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<< Our Journey Online with Dr. James MacDonald

Our Journey Online - October 28, 2013

  • 2013 Oct 28
  • COMMENTS

 

Salvation and Sin

8If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 2:1My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. —1 John 1:8 - 2:1

At this point in his letter, John wants to make sure we know what salvation is. He begins chapter 2 with, “My little children. I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin.” The Greek word for little children is only used a couple of times in the New Testament. It means like a little two or three-year-old. Someone small whom you speak to on your knees, face to face: “Honey. . . ” And you pull them really close. He’s talking to us like we’re very young children that need God so much. 

He says, “My little children, I am writing these. . . ” Actually, the letter repeats similar phrases about nine times. He really wants us to know why he’s writing.

“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin.”This is an “on the other hand” statement. He just gave us the “on the one hand” which is, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us” (v.9). When you assure people strongly of God’s forgiveness, you also feel compelled to add, “But I don’t want you to think that I’m encouraging you to sin.” You see this all the time in the Bible. Someone will lift up God’s grace on the one hand and then lift up the fear of God on the other. As Romans 6:1 says, “Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means!”

I feel that tension sometimes when I’m preaching and I’m celebrating God’s grace. So I add, “But don’t use that as an excuse to sin. There’s a balance there.” That’s why John says, “He is faithful and just to forgive us” (v.9), but then he adds, “I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin.” Forgiveness is good; but victory is great! And yet he comes back to the grace again at the end of verse 1:“But if anyone does sin.” He is really saying, “When you sin.” We’re not going to be perfect until we get to heaven. So we need the assurance of forgiveness and the encouragement to pursue victory.
—James MacDonald

Journal

·         When I think back over the time I have known Christ, what sins has He given me victory over? In what areas is God working to bring about victory now?


Prayer - Father, You demonstrate Your faithfulness in so many ways, but chiefly in the way that You respond to our repentance with forgiveness. You urge and energize our efforts to resist sin but You offer a ready comfort when we fail miserably. You don’t give up. You fully demonstrate love beyond our capacity to measure as You work to grow us into the people You always intend us to be. We praise You! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Always True&#58; 5 Great and Precious Promises of God
Always True: 5 Great and Precious Promises of God 

5 CD Series Set - $35.00

What if you believed—truly believed with all confidence that God is with you? How would today go for you if you knew without a doubt that God is in control? What would be different in your life if you were sure God is watching and good? What would you risk if you were certain God is victorious? 

Just how would believing God’s promises change your life?  

Ask the greatest Christian you’ll ever meet if they hold on to God’s promises and they’ll all say yes. Believing that God will do what He promises leads to a great life. The greatest Christian you’ll every meet knows, treasures, and is resting in the promises of God. They cling to these assurances that God gives His people so they can walk by faith while they wait for Him to work.

So what exactly does God promise?  In this topical study of what will always be true, Pastor James MacDonald will explore five great and precious promises that God keeps. Enter into this study with anticipation and faith that the God who makes these promises is faithful and true... always true.
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