Be Not Deceived

Read: 1 John 1:1-10

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves. (v. 8)

Most of us are more familiar with John 1 than with 1 John 1. But it’s obvious the same apostle wrote both. John again harks back to “the beginning” and he has plenty to say about light and darkness just as in the opening of his Gospel. But here John is not celebrating the birth of the Word of God but instead needs to talk about what it means to live as a child of the light.

When we read the Epistles, we are reading someone else’s mail and can see only one-half of the correspondence. We have to guess to figure out to what a given letter is responding. In this case, it looks like some believers had taken God’s forgiving grace so far as to conclude that sin is nothing to fret about. We may as well say we never sin at all since God is so swift to forgive us anyway.

To this John responds with a firm no! Yes, God has forgiven us but only by bringing us into his glorious realm of light. But you cannot carry darkness with you into the light. So confess your sins and certainly do not wallow in them or keep doing them on the assumption it’s no big deal. Don’t be deceived: sin persists in our lives for now. Jesus died to keep that from being the final word on our lives, but our response must be as full of light as Jesus is himself the Light of the world. —Scott Hoezee

As you pray, confess your sins and thank God for his forgiveness.

About the Author

Scott Hoezee

Scott Hoezee is an ordained pastor in the Christian Reformed Church of North America. He served two Michigan congregations from 1990-2005 and since 2005 has been a faculty member at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he serves chiefly as the Director of The Center for Excellence in Preaching. He is the author of several books, including most recently Why We Listen to Sermons (Calvin Press 2019) and is the co-host of the “Groundwork” radio program.