Summary: 3rd in First John Series


1 John 1:8-2:2

INTRO: I think one of the most shocking things that comes to a new Christian is the realization that though he has been saved from his sins he is still a sinner. When you sin as a Christian the Devil will cause you to doubt that you’ve ever really been saved. If I’m saved then why am I still having the problem of sin.

What do we do with our sins? How do we as believers come to grip with the sin problem in our lives? What I want to do in this message from these verses is share with you three alternatives you have concerning the problem of sin in your life as a believer.


I want to caution you right here not to think for a moment that I’m talking about sinless perfection. You can never live above sin in this world. I am saying that provision has been made so that you can conquer sin on a daily basis. You don’t have to be defeated by sin. Provision has been made for you to have victory daily over your sin.

Look in 2:2, where it says that Jesus “is the propitiation for our sins and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” I want to focus for a moment on that word “propitiation.” The word “propitiation” is related to another word that is usually translated “mercy seat.” He is the mercy seat for our sins.

ILLUS: Do you remember in the Old Testament system of sacrifices at the temple? There was an Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies. In that Ark of the Covenant were the tablets of stone, the manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded. On top of this Ark of the Covenant was a solid gold lid, a gold slab, that was known as the mercy seat. On the Day of Atonement the high priest would go in to that Holy of Holies, he would take the blood of the lamb that had been shed and would sprinkle that blood on the mercy seat.

In the New Testament we are told that Jesus is our Mercy Seat, that Jesus is the propitiation for our sins. Look in 1 John 4:10. What do we mean by that word “propitiation?” What is implied in the figure of the mercy seat? Well, the best word that really translates what it’s talking about is the word “satisfaction,” complete satisfaction. Jesus is the complete satisfaction for our sins.

Look at 1:7. “...and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us (present tense), keeps on cleansing us from sin.” That’s the daily provision right there. I do not have to be conquered by sin. I do not have to yield to sin. I can plead the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

ILLUS: At the bank where you do business, where you keep your checking account, it’s a pretty good idea for you to stay in the black. If you get overdrawn you’ve got all kinds of problems. You’ll pay more fees than you ever dreamed. It’s just not good business to get in the red in your financial affairs.

In your spiritual affairs it’s just the opposite. In your spiritual affairs it pays to stay in the red. It pays to stay under the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s what I need to do every day of my life. I need to claim the perfect salvation which is mine in the atoning work, the shed blood, of Jesus for my sins.

Now look at 2:1. Do you see the statement “that you sin not?” That statement suggests that on a daily basis we have a choice. We can make a choice concerning this matter of sin.

If you’ve never been saved you basically don’t have a choice. If you’re sitting here and you’re lost in sin the Bible says he who commits sin, in other words, he who lives a lifestyle of sin is a slave of sin. When you come to Jesus. You can choose not to sin. On the basis of the blood of Jesus I may choose not to sin.


In 2:1, John is raising the possibility that we might sin. What do you do as a believer when you do sin. You may choose to cover your sin. How do you cover your sin? What is this concealment of sin all about? Look back at chapter 1. I want to show you something — three verses that begin the same way (6, 8, & 10). He is talking there about concealment. He is talking about a believer who is making the attempt to conceal his sin, to cover his sin. How does a believer do that? How do we conceal our sin?

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