#2 No Sin, No Christian - 1st John
This is the second characteristic John says we can use to identify a non- Christian. (see yesterday's post)
#2 - "If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us." 1 John 1:8
John is saying that if you think you have not sinned, then you are not a Christian.
Here is the key question: Would you consider yourself to be a good person?
Yes or no?
A few years ago I attended a local festival. I walked around asking people the question: "Would you consider yourself to be a good person?" Out of about 300 people I spoke with that day, 290 said they were a good person. Most people think they are good. But the Bible, and our conscience, tells us something different.
If you answered this question by saying, "Yes" you reveal that, as 1 John 1:8 says, the truth is not in you. You are not a Christian.
The Bible tells we all are sinners: "For all have sinned..." - Romans 3:23
There is no one who does not sin. Based on God's standards, there is no one who is good. What are God's standards? Start with the Ten Commandments and Jesus' Sermon on the Mount (Matthew chapters 5,6 & 7). Have you ever told a lie? Have you ever taken something that did not belong to you? (Even something small?) Have you ever looked at another person with lust? Jesus said that if you look with lust you have already committed adultery in your heart. (Matthew 5:27-30) These are just three of the Ten Commandments.
On the other hand Christians know they are not good people, because they know they fall far short of God's standards for good.
"We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands." - 1 john 2:3
If when you face Jesus on judgment day, you feel you are good enough to get into heaven, then you are not a Christian. No one is good enough. We have all failed to meet God's standards and we owe the penalty for breaking His law... it's the death penalty. The only way we can avoid the death penalty is if someone else is willing to pay that penalty for us, on our behalf. And Jesus Christ did that on the cross.