Summary: We rid ourselves of sin by confessing it to God. No one can live in light without being overwhelmingly convinced that he still sins. Honesty before God results in forgiveness & cleansing.
1 JOHN 1: (5) 8-10 [LIFE, LIGHT & LOVE SERIES]
CONFESSION FOR CLEANSING OF SIN
Every form of life has its enemies. Insects have to watch out for hungry birds, and birds must keep an eye on hungry cats and dogs. Even human beings have to dodge automobiles and fight off germs. Spiritual life has its enemies too, and we read about one in this section. This enemy is sin. [Warren Wiersbe. Bible Exposition Com. Vol. 2. 1989. Victor Books. Wheaton, IL. P. 479.]
Sin is darkness and God is light. The contrast is evident just as our walking in light should contrast walking in darkness. [Our text last week taught us that] Walking in light is blessed by fellowship with God and with the brethren and experiencing the purification of Jesus' spilt blood (1:6-7).
Walking in the light also does something else. It intensifies our consciousness of sin and, therefore, our desire to get rid of it. We rid ourselves of sin by confessing it to God. No one can live in light without being overwhelmingly convinced that he still sins and is not pure. Fellowship with God and with each other is broken unless we recognize daily our missing the mark of the high calling of God and confessing our falling short of God’s glory. This honesty before God results in forgiveness and cleansing (CIT).
I. RECOGNITION OF SIN, 1:8.
II. CONFESSION OF SIN, 1:9.
III. ACKNOWLEDGING OUR SIN, 1:10.
Verse 8 teaches us that no matter how good we think we are [or that our fellowship with God and others is], we must realize we are still sinning. “If we should say that we have no sin, we are misleading (deceiving) ourselves and the truth is not in us.”
Some people see sin as heinous evil such as murder or adultery. Sin is also the waywardness that plagues most of us day after day. [Daily we don’t believe, don’t think, don’t act as we should but as we as we shouldn’t.] The definition of sin is God’s domain, His prerogative, not man. Verses 6, 8, and 10 contain three common false professions that people make. They are indicated by the phrase if we say. The second false profession is that people have no natural tendency toward sin and sinning. Only some people say so but many think man is naturally good. Only one human being has been able to say "I always do the things which are pleasing to God" (Jn. 8:29, 46; 14:30). The refusal to recognize and admit the sin that is within our life is to lead a life of self-delusion.
A minister was walking down a street when he noticed a group of boys standing AROUND A DOG. Concerned for the dog’s safety, he walked over and asked what they were doing. A boy replied, “All of us want this old stray dog. We decided that whoever told the biggest lie would get it.”
“You boys shouldn’t have a contest telling lies,” said the minister. “Don’t you know that lying is a sin? Why when I was your age I never told a lie!” There was silence for about a minute. Then, just as the minister though he had gotten through to them one boy gave a deep sigh and said, “All right, he wins. Give him the dog.”
We smile, but the fact is we’ve all told some whoppers. Oh, we tolerate some lies, calling them exaggerations –like when we add a few inches to the big fish we caught. We aren’t that tolerant, however, when lied to and cheated in a business deal or when an untruth threatens our reputation. Yet, anyone who says he’s doesn’t sin is telling the biggest lie of all.
The closer a man walks in fellowship with God Who is light, the more he realizes the absolute purity and holiness of God, and the more conscious he will become of his own impurity and sinfulness (Job 9:2; 14:4; 15:14; 25:4; Prov. 20:9; Eccles. 8:20), of how far short of the glory or perfection of God he still falls (Rom. 3:23).
Friend, pride goes before the fall. If you see little or no sin in your life, then you need more and longer exposure to the truth. If you are satisfied with your righteousness, you need to see what true righteousness is. As one hears, reads, meditates, studies, and memorizes the truth, you become more aware of how far short you fall and of your great need for continuing to walk in the light.
Years ago, a RADIO STATION received a letter from a shepherd who lived on an isolated ranch in the western part of the United States. Never before had the station received such an unusual request. It read, "Will you please strike 'A' on the piano in your studio? I am far from a piano, and the only comfort I have is my fiddle. Just now it is out of tune. Will you strike 'A' so that I can get it in tune again?"