Fourth in a series of studies of 1 John 1:5-10
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8).
Continuing his goal of refuting the notions of the Gnostics, John brings forth a major tenet of that group: they were above sin. They believed they could live in sinless perfection because sin and law did not apply to them.
John meets that claim head-on by labeling those holding such a belief as self-deceivers and dishonest. The scriptures make it clear that everyone has sinned, and the point of Christianity is that we do not have to remain in those sins nor even continue in the downward spiral of a sinful life.
Through the ages, there have been those who have made the same claim—that they can live a life with no sin in spite of the teaching here and in other places like Romans 3 where Paul writes, “all have sinned.”
The “truth” is we are all subject to the deceptive temptations of the devil, and we sometimes grow weak and stumble. Accepting that reality will go a long way in helping us develop a deeper appreciation for Jesus’ tremendous sacrifice that paid the price for our sins.