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Fully Devoted-1: Authenticity

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Reading: 1John 1:5-2:6
If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 1 John 1:6 (NIV)

I.   No Counterfeiting

     A.  Pretending to be More than we are

           1.  We put on masks that we hope will fool people into believing that we are what we wish we were.

                 a.  We act as if we are perfect.

                 b.  We pretend to be shocked at the sin of others, as if we are beyond temptation.

           2.  Sometimes we do this “for the good of God’s Church.”

                 a.  We excuse our deception as a “not wanting to give offense” to people.

                 b.  But when the truth comes out, the scandal is not the sin, but the cover up.

                 c.  Jesus’ word for this is “hypocrite.”

     B.  Fooling Ourselves

           1.  We can be so desperate to be more than we are, we end up even fooling ourselves.

                 a.  We can’t stand the truth about ourselves, so we construct a lie.

                 b.  Sometimes the Church helps — we’d rather see you as you ought to be than as you are.

           2.  Walking in the light means being true to the truth — about ourselves too.

                 a.  If we have a relationship with God, we can’t keep lying to ourselves. (v.8)

                 b.  If we admit who we really are, we have fellowship with God and each other.

           3.  If we fool ourselves “the truth is not in us.”

                 a.  Encountering God is a truth encounter.

                 b.  Encountering God isn’t always “Oh Wow!” sometimes it’s “Oh, No!”

     C.  God Can’t be fooled

           1.  God sees us for sinners we are.

                 a.  He sees our waffling, our hidden thoughts, the way we savor our sins.

                 b.  We can’t talk him out of the truth with excuses and explanations.

                 c.  It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Heb. 10:31 (NIV)

           2.  Being God-like, walking in the light, means a readiness to face reality for what it is.

                 a.  Because that’s what God does.

                 b.  There is no darkness — no place to hide — in Him.

           3.  He stands ready to forgive whenever we come to terms with our sin.

                 a.  We are faithless and unrighteous, but he is faithful and just to forgive.

II.  The White Glove Test

     A.  Take a rigorous personal Inventory

           1.  Use the 2 great commands and/or the 10 commandments as a check list.

                 a.  Go down the list and you’ll find where your inventory is running low.

           2.  Search yourself and look for self-deceit, sinfulness, weaknesses, actual sins.

           3.  Ask God to help you (Psalm 139:23-24)

     B.  No Dirty gloves

           1.  Do your inventory using Biblical standards.

           2.  Resist the temptation to judge yourself using human standards (dirty gloves).

                 a.  These standards may tend to lower the standard.

                 b.  Or it might apply an unfair standard.

           3.  Do your inventory in God’s presence

                 a.  Hey! God knows it all anyway!

                 b.  You will find more grace from Him than you have for yourself!

     C.  The appalling Truth

           1.  The horrid truth is that we find sin both attractive and repulsive.

                 a.  We long for sin to scratch us, even when it always leaves us scarred.

           2.  The appalling truth is that sometimes we like sin more than we hate it.

                 a.  Yes, even we! Not always, but sometimes.

                 b.  Who will rescue me from this body of death!? (Romans 7:24)

           3.  The appalling truth is that God sees all this even more clearly than we ourselves.

                 a.  In Him there is no darkness at all!

III. Changing inside out

     A.  Knowing God Changes us

           1.  Those who claim to know God and aren’t changed, don’t know God. (1:6, 2:4)

           2.  Those who know Him are changed (2:3, 5)

     B.  The evidence of change is Obedience

           1.  If we know God, we will know that he asks nothing of us that is not out of his deep love for us.

                 a.  Like a wise Father setting up the boundaries for a loved Child.

                 b.  Like the Master Designer, knowing how the stuff of life works more than we can learn.

           2.  There’s a direct relationship between loving someone and wanting to please them in actions

                 a.  The word we translate “obey” we sometimes translate “keep,” “treasure.”

                 b.  It is not rote, rule following but guarding the rule itself — and it’s intent.

     C.  Walking Jesus’ walk (v.6)

           1.  As Jesus was obedient to the Father.

                 a.  Phil 2:8: And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!

           2.  As Jesus loved those the Father brought into His life.

                 a.  1John 3:16: This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

           3.  As Jesus exposed others to God’s Kingdom coming and their need to come to terms with that.

                 a.  John 17:6: “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word.

The Bottom Line:

Be Honest before God, Real with others and Patient with yourself.

Song: Breath on me Breath of God (Red # 164)

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