Summary: A sermon about taking full advantage of life in Christ.
“The Freedom to Walk as Jesus Did”
My first apartment out of college left much to be desired.
It was one room in an ancient building.
The refrigerator was in the closet.
And the only sink was the one in the bathroom.
I had no furniture, and I slept on my boss’s old army cot.
Now, I knew there were roaches ‘cause I would catch them scurrying around…I just didn’t know how far the problem reached.
One night I turned out the light and got in bed, but then remembered something I had forgotten to do, so I got back up and flipped the light back on.
What I saw was a bit startling.
The walls were literally covered in cock roaches which were quickly scurrying back to their dark hiding places in the cracks in the walls.
“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.
If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”
How many of us are truly walking in the light of God?
Now this doesn’t mean that we are perfect and do not sin, it doesn’t mean that at all.
What it does mean is that we are authentic.
When we fall short and sin, we admit our error…
…we don’t go hide it in the darkness…
…we bring everything to the light of Christ!
Our desire is not to sin, and so we don’t hide from God when we do sin.
How many of us think we can hide things from God?
Is there anything more ridiculous?
Adam and Eve, hid from God in the garden…did they really think that would accomplish anything?
The same goes for us.
It is so easy for us to excuse our sins, to try and rationalize them rather than bringing them to the light where God can and will deal with them!
I remember a colleague of mine, several years ago, telling me that he had gone to visit a church member.
Sitting in her living room she told my friend, “I have secret sins, and I like my secret sins. I don’t want to let them go.”
That is not walking in the light—that is not true repentance…
…that is not trying to change.
How many of us are not too terribly different than those cock roaches in my first apartment?
We hate being exposed by the light, so we run and hide from it…
…lest we be ‘found out’, ‘exposed’…
I remember a neighbor we once had.
He had had a heart attack and must have been told that he could no longer smoke.
I remember driving up into a nearby grocery store parking lot, only to see him smoking.
He was retired and he lived at home with his wife.
It was pretty obvious that he was doing this to hide what he was doing from his wife.
I felt sorry for him.
I’m not trying to trash smoking or anything…
…I’m just saying that when we are in hiding, we are not free, and we are not walking as Jesus walked.
Everything Jesus did was out in the open for the entire world to see.
He didn’t try to hide a thing.
He was an open book for all to read, and continues to be—quite literally.
1 John 2:5-6 informs us, “if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.”
Jesus walked 100% of the time in the perfect light of God the Father.
When we do this, unlike Jesus, we are not going to be without sin.
But we will live as if we did not sin—in the eyes of God.
For Jesus Christ is “the atoning sacrifice for our sins…”
John Wesley, the Founder of Methodism, and a believer in something called Christian Perfection, made it quite clear that no Christian will ever be without sin.
We will continue to live in ignorance, and thus we will sin out of ignorance.
We will make mistakes, and thus sin.
And since Wesley himself never claimed to have achieved Christian Perfection, I would add that we will have moments when we wander…and thus sin…
…but if we are walking in the light as this occurs…
…God, Who is faithful and just, will forgive us our sins, and Lord willing use our mistakes to mold us more and more into the people God has created us to be!