Summary: This message asks: "What's the big deal about sin? Why does God care about what comes naturally to us?" And this message looks at the hope and joy we have because we trust that Jesus is our atoning sacrifice.
June 10/18 Sermon - 1 John 2:1-2
Today is the third in a series where we are looking at the book of first John. Pastor Bill Ryan did an excellent introduction to the book 2 weeks ago, and Pastor Arleen spoke on the balance of chapter 1 last week.
If you missed those messages, and you want to have a solid understanding of the book of 1st John, you can check them out on our Facebook live stream or on our podcast that you can find at our website at catm.ca.
I have always particularly enjoyed the apostle John and his writing. His gospel, the fourth canonical gospel, is in some ways quite different from the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, which are called the synoptic gospels.
They’re called that because although they are not identical, they have a lot of similarities. You would expect that from different witnesses who see different parts of an event.
But with John’s gospel, and the flavour of his gospel is still present in this letter, you get the perspective of an insider, one who has been closer to Jesus at difficult times; on who was, as John says of himself in his gospel, the disciple Jesus loved.
There are those signs of deep friendship in his writings. There is this gentleness, this intimacy, at this familiarity that John brings to his writings.
And here, in his first letter, he gives very personal insights, and he speaks with great love.
If you were here last week, or if you caught the livestream during the week Pastor Arleen was speaking on the passage that comes right before this.
On PPT: (Read off monitor)
God is light and there is no darkness in Him
God is absolute goodness and holiness.
If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.
We don’t want to be faking it. We’re faking it if we say we’re Christians while we’re regularly doing stuff that offends God.
If we walk in the light we have fellowship with one another and are purified by the sacrifice, the blood of Jesus.
When we walk in truth and holiness, when we’re living the Way of Jesus, our friendships and our fellowship is for real and deep; and we’re all experiencing together forgiveness of God through Jesus’ sacrifice.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and forgives us our sins AND purifies us from all unrighteousness
If we keep it real and seek forgiveness from God for our sins He both forgives us completely and goes overboard and makes us pure as snow, pure as wool.
If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.
If we’re lying to ourselves and to each other trying to make it as though we’re perfect, we’re full of beans, we’re disrespecting His Word and we’re showing that we don’t particularly care about His word or the truth.
That’s a super-quick summary of last week’s passage.
Then today, as we progress through our series on the book of 1 John, we find this rather short passage:
My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
So John is explaining what he’s just been writing. And he says that why he wrote all that is to encourage us, to motivate us to not sin.
And so, you might ask, as I did when I first read this more than a few years ago, what’s the big deal with sin? It seems to come pretty naturally. It’s like what happens when you aren’t giving any thought to anything.
Don’t they say
And doesn't this sometimes led to this:
So sin comes easily. Sin comes naturally. Then what’s the problem with it? Really. Aren’t we making a mountain out of a molehill?
First, what is sin?
What’s the Problem with Sin?
Well, first, sin is a quality of darkness. That’s not hard to see in these Scripture passages:
For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,
It’s worth noting that the domain of darkness is the domain of Satan
"This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. John 3:19
But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes. 1 John 2:11