be tripped up in unguarded moments, and we can still give in to the temptations of the flesh in weak moments. But that does not mean that we have to start all over again. God’s provision is complete. We have a legal expert, Jesus, the Righteous One, who continues to plead our case with the Father.
He has a watertight case for mercy – His own blood that He gave as an atoning sacrifice. What does that mean? Our sin did not only corrupt and pollute us so that we could no longer have access to our Father, but it also offended God. God is perfectly holy; just and righteous in all His ways. Our sin was a stench in His nostrils. It made Him very angry because it was an affront to everything He did for us.
Imagine a human father building a beautiful home for his family in a quiet and peaceful neighbourhood, tastefully furnishing it with comfortable furniture, and stocking it with every delectable food item for their pleasure and enjoyment. It has a games-room with comfortable couches, a huge flat screen TV, every imaginable kind of book to read and game to play, a bar with fruit juices of every flavour in a refrigerator and tasty snacks of every, and every facility you can think of in the house.
When it is complete, he invites his family to view the house and to move in. All they have to do is to bring in their clothing and live under his authority and guidance, and in harmony with one another in their beautiful home, sharing the blessing of everything he has provided.
What do his children do? They thumb their noses at him, refuse to move into the home which he had built for them at great cost, and choose to live in the garden shed which is full of clutter, rats and cockroaches because they do not want to live under his authority or keep his rules. But, even worse than that, they got into the house and trashed it from one end to the other, smashing the furniture and throwing the food and drink onto the floor.
Would that father not be justifiably angry with his children? He has done everything for them out of the love of his heart, but they reject his love because they did not want to be restricted by his authority. He turned his back on them and let them go their own way, and face the consequences of their choices, but he grieved for them because he still loved them and wanted them to return to him.
God was justifiably angry with the human race because we did that to Him. We sniffed at His love; we refused to live under His roof and we trashed the beautiful earth He created for us. Worst of all, by making our own rules, we destroyed the bodies He created to be His home. He did not only want to live with us; He wanted to live in us, but we fouled up our hearts with so much sin that we became a stench in His nostrils.
So what did He do? He sent His own Son, made exactly like we were before we chose to rebel against our Father. He lived a pure life in a fouled up world with stinking people messed up by sin. They took Him and threw Him out, killing Him by nailing Him to cross because His life showed them up for who they were, and they hated Him for it.
But this was God’s plan because His perfect Son was to take our place. He poured out His wrath against our sin on His Son until His anger was fully satisfied. Now He was free to woo His estranged children back to Himself and clean them up when they responded to His love.
God’s remedy for sin was for all sin, for all people, for all time. Did you get that? Don’t let anyone ever tell you that Jesus only died for the elect. John stated very clearly that He atoned for the sins of the whole world. Everyone has been forgiven but it is only effective for those who have received His forgiveness by faith and come back to the Father to live in His house, under His authority and in obedience to Him.
So everyone is invited to return. And we don’t have to sin any more. Let’s keep the record clean so that we can enjoy fellowship with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ.
Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Have you read my first book, Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing)? You’ll love it!
ISBN: Softcover – 978-1-4828-0512-3, eBook 978-4828-0511-6
My second book, Learning to be a Disciple – The Way of the Master (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing), companion volume to Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart, has been released in paperback and digital format on www.amazon.com.
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