But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin…If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness... My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One (1 John 1:7,9; 2:1-2, NIV).
I’ve always heard that God is a promise keeper. Some of my favorite songs also describe God as a way-maker, miracle worker, and a light in the darkness. In each of those ways, I've experienced God, except as a promise keeper. Even after racking my brain for times when I’ve known God as a promise keeper, I couldn't think of anything. After this, I prayed to God to show me how he keeps the promises he has made to me.
God showed up! My friends and I studied 1 John 1 and 2. Those two chapters are full of promises of God. I realized God doesn’t have to give me a specific promise for my life. I have an entire bible full of God’s promises. It is my job to search out the promises. I found several promises in 1 John 1 and 2. First, John 1 includes an “If, then” statement list. Two of the statements jumped out at me. Verse 7 says, “But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” God tells us, “If you act like my Son, Jesus, then I will give you family who act like my Son, too. Not only that, My Son’s blood will cleanse you from all sin.”
These are powerful promises. For those of us experiencing loneliness, we gain a family. In fact, God fulfilled this promise to me. As a new believer, God placed me in a family of believers where I grew in the word. I lived more freely than I'd ever had because God had also cleansed me of my past sins. Wow!
God gave another similar promise in verse 9 of the same chapter. It says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (NIV). God promises us to forgive our sins again. The repetition is two-fold. It first reminds new believers that God doesn’t hold their past against them. Second, it reminds mature believers we will sin again and to stay in the right fellowship with other believers and God, we confess our sins. John reminds both sets of believers that God is faithful and just.
Again, God kept this promise to me. When I sinned in the past and confessed those sins to other believers, I received the forgiveness I needed and could again connect with God and man. Sin separates us from God and man. The Scripture does not say that we will not reap the consequences of our sins. It says God forgives us.
Finally, God gave another promise in 1 John 2:1-2. The scripture says, “My dear children. . .But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ. .. the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only ours but also the sins of the whole world.” What struck me in this passage is Jesus is my “Lawyer” (aka advocate) with God when I sin. Jesus does not defend my sin. He stands and defends ME in God’s courtroom. Jesus reminds God that he (Jesus) already suffered and died for my sins. God does not need another sacrifice.
I am awestruck. Even when I could not remember when God kept a promise, the bible offers promise after promise.
Jesus is the ultimate promise keeper.
Prayer: Dear God, sometimes I battle with seeing how you bless me. Often, I get caught up with wanting to see a tangible way you work in my circumstance. But despite what happens in my life, show me how to find, believe, and hope in the many promises in the bible.
Your Turn: How have you seen God as a promise keeper?