Together in Christ: 'Forgiven and Cleansed!' — 1 John 1:5-9

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.

If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

— 1 John 1:5-9 NLT

Key Thought

God saved us because of His grace and mercy. [1] We received that grace and mercy through our faith in Jesus Christ [2] and our participation in His saving death, burial, and resurrection. [3] These truths are the heart of the Good News about Jesus. [4] We were delivered from the kingdom of Satan's dark rule and transferred into the Kingdom of God's precious Son. [5] What we once were [6] is now gone. Jesus now presents us to the Father as "holy and blameless as [we] stand before him without a single fault." [7] This is not just good news; it is wonderful, hope-assuring, and life-transforming news!

But, what happens when we do stumble and fall into sin, again? Sure, God can forgive us but how can we be "holy and blameless as [we] stand before [God] without a single fault"? Doesn't sin leave a stain on us that embarrasses and angers God? Can we ever be completely clean again? And, what about what some call "besetting sins" — the sins that seem to trip us up repeatedly? How can God forgive those repeated sins, and how can we be clean again — "holy, and blameless... without a single fault"?

These questions are answered by the Holy Spirit in John's message for us in today's powerful and revolutionary verses. The apostle, John, tells us that when we confess our sins, [8] God is faithful to His promise "to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness." Let that promise from God sink into your heart so the devil cannot deceive you and make you feel unworthy and separated from the love of God in Jesus. [9] We cannot repeat a sin we have confessed and given to God because, in God's eyes, those sins are gone. We're not just forgiven; we're also purified and cleansed. Every stain of wickedness is gone and forgotten! We can't repeat something that God has forgiven, cleansed, purified, and forgotten. As King David proclaimed:

He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. [10]

In case you missed the significance of David's declaration, our sin is gone. God has placed more than an immeasurable distance between us and the guilt and stain of our sins. East and west never meet, meaning those sins and stains are removed from us forever. God continually shares His grace and mercy with us as He refreshes His liberating power in us because of the Father's love, the saving work of Jesus, and the cleansing power of the Holy Spirit!

Since we have been forgiven so completely by God, how can we not forgive others who sin against us? [11]

[1] 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 3:3-7.
[2] Romans 10:9-13; Ephesians 2:8-10.
[3] Romans 6:3-14; Colossians 2:11-15, 3:1-4.
[4] 1 Corinthians 15:1-4.
[5] Colossians 1:13-14.
[6] 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.
[7] Colossians 1:21-22.
[8] We need to realize that genuine confession, in the Scriptures, is more than just admitting our sins to God. It also involves a genuine effort to overcome our temptations and sins (Romans 6:1-2), and often involves the confession of our sins to others (James 5:16).
[9] We must realize that the devil, Satan, is a murderous liar and deceiver trying to destroy us (John 8:43-44) — which we see at work in the man known as Legion until Jesus liberated him (Mark 5:1-13). The apostle Paul emphasized that nothing can separate us from the love of God that is ours because we belong to Jesus (Romans 8:32-39).
[10] Psalm 103:12.
[11] Ephesians 4:32; Matthew 6:14-15.

Today's Prayer

Holy and tender Father, thank You for your mercy demonstrated to me when I was a sinner and lost. [A] Thank You for the grace you shared with me because of Jesus and His sacrifice for my sins. Please accept my heartfelt sorrow for my sins. I commit to turning away from sin and partnering with the Holy Spirit in my transformation. [B] My words, O God, cannot fully express my deep love and appreciation for Your love, mercy, and grace, so please hear my heart as the Holy Spirit intercedes for me and makes the emotions of my heart fully known. [C] I pray this in the name of my Savior, Jesus. Amen.

[A] Romans 5:6-11.
[B] Romans 12:1-2.
[C] Romans 8:26-27.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Ephesians 2:1-10
  • Colossians 1:13-23, 2:12-13, 3:1-4

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Illustration

Illustration of 1 John 1:5-9 NLT — This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.

If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.