1 John 1: 8-10

October 24, 2017



Few things in Scripture can be tied up with pretty little bows, which means that we must work for our wisdom. We get this by studying the Word of God. The things we work the hardest for tend to be the things we come to love.


What we’ve found so far from reading John’s writings:

·       He has a profound love for his children (fellow believers and followers).

·       *Koinwnia (Greek for fellowship) is what our goal should be. Fellowship with Christ’s sufferings is where the goal posts are, and this is clearly an important point John is making.

·       The Bible is clearly supernatural. It’s quite evident that God is working in our lives constantly.

*Koinwnia is based on the death of Christ and depends on our total obedience. We think of fellowship – of koinwnia – as a noun, but to the Jews, it was an action. Koinwnia is a verb. It’s something you do.

·       Context: So far in 1 John 1, people have been leaving the specific group of followers, but John is telling his followers (his children) that these people were never in true koinwnia. They weren’t in true fellowship.

Furthermore, we have to remember the THREE claims that are being rebutted by John in this first chapter. The next two claims are in the verses we’re going to cover this morning.


Verse 8:

THIS IS THE SECOND FALSE CLAIM – “We have no sin.” - This is false.

Use of the term “we”.

·       It’s plural. We as in you and me.

·       Indicates a need for unification around this point; everybody needs to be on the same page.

Use of the term “if”.

·       IF we say that “we have no sin,” we are leading ourselves astray big time.

·       John is saying that sinless perfection doesn’t exist. It did once, but only Jesus, our beloved Passover Lamb – THEE Passover Lamb, walked on this planet embodying sinless perfection.


Verse 9:

COUNTERCLAIM to the claim made in verse 8.

Usually, there is a “but” when a counterclaim is made, but don’t be fooled! This is a counterclaim nonetheless.

·       We see the term “we” again, which is a nod to koinwnia. Fellowship wasn’t an individual thing; it was a community thing. There was no “I,” but there was “we.”

“If we confess our sins…”

·       John is probably not talking about a literal interpretation of this phrase. Let’s not get in a circle and tell each other ever sin we’ve committed.

·       The word “confess” in Greek is “homologeo,” and it means “same word/same saying.”

·       We noticed that “sins” is plural, so there’s another nod to the collective whole.

·       John is saying that we need to agree together that there is sin. IF we agree on sin, then we have “homologeo.” We’re all on the same page.

·       Let’s go further with this: IF you believe that there is NO sin, how do you explain the death of Christ? Why did He die then? IT NEGATES HIS SACRIFICE! IT NEGATES THE WORD OF GOD! If you don’t believe in sin, how can you believe in the life, teachings, and death of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior?

Referenced Proverbs 28:13

“He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.”

·       It’s not enough to confess, but we must also forsake our sins. You can’t do just one. You can’t have one foot in the light and the other in darkness. Both feet must walk in the path of righteousness.

Referenced Psalms 66:18

“If I regard wickedness in my heart, the Lord will not hear.”

·       Using communion as an example, we talked about our hearts. If you take communion when your heart isn’t settled (when things aren’t right with God), think twice!

·       You can’t hide what’s in your heart from the Lord, but if you do, He will regard you accordingly.

*Back to verse 9:

·       “to forgive us”

·       This part of the verse should read, “…and based on His nature, we should know that He wants to forgive us.”

·       As believers, we have been cleansed, but we still sin daily. This doesn’t absolve us from the act of sin, but it offers us salvation.

·       If we re-word the whole verse, it would read like this: IF we confess that there is sin, we should know that God is faithful and righteous; because of that, He wants to forgive us.


·       In Greek, “faithful” is “pistis.”

·       This is 100% true to His nature.


·       In Greek, “righteous” is “dikaios.”

·       Righteousness is based on justification.

****FAITHFUL and RIGHTEOUS are COVENANT TERMS! This is COVENANT LANGUAGE! They’re sacred to God, and thus, they are sacred to us, too.


Verse 10:

THIS IS THE THIRD FALSE CLAIM – “We have not sinned.” - Again, this is dumb. Who hasn’t sinned?

·       John is saying that those who claim they’ve never sinned are making Jesus a liar and the Word of God clearly isn’t in anybody. You can’t fellowship in this type of message!

·       John was there. John heard Jesus speak the words of God through divine revelation Himself. John knows what the message is because he lived it! The Gospel and teachings he preaches all come from the mouth of Christ.

In holding the words of Christ – In holding the Word of God, you are in true koinwnia (fellowship).

·       You walk in the light.

·       You can’t walk in both the light and dark. It’s impossible. You can try, but you’ll fail to achieve koinwnia.


Final thoughts:

·       You can’t come to the cross if you can’t admit your own shortcomings. With this, with everything we’ve learned, we’re given LIFE…literally. We’re given real life – eternal life.


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