Summary: If we confess our sins to God He will forgive us.


Text: 1 Jn. 1:5-2:2


A. Read 1 Jn. 1:5-2:2

B. Have you ever had someone make you so mad that it made you say, “I never forgive you as long as I live!”

C. Aren’t you glad that God is not that way?

D. Aren’t you glad that we serve a God who forgives?

Transition: John tells us three truths about forgiveness.

I. First Truth: God is Holy (1:5-6)

A. God is Light

1. John says this is the message we heard from God and we declare to you—GOD IS LIGHT!

2. What does John mean that God is light?

a. Taken from the OT

1) God appeared to Moses as “fire” in the burning bush.

2) He leads Moses and the people through the desert as a “pillar of fire.”

3) Ps. 43:3 – “Send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me…”

b. In his Gospel, John describes Jesus as the Light.

1) Jn. 1:9 – “That was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”

2) Jn. 8:12 – “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

c. By saying that God is light John is saying that God is pure, perfect and totally righteous.

3. Another aspect of God as light is that the light chases away the darkness.

4. Illustration: Most of us have had the experience of getting up in the middle of the night and then turned on the light. What once was not able to be seen is now seen.

5. The light chases away the darkness.

6. What John is saying is that God is completely and utterly Holy in the essence of His character.

a. God is Holy and doesn’t know how to be anything else.

b. God is Holy in:

1) Everything he does

2) Everything he thinks

3) Everything he says

7. Pt. 1:16 – “Be ye holy, for I am holy!”

B. No Darkness At All

1. John goes on to say, “In Him there is no darkness at all.”

2. If God being light means that He is completely holy, then the darkness must represent that which is unholy and evil.

3. The darkness and the light are incompatible with one another—they cannot co-exist.

4. Thus John says, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in the darkness, we lie, and do not the truth.”

a. To walk in darkness means to live in sin and immoral pleasure.

b. You cannot have fellowship with God and continue to live in sin.

c. Rom. 6:2 – “How shall we who died to sin still live in it?”

5. God is completely holy and He cannot abide with or tolerate sin.

a. He won’t overlook it.

b. He won’t sweep it under the rug.

c. He won’t go with the flow.

d. He won’t change with the times

e. He doesn’t care if everybody is doing it.

f. He doesn’t care if it is politically correct.


Transition: This leads us to our second truth…

II. Second Truth: We Are Sinners (8, 10)

A. We Deceive Ourselves

1. Here John uses the noun form of the word “sin” rather than the verb to emphasize sin as a principle in human nature.

2. Just as holiness is a part of God’s character so sin is a part of our character.

3. The Bible is very clear on this matter.

a. Rom. 3:23 – “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

b. Is. 53:6 - “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way…”

4. If we say that we are not sinners we are only fooling ourselves.

a. God knows what we are.

b. Other people know what we are.

5. Illustration: Saying that we are not sinners in need of God’s grace is like a cow saying she is a duck. She can call herself a duck all she wants, but she is never gonna fly!

B. We Make God A Liar

1. More than that, if we claim that we have not sinned and do not need God’s grace, then we are calling God a liar.

2. He has already indicated in his word that we are sinners.

3. He has told us that sin is a part of our very character.

4. If we try and say we have not sinned then God’s truth is not in us.

5. We are sinners in the hands of an angry God.

6. James 1:14-15 – “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”

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