How do you have true fellowship with the Lord and with one another? The Bible says, “If we say we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say 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 in not in us.” 1 John 1:6-10
Verses six through ten of 1 John contain three contrasts between words and works, or saying on thing and doing another. Following each contrast is the result of the action. The first false claim is having fellowship with God while failing to reflect His moral character. The way we walk is a daily practice. If we walk in darkness we live a life contrary to the moral character of God and we live a sinful life. We cannot live a lie since God cannot compromise His holiness to accommodate sin. When a Christian’s conduct reflects God’s moral character, then real fellowship is possible with other Christians.
The second false claim is that we have no sin. The idea would be that our sin nature is completely gone. We deceive ourselves if we believe we have not sinned. The truth tells us the opposite. To have no sin means we have no need of a Savior. That would make Jesus coming unnecessary. We must acknowledge that we sin and confess our sins to be in right relationship with God. He will cleanse us from all unrighteousness and restore us.
The third false claim is that we have not sinned. We must personally believe that we have sinned. The Greek verb translates to “we have not sinned,” indicates that a denial in the past that continues to the present. Verse ten speaks of a specific sin that we have committed. To deny our personal sins is to call God a liar and therefore we have no fellowship with Him.
How do we restore our relationship with Jesus? The Word says, “We have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” If we confess our sins and turn around, “He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from unrighteousness.”