Summary: John was noted as being the Apostle of Love, and he wanted his church family to have a clear conscience, a sense of security, and an appreciation for their Savior. This meant straight talk about sin, forgiveness, and even apostasy.
The Apostle of Love Addresses Sin
(I John 1:7-2:2, 2:18-20, 5:16-18)
1. Nobody knows us like the people who live with us.
2. Old man Morris had died. A wonderful funeral was in progress and the town’s Rabbi talked at length of the good traits of the deceased, what an honest man he was, how he treated every one with respect and what a loving husband and kind father he was.
Finally, the widow leaned over and whispered to one of her children, “Go up there and take a look in the coffin and see if that’s your father!” jewishmag.com
3. We all have wrong ideas about others, God, and even ourselves.
4. People who do not really understand salvation by grace alone through faith alone will sometimes say, “I just want to make it to heaven.” Or, “I hope to hold out.” They don’t get it.
5. Other people think they cannot be saved because they have lived so sinfully. God could never accept them. They don’t get it.
6. Then there is the opposite problem: people assuming they are saved who have never repented and turn to Christ. They constantly walk in darkness but think somehow that they are citizens of the Kingdom of Light. They don’t get it.
7. First john was written to help us get it.
Main Idea: John was noted as being the Apostle of Love, and he wanted his church family to have a clear conscience, a sense of security, and an appreciation for their Savior. This meant straight talk about sin, forgiveness, and even apostasy.
I. The TWO Types of Sin in I John.
A. The sin to DEATH, apostasy (I John 5:16-17)
1. The true believer cannot commit THIS sin (5:18).
2. Genuine believers remain FIRM in their belief in Jesus (2:18-20).
• Big difference between falling into sin and denying Jesus
• We’ll get into this more when we return to Hebrews in July
B. Sin in GENERAL (5-10)
1. Some people think they are saved but LIVE in darkness (6).
• Aesops’ fable about the bat, birds and beasts.
A GREAT conflict was about to come off between the Birds and the Beasts. When the two armies were collected together the Bat hesitated which to join. The Birds that passed his perch said: “Come with us”; but he said: “I am a Beast.” Later on, some Beasts who were passing underneath him looked up and said: “Come with us”; but he said: “I am a Bird.” Luckily at the last moment peace was made, and no battle took place, so the Bat came to the Birds and wished to join in the rejoicings, but they all turned against him and he had to fly away. He then went to the Beasts, but soon had to beat a retreat, or else they would have torn him to pieces. “Ah,” said the Bat, “I see now, he that is neither one thing nor the other has no friends.”
2. Sins of which we are UNAWARE (7)
3. Every believer SINS (8, 10)
• We often confuse personality with sin. American Christianity is influenced by central/northern European culture
• That means we tend to be picky and perfectionistic
• As a result, we sometimes don’t know the difference between qualities we dislike in people and sins.
• God’s bar is high enough, and we all fail to meet it. It is his standard that we should focus upon, not the latest book on business success or social trends.
• Jesus taught about the danger of focusing upon traditions, namely, diverting energy that should be focused upon what God commands (Mark 7:8).
• If we put all our energies into becoming some sort of super person, we, too, will divert our attention from obeying God’s commands.
• Our energy, will power, or self-control is a limited resource.
4. Sin breaks our FELLOWSHIP, but does not rob us of salvation.
5. Fellowship is restored through CONFESSION (1:9).
• Although it can be helpful to confess our sins or issues to a brother or sister in the Lord, this text is talking about confessing our sins directly to God.
• To confess means to “say the same thing,” and implies remorse.
II. Jesus’ Present SESSION Based Upon His Past ATONEMENT (2:1-2).
A. Jesus is presented here as our ADVOCATE, a Midrash on Zechariah 3:1-5.
Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. And the Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, O Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is not this a brand plucked from the fire?” Now Joshua was standing before the angel, clothed with filthy garments. And the angel said to those who were standing before him, “Remove the filthy garments from him.” And to him he said, “Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you, and I will clothe you with pure vestments.” And I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord was standing by.