Sin After Baptism
Originally scheduled for
John 1:7 NIV
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have
fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son,
purifies us from all sin.
The problem is a
fairly common one: a new Christian, recently baptized, finds himself
with the same sins that he had before he became a Christian. It's a
great disappointment; but it's a very common one too . This passage,
by John the Apostle, gives us the answer to the problem.
First, we are to
walk in the light. There is one simple meaning to this, and many
complex ones. The simple one is all we really need: act as if God
were watching your every move — because he is. Of course, the
complaint comes back from that, "how can I possibly do that?" The
answer is given here quite simply; we are to walk in the light as he
(Christ) is in the light. In other words we are to make Jesus Christ
the model, the exemplar, of our conduct. The imitation of Christ has
been the secret of Saints for 2000 years.
Then too we are to
have fellowship. Notice the fellowship specified is with one
another; there is no such thing has solo Christianity. We are meant
to be the church, the body of Christ. So if a brother is troubled by
his sins, should he not call upon the church for assistance? If you
were physically injured you would not hesitate to ask one of your
fellow Christians to call 911. How much more, then, should you be
willing to ask for help with your sins? If you are new Christian
this can be an enormous source of comfort and assistance. From this
we may conclude that the church is designed to be in fellowship,
helping each other along the way.
fellowship is not what cleanses us of sin. Only the blood of Christ
can do that. This communion meditation is a memorial of that. It's
not just the question of the blood itself; it's the blood of Christ.
Jesus is the son of God, and this makes his blood effective for us.
None other will do.
It's hard to see
this in the English, but the word translated "purifies" in this
passage is in what is called a continuous tense. That means that it
continually purifies us, not just once. It is not a one time thing;
it is lifelong.
To lay one other
problem to rest, note that it cleanses us from "all" sin.
This is a social distinction
we often make; God never
So as you take communion today, remember:
God has provided for your sins, for the rest of your life.
This communion is a memorial to the sacrifice which makes