Summary: Man sometimes falls into the trap of trying to "work" his way to heaven and then begins to worry that all he has is not good enough. The apostle John writes to tell us that we need not worry. The reason we need not worry is that God’s love shines like a
Illustration: Have you heard the story of a ship’s captain who was sailing late at night and saw a light on a collision course with his own ship? He told the radio man to send the message, “Alter your course ten degrees south.” The message came back, “Alter YOUR course ten degrees south.” The captain got mad and radioed back, “Alter your course; I’m a commander.” The response was, “Alter your course: I’m a seaman third class.” By then the captain was furious and radioed back, “Alter your course, I’m a battleship.” The response was, “Alter your course: I’m a Lighthouse.”
Illustration from Timothy Peck @ sermoncentral.com
In writing this letter, John the Apostle was combating several errors being taught among Christians of the time. Some of these errors in one form or another are still being taught today. The one we will look at today is the teaching that there is the possibility that a person may attain a point in life where they do not sin. John tells us that while this idea is false, the Christian has no need to worry about his eternal salvation. The reason we need not worry is that God’s love shines like a lighthouse to light our way!
I. Walking in the Light 1 John 1:5–7
A. Gk: Peripatomen - walk (present active), a continual walk
B. God is Light.
1. Light chases away darkness.
2. In God there is not even a hint of darkness (evil).
C. Claiming fellowship with God is futile without obedience.
1. James 2:14
2. Matt. 7:21–23
D. Obedience to God’s will carries with it two blessings.
1. Fellowship with one another. Acts 2:47; Gal. 6:2
2. Continual cleansing from sin through the blood of Christ. Eph. 1:7
II. Sin is not acceptable, but it is inevitable. 1 John 1:8–10
A. Saying we have no sin or can attain such a state is:
1. Deception at best;
2. Or more accurately, a lie.
B. Recognizing our sin should lead us to confess our sin.
C. Confession is a life long activity.
1. Confession before God.
Illustration: In 1818 one out of six women who had children died of something called “Childbirth Fever.” A doctor’s daily routine then started in the dissecting room, where he performed autopsies. From there he made his rounds to examine expectant mothers. No one event thought to wash their hands, at least not until a doctor named Ignaz Semelweis began to practice strict hand washing. He was the first doctor to associatea lack of hand washing with this huge fatality rate. Dr. Semmelweis’ fatality rate was only one in fifty, yet his colleagues laughed at him. Once he said, “Childbirth fever is cause by decomposed material conveyed to a wound, I have shown how it can be prevented. I have proven all that I have said. But while we talk, talk, talk, women are dying. I’m not asking for anything world shaking, only that you wash your hands.” Yet, virtually no one believed him.
And Jesus is not asking anything earth shaking from us only that we confess our sins, to regularly wash our souls before God. It is essential. The failure to confess our sins will result in spiritual infection and hinder our spiritual journey.
Illustration taken from Timothy Peck at sermoncentral.com
also @ http://www.ublib.buffalo.edu/libraries/projects/cases/childbed_fever.htm
2. Confession before others. James 5:16
III. God does not want us to sin, but Christ died because we do.
A. If a Christian sins, he is not without hope.
B. Christ is our atoning sacrifice (propitiation).
1. Propitiate - to appease and render favorable.
2. We keep on having Christ as an ever present remedy for sin.
God is like that lighthouse, he does not move, does not change. No matter who we are in this life or how good we think we are living; God’s directions trump our own. Either we alter our course in line with his or we end up shipwrecked.
Mitchell Skelton, Minister - Midway church of Christ