Do you realize your sin?
Well, I'm excited to be getting to the next passage of scripture that we're going to be considering in our series through the book of 1st John titled evidence and Assurance serious questions about genuine Christianity and the next versus kind of on the docket is 1st John in chapter 1 verses 8 through 10. So would you turn there with me and your Bibles? And we're going to be following up this week on. The reality that we saw last week that people are either walking in the light realm if you remember what we saw or they're walking and living in The Realm of Darkness kind of either or we're going to be seeing right now following up on that in our text this morning. We're going to see two specific and even very very unlikely evidences that leads in one of those two directions either towards light or towards Darkness soap. Would you stand with me now out of reverence for the reading of God's word 1st, John 1 8 through 10. This is God's holy and inspired word. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in US. 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 we have not sinned we make him a liar and his word is not in US you may be seated.
Father we come before you now after reading your holy word. Asking you for help asking you for directions morning asking you to help open up eyes and ears to see the truth of the word helping me to be able to communicate the truth of your word in a way that's helpful to the church this morning. Oh God, we pray for your help this morning towards these and that we would hear your word. Oh Lord, but that we would not just hear it but that we would hear it and then I will make an impact Upon Our Lives it would change our living it would change our thinking it would our change our worship of you even oh God we ask for your help in these things in Christ name. amen
Now it would be quite natural to think. Pierre falling up after looking at light and darkness. It would be natural for us to think that the evidences of light and darkness the John would now give the first evidence as he's introducing the subject last week. We saw a light in darkness have the first evidence as we would guess that that what we would see together today would be some kind of an example of Purity or goodness maybe or kind of holy living kind of in the light direction, right? And then on the other hand in the dark direction, we would think that we would be seeing this particular Act of sin or Wicked thought for some concrete example of kind of sinful Unholy bad living for the dark, right? That's what we would. For light of course as we solve represents good Darkness represents evil light. God Darkness Satan light believer Darkness, unbeliever. And that's true.
So should we be expecting now anticipating now John to give us an example of some specific Act of goodness for the light and some specific Act of sinfulness for Darkness. That's what we would think kind of leading Us in these two directions. That seems reasonable to me. I don't know about you that's kind of where mind mind would go naturally.
But that's not what we see here. Is it? We actually see the exact opposite of what we would expect.
Have you ever been in a situation where you were talking to someone that you knew a lot about? And you were able to anticipate what you thought they wanted to hear from you. Like the child Pugh in Sunday school answers Jesus or God to every question that's asked because what they think that's what the teacher wants to hear. That's always the answer right insect High School. Or maybe in the interview. Maybe your potential boss is kind of queuing up that question that we've all heard probably in an interview about kind of what are your weaknesses? Weaknesses. Do you have your potential boss might ask you tell me about your biggest weakness and you respond well. I just work way too hard, you know just telling them what you think that they want to hear. But what we think that we might hear from John and expect to see as an example from the Apostle separating light from Darkness. It's just not the easy cookie cutter examples in the text. Are they? And if you remember and I mentioned last week, the deciding factor of whether a person is in the light or in the darkness isn't if they have sinned and sinful deeds and sinful acts and their lives or not. That's not the deciding factor. For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God As Romans 3:23 tells us right but not all people are in the dark right? Even though all people send so thankfully not all people are in the dark. But because all people send it's not that sin would be the differentiating factor light and darkness. No, that's not what it is. But what was the deciding factor that we saw last week in the sermon the deciding factor was the deciding factor is if someone has trusted in a believe in Jesus Christ as their savior or not
