Summary: Deals with three False Statements About Sin. Each of the false claims about sin is introduced by John’s use of the term “if we say” (vv. 6, 8, 10) and is followed by John’s denial of that claim.
A Study of the Book of 1st John
“Back To the Basics”
Sermon # 2
“The Truth About Sin”
1 John 1:5-10, 2:1-2
Several years ago the noted psych-iatrist, Dr. Karl Menniger, wrote a book about how we as a society fail to deal with sin entitled, “What Ever Happened To Sin.” He wrote, “It was a word once on everyone’s mind, but now rarely if ever heard…Is it only that someone may be stupid or sick or criminal… anxiety and depression we all acknowledge, and even vague guilt feelings; but has no one committed any sins? Where, indeed, did sin go? What became of it?” As Dr. Menninger points out, what has become of sin is that people simply refuse to admit they have any.
Sin, at least in the eyes of some, is an outmoded concept. It is not fashionable to talk about sin these days. After all, we live in an age that claims there are no moral absolutes. Our society today thinks that all truth is relative. It should not be surprising that as a result, we are a society that has lost its moral compass.
Whenever there is a fresh tragedy like the shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado, (April, 1999) there will be a Television special aired in which some commentator will ask a question like; "What would make a teenager take a gun to school and shoot his teachers and class-mates?" The massacre provoked debate on everything from bullying, to the role of violent movies and video games in American society, the gun culture, and the use of pharmaceutical anti-depressants by teen-agers. In fact every conceivable answer to this question is explored - except the one we don’t like to mention – sin. The evil that lurks in the human heart, we don’t like to admit to that. Thomas Carlyle once said, "The deadliest sin is the consciousness of no sin."
What do you do with sin? John, in our text, tells us that there are really only two options available to us. We can either deny it or deal with it.Denial is a popular choice. We like to deny the existence of sin, or the impact of sin, or the degree of sin, or the consequences of sin.
We read beginning in verse five, “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. (8) If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (9) If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unright-eousness. (10) If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. (2:1) My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. (2) And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.”
Christianity is not, at its core, the observance of rituals or rules. Rather, it is a walk of personal fellowship with the living God. But before we all sign up for the prog-ram, John makes it clear that fellowship with God is not a matter of being chummy with your good buddy in the sky! A God of light expects lives that are permeated by light. To have genuine fellowship with the holy God, we must walk in the light, as He Himself is in the light.
Three False Statements About Sin. Each of the false claims about sin is introduced by John’s use of the term “if we say” (vv. 6, 8, 10) and is followed by John’s denial of that claim.
First False Statement –You Can Be A Christian And Still Live In Habitual Sin. (vv. 6-7)
With each of the false statements we will examine the claim, the consequences and the contrast drawn by John.
•The Claim (v. 6a) “it doesn’t matter if I sin”
“If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness.”
First of all he says “if we say.” The little word “if” is a suppositional conjunction. In the original Greek there are different words for “if” there is (ea) and there is (ean). It is (ean) that is used here, meaning “suppose.” “Suppose if you will that there are those who say I have a relationship with God, but they continue to walk in sin.”