Summary: This message deals with the difficult subject of forgiveness
I. "IF WE SAY THAT WE HAVE NO SIN, WE DECEIVE OURSELVES AND THE TRUTH IS NOT IN US. IF WE CONFESS OUR SINS, HE IS FAITHFUL AND JUST TO FORGIVE US OUR SINS, AND TO CLEANSE US FROM ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS"
A. These words sum up the great characteristic aim which distinguishes Christianity from every other system and institution on earth:
1. The object of education is to get rid of ignorance.
2. The object of medicine is to get rid of disease.
3. The object of Christianity is to get rid of sin.
B. The gospel of Jesus Christ:
1. Lays its finger on moral evil as the real mischief and misery in the world
2. It points to God's remedy for sin
II. IF WE SAY THAT WE HAVE NO SIN, WE DECEIVE OURSELVES, AND THE TRUTH IS NOT IN US"
A. Contradiction God:
1. That simply means that we attempt to make God a liar - why? because
2. God has concluded all men under sin - Gal 3:22; Rom 3:23
3. What a travesty for those who attempt to deny that sin exists in fact
B. The reality of sin has been proven:
1. By the death of the Son of God - "He died for our sins" - Rom 5:6-8
3. Diseases and death are the result of sin - Rom. 6:23; Gen. 3:17-19
C. Confession of sin:
1. To confess sin is to own up to it before God forthrightly and with convictions of deep sorrow. Examples: Note the difference between the prayers of the Pharisee and the Publican - Luke 18:10-14; David committed many grievous sins, yet no other man was a contrite at heart when he confessed his sin - Ps 32:51.
2. True confession of sin is not just to admit the fact of sin, but rather confess that it is a base thing.
3. True confession involves contrition and sorrow; that was missing in the confession of Saul, and it is missing in the confessions of so many today.
4. True confession implies the reconstruction of our life. Examples: Zacchaeus gives the converts at Ephesus, too, demonstrated a change of heart - Acts19:19.
III. COMMANDING FORGIVENESS
A. Forgiveness is a free gift - this means that we do not deserve it, nor can we earn it in anyway:
1. Here, again, Christianity is singular all the way - Eph 2:7-8; Rom 3:24; 8:32
2. Forgiveness of sin is the outflow of God's love demonstrated on the cross of Calvary - 2 Cor 5:21
B. It must be noted further:
1. That the forgiveness of sin founded on the nature of God alone - only God truly forgives
2. "He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins.” Examples: Note what God says He will do with the sins that are confessed, "For Thou hast cast all my sins behind Thy back" - Is 38:17; "I have blotted out as a thick cloud, thy sins" - Is 44:22; and "Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea" - Micah 7:19
C. Ensuring cleansing:
1. The cleansing is assured by the faithfulness of the most High; He cannot lie; that should put to rest all who are worried about the outcome of their sins
2. "I have betrothed thee unto me in faithfulness" - Hos 2:20.
3. "O Lord God of hosts, who is a strong Lord like unto Thee or Thy faithfulness round about Thee?" - Ps 89:8.
4. Thus we have the word of the most High, that if we will meet the conditions of true confession, He is bound by an oath that He will cleanse us from all unrighteousness
5. How wonderful it is to know a God like unto the God who made heaven and earth, who keepeth His word to His creation - let us trust Him.