So what we see here in our first differentiating evidence that John gives us in the book separating light from darkness is not some example of a person's Good. Deeds are some examples of a person's evil Deeds, even if it's not what you would think naturally. But rather what does he do? He contrasts two different ways people view themselves ways that people think of either their own goodness or their own sinfulness. One group of people thinking that they're perfect. without sin and really really good at heart. Another group of people thinking that they are sinful and really really bad. Well, what did these two views that people have about themselves indicated that indicate about themselves? What is it? It's not what you would think at face value. It's not the most obvious conclusion. It's not the obvious answer just blurt it out or memorize for an interview question. It's not what you think that you might hear. So what's contrast here to opposing views that people can have of themselves right now from this passage in front of us that's going to be our whole sermon and to make it easy. We can refer to these two views in ways. That might be memorable number. One of the first view would be the perfect saint. And the second view would be number two, the sinful sinner perfect Saint sinful Sinner and then we're going to see the evidence that's leading in these two directions. Those are the views those are the directions and we'll start with the view of the person who thinks that they are. Perfect. Morally speaking. the perfect Saint West Saint and in point number one will look at the sinless view of a person that they have of themselves, which way does that Viewpoint this endless view that somebody has of themselves it points to not what we would think but it points to number one. It points to Darkness. And the denial of sin? Look with me at verse 8 for this birthday. What does it say? If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in US. And then in verse 10, what does it say verse 10 it says if we say that we have not sinned we make him a liar and his word is not in apparently John was dealing with people who had a very puffed up view of their own character and their own selves and their own situation. They had this very high and lofty estimation of themselves. Either that they had no sense at all ever or the after coming into their kind of realization or their profession of Salvation when they became a Christian, so to speak that they now came to a point in their Christian lives where they no longer send it was no longer inside of them. They claim to have reached the kind of sinless perfection. In their day-to-day experience. That's what John is dealing with and this type of person. Let me tell you they actually existed during John's time believe it or not. Or else he wouldn't have even brought that up and mentioned it. It's likely that some of those in the church had some kind of variation of the sinless Lee perfect Saint view of themselves that they were sinless perfect without sin at all. That was their View. And we see this in our day as well. Don't we atheists for instance claim that us kind of religious folk simply use religion as a crutch and then it's kind of all just a made-up Fairy Tail. That's what they would say. Oh, we're using it in a way that it is is it's just fake. It's not real. There is no God. They would say that the idea of sand. It's just it just makes no sense. It's outdated. Its repressive it just simply untrue. If you ask an atheist if they have sinned they will simply throw the whole category kind of out the window since then doesn't even enter the equation for them. Right because they don't believe in a holy Creator God. Who is the standard of Truth and Dare? Who is the standard of sin and righteousness morals Beauty Justice? They deny that they have any sense whatsoever? Because they deny the existence of God. Who is the standard of these things? And inverse 10 John tells us that the churches in his day that that if if someone says that they have never send. Ever send that they are they're not only deceived right as verse 8 indicates not only the sea but that they are even making God out to be a liar since clearly got everywhere in the scriptures from beginning to end reveals that all mankind is guilty and sinful in and of themselves.
now it's hard to believe that anyone would claim to be without sin, isn't it? But as we just considered we see it in our day and example of atheists unbelievers in in that way, but could it be the people claim to be Christians claim to know God a fear someone who believes in God could it be that they too would deny the presence of sin and their lives as well. Is that possible? I mean I get that an atheist would deny that they have sinned it makes sense with another world view they have sinned but I understand that they wouldn't see it because what they don't believe in God they don't believe in his word that makes a lot of sense. However
It seems like this is exactly what John was running against in these versus professing Christians who themselves are claiming to be without the presence of sin. Either after they're supposed Spiritual Awakening or even as versed 10 says denying the presence of sin all together and their whole life. I have no sin. They would say these people had a very just warped view of themselves claiming that they have reached Perfection at some point in their Christian experience or they simply had never sinned to begin with and believe it or not. This is what some of them thought about themselves. This is what verses 8 and 10 reveal. This is why John is dealing with it and its lofty view that people may have of themselves this category of the view of the sinless Lee perfect self didn't warrant a kind of response from John here that these people might have hoped for
they might have thought that they were putting their best foot forward. Giving kind of the memorize interview answer but John saw right through it and said that the people who thought they were sinless were deceived themselves walking truth liking the word even they were unbelievers. They were in the dark. Let me tell you not only did their sinless view not impress the Apostle John.
