Summary: Talks about the importance of taking sin seriously and confessing our sins
Walking in the Light
Purpose Statement: To call on unbelievers and believers to take sin
After dying, three friends, Robert, Sam and Tim wake up outside of heaven. St. Peter says that before any can enter, they have to pass through a
bog. All those who pass through sink in proportion to the amount of unconfessed sins they had when they died. Robert starts out and immediately begins to sink. He struggles onward, and finally pushed to the opposite side,just as the mud reaches his neck. He looks back, and sees his friend Sam walking across, his shoes barely sinking into the mire. Robert says, “I can’t believe it. I never would have thought so you were so holy!” Sam replies,
“Oh, I’m just standing on Tim’s shoulders.”
Christians are sometimes guilty of letting what seems like little sins to go unconfessed and undealt with. John dealt with some of the same attitudes during his time. He begins his letter of 1 John by dealing with the importance of confessing sins and dealing seriously with sin and our sin nature. (Read Scripture).
Background: There was some in the church who were spreading lies about the nature of sin and how a believer should deal with sin. Some said that
they were above sin and no longer sinned; still others said it didn’t matter; and a third group said that they didn’t have a sin nature anymore. John
refuted all three and calls us to seriously deal with our sin. He does this by addressing the nature of God as light and then calls us to walk in that light.
He then describes how to do this.
John says we need not deceive ourselves with the following lies:
1. We can’t have fellowship with God and live in darkness. vs.6
2. We can’t claim to not have a sinful nature because we would just be deceiving ourselves. vs.8
3. We can’t claim we haven’t sinned because that would be to call God a liar vs.10
God is light means
1. His nature is unutterably majesty and splendor
2. It is God’s essential nature to reveal Himself
3. Moral perfection, purity, holiness. He is not effected by sin nor does He ever sin. There is no room for improvement. He isn’t like we are. He
doesn’t have any limits like we do. He doesn’t make decisions without all knowledge. He is always right and true. To appreciate the importance of tis
consider what it would be like if God could make terrible mistakes and commit sins. What type of security or trust could we put in a God like that.
4. He can’t be influenced by or manipulated by sin. He can’t be manipulated by you or the devil.
5. The guidance of God’s nature- Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path (Ps 119:105).
John lays out the conditions upon which to have a close fellowship with the
1. Take sin seriously- it is open rebellion against the Lord. There is a hardening effect on the heart because of sin (Heb 3:13; Matt 13:22). We are
not to play at sin or take it lightly.
In a View from the Zoo, Gary Richmond, a former zoo keeper, had this to say:
“Raccoons go through a glandular change at about 24 months. After that they often attack their owners. Since a 30 pound raccoon can be equal to a 100
pound dog in a scrap, I felt compelled to mention the change coming toa pet raccoon owned by a young friend of mine, Julie. She listened politely as I
explained the coming danger. I’ll never forget her answer, “It will be different for me. . . .” And she smiled as she added, “Bandit wouldn’t hurt me. He just wouldn’t.”
“Three months later Julie underwent plastic surgery for facial lacerations sustained when her adult raccoon attacked her for no apparent reason. Bandit
was released into the wild.”
Sin too often comes dressed in an adorable guise, and as we play with it, how easy it is to say, “It will be different for me.”
2. Confess sin. Confession brings reconciliation. We are not to deny it. The word “cleanse” in vs.9 is katharizei which implies something present tense
and a continuous process.
Four preachers met for a friendly gathering. During the conversation one preacher said, “Our people come to us and pour out their hearts, confess 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 the 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.”