Commentary on 1 John 1:5—2:2
Preaching Series on 1 John (Week 2 of 4)
July 1, 2018
Preaching text: 1 John 1:5–2:2 If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves
Gospel: John 1:29 The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world
Integrity involves consistency between words and actions. When we follow through with the commitments that we have made, it shows integrity. When we say one thing and do another, it creates dissonance. We generally do not like to live with the contradiction, so we become experts in spin control. Initially we may wince at what we have said or done, but we go on to tell ourselves and others that it really was okay. It might have appeared to be a contradiction, but with a few tweaks to the storyline, we can show that we were right all along.
1 John provides language that has often been used in liturgy. It speaks of the contradiction between saying that we have fellowship with God, and yet live in ways that contradict that relationship. It names the propensity for kidding ourselves about ourselves. The writer says that acknowledging the problem is the first step toward moving beyond it. Things become more specific in later chapters, which speak of the contradiction between saying we love God, while conveying a lack of love by what we say and do.
Forgiveness is the mending of relationships. The basic idea is release. It is the point at which one can be honest about the damage that has been done, while saying that what has happened does not determine the future. Forgiveness is the moment when a future that has been blocked by something that has damaged relationship is opened up by the word that offers release for new relationship.