People take many approaches to Jesus Christ. 1 John 1:8-10 highlights three different approaches people take to Jesus Christ. The question we each need to consider is: “What is my approach? Is it the right approach?”
“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.” – 1 John 1:8-10
1) First way people approach Jesus– “I’m Good Now- Bye”
These are the people who at some point in their life felt a need for Jesus and followed Him. But things have gone pretty well and they are feeling pretty good about themselves now. A common phrase from these people is :”I don’t have time for God right now.” It is not that they are against God, they just are indifferent toward Him.
Verse 8 starts off with a familiar phrase – “If we claim to be without sin….” If you look up in verse 6 we see the same thing – “if we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.” We make claims with our mouth. We might walk around telling people how in the past we has some issues, but we are good now. If we do that we deceive ourselves. There is no truth in that. Why? Because we know better. We have problems. We struggle with doubts, fears, and pride. This does not make us weak, it makes us dependent on Jesus Christ.
The one who claims they are all set, no issues ever, pushes Jesus away in favor of themselves. That is not the right approach. This also sets us up for failure. If I say that this will never happen to me, I have let my guard down and probably opened the doorway to it.
Have you pushed Jesus aside because He has gotten in the way or because you think that you are doing “pretty good” right now? This verse warns us not to be there because we deceive ourselves and walk away from the truth.
This is not a very good approach to friendship or marriage. When you plan a wedding there is a lot that goes into it, and if you are a guy there is a lot you stay out of. Your goal is not to get to the day and then that’s the end. I remember when I decided I was going to ask my wife to marry me. I went to the diamond store after work, picked out the diamond and the setting and forked over my hard-earned cash. This represented something that I wanted to do well. I asked her and she said yes. Imagine if after that I said: “well, see you on the wedding day” and I got in the car and left. Good approach? Nope. We recognize there is a relationship aspect to these things and it leads to something. The same with Jesus. It is not supposed to be a come, get saved, and then “we will see you at the end.” It is a daily journey with Him.
2- Second way we approach Jesus – “I’ve Always Been Good– No Thanks”
This approach is, found in verse 10, is one in which you believe there is no such thing as sin. This was specifically in response to a worldview popular during this time that said that man’s body was evil, but not his spirit, so sin was not an issue.
This is worse than the first one because it not only is deceptive to us, but it makes God out to be a liar. Why? Because He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins because we were sinful people. If we weren’t sinful, why did Jesus come? People who take this approach ignore what Scripture says.
In Jesus Christ we recognize our sin and the way He rescued us from it. It is not, I have never sinned and don’t need you and adding Jesus would just be something that gets int he way— instead it is, I am a sinful man and need you Jesus.
This leads us to the right approach, the last one here…
3- The final way we approach Jesus- “You’re so good to me – Thank You”
The word confess (verse 9) might sound confusing to you. The word literally means to agree with God that sin is sin. You recognize that you have in fact fallen short of where you really need to be. Confession does not mean trying to remember and list all of your sins. it is a posture, or an approach. Yes, I have sinned and I am sorry. I need to be forgiven.
Forgive is another word that gets confused. To forgive is literally to send it away. Your sin is sent away and you are no longer on the hook for it.
When we acknowledge our sin, God is faithful to forgive because He said He would.
We recognize His goodness in forgiving our sins and we line ourselves up with Him. We live our life then out of thanksgiving for what He has done. If we love Him we obey Him; it goes together. But it is a relationship God is after, not a bunch of rule followers.
How you approach Jesus matters. Where are you at?