Survivalists warn that all water in the wilderness must be viewed with suspicion. Before drinking even one drop, you need to take steps to purify it from bacteria, parasites, and viruses. The least expensive way to purify water is through boiling, which destroys any living organisms and makes it safe to consume.
This opening chapter of 1 John describes the need and the process to purify ourselves from the stain of sin. We are not perfect (v. 8). We are riddled with the parasites and bacteria of sin. But through Jesus, it is possible for us to be forgiven and made pure, cleansed of every trace of the muck of sin (v. 9).
We can be certain about Jesus. The disciples were first-hand witnesses (v. 1). They had sat at Jesus’ feet while He was teaching. They had seen Him and touched Him. “For we did not follow cleverly devised stories . . . but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty”
(2 Peter 1:16). And they were proclaiming this good news, not hoarding it as a sacred secret (v. 3). Because of their testimony, we can trust that Jesus is who He claimed to be. He is indeed the Lamb of God who is able to forgive sin (John 1:29).
None of us can deny that we are sinful (v. 10). Matthew Henry puts it even more bluntly in his commentary: “The denial of our sin not only deceives ourselves, but reflects dishonor upon God.” The good news is that when we acknowledge our sinfulness and bring it to God, He promises to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. In Him, we are made pure, our fellowship restored. And our hope rests on His perfect faithfulness. What a precious promise!
One day we will live in God’s presence, free from the power of sin. Until then, we will struggle with temptation and disobedience. This verse reassures those who trust in Christ that He will continue to forgive us when we confess our sins. He never wearies of our prayers. There’s no expiration date on our ability to confess or His willingness to forgive.