Page 146 - Church of God Publications

Basic HTML Version

136
THE INCREDIBLE HUMAN POTENTIAL
But he is not perfect the minute he is converted and receives
God's Spirit. He must
GROW
spiritually, in grace and knowledge
of Christ, as Peter writes in 11 Peter 3: 18. He is the creature of
habit, and all old former habits do not just automatically leave
him without any effort on bis part to overcome them. He must
learn to
overcome
sin.
lt
is inevitable that he may be caught off
guard and make a mistake. So continue in 1John 1:
"But if we walk in the light" - that is, even though we may
stumble occasionally, it is now only the occasional slip - not a
turning our back on God's
w
AY -
not
a turning back to the
habit–
ual
and constant way ofsin.
Do you begin to
UNDERSTAND
the difference? The true Chris–
tian
intends
to live God's
WAY.
He
wants
to live God's way. He
tries
to live God's way. And, in general, it now actually is his ha–
bitual
NEW
w
AY
of life. The occasional slip, or sin, does not mean
that in bis mind and heart he has rejected God and God's
WAY.
Continue:
" ... As He is in the light" - if that is now our goal and pur–
pose and habitual way of life - then "we have fellowship one with
another, and the blood of Jesus Christ bis Son cleanseth us [us
who are now Christians] from all sin. Ifwe [Christians] say that we
have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us" (ver–
ses 7-8).
lf we, now Christians, say that we are already perfect - that
we never slip up and make a mistake or commit a sin, we are de–
ceiving ourselves. 1 knew a woman who deceived herself in this
way. She claimed to be above sin - claimed she
never
sinned.
And although she was what most people would call a
good
woman, she actually was committing the biggest sin of all - spiri–
tual pride and vanity! She gloried in her "sinless" state. She
lacked Christian humility.
But if, while walking down this
lighted
path with God, one
stumbles and falls down, does God kick him aside?
Verse 9: "lf we [we who are Christians - it is
not
talking
about the unconverted] confess our sins, he is faithful and just to
forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
So notice the "IF." "If we
confess
our sins." When we
stumble, we must admit it - we must repent of it - we must ask