THE WAY OUT
1 JOHN 1:5-2:2 PRINCETON CHRISTIAN CHURCH 05 JUNE 2022
This text teaches us some facts about sin. First, sin is forgivable initially. Second, the occurrence of sin is possible in the Christian life. And third, sin is forgivable in the lives of Christians.
We can sum up the object of Jesus’ work on earth with two main purposes. They are:
1. To save people from their sins. He says in Luke 19:10 that He came to seek and to save that which was lost and they, or we, in that state were about to be destroyed or wasted – as we lived in our sin.
2. The second main purpose of Jesus’ work on earth is to become a sacrifice for our sins. Because of His love for us, He gave Himself as a sacrifice. Look at Ephesians 5:1-2 – “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
The dying Christ showed God’s undying love for us. Yet, people today still are living in sin, searching for something to hold on to. They do not realize or are not willing to accept that that one sacrifice was made for them as well.
The blood of Jesus Christ still today cleanses ALL from ALL sin"
– 1 John 1:7 – “But if we walk in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.”
Now, along with the object of Jesus’ work on earth, we need to understand the cost of Jesus’ work on earth.
First, His earthly life was not spared. Man does not have the power to determine the length of life on earth. Jesus could have called on a host of angels to deliver Him from death. But He loved us too much to allow His own power to take over and spare His life. So, as we know, He died for you and me.
Second, regarding the cost of Jesus’ work on earth, He had to have the sins of all humanity placed upon His shoulders. He bore all my sins and your sins. And, as He became sin for us even God turned away from Him. Jesus, taking all our sin upon Himself was no small deed.
A third cost we find in Jesus’ sacrifice is the shedding of His precious blood. It is by this blood that we are forgiven of our sins. We are brought close to Jesus by the blood He shed.
The Apostle Paul writes this to the church at Ephesus:
“But now in Christ Jesus you who were once far away have been brought
near by the blood of Christ.”
Because He gave His blood to save us, only He can forgive sins. Man cannot. I cannot. You cannot. A man serving as a priest in a church today cannot forgive sin.
In addition to the work of Jesus on earth and the cost of Jesus’ sacrifice on earth, we need to look also at the influence of Jesus’ work on earth.
First, the people are awakened to a love for God. The greatest opposition to Satan and sin that we can demonstrate is our love for one another. That love that is ours because of our love for our Lord, Jesus Christ.
If we genuinely love Jesus, and we express that love daily in our lives, there should be no reason for Satan to come between us and our Lord and Savior. But the closer we get to Jesus Christ, the more sinful we realize we are, and we see more of the need for cleansing.
So, that brings us to another fact of sin that we need to examine.
1. While we are living our Christian lives it is possible for sin to enter into our lives. Just because we call ourselves Christians does not guarantee that we are free from temptation. Possibly we should say that because we claim Christ as our Savior, we are tempted all the more. Jesus, Himself was tempted by Satan. Noah, David, Peter, and, most likely anyone mentioned in the Word of God was tempted at some point in their life. Some, like those mentioned, actually gave in to the temptation.
2. We are weak in nature when it comes to temptation and sin. There is an old saying, which says, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Too often we are ready to give in because of the subtle nature of temptation, or the harmless appearance of sin. Sin shows us the promise of pleasure or profit. We can, with truly little effort, convince ourselves – through Satan’s lies – that we live a pure and good life, and we deserve to slip away now and then and indulge in the sin set before us.
But we must realize that while we are taking that break, we think we deserve it, our future is being put in jeopardy. We are risking our relationship with our Father. We are risking placing our souls in worse danger than they were in before our initial forgiveness.
So, we have seen that sin is forgivable, and that sin is possible in the life of one who claims Jesus as Lord. We now need to look at how we can remove our souls from the danger in which we have placed them in.
First, Jesus Christ, because He gave His blood and His very life for the remission of our sins, He stands now as our Representative before God. 1 John 2:1 tells us that we have an advocate with the Father. An advocate is one who is on our side or stands at our side as we approach our Father. This verse also says that Jesus is righteous – not like us. He removes every barrier between us and God and removes our alienation before God.
Since we have a Representative as we come before God, we must come to Him in an attitude of Confession.
Our confession of sin must be sincere and valid. And we cannot, in our personal confession of sin before God, be general in asking for forgiveness. We must ask for forgiveness for that specific sin in which we have yielded to temptation. For if we are already Christians, our sins up to the time of our conversion, were forgiven and forgotten.
But now we are to live in the knowledge of what is sin and recognize individual sin in our lives. That is, if we have been redeemed by Christ’s blood, there should be no sin in our lives, but if sin does come in, we have to recognize it in itself. Then we must specifically go to God asking for forgiveness for that sin. There must be a sense of personal guilt – a knowledge of wrongdoing.
When we realize guilt and sin have taken place in our life, when we have come before God asking for forgiveness, being truly sorrowful for that sin, results occur.
We are forgiven of that sin. We are cleansed again, make pure and whole, restored in our relationship with Jesus. We can expect to receive the blessing that God has promised us to be ours if we are faithful to Him and resist sin. We cannot come asking for forgiveness, all the while thinking ‘I am forgiven, I can return to that sin, and come back and ask again.’ Jesus commands those whom He has forgiven, to go and sin no more. This must be our aim. Receive forgiveness, be cleansed, and be determined not to need God’s forgiveness again.
We must not conceal nor deny our sins, but we must allow Jesus Christ to take them before our Father for us that He might grant us forgiveness and mercy. When we hide or ignore our sins, we allow them to multiply. It becomes harder to distinguish the good from the bad. We have a promise of forgiveness – 1 John 1:9 –
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
We have that promise – if we will only confess.