As we clearly see here in these versus but their lofty view of themselves didn't want the kind of response from God that they were looking for either.
and if this is your view of yourself that you were really good at heart. But you're sinless that you're perfect person. Let me Tell you here. Let me point to you where the direction of this evidence is leading. This is the conclusion. This is where it's going this view of oneself as being a perfect person sinless does not indicate as the goody-two-shoes deceived person would have you believe it doesn't it actually indicates. It actually indicates the opposite. It doesn't indicate Purity Holiness or goodness. It actually in indicates the exact opposite the view that people think that they're perfect being without blemish without sin evidence is that they are in the dark and that they are deceived and even that their view of themselves calls into question the very character of God himself for the Perfection of you. It's blasphemous. Because it's a slap in the face to God. So to speak they claim to be sinless to claim to be perfect because of someone ever This Side of Heaven claims to be without sin either never send their entire lives or reaching a state of sinless perfection at some point. They no longer need God. They're clearly no longer looking to God's word for direction and what to believe and let me tell you they no longer need the gospel either.
at least I think that and this leads us to our second. Evidence the contrasting evidence the flipside. So we looked at the sinless Saint view of yourself video of someone that they have about themselves and we saw that the evidence of that leads to what it leads to Darkness rather than light the scriptures clearly reveal that now what does the other side of the evidence lead us to the view of the sinful sinner the view of the person who realizes their sin who sees it for what it is who knows that they have sinned and continue to struggle with sin even now in the Christian Life our second contrasting point. light and the confession of sins the number to light and the confession of sin look with me in your Bibles at verse 9 for the evidence of this view in the person's life 1st, John 1 and 9 says if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
when I became a Christian I saw my sin clearly. And I confessed it. And I believe the gospel. I believe it was my only ho but the really really really frustrating part that I found after my conversion. Is guess what?
I still. Send my sin did not all of a sudden vanish and go away. It was still there. No, I was changed to be sure.
But I still find myself and found myself struggling with sin even as a transformed believer. Do you know how frustrating that is?
Well, if you're a Believer here as well, you know how frustrating that is yourself because you have experienced conversion is well being saved and transformed but then having to struggle with sin and temptation to send an actual sin even to this very day. And I don't care how long you've been a Believer here with us. You still struggle with sin? Can you still send? And if you're thinking right now. Not me.
Then you belong to the wrong category. Of someone who thinks that they are perfect and just you're merely to seed and in the dark. You probably think the opposite but if that's you thinking you're perfect, you're not in the side that you think that you're in believe it or not. But True Believers, let me tell you let me encourage you They viewed their own sin. And as a matter of fact as they grow even as Believers the more that they mature the more that they see the ugliness of the sin within them.
And I can understand that you may not have come prepared this morning to kind of think along these lines even as a Believer, but we're going to go to the Good Ol Charles Spurgeon this morning the prince of preachers to help rattle our minds and our emotions are thinking our feeling to the great sins. We undeniably struggle with even as believers.
and let me just tell you this is not a drawn-out quote quote from Spurgeon, but it's multiple quotes from a sermon Spurgeon kind of helpfully identifies and helpfully preached in 1875 titled honest dealing with God Spurgeon says read The Ten Commandments. think of their spirituality remember how he that looketh on a woman to lust after her committeth adultery with her in his heart and let the law with all its blaze of light flash flame into your soul.
He goes on to say later. recollect, your individual sins
Do not try to forget them do not lay them at the door of anyone else sends of your holy things. What does he mean by that Holy things? I'm just going to give you two examples here. He has a list of them your sins against prayer. Your sins against the love of the father. He goes on later and says repent of what you have done. And what you have not done? Think of your sins of the heart sins of thought sins of imagination sins of your desires and the lights hopes and fear. wanton sentence mischievous sins sins which hurt ourselves foolish sins despicable sins and then Spurgeon goes on to say something regarding send that has stuck with me ever since I read it this past week. kind of like when you get something stuck in your in your shoe It's kind of their you're thinking about it just doesn't go away. This is what he says as you see what Jesus suffered you will see how you send. And as You observe the glory of his Merit meaning kind of what he learned what he learned for you what hearing for us, you will see the horror of your own demerit. Izzy and Spurgeon helpfully got us thinking along these lines the more that we grow as Believers the more that we are able to see just how much more send that we never even thought of or noticed before we became Christians.
