“Everybody lies. People lie about how many drinks they had on the way home. They lie about how often they go to the gym, how much those new shoes cost, whether they read that book. They call in sick when they’re not. They say they’ll be in touch when they won’t. They say it’s not about you when it is. They say they love you when they don’t. They say they’re happy while in the dumps. They say they like women when they really like men. People lie to friends. They lie to bosses. They lie to kids. They lie to parents. They lie to doctors. They lie to husbands. They lie to wives. They lie to themselves.” Seth Stephens-Davididowitz
The New Testament agrees with this assessment. I’ll cite three familiar verses:
- God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged. (Romans 3:4)
- If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (I John 2:4)
- But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (Revelation 21:8)
Before Christ, we were children of the father of lies (john 8:44) and were barred from the gates of heaven where Father of truth abides. We all sin but how do we make it to heaven if no liars are admitted? How do you get a fresh start and wipe the slate clean? Christ’s first goal for each of us is to become united with Him. Here’s how:
- “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9)
- “for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 2 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:27,28)
As we combine a personal relationship with the act of faith, we “have no need for teaching” on how to recognize Jesus. We intuitively recognize Jesus but are always in need of instruction by the teachers of the Church. As Bishop Barron states in “Vibrant Paradoxes, The Both And of Catholicism,” it’s as impossible to divorce faith from works as it to separate Jesus from the Godhead?
According to 1 John, divorcing Jesus from any of the “both/ands” in scripture is tantamount to embracing the spirit of the antichrist. We must reject the Pharisee in us or risk becoming pawns of the future man of sin.
How do we do remain in Christ? The apostle John shows us how:
1). Remember you are a child of God. John writes: “Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we shall have not yet been revealed.” We live in the now. We are confident in our Father’s love. However, we don’t know God’s plan for us nor our reaction to it. We must confess our shared presumptions. Whether we are a lifelong baptist or a cradle catholic, we become profane when we assume our heavenly future (ie trusting in “acceptance of Christ” or our baptism as guarantees into heaven).
2) Keep the Lamb in focus. John the Baptist exclaimed, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. ” John asks us to behold the Lamb every Sunday. in his gospel:
- “I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.” So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. “For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. ” John 6
- “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me, you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”
When we behold the Lamb, God gives us the spiritual food to remain in the vine. A life of works and correct beliefs naturally follows. Our theology and practice stay connected to the vine. Sacrificial life naturally flows as we “overcome” the spirit of the antichrist and stay little Christs.
Everybody lies. But as members of Christ’s body, we can receive forgiveness of sin and know we are united with the entire family God and have channels of grace allowing us to ascend the 2-way ladder of heaven.