“I am a great sinner, and Christ is a great Savior.” John Newton
1 John 1:5-10
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say 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. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
3 denials of sin:
1. I don’t sin. There’s no sinful nature in me.
2. I’m not that bad.
3. God’s lying – I’m really okay.
He starts by showing them the nature of God – He is light (all is exposed by His light).
“We believe the sun is risen not because we see it but because by it we see everything else.” CS Lewis
God’s light exposes the genuineness of your salvation. In light of the gospel how do I humbly deal with remaining indwelling sin?
Progressive sanctification (spiritual growth) comes when we admit we’re sinners, believe we have a great Savior and are more aware of the indwelling Christ than our indwelling sin.
1. 1 John 1:5-10 teaches us about the reality of indwelling sin.
Sin is not simply eradicated in the life of a Christian.
The denial of the reality of indwelling sin leads to danger (we deceive ourselves – v.6, reject our need for cleansing, transparency, confession, etc…) We find ourselves using euphamisms and living with a “victim” mentality. This leads to an attack on God’s charachter. (we have no sinful nature, have not ever sinned…)
Our hope for the future is not to run from the reality of indwelling sin in our lives – I Tim. 1:15 (The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.) The more Paul understood the gospel, the more he saw who he truly was (from least of disciples to worst of sinners).
The “stoplights” in our lives reveal a lot about our sin.
Denying the reality of sin is turning away from God’s light to darkness.
2. 1 John 1:5-10 teaches us about the greater truth of the indwelling Christ. (v.7 and 9 – But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin . . . If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.)
What motivates us to walk in the light?? The gospel – the blood of Jesus Christ that cleanses us from ALL sin (my sin, not in part but the whole)
There is more mercy in Christ than sin in me (Phil 1:6, Phil 2, Rom 6:14). God does not stop with our sin – there is a Savior!
Confession does not cleanse – Christ’s sacrifice does. When I confess – He is faithful! Confession is a desire to walk in His light. It is specific and is based soley on Christ’s work on the cross. Confession brings fellowship, freedom and opens the door to grace.
How does God respond to us?
He is faithful (because He is holy, He can never be unfaithful)
God is just (He cleanses us because of Jesus’ sacrifice)
1. I want to walk in light but I still sin? Am I still a Christian?
2. How do I have fellowship with God and others in light of my sin? by humbly acknoledging sin
3. My sin is so discouraging – is there really hope for change? Yes, He is faithful.
4. Does God grow weary or give up on me because of my sin? No – according to Heb 13, He is abounding in steadfast love!
5. What will others think of my sin? John 1:7 – walk in light = fellowship. Honesty strengthens our relationships.
1. Evaluate how you think about sin. ignore it? overanalyze?
2. When you awake each day are you more aware of your sin or of God’s grace? (if answer = sin, then you have an incomplete view of the gospel. Study the cross).
3. Begin practicing humble confession to God (and others as applicable) and watch how He begins to supernaturally respond.