Summary: Sinful man vs. sinless God

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1st John 1:5-7

Jeff Hughes

I. Introduction

a. By way of introduction, let’s briefly go over what we studied last time.

b. First, we looked at an introduction to the epistle; we learned that the apostle John wrote it about 85 to 90 AD in Ephesus, as he was the pastor of the church there. We also learned of John’s special relationship to Jesus, he was one of the three who saw the Lord transfigured, and the only apostle to be present to the Lord’s crucifixion. It was at the Lord’s crucifixion that John was given the care of Mary, the Lord’s mother. It was also an interesting footnote that the apostle John was the only one not martyred for the faith.

c. Next, we looked at an overview of the epistle. Why did John write the epistle? To combat the doctrine of Gnosticism that was sweeping through the church, late in the first century.

d. The meat of the study was found in the text of verses 1-4.

e. In verse 1, John re-iterates himself in a overview of the Gospel of John, he describes Christ as “that from the beginning”, “which we have handled”, “our eyes have seen”, and “the Word of life”. John’s gospel describes, among other things, Christ’s deity, and His earthly ministry.

f. In verse 2, we looked a John’s witness of Christ’s ministry, and of the eternal nature of Jesus.

g. In verse 3, we looked at the fellowship of believers, and how we are set apart if we are true followers of Christ Jesus. We also examined the implications of fellowshipping with those who don’t share our beliefs.

h. Finally, to wrap up our review, in verse 4 we see the first reason given by John for writing the epistle – that your joy may be full.

i. Moving on, tonight, we are going to look at verses 5-7, and take a look at the topic of Sin.

II. Illustration –

a. Four preachers met for a friendly gathering. During the conversation one preacher said, "Our people come to us and pour out their hears, confess certain sins and needs. Let’s do the same. Confession is good for the soul." In due time all agreed. One confessed he liked to go to movies and would sneak off when away from his church. The second confessed to liking to smoke cigars and the third one confessed to liking to play cards. When it came to the fourth one, he wouldn’t confess. The others pressed him saying, "Come now, we confessed ours. What is your secret or vice?" Finally he answered, "It is gossiping and I can hardly wait to get out of here."

III. Study

a. First, let’s read the passage as a whole.

b. 5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

c. The Message – God’s Sinless Perfection 1 John 1:5

i. First half – “This is the message which we have heard and declare to you”

1. Message – Greek word epangaleeah – which means promise or announcement. Used 53 times in the Bible, 52 times it is translated as promise, only here is it translated as message. In fact, after some study, I found that some of the earlier translations translate it as promise. Most often, it is used to describe God’s promises to Israel, concerning the Messiah, Jesus. What is the message or promise that Jesus brought? That if we believe in Him, we will have eternal life.

2. Which we have heard – Again here, John reminds the readers that he was an eyewitness to the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. We covered this last time in verse 3 of this chapter.

3. We declare to you – John wants to make this message that he has received from Christ known to all. He’s following the Great Commission, Acts 2:38.

ii. Second half – “that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.”

1. Light – Greek word Phos. We get our English word Phosphorus from this.

2. John declares that God is light. Light by definition has no darkness. Darkness is defined as the absence of light.

3. Practical – I have had people come up to me in the past, and indeed I have felt this way too, that God is far away from me. My question is this? Who moved? Since God is light, and has no sin, the obvious answer is that we have. Most often I have found that unconfessed sin is what is hampering my communication with God. What do you guys think?

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