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Walking in God's Light -- Part Two (1 John 1:8-10)
Sermon Notes
Sunday, 26 May 2013 00:00


Let's all pause and take a minute to REMEMBER.

Pearl Harbor 1941 ... Normandy 1944 ... Pork Chop Hill Korea 1953 ...Tet Offensive Vietnam 1968 ... Desert Storm Kuwait 1991 ...The World Trade Center 9/11 2001 ... Shock and Awe Iraq 2003 ...
Iraq War Surge 2007 ... Afghanistan TODAY.

After having taken a minute to REMEMBER, let's take one more minute to say THANK YOU for all that was given, all that was lost and all that was gained for us to enjoy our Hotdogs, Softball, Picnics, Swimming pools, Beaches, Iced tea and Kids in Peace in the greatest country on God's green earth.

"It is, in a way, an odd thing to honor those who died in defense of our country in wars far away. The imagination plays a trick. We see these soldiers in our mind as old and wise. We see them as something like the Founding Fathers, grave and gray-haired. But most of them were boys when they died, they gave up two lives -- the one they were living and the one they would have lived. When they died, they gave up their chance to be husbands and fathers and grandfathers. They gave up their chance to be revered old men. They gave up everything for their county, for us. All we can do is remember."

-- Ronald Wilson Reagan
Remarks at Veteran's Day ceremony, Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington, Virginia, November 11, 1985

Thank you,
Pastor Dave


John warns us of pitfalls along the pathway of walking in the light and thus enjoying fellowship with one another (vertically, God with us and us with God, 1:7).
(1) The danger of living a lie (1:6)
This happens if we say we have fellowship with Him, and yet walk in darkness. When we do so, we lie and do not do the truth. That means we aren’t living in a way that is consistent with the truth of God’s Word.

(2) The danger of self-deception (1:8)
This happens if we say we have no sin. (By the way, if you hear a believer make this claim, just talk to his wife and children!) We are warned here by John that even when we feel closest to God, we should remember that this closeness is not due to our being free of sin. Instead, only “the blood of Jesus Christ” makes such closeness possible, since we are never at any time free from the taint of wickedness while we are living here in these mortal bodies.

(3) The danger of calling God a liar (1:10)
This happens when the light of God’s truth reveals a sin in my life. The right way to respond to that is to confess it to God (1:9), who is always faithful and completely just (righteous) to forgive that sin I have confessed AND to cleanse me from ALL unrighteousness (even those sinful attitudes and thoughts of which I am as yet unaware).

The wrong way to respond is if we say that we have not sinned when God says we have (1:10)! When we do that, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us as a controlling influence over the way that I am living and responding to God’s word.

The connecting thread that unites 1st John 1:5-10 is the idea of truth versus its opposite, falsehood or deception.
The man who claims fellowship while in darkness is lying and not doing the truth (1:6).
The man who thinks he has no sin is self-deceived and the truth is not effectively at work in his heart (1:8).
The man who will not acknowledge as sin whatever God calls sin is calling God a liar, by denying the truth of His word (1:10).
By contrast, the person who walks in fellowship with God (1:7) agrees with the light and confesses the sins it reveals (1:9).
For the believer, the essence of fellowship is our willingness to share the light with God and to agree with everything we can see in that light.
When that is the case, God is pleased because He finds “truth in” our “inward parts” (Ps 51:6).
We can then enjoy His ongoing forgiveness and cleansing, that fellowship-forgiveness we so desperately need in order to walk moment by moment in fellowship with our Father in the light of His holy presence.

As Solomon wisely reminds us believers in Proverbs 6:23:
“The commandment is a lamp, and the law is light;
Reproofs of instruction are the way of life.”
That is why our Lord taught His disciples to pray daily: “Give us this day our daily bread,” and also, “Forgive us our debts” (Matthew 6:11-12). Forgiveness of sins is as urgent a daily spiritual need as daily bread is a physical need. It is essential if we are to walk in the light in fellowship with our heavenly Father and with His Son Jesus Christ (1:3).

Some additional thoughts on 1 John 1:9, “the Christian’s bar of soap!”:
If, as we walk in the light (1:7), and we are open and honest toward God so that we confess the sins that the light reveals to us, what is the result?
He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
In extending forgiveness, God is faithful.
That means He can be relied upon to forgive when we confess our sin.
Often a believer feels very guilty about his failures and is tempted to wonder whether God’s forgiveness will really be given. The apostle encourages us therefore to depend on His reliability in this matter, rather than on our feelings.

Sometimes we may feel that going to God with the same sin over which we have had no victory presumes upon His grace and mercy: “How can He forgive me over and over for the same sin?”
The answer is as simple as it is wonderful: God is faithful! He has promised to do so.

His forgiveness for our fellowship is based on His forgiveness for our eternal relationship.
*** It’s like the parents who decide to have children. They already know that their children will not be perfect. They will not only make mistakes; they will do some things that are sinful. But this does not keep the parents from deciding to have the children.
And when the child is first conceived, an eternal relationship begins!
And because this relationship is going to last forever, the child, in a sense, has positional forgiveness for all his future sins. And based on that positional forgiveness, the parents are predisposed to fellowship-forgiveness whenever the child sins against them but also decides to come back to them and ask for their forgiveness.
God gave us positional, relationship-forgiveness when we became His children.
Based on that, He will always be faithful to offer us forgiveness for fellowship whenever we come to Him to ask for it. ***

But this may still not seem right – to keep coming over and over asking forgiveness for the same sin the umpteenth time – isn’t that taking advantage of God’s grace? It just doesn’t seem right.
OH! But it IS RIGHT! Not because we deserve this forgiveness by gaining victory over our sins or by doing acts of penance; it is RIGHT because the blood of our Savior Jesus Christ (1:7) is the provision God gave to make sure there is sufficient forgiveness for our sins ONCE – AND for ALL TIME!!
That’s why the verses says God is also just when He acts in forgiveness.
This is the Greek word dikaios, meaning righteous or just.
Because of the shed blood of Christ (1:7), there is no compromise of God’s righteousness when He forgives.

We need not fear that God will refuse to forgive because it would not be “right” for Him to do so because the blood of Jesus Christ was sufficient for all the sins of the whole world (2:2) and thus for all of ours as well!

So when we confess our sins, God can be relied upon (He is faithful), and is completely just, not only to forgive us our sins but also to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Note the word in italics: our. NKJV places it there since there is nothing in the Greek that strictly corresponds with it. We could translate “to forgive us the sins,” with the implication being “the sins we confess.”

No one but God can ever possibly know the full extent of our sinfulness, so that we can only actually confess the sins of which we are aware. God does not ask more of us than that.

But what about the sins of which we are unaware? (1:8)
They are covered by the words and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Therefore, when we confess the sins the light of God’s Word has made known to us – honestly acknowledging what we know to be wrong, whatever other sin there may be in our hearts or lives is totally cleansed away.

Nothing is left uncleansed, since the phrase all unrighteousness is as broad as possible.
If there is any distinction here at all between sins and unrighteousness, then it would probably be that unrighteousness is broader and covers any latent attitude or outlook that is sinful in character, whether or not it has found expression in overt sin. The point of the verse, of course, is that when we honestly confess whatever sins we are aware of, the cleansing that follows covers everything that needs cleansing. (The Epistles of John, Zane C. Hodges)






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