“He is…He will…”
Submitted by: Gord Gooderham
Sixty years had passed since young John had spent an afternoon with Jesus and became His disciple. Those years of faithful obedience to his Master gave him great depths of God-filled experience set forth in this pastoral letter. He discovered, through times of travel and imprisonment, the reality of God’s character and His compassion. This ongoing fellowship with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ, revealed to him that God is both faithful and just. That being true, He will forgive and purify all who are sinners, and we all are sinners, if we confess our sins.
God is faithful, He keeps His word. Abraham was old, as good as dead. Sarah was barren and beyond bearing. But God promised a baby. Abraham considered Him faithful. A baby was conceived, and a nation was born. (Heb.11:11,12). God is faithful, He will not deny Himself. (2Tim2:13).
John also affirms that God is just or righteous. Jesus had taught that “God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.” (1:5). Moral darkness is a kingdom, from which is spewed lies, hatred, murder, deceit, idolatry, fornication – all manner of wickedness. The Devil, as king, is both a liar and a murderer. The Kingdom of God is Light – righteousness, goodness, truth, love, purity. God is righteous, He cannot lie.
Because God is righteous and just, He can forgive our sins, if we confess them. To ‘confess’ is to agree, to say the same thing God has said, “All have sinned.”
My confession, “I have sinned,” prayed with the humble spirit of the publican, “God be merciful to me a sinner.” The International Standard Version reads, “If we make it our habit to confess…”. Not an empty, vain ritual, but a daily heartfelt, sincere acknowledgement of our sinful omissions and commissions.
Our compassionate Father forgives and cleanses from all sin. Forgive is literally “to send away from”, as Jesus said to the stretcher bound cripple, “Thy sins are forgiven thee.” The proof of that deliverance was release from his paralysis.
Purify or cleanse means “to remove all filth,” casting away guilt, deceit, defilement, rebellion.
“Forgiven! I repeat, l’m forgiven!
So, clean before the Lord, I freely stand.” (Bill and Gloria Gaither)