1 John 2:1-2 (NIV) 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.
When we accept Christ as our Savior we are washed clean of our sin and made new. Made new? YES! We are a new creation…the old has gone and the new has come! (2 Cor. 5:17) Does this mean we somehow miraculously change to become a different person over night? Don’t I wish! It doesn’t really happen that way. The moment we accept Christ into our heart, God begins to work in our lives by shaping us and molding us into the image of Jesus.
As Christians, the world looks at us differently don’t you think? I know it’s been my personal experience that some people are just waiting for me to mess up so they can point their finger and snicker about how much of a hypocrite I am. Well, we were all born with a sin nature so we all fall. The question becomes – When I fall, how do I handle the situation…do I fess up when I mess up, do I seek to make restitution for the things I’ve done, or do I just try to hide/cover everything up?
In 1 John 2, John encourages the body of Christ to walk in integrity – be obedient to God’s word and repent of the sin in our lives. As Christians, we are the only Jesus some people will ever see. It is up to us to walk in our faith and not compromise the standard by which we live our lives. If we say we know God, it is important to remain obedient to his Word. In 1 John 2:4, we read that if we don’t remain obedient then we are considered liars and the truth is not in us. (YIKES!) Similarly, if we say that we are walking with Christ but hate a brother or sister, we will walk in darkness (v 9).
Jesus calls us to follow him and love one another. His word doesn’t say “all you have to do is love the lovable.” If the Word of God said that, my life would sure be a breeze! We have to love as Christ loved, live lives of integrity, and rely on the One He sent (the Holy Spirit) to guide and direct us.
Related reading: 1 John 2:6, Romans 15: 1 – 3, 2 Cor. 3:18, Col. 3:9 – 10
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Stuart L. Tutt