Three False Attitudes Toward Sin 1 Jn 1:8-10 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
In 1 Jn 1:8-10, we find three false attitudes toward sin. These are the errors by which Christians can sin willfully and “get away with it.” We will look at each of these in an effort to dispel their error and to expose their lie in the event that you have believed any of these. The three false attitudes toward sin are:
I have no sin – 1 Jn 1:8 – in this error you conclude that since you are saved you walk in such liberty with Christ that what you do is not sin. You have discovered the richness and essence of the Lord’s love for you that covers the multitude of sins [1 Pet 4:8]. That is he no longer sees sin in you since you are washed, sanctified and justified in Jesus [1 Cor 6:9-12]. Of course, you don’t think you have a problem with sin; the problem lies with others who believe the Bible identifies and discloses your sin. In your mind, they are legalists who are trying to put you under the bondage of the law and their personal convictions.
According to John your problem is that you are deceived and the truth is not in you [Rom 7:18-23 and 2 Cor 5:10-11]. This is a twofold problem that can only be remedied by acknowledging the truth [2 Tim 2:25-26] and turning away from your sin and deception [Heb 3:13].
I confess my sins – 1 Jn 1:9 – in this error you conclude that you are justified to keep sinning the way you always have because at the end of the day you confess your sins and are thereby cleansed from all your unrighteousness. This is the typical blanket prayer, “Lord, forgive us of our sins.” In other words, you acknowledge that what you are doing is sin but you and God are okay with it because you confess it each time you do it and he is faithful and just to forgive it. This is the vicious merry-go-round of sin-guilt-confession-sin-guilt-confession. You never get victory over sin because you just confess it away so you can keep doing it.
According to John your problem is that you walk in darkness, lie and do not the truth [1 Jn 1:6]. If you were sincere you would come out into the light [1 Jn 1:7; Heb 9:14] and perfect holiness in your life in the fear of God [2 Cor 7:1; Prov 28:13; 1 Pet 1:15-16] and thus you would yield to God’s righteousness in you so that sin would not have dominion over you [Rom 6:12-14].
I have not sinned – 1 Jn 1:10 – in this error you acknowledge that Christians sin after they get saved, contrary to case number one, but that what you are doing is not a sin. You escape guilt by redefining sin in your case so that you are justified to live the way you do. A homosexual justifies her sin by proclaiming that half the Christians she talked to said it was okay. So, homosexuality is not a sin and you are just homophobic for believing that it is. According to John she makes God a liar and his word is not in her [Rom 1:26-28]. An angry man justifies his anger by calling it righteous indignation. So his anger is not a sin and you are wrong for “making” him mad. According to John he makes God a liar and his word is not in him [Eph 4:26, 31-32]. A couple justifies premarital sex and living together because they are planning to get married in the future. So, fornication is not a sin because now, as in marriage, they are one flesh and you are wrong for not realizing that marriage doesn’t change that. According to John they make God a liar and his word is not in them [1 Thes 4:3-5].
Conclusion: If your attitude toward sin matches any of these three then you need to repent and change your view of sin in your life and then quit that sin.