Summary: Be Not Deceived! We Are ALL Sinners!
In the first epistle which bears his name, John is writing to believers. Thirty times in these five short chapters he uses the word, “know” in order to drive home the reality that we can have assurance of the salvation freely offered to us by the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the same John who once wa a carefree Galilean fisher man, who eventually made his way into our Lord’s inner circle along with this bother James and Simon Peter. This is the same John who leaned on Jesus’ breast during the last supper in the Upper Room. And, it is the same faithful follower who stood with Mary at the food of the cross when all the other had “forsaken him and fled. “
Now, he drives home to our hearts one of the real secrets of maintaining fellowship with Christ. That is, the forgiveness of sins. The words translated “forgive” in our English versions means “to send away.” The same word is used when describing the scapegoat that is “sent away” into the wilderness. It is also used in detaling how the fever left a certain person after the touch of Jesus. It is God’s desire to “send away” our sins from us. He has provided for us a way and that is the issue at hand. Here we discover how to get our sins “SENT AWAY” so that, as the Psalmist says, they may be separated from us “as far as the east is from the west” and be remembered no more. (Psalm 103.12)
I. The Sinner Says…
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
A. I Have Not Sinned
1. One of my favorite songs is Norman Greenbaum’s Spirit in the Sky.
a. One of the lyrics which is completely wrong theologically is:
I’ve never been a sinner, I’ve never sinned,
But I’ve got a friend in Jesus
b. But according to John, Greenbaum is wrong.
c. So, who are you going to believe?
i. Some hippie, rock and roll one hit wonder or
ii. A man who walked with Jesus?
2. So we would have to conclude with John that Greenbaum and his ilk are wrong, right?
3. But it goes a little deeper than that.
B. I Have Deceived Myself
1. Dr John Gill:
2. Such persons must be ignorant of themselves and put a cheat upon themselves
3. Thinking themselves to be something when they are nothing
4. Flattering themselves what pure and holy creatures they are
5. When there is a fountain of sin and wickedness in them
6. These are self-deceptions, sad delusions, and gross impositions upon themselves:
C. I Do Not Possess The Truth
1. If I do not tell the truth, I …lie!
2. Who is the Father of all liars? Satan!
3. So John is telling:
a. We are dealing with a saved person would is a delusional liar
b. Or we are dealing with a lost sinner!
D. Application to the Church
II. The Saint Says…
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
A. Forgiveness Is Conditional 9a
1. Many of God’s promises are conditional.
2. Remember God’s answer to Solomon’s prayer?
If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
—2Chronicles 7:14 NKJV
a. What was God challenging the Old Testament saints to do? Confess!
b. What is God challenging New Testament saints to do? Confess!
B. Forgiveness Is Confessional 9b
1. Confession is agreeing with God about our sin. But do we?
a. We say, “Oh, that’s not worry; it’s just simple concern!”
b. We say, “Oh, that’s not anger; it’s just righteous indignation!”
c. We say, “Oh, that’s not lust; it’s just simple glance!”
2. But confession does not say this!
a. Confession agrees with God about the nature and scope of our sin!
b. What we may camouflage as concern, God calls it the sin of worry!
c. What we may camouflage as righteous indignation, God calls it the sin of anger!
d. What we may camouflage as a simple glance, God calls it the sin of lust!
3. Confession gets open and honest with God realizing forgiveness comes no other way!
a. We have to agree with God – I was worried!
b. We have to agree with God – I was angry!
c. We have to agree with God – I was tempted and failed!
4. Forgiveness is free to all…but it is conditional and confessional.
C. Forgiveness Is Continual 9c