Faithlife Sermons

Three False Teachings / Tres Enseñanzas Falsas

1 John  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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In 1973 the psychiatrist Dr. Karl Menninger wrote the book “Whatever Became of Sin”.
The premise of this book is that as time people no longer refer to sin as sin.
Instead of referring to sinful actions as sin, evil, immoral, we now call them mistakes, weaknesses, character flaws - but not sin.
In his opinion, our society, is heading down a wrong path because we are simply deceiving ourselves by denying the reality and evilness of sin in our lives.
Denying the reality of sin in our lives is a modern-day reality.
Do you consider yourself a sinner? Many may answer: Nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes. But it is very difficult for us to accept the fact that we are sinners.
Denying the reality of sin was also a problem that the first century church faced. 1 John teaches us that the early church was facing three serious false teachings related to sin:
We can have fellowship with God and walk in darkness
We do not sin.
We have not sinned.

I. We can have fellowship with God and walk in darkness

I. Podemos tener comunión con Dios y caminar en oscuridad.

Last week we learned that John wanted his readers to understand that Jesus was a real historical figure. He actually came to earth to die for our sin.
However, John is now going to tackle a serious issue that the early church was facing. The church was being attacked by false teachers.
These false teachers were known as “gnostics”.
The gnostics were a group of people that thought they had a secret knowledge that no one else had. This secret knowledge made them more spiritual, more closer to God.
They believed that we are pure spirits living in this body. They though their spirit could not be affected by any evil acts their body engaged in.
They thought their spirit could be in communion with God no matter what their body was doing.
John addresses this false teaching head on, as false teaching should be addressed! We should not beat around the bush but rather confront it for we are speaking about matters of life and death!
1 John 1:5 NIV
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.
1 John 1:5 NVI
Éste es el mensaje que hemos oído de él y que les anunciamos: Dios es luz y en él no hay ninguna oscuridad.
John’s mode of attach is to concentrate on the character and nature of God. God is light. There is no darkness at all in God.
In the Bible, there are various examples where God is described as being light, being radiant, being full of splendor:
It is no coincidence that God’s first act of creation what to create light.
Genesis 1:3 NIV
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
Genesis 1:3 NVI
Y dijo Dios: «¡Que exista la luz!» Y la luz llegó a existir.
John 8:12 NIV
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
John 8:12 NVI
Una vez más Jesús se dirigió a la gente, y les dijo: —Yo soy la luz del mundo. El que me sigue no andará en tinieblas, sino que tendrá la luz de la vida.
God is described as light in order to transmit the idea of purity and absolute holiness. There is no stain in God. There is no deceit. There is no hiding because of shame.
The idea that John wants to get across is the contrast between light and darkness. On the one hand we have the majestic light of God’s purity and holiness and on the other hand we have the darkness of man’s sinful state, the darkness of this world that has been affected by man’s evil.
1 John 1:6 NIV
If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.
1 John 1:6 NVI
Si afirmamos que tenemos comunión con él, pero vivimos en la oscuridad, mentimos y no ponemos en práctica la verdad.
This is the first false teaching that John confronts. There were those in the early church who would say they have fellowship/relationship/communion with God and yet walk in darkness.
Walking in darkness is the habitual practice of sin
Walking in darkness is not referring to the ongoing failings of humans throughout their life. Walking in darkness refers to a person who delights in sin, who doesn’t care they are offending God, who would rather follow their own will than follow God’s will.
Walking in darkness is practicing daily that which offends God - namely sin!
These false teachers thought that they were in a right relationship with God while practicing drunkeness, adultery, theft, deceit, gossip, etc. They were continually practicing this sin and thought nothing of it.
They seriously thought that their sin was not affecting their relationship with God in any way.
But John says: you are simply deceiving yourselves. You are lying to yourself and to others.
John says: Instead of walking in the darkness you should be living out the truth.
This is an essential part of the Christian life. We have been called out from darkness into God’s marvelous light.
1 Peter 2:9 NIV
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
1 Peter 2:9 NVI
Pero ustedes son linaje escogido, real sacerdocio, nación santa, pueblo que pertenece a Dios, para que proclamen las obras maravillosas de aquel que los llamó de las tinieblas a su luz admirable.
We have not been saved in order that we may continue to live a life of sin. We have been saved to serve God and to live the truth!
It is only when we walk in the light that we can truly be forgiven of our sins:
1 John 1:7 NIV
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.
1 John 1:7 NVI
Pero si vivimos en la luz, así como él está en la luz, tenemos comunión unos con otros, y la sangre de su Hijo Jesucristo nos limpia de todo pecado.
Forgiveness does not come because you have prayed the sinner’s prayer.
Forgiveness does not come because you have been baptized.
Forgiveness is a reality for those who walk in the light!
The blood of Jesus has cleansed all those who walk in the light.
Many people rely on their childhood baptism. Others rely on the fact that their parents are Christians. The reality is that we are simply deceiving ourselves. The blood of jesus has covered the sins of those who are walking in the light.