And don't get me wrong Believers will in fact turn from sin and fight against sin and grow in the Christian life. But as soon as they stop chopping down the certain obvious ends after conversion what happens other sins that they never even saw before and understood the ugliness within as it relates to their sin. They never saw it before the conversion all of a sudden they're flooded with the reality of more and more sinen their lives. As they grow. And even those sins that you think that you've gotten a hold of taking care of you got a handle on it. Let me tell you. If you're not careful.
And even if you aren't careful, they might rear their ugly head again and again and you may fall sometime in the future in that same old thing that you struggled with in the past. But let me encourage you. This is not only my experience as a Believer and it's not only your experience as a Believer and it's not only Spurgeon spireon experience as a Believer. It's also the Apostle John's experience as a Believer cuz we see right here in this passage. He's identifying himself as one of the ones in the Life who confesses his sins. He was clearly a Believer and who needs the blood of Jesus as well. So it's not just our experience, but it's John's experience and it's not just the Apostle John's experience, but it's the Apostle Paul's experience as well for the Apostle Paul calls himself a huge Center. In 1st Timothy Chapter 1 verse 15. What does he say there? He says the saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance that Christ. Jesus came into the world to save sinners.
of whom I in the four most Paul saw himself clearly as such a needy Center not because he had committed the most heinous sins in the known world at the time. He wrote those words in in the Hat verse. No cuz it clearly wasn't the case there were people who President in in serving for great and heinous crimes of murder and all of these types of things. It's not like Paul. What was the worst of all actual centers at that time? Right, even though he had a lot of sense certainly he had a lot of sense but he's not saying that he's saying that he viewed himself as such a huge Center because he saw the sea in his own heart. He saw himself the foremost Center as a passive said and as the King James puts it the chief Center. because he knew himself his own heart better than he knew anybody else's heart and he looked and what he saw was sin. And what he admitted was his sin and what he confessed was his sin. This is the same Apostle Who Cried Out in Romans chapter 7 Wretched Man that I am clearly Paul did not see himself as the sinless saint who became perfect at some point down the road in his Christian Life. Did he know it all just the opposite Paul saw his sin and it's a good thing that he did because realizing his sin you realizing your sin for what it truly it's not as what you would think the evidence my point. It's not that realizing that you're a sinner put you into the darkness and unbelief category. They're quite the opposite realizing your sinner evidence is rather that you are a person who is walking in and believing the light you're in the light round. That's the evidence. Knowing your sin. Johnson Paul saw it. We see it those of us who are Christian Spurgeon sauce. You can even add the Apostle Peter the left as you know of his denying of Jesus, you know of his many sins throughout his ministry, you know that he would say the same or I need Christ because I'm a great sinner Peter did not have the sinner review of himself either and King David for instance in his adultery and murder and deceit. He was in need of a great Saviour you can add Thomas and His doubt to the list the list just keeps going on and on and on all believers everywhere in the whole entire world every True Believer. If you're a True Believer here if they're Believers out there and I know that there is praise God they know his or her sin. It's an Evidence not what you would think but it's an Evidence of Truth conversion if you know that you Aura Center So if you were here thinking that you have this great just waiting sin upon your shoulders and you just don't know what to do about it. You're just bog down by book weighty sin. thinking if they only knew
if others only knew and we're able to truly see inside my heart to know what I struggle with. To know what I am tempted with what I send in. They wouldn't even want to talk to me anymore. Let alone be my friend. Well, let me tell you church. Let me tell you friends. You if that is you or in Good Company here for it's those of us who are walking in the light who know and confess and recognize the reality. We realize our sins and we keep realizing the reality of our sins our whole entire life before a holy God and not only before God but also before each other because this knowledge of ourselves should make as quick to repent of our sins when others When we sin against somebody to forgive others who repent to us not hiding our sins or pretending that we're kind of this goody-two-shoes perfect Christian. No, none of that. We don't think that we are honest about our sins honest to God honest to each other. We confess our sins as believers. And confession as the Pastor Curtis Vaughn points out in his commentary. He says confess literally means to speak the same thing. That is to agree with so when we confess our sins to God, we say the same thing about ourselves and about our sins that God says and we admit our guilt. One preacher shared a story about someone who told him one day in the past that that this person said that they had attained sinless perfection.
