Summary: Paul exhorts us to examine ourselves to see if we're in the faith. John gives us some "tests" that help us in that process, encouraging us not to be decieved into thinking we have eternal life when, in reality, we may just have the empty trappings of rel
Deceptions We Believe - 1 John 1:8-10 - May 26, 2013
Series: That We May Know – Life With Jesus - #3
Let’s open our Bibles this morning to the book of 1 John. 1 John, chapter 1, beginning in verse 5. This is the third message in our series entitled “That We May Know – Life With Jesus.” And John has written these words so that we may know we have fellowship with God. Fellowship is a term that refers to a shared participation in something.
The apostle Paul, as he is sharing his testimony in the book of Acts, says that Jesus spoke to him saying these words: “I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’” (Acts 26:17–18, NIV84)
What he’s talking about is the fellowship that we enter into through faith in Jesus. As the Gentiles moved from darkness to light, they received forgiveness of sins and a place among those who had been sanctified by faith. That is they shared in, participated in, the blessings made possible by Christ’s shed blood. Scripture teaches us that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness for sin. That was the basis for the whole Old Testament sacrificial system whereby animals would be put to death for the sins of the people. The blood of the animal would cover up the sin – like sweeping the dirt under the carpet – but couldn’t atone for it, couldn’t get rid of it. However, the Bible also teaches us that the blood of Jesus was far superior to that of the animals, and that it is sufficient, not just to cover sin over, but to wash sin away. It is able to atone for our sin – something which the blood of animals never could do. It is the blood of Jesus, that washes away my sins, that makes peace between me and God.
And Paul is saying that as the Gentiles share in the blessings of the blood, they have fellowship with God. And because they share in that fellowship they become heirs of the kingdom of God. An heir stands to inherit something. Those who participate in that fellowship that comes about through Jesus, have the promise of heaven, this is, among other things, their inheritance. If you don’t share in that fellowship you are not saved, you are not a Christian despite what you may call yourself. John writes these things because he wants us to know that fellowship personally and that’s why we’re doing this series – that we may know.
In my study of Scripture in these last few weeks I’ve been impressed, again and again, with the warnings we see throughout the Bible. The warnings often begin with these words: “Do not be deceived.” What does that mean? It means don’t be fooled. Don’t be led astray. Don’t blind yourself to the truth. And John, in the verses that we began to look at last week, laid out three errors that people tend to fall into when it comes to sin. These are three ways that we tend to deceive ourselves when it comes to the sin in our lives.
We spent most of our time last week looking at the first error. It’s right there in verse 6. “If we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.” (1 John 1:6, NIV84) What’s the error? Believing that we have fellowship with God, that we share in the blessings of the blood and the hope of heaven, if we continue to choose to live in habitual, on-going sin. In verse 5 John says this: “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5, NIV84) See, light and darkness aren’t compatible. We don’t continue to live in the darkness having seen the light unless we’re choosing the darkness of sin over the glory of God.
John says “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. [If you’re not coming into the light, there’s a reason for it. The truth is you love the darkness more than the light. You like your sin and don’t want to exchange it for the light. You love your sin more than you love God. You fear what the light will reveal. But John goes on to say,] whoever lives by the truth comes into the light.” (John 3:19–21, NIV84) Darkness and light are irreconcilable. Darkness and truth are incompatible. They just don’t go together.