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Communion 2011

Sin After Baptism

Originally scheduled for August 14

1 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.

Of course, 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 does so.

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 this possible.

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