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Edward O’Hara Tue 2/25/2020 3:27 PM …
Only if we make a tradition of men out of what John was teaching here. And there are those who have done just that by teaching that John is saying here that Christians must go to Jesus for forgiveness every time they sin because otherwise they won’t be forgiven of that sin. In fact, this is what is taught in most religions that say they believe the Bible. But by teaching this they show they really don’t. Because if this is true then how is Jesus’ sacrifice any different from that of bulls and goats? If men need to go back over and over again for forgiveness then Jesus’ sacrifice wouldn’t be the final once for all sacrifice that Hebrews tells us it was, would it? Because if His sacrifice was not sufficient to cleanse you from all unrighteousness at salvation, then nothing is final about His sacrifice, right?
Isn’t this the reason for the confessionals the Roman Catholics use? And don’t they believe that their Eucharist is Jesus being sacrificed over and over for the forgiveness of their sins? How is this any different from what Israel did? Because didn’t Israel have to go back over and over again for the forgiveness of their sins? And doesn’t Hebrews9:13,14 and 10:3 tell us that this was a constant reminder of sins for Israel so that their consciences could not be purged from these dead works? And doesn’t Hebrews also say that when the Israelite believes in Jesus’ sacrifice it will purge even their conscience of sin? So what would be the purpose of going back over and over again for the forgiveness of sins that John said going to Jesus the first time “cleanse us from all unrighteousness”? Wouldn’t this be a constant reminder of sins just as Heb.10:1,2 says the sacrifices of bulls and goats for the forgiveness of sins were for Israel? And wouldn’t this mean that men could never have their conscience purged of sin just like Israel couldn’t under the law? Of course, it would.
So there can be no question that at the very least men have misunderstood what John was addressing here in 1John1:9. So let’s take a look at what it really was that John was dealing with here so we can understand what he was teaching them about the confession of sin. In 1John he wrote that they must confess their sins to be cleansed from all unrighteousness (1John1:9). Another thing John said was that the belief that Jesus did not come in the same flesh all men have comes from the spirit of antichrist(1John4:1-3). And he said in another place that there were those who had gone out from them. And that this was proof that they were never of them in the first place (1John2:18,19). Are you beginning to see a pattern? Are you seeing that John is dealing with a central theme that created the need for him to teach them these things? I do, and I hope you do too. But, just in case you haven’t I will try to show you the central theme if you have not yet picked up on it.
John was addressing the heretical teaching of the Gnostics that were troubling and confusing the people he had been teaching about salvation. These Gnostics believe that the natural material world is evil. And that only God and the spiritual world are good. And because the material natural world is evil, and that only God and the spiritual is good and sinlessly pure, God could not possibly have ever inhabited the same flesh and blood body like ours. So these Gnostics were telling these people that John was teaching that Jesus could not have come in the same flesh all men have. To which John responded saying; “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ comes in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” And since John’s teaching was inspired by the same Holy Spirit that inspired the letter to the Hebrews he meant “come in the flesh” to mean that Jesus came in “the same” flesh all men have as Heb.2:14 affirms.
These Gnostics also believed that because the flesh is evil by nature it would not change anything about what they believed was the nature of the flesh to ask forgiveness for sins. So they were telling the Israelites that John was teaching that they did not need to confess their sins to Jesus. To which John responded, “if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”So here John says clearly that of course, they must confess their sins when they come to faith in Jesus. Because only by doing so could they would be cleansed from all unrighteousness that was under the law that the Gnostics said didn’t matter.
So this was what John was battling within 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John. It had nothing to do with the constant reminder of sins by constantly going back over and over again to repent as Israel did under the law. But, only that when they come to faith in Jesus they must at that time confess the sins they committed while under the law to be cleansed from all unrighteousness. And now being cleansed from all unrighteousness, the constant repentance that was necessary under the law that was also a constant reminder of sins, was not necessary. Because it would equate to being the same “dead works” that Israel did while under the law.
