God, Sin, and I (1 John 1:5-2:2)
We live in a very sinful world. In this passage, John tells us some facts about sin.
God Does Not Sin, v 5
John had heard this message from God-God himself has said that he does not sin. John now declares this message to his readers.
God is light. Light describes God’s very essence-His essence is light, moral perfection. Light describes those things which are “good, right, and true” (Eph 5:9).
Light describes the absence of darkness. There is no darkness in God. There is a double negative here in Greek which makes this statement emphatic. The idea is that there is absolutely no darkness in God, for he is light.
There is not a spot on God’s record. We all have spots on our record of which we are not proud. God has never done anything for which he needs to be ashamed.
We All Do Sin, vv 8, 10
John seems to have been dealing with perfectionists in these verses. These individuals actually claimed to be above sin. Charles Spurgeon said, “He who boasts of being perfect is perfect in folly.”
John said that no one is above sin; he implied that we can never hope to be above sin. Many in our society claim to be without sin. Sin has simply become an illness; we’re told that individuals can’t help what they do and that we should be tolerant. “Sin” is a word seldom heard in our society, yet it is real and troublesome.
Many in the church claim to be without sin. “I just made a mistake. It’s not that big a deal.” “Everybody tells white lies. God won’t care.” Do you have an attitude where you think you are above sin?
John said that if we claim to be without sin:
- We deceive ourselves. We are affirming something about ourselves that is far from true.
- We do not have the truth or God’s Word. God’s Word can only abide in those who live faithfully. If we are living in sin, there is no place for truth in our lives.
- We make God a liar. We claim to be wiser than God; we claim to know more than he. The only way we can claim to be sinless is to call God a liar, for he says that we all sin.
What sins have you committed? Are you living in sin?
God Has a Remedy for Sin, 1:7-2:2
God requires that we walk in the light. John was dealing with antinomians (those who claimed there was no law). These individuals really thought that God did not care how they lived, so they lived however they wanted. John said that we could not live however we want and please God.
If we are to have fellowship with God, who is light, we must walk in the light. Walking in the light does not mean perfection. Walking in the light does mean that I strive to be like God.
If we walk in the light, “The blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.” Jesus’ blood does not just cleanse us of little sins. His blood will cleanse us from all sin.
God requires that we confess our sins. Confession plays an important role in Scripture. Mark 1:5. Proverbs 28:13. Confession means to say the same thing, to agree with. The idea is that God outlines our sins, and we agree with him that we’ve done those things. Confession ensures that “he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
God requires that we take hold of Jesus.
- Jesus is our Advocate. The idea of an advocate is one called alongside to help. Jesus stands before the Father as our help (Heb 7:25).
- Jesus is our atonement or expiation or propitiation. A “propitiation” is that which atones for the sins of another. Jesus offered himself to atone for our sins. Matthew 20:28. Because Jesus is our sacrifice, we have hope.
Sin stains and sin destroys-Sin’s wages are death (Rom 6:23). Have you accepted God’s remedy for your sin?
This sermon was originally preached by Dr. Justin Imel, Sr., at the Owingsville church of Christ in Owingsville, Kentucky.