[CF Devotionals] 2012-10-17 - John's Two Primary Points

The Epistles of John ~ Part 69 ~ 1 John

1 John 3:23-24

  1. We Are to Depend on the Lord for Wisdom to Know Right from Wrong

    John essentially makes two very important points in this section. First, as in everything else, we are to depend on the Lord for the wisdom to know that which is right and that which is wrong. When Satan came to Eve he said,

    "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil" (Genesis 3:5).

    The problem, or maybe even the blessing, is that aside from the direction of Scripture and the Holy Spirit we don't always know the difference. This means we can get in trouble unintentionally. But praise the Lord: we are forgiven. Again,

    "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).

    This also means we need to take the guilt we carry with us to the Lord, and depend on Him to either show us we need to repent of something, or that we are feeling guilt we don't deserve. Frequently this type of guilt is applied from the outside, not from the inside.

    We feel guilty because someone says we should. We can feel guilty because others have transferred their justified guilt to us. In this way, they strive to be free by binding us. But

    " … if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed" (John 8:36).

    We do not need to be bound by either false guilt … or guilt that has been dealt with. Because the other problem is that Satan will constantly bring back sins to our mind. These will be sins that have been forgiven, but we will sometimes accept the guilt back and struggle once again. The prophet said;

    "You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea" (Micah 7:19).

    I always liked the illustration that Corrie Ten Boom gave. Our sin is represented by the sounds of a large bell being rung. But when we are forgiven, we stop ringing it. The problem is that there are sometimes echoes of the ringing, even after we've stopped. Unfortunately we can confuse the echoes for the real thing. And Satan is more than happy to encourage that confusion. We are forgiven. When we take our sin to the Lord, it is removed. And when false guilt is exposed to the light of truth, then the Lord will help us let go of it.

To be continued.

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