Summary: It seems that when we strive by the grace of God to live holy lives we can be challenged at every front. Is it possible to live a holy life in a sin saturated world?
Holiness - The Battle Against Sin
Please stand with me as we go over our current memory Scripture:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”
And our memory Scripture “refresher” verse is:
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the Word of Truth.”
Today we will be reading from 1 John 1:5-10
Last week we took a look at two doctrines that are on the opposite ends of the Christian spiritual spectrum.
First we looked at a doctrine called the “carnal Christian”. This condition is defined as a case where a person places his faith and trust in Jesus for salvation and yet there is no change in his behavior. He continues to live in the grip sin just as he did before and yet it is believed that he is still saved.
I must state once again that no one in true Christianity believes that a born again person should live that way; they only believe that it is possible.
The other condition we looked at is what we would refer to as Christian holiness. This would be the case when a person places his faith and trust in Jesus for salvation and he becomes a “new creation” in Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
This person who is a new creation becomes more and more transformed into the image of Christ and no longer lives in slavery to sin. (Romans 6:22 - Now that you have been set free from …)
Last week we also defined what the Biblical meaning of sin is.
Sin is disobedience of the known will of God by a morally responsible person.
- The person understands the difference between right and wrong
- The person knows what the Lord wants him to do or not to do
- The person does the opposite of the Lord’s will in an act of rebellion
We also talked about the difference between a sin and a mistake.
There are two teens at a summer camp. They are being instructed on how to use a bow and arrows. They have also been instructed on the safe usage of these bows and arrows.
One of the teens is listening to the instructor and trying his best to hit the bullseye of his target. Sometimes he does and sometimes he doesn’t. When he doesn’t hit the bullseye it is a mistake. He is trying his best and he is diligently listening to his instructor but sometimes he just misses. Yet, he constantly tries to improve. He will never be perfect in his execution of hitting the bullseye every time but his intent is perfect.
The other teen seems to be paying attention to the instructor but as soon as the instructor turns away the teen turns around a releases his arrow towards the area of the camp where all of the cabins are located. This is not a mistake. This is a sin.
Is this illustration something that can be applied to our struggle against sin in this world?
Is there no escape from the clutches of sin???
Let’s see what the Word of God has to say in … 1 John 1:5-10
(Prayer for help)
First let’s look at verses 8 and 10 …
“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the Truth is not in us … if we claim we have not sinned, we make [God] out to be a liar and His Word is not in us.”
If we claim that we have never sinned in our entire lives we make God out to be a liar.
Also, if we claim that have never sinned since we have come to know Jesus as our Savior we deceive ourselves.
None of us are perfect before we come to Jesus for salvation and we are slaves to sin and are rightly identified as sinners.
Also, none of us are perfect after we come to Jesus for salvation and even though we are now slaves of Christ and no longer slaves to sin we will almost inevitably sin at one time or another.
This regrettable but we do sin and we faithfully repent of that sin we are no longer identified as sinners but as sons and daughters of God.
But … God HAS called us to be holy as He is holy, right?
Would God demand something from us that is impossible?
Leviticus 11:14a says,
“I Am (Yahweh), the Lord your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I Am holy.”
So, when God spoke to Adam and said in Genesis 2:17