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Summary: Confession of Sin

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Confession of Sin

1st John 1:8-2:2

Jeff Hughes

I. Introduction

a. By way of introduction, let’s briefly go over the three verses we studied last time.

b. First, we looked at The Message - God’s sinless perfection, and how God’s message to us is a promise, and not just a message, by looking at the original language of the text. We also saw that God is light, and in Him is no sin.

c. Next, we looked at the Lie – which is walking in darkness. Also, that if we say we have fellowship with Christ, but yet walk in darkness, we are lying to ourselves. Now one thing interesting we noted is that the phrase “walking in darkness” doesn’t refer to occasionally failing into sin, but rather, it refers to a lifestyle of sin, an unregenerate life.

d. Third, we looked at the Truth - which is walking in the light. We saw that if we have fellowship with Jesus in our lives, and walk after Him, that we would then, as the body of Christ have fellowship with one another. Also, we receive the continual cleansing from sin by Jesus’ sacrifice.

e. Finally, to wrap it all up, we looked at the wide gate and narrow gate Jesus described in Matthew Chapter 7, and we looked at some of the reasons why people would choose to walk in darkness, and take the broad gate leading to destruction.

f. Tonight we are going to look at the topic of Confession of Sin. Our text comes from 1 John 1:8-10, and we also are going to include Chapter 2 verses 1 and 2.

II. Illustration – There is nothing that so takes the joy out of life like unconfessed sin on the conscience. The late Dr. F.E. Marsh told a story that on one occasion he was preaching and urging upon his hearers the importance of confession of sin and wherever possible of restitution for wrong done to others. At the close a young man, a member of the church, came up to him very troubled. "Pastor," he explained, "you have put me in a sad fix. I have wronged a man and I am ashamed to confess it or to try to put it right. You see, I am a boat builder and the man I work for is an infidel. I have talked to him often about his need for Christ and asked him to come and hear you preach, but he scoffs and ridicules me every time I do. Now, I have been guilty of something that, if I tell it to him, it will ruin my testimony forever." He then went on to say that sometime ago he started to build a boat for himself in his own yard. In this work copper nails are used because they do not rust in the water. These nails are quite expensive and the young man had been carrying home quantities of them to use on the job. He knew it was stealing, but he tried to ease his conscience be telling himself that the master had so many he would never miss them and besides he was not being paid all that he thought he deserved. But this sermon had brought him to face the fact that he was just a common thief, for whose dishonest actions there was no excuse. "But," said the young man, "I cannot go to my boss and tell him what I have done or offer to pay for those I have used and return the rest. If I do he will think I am just a hypocrite. And yet those copper nails are digging into my conscience and I know I will never have peace until I put this matter right." For weeks the struggle went on. Then one night he came to Dr. Marsh and exclaimed, "Pastor, I’ve settled for the copper nails and my conscience is relieved at last." "What happened when you confessed to your employer what you had done?" asked the pastor. "Oh," the young man answered, "he looked at me, then exclaimed, ’George, I always did think you were just a hypocrite, but now I begin to feel there’s something in this Christianity after all. Any religion that would make a dishonest workman come back and confess to me that he had been stealing copper nails and offer to settle for them, must be worth having.’" Reformation and restitution do not save. But where one is truly repentant and has come to God in sincere confession, he will want to the best of his ability to put things right with others.


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