Let this person. He said he hadn't send for so many years. I don't recall how many years it was or Monster or whatever. But he was certainly not admitting his current guilt because he didn't think that he had any. And the preacher was telling me the story he related to me that he asked this supposedly send Leslie perfect, man, if he could speak with his wife.
Probably know that this guy was deceived he knew that this guy was deceived because the spouse will always know and I would have to that the kids also will always know for no one living in close proximity with one another and other human beings will ever sink and buy into someone's story that they are a sinless Lee perfect person is why I asked my kids white Stacy and I asked her kids often times. Kids are our mommy and daddy Sinners and they answer. Yes. Are are you Sinners? Yes kids do mommy and daddy do we need the gospel? Because of our sense? Yes. Yes kids. Yes. Do you need the gospel? Because of your sins? Yes. We need to tell our kids. We need to tell everyone we come into contact with not that we're perfectly sinless people, but that we are sinful people needing the glory and grace of Christ alone. That's what we need to be passing along and I would have had if you were married to someone who thinks that they are sinless. Or if you're close friends with someone like this or or maybe if they're your parents. What a terrible relationship to be in. For the person who is so proud and self-deceived that if he or she thinks that that their sinless will never apologize for their sin. since they don't think they have any and they will look not to Christ for forgiveness because they don't think they need it because they think that they're perfect now, maybe they might not say it but you can tell how they you can tell what they believe by how they're acting and how they continue to act as it relates to this, but do you realize your son? Do you? Do you think that a personal knowledge of your sinfulness would point in the direction of darkness and it would just lead you to just depression and despair and utter hopelessness and I understand that for some Christians. This is sad, but it can lead in that direction and I'm sensitive to that because sin is waiting consequences of sin is waiting things that we struggle with in a fallen world. It's waiting it's discouraging. It's difficult. It's not like I'm happy with the situation. I said before that it was frustrating the most frustrating thing that I deal with. So I'm not saying it's something that she just make us happy, but it's the reality. And so I'm going to point you those of you who may be in that situation. Once again, like I did last week to the blood of Jesus Christ as your only solution to your problem of sin and guilt and point you to a continual life of confession of sin and repentance because you will never This Side of Heaven be completely free of sin and Temptation. The scriptures are clear our versus here or clear. You will continue to have to confess your sins and repent as verse 9 here though gives us the good news. And it says that if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
God is faithful and he's just he's faithful because he does what he says he's going to do he says that he will forgive you of your sins. If you would just confess your sins. He's forgiven you of your sins on the basis of the blood of Jesus Christ that was shed for you is faithful and he's just because if he said he forgive you and then later he didn't forgive you that would call into question what the justice and character of God. No, but God is both faithful and he's just so that if you're one of those Christians and light confessing sin confessed initially when you were converted, let me tell you you can take it to the bank and I will emphasize it here once again,
the blood of Jesus we saw last week cleanses what one send to sends you sends kind of a handful of sins know it cleanses for our sins and we see here even As we confess and recognize our sins. Guess what the blood of Jesus is going to wash away and forgive us and cleanse us cleanse us for all of our sins. So confess your sins before this. Holy righteous and just God. And at this point I really want to just take a second to clarify something here for us as it relates to all this when we first believed the gospel at our conversion think back to when you were saved all of your sins, all of my since all of our sins were forgiven at that point past present and future all of them. That's when we are Justified or declared righteous before a holy God and let me tell you
About our sin was in View and our justification all of them. Christ died on the cross for all of your sins not just some of them when you believe you were Justified for all of your sins. Not just some of them the blood cleanses us and we are forgiven by grace through faith alone.
