Have you been asked questions like; what is eternal life? Can a Christian sin? Is confessimg our sins necessary even as we are declared righteous? Such questions seem to have contradicting answers among Christians but I would try to simplify the answer from scripture.
The book of first John was written for the purpose of reassuring Christians of their faith and to counter false teachings. Thus it is my intention to write from this book as I try to answer certain faith based questions.
You might probably wonder, “is it that you have nothing better to do than studying the Bible and writing, while others are thinking of how to make money? Why don’t you become a Pastor already? “
Here was my reply to a reader — “Dear, I. Really appreciate your concern. Actually, I don’t study all day. I run a family business too. Just as I make out time to eat and sleep, I make out time to study my Bible. Being in ministry is a calling and not a career. Although some go into ministry with a career mindset, they end up living for themselves than living for the master — Jesus who called them and the sheeple. I am only a student of the word“
You might be interested to read an article on why I am a Christian Hedonist.
Back to why you are here; It is important to note that all of scripture was written by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, so we shouldn’t see this as Johns writings but God’s very word — 2 Timothy 3:16
💡N/B: I personally use the New Living Translation (NLT) of the Bible — although I recommend every serious student to have the PC STUDY BIBLE. It’s a great software that actually has all the Bible translations and lots of Christian literatures and commentaries. For the sake of consistency, I will stick to the NLT.
💡 I would be using First John Chapter One to answer five questions about the christian faith. As I keep studying, I would answer more questions.
This is quite an unpopular question. When the popular John 3:16 says “…but have eternal (everlasting) life” , what comes into your mind? I guess you would say “Heaven”. But eternal life is not a place. Man by nature is eternal already – the spirit can never die but can suffer torment in hell. I would term that “eternal death”. But by virtue of BELIEVING in the giver of life, we have eternal life. 1 John 1:2 says ” … he is the one who is eternal life”
“Death” in the language of the Bible simply means “separation“. So when we die physically, there is a separation from this world and when people (not me) go to hell, they experience the eternal death. Ref — Revelation 20:14
Eternal life is not a place but a person. When you have him, you have legal permission into his state and place.
Here is the catch, If I already have eternal life and I am righteous – made right with God as many scriptures truthfully portray, does my personal life matter? Read My Temptation Story 🔞 to find out.
But John says in 1 John 1:5 that “…God is light and there is no darkness in him at all” . So a supposed Christian friend said “I don’t believe I am a sinner or any Christian sins”. My follow question was simple as this ; “Did the definition of what is Sinful change the moment you became a Christian? “. At this point he said “There is no darkness in me because God lives in me” . I would have asked a simple question of “Are you God?” But I was happy the very next verse after 1 John 1:5 explained more..
If a Christian cannot sin, why does he need a mediator who constantly makes intercession for him?
Don’t read the Bible in verses, read in chapters and with context. Heresis are coined from the Bible also without the right application of Biblical Hermaneutics.
To make this clear, we agree that “God is Spirit…” as the same John told us in John 4:24. So this agrees with what 1 John 1:6 says. “We are lying if we say we have fellowship with God indwelling in us if we GO ON LIVING in Spiritual Darkness; we are not Practising the truth”
First of all I would like to point out a tiny detail. Apostle John use the “we” adjective. If he was with the mindset as most Christians have, looking at his status, he should have use the “You” adjective — excluding himself.
I believe spiritual darkness is a state in a man’s spirit where there (seems or) is no LIGHT (God). Hence, such a person is indifferent to what is moral or immoral. Such a person cannot do the will of God because the light of God is not in them to show them the way. Light expels darkness and reveals sin.
I always say, it is one thing to be married to someone and it is another thing to live with them. Accepting Jesus as your saviour and mediator with the father without offering yourself as a living sacrifices (Romans 12:1-3) is like receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit and bearing no fruit (Galatians 5:22). You might be interested to read my article on if a Spiritually Gifted can go to hell.
Christians are brand-new people on the inside. The Holy Spirit gives them new life and they are bit the same anymore. We are NOT reformed, rehabilitated or reeducated — we are re-created (new creations), living in vital union with Christ ( Colossians 2:6,7). At conversion we do not merely turn over a new leaf; we begin a new life under a new master.
Jesus saved us from the penalty of sin and not from the possibility of sinning. This is why we have to continually follow him — Colossians 2:6-9
💡Take a moment to think about this.
In 1 John 1:6 John says our acclaimed fellowship with God Is untrue if we go on living in spiritual darkness. He explains spiritual darkness in simple terms as not practicing THE TRUTH. Now he says in Verse 8 ” if we claim we are without sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not LIVING IN THE TRUTH “
As a Student of the word, I noticed something common and that is the phrase “THE TRUTH“. I could infer that anyone who is a Christian (because John wrote this letter to Christians) but claims he or she is without sin is in spiritual darkness of not practising (living in) the truth. I hope this makes meaning to you my reader.
1 John 1:9-10 is the main focus for answering this question.
At conversion all our sins are forgiven — past, present and future. Yet even after we become Christians, we still sin and need to confess. This kind of confession is not offered to gain God’s acceptance but to remove the barrier of fellowship our sin has put between us and him.
The definition of what is sinful in the sight of God does not change the moment you became a Christian.
Confession is supposed to free us to enjoy fellowship with Christ. It should ease our consciences. But some Christians do not understand how it works. They feel so guilty that they confess the same sin over and over again; then they wonder if they might have forgotten something (of course we always do).
Other Christians believe God forgives them when they confess, but if the die with unconfessed sin, they would forever be lost. You shouldn’t live a sin conscious life but you should know when you have sinned because of the conviction of the Holy Spirit and repent of it. Definitely there will be sins you might taken common – like lies.
Some Christians do not understand that God wants to forgive us. He allowed his beloved son to die just so he could offer us pardon. When we come to Christ, he forgives all the sins we have committed or will ever commit — I guess this reads like the hyper grace teaching but it isnt. We don’t need to confess the sins of the past all over again, and we don’t need to fear that God would reject us if we don’t keep our slate perfectly clean.
Of course we should continue to confess our sins —as our Lord taught us to do in prayer. We may not remember them all but it is a good virtue of a Christian life. We should not confess our Sins with the mindset that failure to do so will make us lose our salvation.
Our relationship with Christ is secure. Instead we should confess so that we can enjoy maximum fellowship and joy with him.
💡So if someone were to ask me — “if God has forgiven us for our sins because of Christs Death, why MUST we confess our sins? ” Here will be my simple answer; in ADMITTING our sins and receiving Christ Cleansing, we are (1) agreeing with God that our sin truly is sin and that we are willing to turn from it , (2) ensuring the we do not conceal our sins from him and consequently from ourselves, and (3) recognizing our tendency to sin and relying on his power to overcome it .
When we do not even acknowledge we have sinned, it’s only a matter of time and we would be living in SPURITUAL DARKNESS, where we don’t see sin for what it is anymore .
If you actually read this article to the end, then know I have prayed specially for you the prayer of Apostle Paul in Ephesians 1:17-20. It is possible I might have made one or two errors from my answer or that there is something I missed out and did not say. Please kindly use the comment section below and tell me what you think.
It would be a great pleasure to learn from you too.