Summary: How judgmental are we of others? How ready are we to confess our own faults? Do we admit like St Paul, that though we desire not to sin, we still do?
How judgmental are we of others? How ready are we to confess our own faults? Do we admit like Paul, that though we desire not to sin, we still do?
Purpose: Let’s examine living in the light of God’s glory and an overcoming life versus the darkness of living in habitual sin.
Plan: Let’s look at John’s instructions about life, fellowship, joy, light, darkness and confession of our sins in 1 John 1:1-2:2.
Who is the Word of Life?
1 John 1:1 says, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life” A man went to his bishop to ask some Bible questions. The bishop looked around his large library and had a hard time finding a Bible. His studies had been so overshadowed by traditions, that the Word of Life had no longer a prominent place. Who was from the beginning? Who did John and the others hear, see and touch? Who is this Word of Life? Is any other person the Word of Life?
What was Manifested?
1 John 1:2 says, “the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us” Evaluate any preaching and ask yourself where is the focus. Is it on a particular denomination’s tradition, health, wealth, tongues, success, selfishly living your best life now, politics, materialism and a host of other worldly distractions, or does it expound the message of the Bible and that Person who is eternal life, who was with our heavenly Father and manifested to the apostles? Do we consistently emphasize anything else other than the Life that was manifested to them?
Can we Fellowship with God?
1 John 1:3-4 says, “that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.” The purpose of their witness was “that” others may have fellowship and joy. A great purpose of any preaching is that others may share fellowship and joy. True Christian fellowship begins with the Father and the Son. The great thing that brings us together is that which we hold in common, our fellowship with God, which fills us with joy.
What is Light & Darkness?
1 John 1:5-6 says, “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. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” The message of any preaching ought to include the same, that God is light. Walking in the darkness of any doctrines that promote sin is not the way to fellowship with God. Though we are far from sinless perfection, our habitual walk ought to be in the light and not the darkness of sin, and teachings that promote sin.
Do we Walk in the Light?
1 John 1:7-8 says, “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. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” Some Christians claim they are no longer sinners. Perhaps they mean they no longer pursue sin, but to claim we have no sin makes us liars. None of us has attained sinless perfection. Non-Christians point out obvious Christian sins, but miss the point. The only difference is that our sins are covered by faith in Jesus.
Do we Confess our Sins?
1 John 1:9-10 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” One US President was famous for saying that he had no sins to confess. But humble confession that we have not attained sinless perfection, is a hallmark of true Christianity. Self-righteous judgmentalism hides behind a mask of legalistic perfection. It makes us liars and fake Christians. We must learn to openly and humbly admit what Jesus taught, that even our thoughts are often sinful.
What is Wanted & Unwanted Sin?
1 John 2:1-2 “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. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.” John speaks as a fellow sinner, of “our sins.” Even Paul said, “the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.” (Romans 7:15-20) Repentance means we no longer desire to sin, though through weakness we do. Thank God for Jesus our Advocate.