To Be Clean You Gotta’ Come Clean

“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 has no place in our lives.” – 1 John 1:8-10

When you deny your sin or don’t want to own up to your status as a sinner, you call God a liar. That is simply put. I have found that most people have no problem admitting that they sin, but no one wants to admit they are a sinner. The Christian message is offensive because everyone can admit they’ve sinned, but to call myself a sinner is humiliating.

Years ago when we were living in Georgia, I missed the trash day. Have you ever done that before? As a result, sometimes our garage could look a little redneck. The day I missed the trash pick-up was the worst possible week to miss the trash day. That week I had held a ministry team meeting at my house and the trash was full of diapers, soda cans, macaroni, and everything else. As I took out the trash the next week, I was so pleased to get all of those bags of trash out of my overflowing garbage can. But then the thought hit me. This thing has been empty several times, but it has never been cleansed since it was brand new. It had every strain of bacteria in it. I mean I pay property taxes, shouldn’t the garbage man at least spray my garbage can down once a year or something? It was disgusting.

Then it occurred to me. Many of you who are reading this today go to church every week for 2-3 hours and let the preacher do all the heavy lifting and digest the Word of God for you and empty just enough trash in your life to get you through next week so you can come again and dump out all of your junk. But maybe you have never allowed God to do some serious soul searching work and shine a light on every crook of your heart to perform a cleaning deep down inside of you. As a result, you limp through life completely contaminated, hindered, and limited by your sin.

Friend, God wants you to be clean more than He wants you to be comfortable.

We don’t have to sit around and mentally debate the existence of sin. It’s all around us. And what about your sin and my sin? The truth is it will one day come out. It will be exposed, brought into the light. If you are hiding something, it can’t be hidden forever. It will show up on the scene of your life sometime. That door will be opened.

The good news is it can be washed away! Look at the conditional promise in 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.”

Would you bear with the compassion that is in my heart today for a moment? I am screwed up like you. I want to pray more and read more, and I find myself doing the opposite. But I learned something long ago that changed everything about my life. It is the secret to walking with Jesus.

What is that secret? Forgiveness based on justice.

When David prayed after he committed adultery in Psalm 51, he said have mercy on me God according to your great love and compassion. When the people of the Old Testament prayed for forgiveness, they prayed for the mercy of God. When you jump over into the New Testament, He is now faithful and just to forgive. What happened? His justice should merit my punishment. A just God punishes sin. We find ourselves today wanting to appeal to His mercy not justice, but as a New Testament believer, when you fall you come to God on the basis of justice because God WILL NOT re-punish you for the sins He has already punished His Son for. In fact, it would be UNJUST for God not to forgive your sins if you have given everything to Jesus. He already put your sin on Jesus.

This gives me great confidence in coming to God. I daily point to what Jesus did on the cross. It’s my only hope. Because Jesus was beaten for me, God doesn’t lay it on me!

The penalty of sin is not revisited for those who trust in Jesus. When I sin, I confess with confidence: He has already killed His Son on my behalf.

So you need your walk cleaned out? You need to be cleaned up? Specific confession brings specific healing. Confess your sins and agree with what God says about it. I’m not just talking to unbelievers but believers as well. What if you went to bed clean tonight? How good would that feel?

To be clean you gotta’ come clean. Why not now? He is waiting.