however We still sending the Christian Life like we've been discussing here. And as we saw a few weeks ago, even in Psalm 130 hours 10 can cause us even as Believers to have a kind of hindrance in our fellowship and relationship with God kind of in a familial sense. Right? We know that maybe the sins of the kiddos could cause kind of some kind of a rift and there's issues in the house between siblings between their parents and anytime in the workplace when people send in the church when they're saying that's unconfessed and dealt with you know, that it can cause a rift and makes sense. We are aware of those types of things but our sin can cause some kind of a struggle in terms of our personal experience in a relationship with the Lord. So we want to confess our sin right away so that we could be right back into Grace Fellowship feeling cleanse, even though we already are cleansed before a holy God and let me tell you it's not like your sins in the Christian Life going to make you Saved or something like you're saved and Justified and then you sent and then you become unsaved or something. No, no, no, no for here this as the commentator Bruce Barton so helpfully wrote. This is what he said. When we repent and believe in Christ, we become God's children forever. He adopts us into his family. And so no sin on our part no matter how awful will ever caused him to on adopt us. Nothing. Let me tell you believer will ever cause. You to be unadopted by God you are accepted in forgiven by the father because of what Jesus did for you on the cross confession hair is not even counted to get saved all over again over and over again, but it's just as it's related to this kind of relational continual confession that is is this relational connection events in fellowship with God. So no matter how backwards all of this kind of seems to be kind of unexpected these first two evidences that we've been looking at towards light and darkness is to us No matter how confusing it all is in contradictory. It might seem. I would say I would hope that you would see kind of what the scriptures are saying and I would encourage you to make sure that you would line your thinking cuz we can all struggle with what we believe in stuff even as Christians. We could come to be a little off maybe just a line you're thinking to the right side of things here and examine yourself not the kind of you know, check off some check boxes that we talked about in the past to see how you going to add up or something. But examine your heart really and see whether you are kind of just alright in your estimation and you kind of think that you're saying is just no big deal. You think that you're just kind of basically a good person with a good heart, you know, always with good motives and you see that by the fact that you buddy ever accuses you of anything that might be evidencing something in that kind of Realm potentially always making excuses defending yourselves because you would not Never ever do anything wrong, would you? If that's you I've got some sobering news for you if that's truly and fully you you are not what you think. Rather than being good. You are actually deceived you are actually in the dark. You're not in the light. You are actually a blast from her accusing by your Twisted thinking of yourself. You're choosing God of being a liar as verse 10 tells us if that's you. Come to Jesus today trust in Jesus today know your sends snap out of it. You're not perfect know you're since snap out of it and trust in Jesus cuz he's the only savior of sinners.
but to you dear Saints
Who are sensitive to your sins who struggle with sins? Even on a daily basis who hate you hate your sin in the experience of it the consequences of it the whole thing. It's frustrating. It's confusing. It's a struggle. It's terrible you but you find yourself still sitting even now you find yourself still tempted even now you got to find yourself even at the end of yourself, so to speak because of the Temptation the struggle the frustration to you dear saint. To you dear Christian believer being at the end of yourselves and admitting your sinfulness should not get you down for too long. For let me tell you it reveals not that you're in the darkness what it reveals that you are a believer. For non-christians those in the dark. Let me tell you they do not grieve and struggle and they're not saddened by the sin that they've committed against the holy God. They think that they're all right. That's what people in the dark do they don't see the great depths of their sin like you they just don't and if you do, That is an Evidence of being in the light. So take heart at your own realization of your own sin. Anna Spurgeon said and I quote. Nothing, that looks like goodness. But come in your sin.
Do not try to put one touch of paint on those cheeks of yours.
He says come honestly as you are and say board look at me as I am. A worst sinner then I even think myself to be.
And Spurgeon goes on even to say about his own self. This is Spurgeon talking about himself. This is what he says. for my own part I mean to come to him always as a sinner. I know I am saved but I never hope to get one inch beyond that verse. The blood of Jesus Christ his son cleanses me from all sin. For only so can I walk in the light as he is in the light father we come before you broken people realizing our great and wait Eason father. Oh Lord. Just we asked you today that you would make it so evident to us. What's your word reveals is not that we might never be perfect people but that we would always be but sinners in need of the great savior your son who died to take away the sins of Sinners. Oh God that you might Press those things Upon Our consciences Lord today and you might awaken us to the reality that we might be encouraged in the gospel. And we say this in Christ name. Amen.