This wrong understanding of what John taught in his epistles came from a source that derived his conclusions from the Gnosticism that John was fighting against in his epistles. That source, that is also the same source for so many today, is the Gnostic Manecheaism of Augustine. In John’s day, these Gnostics were of a different sect known as the Docetists. But, these all believed and taught the same false things about repentance and the evil nature of the material natural world. This is why in Roman Catholicism, whose “doctor of theology” is Augustine, they teach that men have a sin nature that compels men to sin. This false sin nature belief comes from the Gnostic belief that the material world is evil. So Roman Catholics adopted the belief that only by continually confessing their sins by going to a priest in a confessional who they teach has an unction from God to forgive them when they confess their sins to him, could they be cleansed from them. And after the so-called “reformation” this bled over into evangelical Protestantism in the practice of going to Jesus instead of a priest over and over again for forgiveness. But, this is not what John was teaching at all. Because John said they already had the forgiveness from sins by being cleansed from all unrighteousness when they confessed their sins at salvation.
If Augustine would have allowed the Bible to mean what it plainly says, instead of reading into it his Gnostic preconceptions, he could never have come up with such phrases as “original sin”. Or “necessity” which is the “sin nature” of evangelical protestants. Because none of these phrases or their doctrines are ever even once found written in the pages of the Bible. And if those who teach the Bible today would stop believing Augustine and start believing Paul they would never use these phrases or believe their doctrines that are a perversion of Paul’s gospel. Now we see why going back over and over again to beg forgiveness is the same thing Roman Catholics do in their crucifying Jesus over and over again in their pagan celebration of the eucharist. It is a denigration of Jesus’ once for all sacrifice. Because it is a practice that keeps Him on the cross instead of where the Bible plainly tells us He is. At the right hand of the Father in power waiting for the time when He will put the final enemy death under His feet. This is why we see Hebrews telling those who were once commanded to do them; “For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, PURGE YOUR CONSCIENCE FROM DEAD WORKS to serve the living God? And for this cause, he is the mediator of a New Testament…”
From this, we see that the practice of repeatedly going for the forgiveness of sins is not only not necessary. But, that is actually what Israel would be doing if they continued the sacrifices of bulls and goats. Because just as their’s would be, for us to do so is a rejection of His cleansing from all unrighteousness that John taught His once for all sacrifice accomplished. This is how 1John1:9 becomes “dead works”. And is why we must learn to leave these dead works behind and believe that we really are cleansed from all unrighteousness when we come to faith in Jesus. So that we learn what it really means when Paul said; “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”1Cor.6:11. And what John means when he writes, “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose, the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.”1John3:8,9.
Have you believed in Jesus? Have you been born of the Spirit so you too can inherit eternal life? If you are reading this God is calling you. He loves you and wants you to know Him. Because knowing Him is eternal life.John17:3. So if you do not know Him please take the time right now to pray and confess Jesus as Lord of your life. And believe that He has raised from the dead. If you do believe in Him then pray something like this and you will be saved: Dear Jesus, I believe you. Thank you for joining with me in death so that by conquering death by your resurrection I could join with you in life. Thank you that you raised from the dead so that I could raise from the dead too by trusting in, clinging to, and relying solely on you. Thank you for giving me a new spirit now Lord so that I can live with you in heaven forever. In Jesus’ name, amen.
By praying a prayer similar to this one and really meaning it from your heart you will be saved from death to life. From sin to righteousness. And from the wrath to peace with God. Now when you begin reading the Bible and believing what it plainly says it will begin to change the way you think and believe. Because when you trust in Jesus you leave the old life behind where you were only able to relate to and trust in what has been made. And now will be equipped for heaven because you are no longer only natural flesh and blood that can only relate to what has been made. But, are now made a spiritual being able to relate to God in an intimate personal relationship, and therefore ready to inherit God’s spiritual kingdom called heaven.
It is because of Jesus’ resurrection that He is the only WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE. Because only Jesus has broken through the wall of death that the flesh and blood natural body can never get through. Only by the new birth are we made ready to receive the spiritual body that can go through the wall of death as Jesus’ did first when He made the way for us so we could follow Him by trusting in, clinging to, and relying on Him. God Bless! This message can also be heard at https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=3YoIzFs5Ywg
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The Lukewarm Christian
There are numerous pathetic souls who, though they have not severed formal fellowship ties with a local church, nonetheless are so spiritually apathetic as to be practical enemies of the Lord.
Prophecy Unfolding Before Our Eyes in Real-Time
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