Summary: As followers of Jesus Christ, we can never be completely pure in this life as He was pure. Just as we need showers, baths, or washings, so we need to address the stain of sin on an ongoing basis!
Forgiven Sinners in the Hands of A Gracious God
1. President Harry Truman snuck into church one Sunday, and a reporter met him after church. The reporter asked Truman what the sermon was about.
2. “Sin,” the President answered succinctly.
3. “And what did the pastor say about sin?” asked the reporter.
4. “He was against it,” answered Truman.
5. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are against sin. At the same time, part of us is for it, at least certain sins.
Main Idea: As followers of Jesus Christ, we can never be completely pure in this life as He was pure. Just as we need showers, baths, or washings, so we need to address the stain of sin on an ongoing basis!
I. God is COMPLETELY Pure (5)
A. Understanding the attributes of God is FOUNDATIONAL.
B. God’s nature is holy (light) meaning there is nothing SINFUL about Him.
1. Ivory soap, 99 and ¾ % pure…
2. This is why fellowshipping with God & spending time in the Word and prayer has a purifying effect on us.
C. Sin is DETESTABLE to Him; He is the holy God, not the “man upstairs.”
1. There are a lot of foods I do not enjoy: radishes, cucumbers, mayo. But I really hate mustard. It is not just a case of not liking it, but I hate it.
2. It is tempting to think God is wrong sometimes; Job did. When you read your Bible, God does things that we might find offensive.
II. We Are NEVER Completely Pure in This Life in Our Practice (6-7)
A. We are LEGALLY pure when we repent and accept Christ; but sin damages the relational HARMONY between God and the believer.
B. We are capable of great HYPOCRISY (6).
C. Even when we are walking with the Lord, we need constant CLEANSING (7).
1. We are not walking in the light if we commit a DEFIANT sin.
2. We often walk in the light and yet commit sin UNKNOWINGLY.
“Though it may seem paradoxical, it is precisely those who are walking in the light who are most likely to see their flaws and sins and recognize their need for ongoing cleansing from the effects of sin.” Ben Witherington III
John MacArthur writes, “…sin does not remain separate but it mingles in all our motives and all our actions. Sin is powerful, sin is near in that it is in us, and it isn’t categorically separated. You can’t draw a line and say, well this is where my righteousness ends and this is where my sinfulness begins. It has a way of weaving itself into the fabric of all our duties and all our motives and all our thoughts and all our actions.”
III. DENYING Our Sin Fixes Nothing (8, 10).
A. Redefining sins as MISTAKES is an escape of responsibility.
B. We should avoid sin, but we also need to accept that we WILL sin.
1. Scripture gives a special warning to the spiritually proud: I Corinthians 10:12, “Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.
2. In some ways, sin has a way of keeping us humble; but if we live in denial, we use the one good consequence sin has.
C. Being uncomfortable with sin is a good thing, but we need to be comfortable with the fact that sin will PLAGUE us during our earthly ministry in some way.
D. Denial is simply a sub-category of LYING.
IV. When We CONFESS Our Sin, We Are Cleansed from Its Stain (9).
• I said earlier, “We are not walking in the light if we commit a defiant sin. How do we repair our relationship to God after committing such a sin?
A. Confess means to ADMIT or agree with God and implies asking forgiveness.
B. To confess our sins means we take RESPONSIBILITY and do not excuse them.
1. None of this, “I meant well.”
2. Mistakes are mistakes, sins are sins.
3. We have to face that there is an insidious side to us.
4. We forget about 99% of the wrong things we do, but, down deep, sin is anchored to our souls.
5. We can have victory over sin on an ongoing basis, but we cannot rid ourselves of the inclination to sin until we see the Lord.
6. If you say you can’t understand how people live sinfully, you might have to ask yourself whether you are really in touch with your own inner nature.
• One of the most important verses in the Bible is Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”
C. Since we are forgiven WHEN we confess our sins, the implication is that we are NOT forgiven (on a fellowship level) if we do not.