A “Go with God” moment:
I thought that for the next few weeks I might write just some simple observations about a passage of scripture which many of you know by heart, 1 John 1:9.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
First observation…You can almost guess what I am going to say from the words I have boldfaced, note all the plural pronouns and ponder their implications. Our forgiveness, and might I also say, our salvation takes place within community. If you read the rest of 1 John 1 for the overall context of John’s thoughts, you will find that is not an isolated occurrence.
Next, I observed that all the verbs; confess forgive, and cleanse are present tense verbs. Simply, there is a continuous, ongoing nature about them (e.g., if we “continually confess” we will “continually be forgiven”).
Third and final thought, the “we/us/our” is a community. But for John, all communities are not created equal. “Community” by definition in 1 John is the Church (that is a big “C”). It’s the place where believers are gathered together exclusively for the purpose of “proclaiming to you” (see 1:3, 5). The main verb driving this entire passage is the act of “proclamation.”
Maybe instead of telling you precisely what I think, I’ll ask you to ponder a question this week for yourself, “What are the implications in your life and in your ministry (present and future) that salvation is discovered, received and maintained all within the confines of the church?
First, May we listen intently to the words passed down by Your apostles,
for they heard and saw, and touched You.
Next, may we gather regularly for the profound purpose of (re)discovering You as the “Word of Life.”
May we look at the person beside or in front of us and whisper, “Thanks be to God for my brother and for my sister that you have placed them in my life as a bestower of divine grace.
Forgive and cleanse us, Lord, in the midst of this Community, Your Body
Now, Go with God.