Originally scheduled for April 10
1 John 2:1 – 11
A primary difficulty for modern converts to Christianity is
this: man, by his very nature, is sinful. It’s not just that we
commit sins; we could probably come up with a good set of excuses
for that. Certainly none of us has ever been free of beginners’
mistakes. It’s just that it’s not a “one-shot” thing; it’s a part of
us. We try to deny it; remember Lucy telling Linus that she thought
she made a mistake once, but she was wrong? We are human; we are
This wouldn’t be too much difficulty except for the fact
that we can’t fix it. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make a sincere
effort to fix what we can; restitution and forgiveness should be
part of a Christian’s life. But it is necessary to recognize that we
cannot fix our sinful nature — and therefore God must.
Perhaps the most discouraging thing of all is that just
when we think we’ve gotten it sorted out, repented of and fixed as
best we can — we repeat. This can be very unpleasant, but we need to
remember that we have an advocate to present our case to God, not on
the basis of what goodness we have but upon what sacrifice He has
Forgiveness is not without its problems, either. Just how
is it that we know that we have been forgiven? Some people will tell
you that forgiveness is only for the good people. We need to
remember that “righteous sinners” is an oxymoron. Others will tell
you that you need to be obedient to be forgiven. If you think about
it, this makes no sense. If you are being obedient, by definition
you wouldn’t have sinned. The reason it doesn’t work is that it
confuses the result (obedience) with the cause (forgiveness.) It is
quite true that if there is no obedience it is because you have not
sought the forgiveness of God; you are still walking in sin. So just
how is it that you know that you have been sufficiently obedient
that God is in position to forgive you? You can test this. The
apostle John tells us that you should be “walking in the light.” The
symptom which tells you that you are is that you love your Christian
brothers; we love one another.
The high example of this is Jesus Christ Himself.
Once and for all, Christ made the atonement sacrifice on which God
for gives us.
Even as he made this sacrifice, hanging on the cross, he
demonstrated that practice of “love one another.” Some of those
jeering him that day — of whom he said, “Father forgive them” — were
to become members of his church just a few weeks later.
Communion is first and foremost a reminder of that
sacrifice he made for us. It is also an example of the obedience He
had to his Father. Likewise it is the beacon of his love towards us.
Remember your sins; but also remember your salvation. This is his
body; this is his blood — take, eat in remembrance of Him.