II. We do not sin.

II. Nosotros no pecamos.

There was a second false teaching. We will notice that the second and third false teaching seem to be saying the same thing. Nevertheless they are slightly different.
The second false teaching John was confronting was:
1 John 1:8 NIV
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
1 John 1:8 NVI
Si afirmamos que no tenemos pecado, nos engañamos a nosotros mismos y no tenemos la verdad.
There were those who thought they were without sin. In other words they were sinning but denying the fact that they were offending God.
They though their actions were not sinful in themselves.
They could simply have been referring to their sin as bad habits, character flaws, or mistakes - but definitely not sin.

III. We have not sinned.

III. Nosotros no hemos pecado.

The third teaching, as I mentioned is very similar to the first. The third false teaching said:
1 John 1:10 NIV
If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.
1 John 1:10 NVI
Si afirmamos que no hemos pecado, lo hacemos pasar por mentiroso y su palabra no habita en nosotros.
This false teaching was the worse of all because those who believed it simply denied the fact that they had ever sinned. They denied the fact altogether that they were sinners.
Recently in 2016, one of or our leaders in the United States said: “I have never had to ask for forgiveness.”
“I will be asking for forgiveness, but hopefully I won’t have to be asking for much forgiveness. As you know, I am Presbyterian and Protestant.”
“Voy a pedir perdón, pero espero que no tenga que pedir demasiado perdón. Como ustedes saben, yo soy un presbiteriano y un protestante.”
There are many who feel they will never have to give an account before God.
There are those that feel that God will not judge their sins.
These people have forgotten John’s first message: “God is light! In him there is no darkness.”
Have we forgotten that our sin sent Jesus to die on a cross?
Have we forgotten how utterly holy and pure God is?
Have we forgotten about Ananias and Saphira who died before God’s presence because they lied about the offering they had just given?
Have we forgotten about King David and how God allowed his son, fruit of his adultery with Bathsheba, to die?
Have we forgotten about how God rejected Saul because of his disobedience?
Have we forgotten about God’s destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah for their sin?
How can we believe God will overlook our sins if he has not overlooked the sins of the past?
America has lost its fear of God. Dr. Menninger was right - Whatever happened to sin? No one sins anymore. We all do whatever is right in our own eyes.
There is no longer any shame.
There is no longer any fear of God.
There is no longer a general belief that we must do what is right or face the consequences.
Many of us think we can get away with many things.
However, God is light and he will continue to be light. He will continue to be holy. He will continue to be the judge of all the earth. You and I will die and yet God will still be upon his throne ready to judge the world.
We should all fear the though of the judgement of God upon our lives!
Let us fear verse 10:
1 John 1:10 NIV
If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.
1 John 1:10 NVI
Si afirmamos que no hemos pecado, lo hacemos pasar por mentiroso y su palabra no habita en nosotros.
If we say we have not sinned we are calling God a liar!
Let us not deceive ourselves. Let us not play being a Christian. Either we confess our sin, either we live in the light, or we come to the realization that we are simply faking the Christian life and we truly do not believe in the Word of God.
Let us not come to church because we feel a religious obligation.
Let us run to God because we truly want to seek his forgiveness.
It is for this reason that Jesus came to die on the cross - the take upon himself the wrath of God.
He came to die and drink the cup of the wrath of God.
He died an awful gruesome death so that we may be forgiven.
For this reason, John mentioned the blood of Jesus in verse 7. It took the spilling of Jesus blood to achieve our forgiveness.
1 John 1:9 NIV
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9 NVI
Si confesamos nuestros pecados, Dios, que es fiel y justo, nos los perdonará y nos limpiará de toda maldad.
1 John 1:
This gives us much hope. If we confess our sins God will surely forgive us.
Forgiveness speaks about God removing the debt that we owe because of our failure. He erases our debt. He takes away the offense.
However, we will not only be forgiven but we will also be purified. God will surely cleanse us for all unrighteousness.
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