1 John 1:8-10
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.…
Consciousness of sin in every man. Hence the inevitable need of forgiveness. Is there any answer on the part of God to this need? Current answers —
1. He never forgives: He cannot, in the nature of the case. Moral forces are as irresistible, moral laws as inexorable as physical laws. The man who breaks law must take the consequences. This is the answer of the positivist and the Deist. A terrible response to our keen need.
2. He forgives capriciously: Those born of good parents, who have lived in Christian society, who have a fortunate mental constitution, who have done nothing flagrantly bad, such are forgiven. This answer is still more terrible than the other; it shows favour to those who have had better opportunities. It cannot be admitted.
3. He forgives universally: without reference to circumstances, or distinction of character, because He is kind. This is the worst answer of all. By it moral law is aunulled, and chaos comes into the spiritual universe. God ceases to have regard to His holiness. It is incredible that this should be the answer to man's need of forgiveness.
4. The answer of the gospel: God forgives universally on the ground of the atonement, on the condition of repentance and faith. This answer suits God's character and man's need. It makes forgiveness attainable, and upholds moral order. It shows the preciousness of the Bible, argues its Divine origin, the privilege of accepting God's offer, and the infinite hazard of neglecting or refusing it.
(R. S. Storrs.)
Parallel VersesKJV: If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.