If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. – 1Jn. 1:8-9 NIV
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The word sin and human beings in general and Christians in particular seems like siamese twins as the human being in relation to the creator is usually guilty of one form of misdemeanor or the other. Sin basically is an immoral act or the transgression of a divine law. Because of the spiritual nature of the Almighty God, and the natural gravitation of man towards satisfying carnal desires, the tendency for man to transgress all those divine laws is always there. Beyond the day to the day activities of man that tend to always attract a conflict with divine laws, the fact that very human being already carries a baggage due to the curse that came on Adam and Eve means that even before man comes into the world, it is already concluded that the one coming into the world is a sinner. Put more aptly, the human being can be pronounced as “born a sinner”. No wonder the King David in the fifty-first psalm states that we were conceived and born in sin – Psa. 51:5. That is not to say that the act of conception is a sinful one but that the new born, being a product of sinners is already a sinner ab initio. Simply put, the new child inherited sin.
It will therefore be wrong for anyone to want to argue that he/she is sinless because even that statement will in itself be sinful considering that it will be viewed as peddling falsehood which is a transgression of the ninth of the Ten Commandments (Exo. 20:16), just as the Lord made it clear in the third biblical book credited to Moses called Leviticus that all who desire to worship him must not lie – Lev. 19:11.
That explains why the disciple John in the scripture that is the foundation of today’s devotional, asserts that if we say we are sinless, we not only deceive ourselves but we have no truth in us. To deceive oneself in this instance will mean to refuse to accept a known truth about oneself and this is because, according to him, such a person has no interest for truth. The implication of this false belief is the denial of the opportunity to depart from a life in darkness and live a life in light. This life in darkness, that is life in sin, is one that makes it impossible to accept the claim of the Christian to be walking with the Almighty God, as God is light and there is no room for darkness, no matter how little, in Him – 1Jn. 1:5. He is simply a god of light and the one who is still in sin and claims to be walking with him is a liar and not living in truth – 1Jn. 1:6.
The implication of such lies and self deception is the absence of true fellowship amongst brethren in the view of the disciple John, as it will always be impossible for light and darkness to function together. What a revelation of the fundamental reason why true fellowship is missing amongst Christians today. Even within the same Christian denomination and sect, sincere fellowship remains a mirage. The disciples of Christ after the departure of Jesus Christ and the receiving of the Holy Spirit had what was sincere fellowship, not just because they were sharing things but because everyone adhered strictly to agreed terms of living together (Acts 4:32), until Ananias and Sapphira decided to allow the devil lead them into sin – Acts 5:1-10.
Fellowship is the friendly and willing association amongst people who share same interests. As much as they may not have the same interests through and through, the area of interest that brings them together must be mutual, and all who belong to that group will be expected to retain loyalty to that area and all its conditions at all times. The Christian fellowship is expected to have as its interest the acceptance of Jesus as Lord and savior, the decision to live the Christian life style and strict adherence to all the rules of the sect or denomination. Deliberately derailing from this binding principles will always be a violation of the principles of fellowship and a betrayal of the group interest, an action that will always remain inimical to the growth and unity of the group.
Fellowship is characterized by the voluntariness of association. This means that the decision to belong to the fellowship was a freewill decision and deciding not to continue to be part of the group should also be freewill, so when someone decides to infringe on the conditions of association, it will be regarded as a deliberate act to undermine the group and ultimately destroy it. That is not only wicked but also evil.
The Christian today should continue to do a self assessment on the truthfulness of the decision to be a Christian or to belong to the religious denomination or sect he/she has chosen to belong to, so as to be sure that continuing with that group is still a freewill decision. A decision to withdraw from the group should be taken the minute there is doubt about the willingness to adhere to the rules and guidelines of the group as any other move will be evil and rebellious and such remaining in the group will only aim at forcing an individual opinion on majority without consensus of opinion or worse still a devilish attempt to destroy the group. That, the bible considers as an act of witchcraft – 1Sam. 15:23. That is what the Christian that has decided that the Christian lifestyle is not one he/she desires, but still remains amongst the brethren seeks to do. It will only be a question of time before the group will witness disruptions, courtesy of such negative minded people. Do not be a witch or a tool of de-stabilisation. Do all you can to re-enforce the bonds of fellowship. May God continue to help protect the fellowship of the brethren in Jesus name. Amen.