Summary: Part 2 in a series on 1 John
Walking and Talking a Real Life
Text: 1 John 1:5-2:6
The other day I found an old resume. To be honest I hadn’t given much thought to a resume in a while. But for some reason I thought it might be a good idea to update some of the information as well as those I have listed for references.
Over the past several years I have been asked to give a reference for many people. Sometimes when I am called by a church or employer and asked to write a letter of reference for someone I really don’t know well, I struggle with the right words to say. I wish I could use the old saying; “If you knew Joe like I know Joe; you would think of Joe like I think of Joe.” That’s not saying much; but it is saying something.
Several months ago a young man I had meet and befriended was seeking his first pastorate. He had preached at my former church on several occasions and I had found him to be solid not only in his doctrine but in his walk. The church that was looking at calling him as their pastor called me for a reference. After a few days of praying and wanting to give a good reference and description of what I had observed in this young man’s life I remember just saying very plainly: “I believe you will find his walk to be the same as his talk. He truly does practice what he preaches.”
Last week I made the comment that we are seeing churches today stray from the truth of God’s Word. We are living, I believe, in the day Paul writes of in 2 Timothy 4:3 “when they will not endure sound doctrine.” Because of many churches today preaching a message of easy-believism, we are seeing a so called Christian culture that is not grounded in Biblical truths and are being tossed to and fro by every teaching that comes along. I must be honest; we are living in a day that says we cannot address the difficult issues such as divorce, abortion, homosexuality, adultery, and pornography. You can go to churches all around this area and be greatly entertained and hear a talk (not a sermon) on how to live a better life and maybe have a few Scripture verses thrown in now and then, but it is not changing lives. Lives are not being changed because the main issue that many people and I must say preachers today do not want to address is the issue of sin. And until we as a nation, as families, and as individuals address the sin in our lives, our personal lives, our families, our homes and our nation will not be changed. I heard Adrian Rogers say; "A growing problem in our society is that people have the burden of guilt without the sense of sin."
As we continue in our study through the book of 1 John, the writer makes a contrast between saying and doing. John writes four separate times “If we say” or “He that says.” It seems clear the point he is making is that our Christian life is to amount to more that jusn talking; we must also walk or live what we believe.
If you and I as followers of Jesus Christ are in fellowship with God, our lives will back up what our lips are saying. But the same must be said on the other side of the spectrum; if we are living in sin, then our lives are in contrast to our lips making us hypocrites.
Many times the writers of Scripture refer to this Christian life as a walk. Our walk begins with a first step of faith when we trust Jesus as Savior. But for many of us we think that salvation is all there is to this new life and walk. Does a child stop when it learns to stand? No it progresses. Does it usually accomplish the learning process after one step? No. The child usually falls after the first step.
The Christian life and walk involves a process and we are supposed to progress or advance in our spiritual walks. Just as a child leaning to walk must overcome difficulties so must a Christian. The primary difficulty that is addressed here in this section of 1 John involves the matter of sin. The fact of the matter for each and every one of us is we must confront sin in our lives daily. John is writing this epistle to the church; to fellow believers. Not only must sin be dealt with by non-believers, but by believers as well.
I have seen what unconfessed sin in the life of a believer;
· It hinders our fellowship with God.