“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8-9). These words combated the first-century Gnostic heresy that the soul could be clean while the body remained sinful. Today, this heresy continues as, “When God looks at you, he doesn’t see you, he sees Jesus.” This fantasy heresy blocks true confession and makes God out to be a liar. Instead of producing holiness by faith in a rhema word of God, this teaching results in legalism and the offering of “turn aside” fire as in the story of Nadab and Abihu. In truth, Jesus promises and requires not only the removal of sinful acts, but the cleansing of the entire person. Will you leave your sins and go to heaven, or have your sins and go to hell?
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