Tonight we concluded our studies in 1 John 1, looking in particular at the three ‘if we claim’ statements in verses 6, 8 and 10. What we say or claim about our lives in God and about God is incredibly important, and if there is dissonance between what we claim and the truth, our lives will run into problems.

Fellowship with God implies communion, active participation, interaction, communication and sharing like thoughts. Having fellowship with God brings us into unity with Him and with each other (see John 17:20-21 TNIV). If we claim to have this relationship with God and continue to walk in darkness, however, we lie and do not live out the truth. Truth is defined as integrity, veracity, having no falsehood or deceit. Jesus said ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life’ (John 14:6 TNIV), so in a sense, He cannot be living in us if we are living a lie.

If we claim to be without sin, we are not only deceiving ourselves, but making God out to be a liar, which is even worse. Rom 3:23 TNIV categorically states that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, so we cannot claim to be without sin. Confession is the antidote to sin. Only God can forgive sins (Mark 2:7 TNIV), so we need to confess our sins to Him in order to find forgiveness, be made right with Him and to be cleansed. James 5:16 TNIV urges us to confess our sins to one another, however: not for forgiveness, but so that we can receive prayer and support from other believers.

Ps 51:1-7 TNIV shows us the peace and cleansing that comes from forgiveness. Sometimes we still have to bear the consequences of a just God when we have sinned (David’s son born from adultery died), but we can know the joy of restored relationships and cleansed lives and know truth.