This morning we continue our series entitled, “Power of Fellowship.” We have been looking at 1 John 1:5-10 for a while. Every day I have presented it to you from the Easy to Read Version. I am about to move on from this passage, but before I do, I feel led to share it with from The Passion Bible Translation. As I do, I will share a few thoughts about our imperfections and God’s grace.
(1 John 1:5-10 Easy The Passion Bible)
5 This is the life-giving message we heard him share and it’s still ringing in our ears. We now repeat his words to you: God is pure light. You will never find even a trace of darkness in him.
6 If we claim that we share life with him, but keep walking in the realm of darkness, we’re fooling ourselves and not living the truth.
7 But if we keep living in the pure light that surrounds him, we share unbroken fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, continually cleanses us from all sin.
8 If we boast that we have no sin, we’re only fooling ourselves and are strangers to the truth.
9 But if we freely admit our sins when his light uncovers them, he will be faithful to forgive us every time. God is just to forgive us our sins because of Christ, and he will continue to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10 If we claim that we’re not guilty of sin when God uncovers it with his light, we make him a liar and his word is not in us.
So what does this mean to you today? A few things.
1. The Apostle John, in his old age, after having meditated on God’s love and grace for decades, tells us that God is light and there is no trace of darkness in Him. There is nothing wrong with God, other than the fact that for us, He is too perfect. God is completely flawless and we are called to imitate Him, as His children (Eph 5:1). We are supposed to be the embodiment of God in the earth, like Jesus was. The issue for us is that we are not perfect. We make mistakes. We miss the mark from time to time. We sin. John tells us that whenever God’s light exposes our sin, we are to simply and quickly acknowledge it, admit it to God, and receive God’s forgiveness. John says, “God is just to forgive us our sins because of Christ, and he will continue to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Notice that God is not forgiving us because of us. We are forgiven because of Jesus. Jesus took on our sin so we could take on His righteousness (2 Cor 5:21). But if we claim to be without sin, we are calling God a liar, we are lying to ourselves, and we will be living a lie in front of others. Furthermore, because we are deceived into thinking we are perfect, we will look down on others whenever they don’t measure up to the level of performance we erroneously claim to possess. While this may sound “crazy” to you as you read it, believe me, there are countless people walking around on this planet every day, who have convinced themselves to live this lie. Their warped opinion of themselves makes it difficult for them to have true relationships with other people. Their perceived perfection (although it is not true), causes them to look down on the imperfections of others. Don’t let this be you. Acknowledge your flaws, embrace God’s grace, and be gracious towards others. This way you can have meaningful fellowship.
2. God is so perfect that as you walk with Him and allow Him to walk with You, the light of His perfection will expose your flaws. God does not do this to condemn you. God does this to help you grow and develop as His child. When the Holy Spirit exposes you to an area of your life that is not pleasing in God’s sight, don’t allow satan to cause you to delve into condemnation. If you feel condemned you run away from God. Satan loves condemnation. Which is why he wants you to put condemnation on others. But the Holy Spirit does not come to condemn you. He comes to convict you of the righteousness you have been called to. The Holy Spirit calls you OUT of sin and INTO the righteousness of God, so you can be the man/woman you are called to be, and so God’s light is free to flow through you. Living this way several things happen: you get to fulfill your God-given purpose, you become a conduit of God’s light on this planet, and the fact that you embrace God’s grace empowers you to have meaningful relationships with other people. It is in these relationships that God’s love is truly put on display. You can preach to someone from a pulpit, but it is easier to reach someone through a relationship. This is why I believe this series is so important. If we can have fellowship with God and fellowship with others, we can reach the world for Jesus.
3. When you get over yourself and the fact that you are not perfect, and you embrace God’s grace to the point where you know God called you anyway, you become a person who has a lot of tolerance for the imperfections of other people. This is how God wants us to live. This is how we share His love in this world.
4. I like it when believers where T-shirts to church that say, “No perfect people allowed.” This helps remove the stigma of some sort of perceived self-righteousness and it helps unbelievers feel welcome in the presence of people who openly acknowledge their imperfections. At the end of the day, God wants us to reach the world for Jesus, and we are not going to do it by putting up a false image of perfection. But if we would be honest and share with people the truth that we are not perfect, and that we have been forgiven of our sin by God’s unearned and amazing grace, we will draw people who are hurting on the inside, and who truly need the love of God. I pray this series on fellowship is helping you to become a conduit of God’s light and love in this world. You are not perfect. Embrace it. But you are forgiven, so extend that grace to other people.
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I am not perfect, but Jesus was perfect for me. I could never earn righteousness. But Jesus was righteous for me. Jesus took on my sin, so I could take on His righteousness. Based on my performance I could never be holy. You are perfect and flawless. Too perfect for humans. But Jesus made me Holy. I have been washed in His blood. I am pure, holy, and righteous, only because I have been forgiven. I am a recipient of Your grace, so I now become a conduit of Your grace in this world. I refuse to live a lie. I do not put up an image of perfection. I put up an image of a person who has been forgiven by a God who loves me. I now share that love with the world. I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!