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Read Introduction to 1 John


“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”


Verse 8 gives the second false claim of spirituality.  Some Christians in John’s day erroneously contend that they have no guilt due to their sin.  They listened to Cerinthus, a false teacher living in Ephesus, who gave them the song and dance that they do not need to accept guilt for their sin. 

If we say that we have no sin,

John asserts that some of his readers denied personal guilt for their state of sin.  Christians will not admit a condition of sin if they do not face up to how they violate God.  Denial of a condition of sin blunts repentance from sin.  An unexamined life is a weak and ineffective life. 

we deceive ourselves,

The first claim in verse 6 was a lie, but the claim of this verse is self-deception.  We kid ourselves if we think that we do not have the capacity to sin.  Denial of sin is self-deception and defies the veracity of God.  It is possible to cheat ourselves. 


Denial of the existence of sin in our lives is self-deception and blunts our ability to repent of sin. 


Some believers hop on the latest trends of spirituality, no matter how astray they might be from the Word of God.  False teachers usually have great personalities and can communicate effectively.  They are normally sweet and likable people.  That is the primary reason Bible believing Christians fall for their false teaching. 

Many Christians today believe the lies that they create their own destiny, that they are independent, and that they sustain themselves.  This is autonomy from God. 

Sin always breaks fellowship with God.  Rebellion against God’s truth always leads us into self-deception and error.  We fool no one but ourselves.  We need to be honest about the sin that is in our lives so that we can deal with it effectively. 

Ga 6:3, “For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.”