We Long for Light but Sink into Darkness
who takes care of your sins—that’s what I do.
I don’t keep a list of your sins.
“So, make your case against Me. Let’s have this out.
Make your arguments. Prove you’re in the right.
Your original ancestor started the sinning,
and everyone since has joined in.
That’s why I had to disqualify the Temple leaders,
repudiate Jacob and discredit Israel.” (Isaiah 43:25-28)
The word “sin” has virtually disappeared from modern conversation.
Afraid of sounding judgmental, we call sin something else—a mistake, an addiction,
a tendency, a bad decision—and ignore it as normal and natural behavior.
But John is calling the church to a radical holiness
where those in the church will regularly remember their sins and seek God’s forgiveness. Each sin, small and large, injures us or someone else;
it imprints on our soul, makes us imperfect, and separates us from the perfect God.
If you will simply approach God the Father in prayer, state your case before Him,
and repent of each of your sins – then God will fully acquit you, fully forgive you,
and your sins will no longer be remembered in His eyes!
If we confess our sins to God each day,
then He will purify our hearts and draw us closer to Him.
You are my little children, so I am writing these things to help you avoid sin.
If, however, any believer does sin, we have a high-powered defense lawyer—
Jesus the Anointed, the righteous—arguing on our behalf before the Father. (1 John 2:1-2)
The Solution Is Life on God’s Terms
With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved.
Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us
no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud.
A new power is in operation.
The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air,
freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.
But I have prayed for you.
I have prayed that your faith will hold firm
and that you will recover from your failure
and become a source of strength for your brothers here. (Luke 22:32)
The Communion of Saints:
The Forgiveness of Sins
If we say we have an intimate connection with the Father but we continue stumbling around in darkness, then we are lying because we do not live according to truth.
If we walk step by step in the light, where the Father is,
then we are ultimately connected to each other through the sacrifice of Jesus His Son.
His blood purifies us from all our sins.
If we go around bragging, “We have no sin,” then we are fooling ourselves
and are strangers to the truth.(1 John 1:6-8)
Now it’s time to change your ways!
Turn to face God so He can wipe away your sins,
pour out showers of blessing to refresh you,
and send you the Messiah He prepared for you, namely, Jesus.
For the time being He must remain out of sight in heaven
until everything is restored to order again just the way God,
through the preaching of his holy prophets of old, said it would be.
Moses, for instance, said,
‘Your God will raise up for you a prophet just like me from your family.
Listen to every word He speaks to you.
Every last living soul who refuses to listen to that prophet
will be wiped out from the people.’ (Acts 3:19-23)
Keep on keeping on. Never betray My trust; get over “it” and keep walking in My will. It takes courage, it takes boldness, it takes integrity. Blessed are the Pure in heart, for they shall see God. (Matthew 5:8)
It’s not complicated: It’s free!
Grace is God’s Gift that cost Him everything but you have nothing
to lose and everything to gain.
So comfort one another with this hope, and encourage one another with these words.
(1 Thessalonians 4:18)
So own up to your sins to one another
and pray for one another.
In the end, you may be healed.
Your prayers are powerful
when they are rooted in a righteous life.
Father, may they all be one as You are in Me and I am in You;
may they be in Us, for by this unity the world will believe that You sent Me. (John 17:21)
God didn’t set us up for an angry rejection but for salvation by our Master, Jesus Christ.
He died for us, a death that triggered life.
Whether we’re awake with the living or asleep with the dead, we’re alive with Him!
So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you’re already doing this; just keep on doing it. (1 Thessalonians 5:9-11)
Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, His blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free!
He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need,
letting us in on the plans He took such delight in making.
He set it all out before us in Christ,
a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in Him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth. (Ephesians 1:7-10)
He puts victims back on their feet.
He showed Moses how He went about his work,
opened up His plans to all Israel.
God is sheer mercy and grace;
not easily angered, He’s rich in love.
He doesn’t endlessly nag and scold,
nor hold grudges forever.
He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve,
nor pay us back in full for our wrongs.
As high as heaven is over the earth,
so strong is his love to those who fear Him.
And as far as sunrise is from sunset,
He has separated us from our sins.
As parents feel for their children,
God feels for those who fear Him.
He knows us inside and out,
keeps in mind that we’re made of mud.
Men and women don’t live very long;
like wildflowers they spring up and blossom,
But a storm snuffs them out just as quickly,
leaving nothing to show they were here.
God’s love, though, is ever and always,
eternally present to all who fear Him,
Making everything right for them and their children
as they follow His Covenant ways
and remember to do whatever He said. (Psalm 103:6-18)
“Come. Sit down. Let’s argue this out.”
This is God’s Message:
“If your sins are blood-red,
they’ll be snow-white.
If they’re red like crimson,
they’ll be like wool.
If you’ll willingly obey,
you’ll feast like kings.
But if you’re willful and stubborn,
you’ll die like dogs.”
That’s right. God says so. (Isaiah 1:18-20)
How wonderful, how beautiful,
when brothers and sisters get along!
It’s like costly anointing oil
flowing down head and beard,
Flowing down Aaron’s beard,
flowing down the collar of his priestly robes.
It’s like the dew on Mount Hermon
flowing down the slopes of Zion.
Yes, that’s where God commands the blessing,
ordains eternal life. (Psalm 133:1-3)
Now we look inside,
and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start,
is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it!
All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and Him,
and then called us to settle our relationships with each other.
God put the world square with Himself through the Messiah,
giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins.
God has given us the task of telling everyone what He is doing.
We’re Christ’s representatives.
God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences
and enter into God’s work of making things right between them.
We’re speaking for Christ Himself now:
Become friends with God; He’s already a friend with you. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Salvation and power are established!
Kingdom of our God, authority of His Messiah!
The Accuser of our brothers and sisters thrown out,
who accused them day and night before God.
They defeated him through the blood of the Lamb
and the bold word of their witness.
They weren’t in love with themselves;
they were willing to die for Christ.
So rejoice, O Heavens, and all who live there,
but doom to earth and sea,
For the Devil’s come down on you with both feet;
he’s had a great fall;
He’s wild and raging with anger;
he hasn’t much time and he knows it. (Revelation 12)