Tuesday, February 08, 2011

God Is Light, So What

God Is Light, So What

Intro.: When I was younger, I liked to play with playdough.

  1. When I was younger, I remember my mother making homemade playdough.

  2. Now, I am not going to make it here, but Playdough requires that you mix two very different ingredients – water and oil. They don't go together very well. But that is what the recipe calls for.

  3. When I think of mixing water and oil, I am reminded of the passage that we looked at last week – I John 1:5: This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

  4. Light and Darkness go together like water and oil.

Read: I John 1:5-10


Trans:As we continue our march through I John, remember

  1. John is writing from the island of Patmos, where he has been exiled by the Romans because of faith in Jesus Christ.

  2. He is the last of the original 12 disciples to be alive – thus, as he speaks, he in some way is speaking for all of them.

  3. And he is sharing that which he does not want Jesus followers to forget as they move into the first century nobody around to speak from their direct experience with Jesus.

T.S. During the next few minutes, I want to look at three conclusions that John draws from the fact that “God is light”:

  1. The first conclusion is that one cannot claim to be a friend of God and live a life of sin.

    1. John says it this way, “If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.

    2. If we claim to be a believer in this God who is light and in whom is no darkness at all, and we live a life that disrespects Him, live a life that gives no place for Him, then we are liars. That is John's word, not mine.

    3. Need to be careful – John is not saying that Christians do not sin – they do, we do. But a believer does not, will not, be living a live characterized by sin.

    4. If John stopped there – he would be delivering a dark message. But he adds something – something encouraging. It's in the next verse: “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 cleanses us from all sin.

(Ill.) Man calls sin an accident; God calls it an abomination. Man calls sin a blunder; God calls it blindness. Man calls sin a chance; God call it a choice. Man calls sin a defect; God calls it a disease. Man calls sin an error; God calls it enmity. Man calls sin fascination; God calls it fatality. Man calls sin infirmity; God calls it fatality. Man calls sin infirmity; God calls it iniquity. Man calls sin luxury; God calls it lawlessness. Man calls sin a trifle; God calls it tragedy. Man calls sin a mistake; God calls it madness. Man calls sin a weakness; God calls it willfulness.

There is only one remedy for sin—the precious blood of Christ, which was shed for the remission of sins on Calvary’s Cross.i

    1. Listen again to the words of “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 cleanses us from all sin.

    2. Whatever we call it, whatever God calls it – He is willing to take care of it when we place ourselves in the hands of Jesus.

  1. The second conclusion that John comes to is that we cannot say we have no sin.

    1. I would really like to think I am sinless. I mean, if I were, there would be no arguments – after all, I would always be right. Boy would my life be easier. I suppose Sandra's life would not be so great if I was sinless.

    2. But I cannot say it. Both because I know me and because John makes it clear that it is true - “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

    3. Sadly, there are people around us that will deny their sin. We may even fall into that trap ourselves at times.

    4. But like before, there is still good news. Look at the next verse: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

(Ill.) A college freshman went to the dorm laundry room with his dirty clothes bundled into an old sweatshirt. But he was so embarrassed by how dirty his clothes were that he never opened the bundle. He merely pushed it into a washing machine and when the machine stopped pushed the bundle into a dryer and finally took the still-unopened bundle back to his room. He discovered, of course, that the clothes had gotten wet and then dry, but not clean.

God says, “Don’t keep your sins in a safe little bundle. I want to do a thorough cleansing in your life—all the dirty laundry of your life.”ii

    1. Like the college student, we cannot cover up our sins and hope that they are hidden. God knows our sins – they cannot be hidden. But it is only when we come to the point of being honest with God, when we get to the point of confession, that God promises His forgiveness.

    2. What are you trying to hide from God? I do not know, but God does. Are you willing to be honest with Him today?

  1. The final conclusion that John comes to is that we cannot deny that we have ever sinned.

    1. If we say we are believers, but walk in sin, we are liars.

    2. If we say that we do not sin, we deceive ourselves

    3. Listen to verse 10: “But if we say that we have never sinned, we make God a liar: If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

    4. James Boice claims that the statement that we have never sinned is the most dangerous of all the three concerns John has shared.

(Ill.) Let give one example of how this has played out in one person's life. Pete Rose has finally admitted that he bet on baseball games while employed as manager of the Cincinnati Reds, an infraction that produced a lifetime ban from the sport in 1989. Rose’s admission of guilt in his autobiography in 2004 came after almost fifteen years of denying wrongdoing.

He has not stopped confessing. In September 2006, Rose began using his website to personally apologize to each fan he had failed or offended. For only $299 (plus $4.95 for shipping and handling), Pete Rose will send you an autographed baseball that reads, “I’m sorry I bet on baseball.”

The marketing copy on the website says: “Now you can get the baseball collectible everyone’s talking about—Pete Rose’s personal apology for betting on baseball, newly inscribed on an actual baseball—at a fantastic price.”iii

    1. Pete Rose apologized, but it went something like this, “I apologize, but it will cost you.” That was the headline that appeared with this story back in 2006. He wanted his fans to pay the price for his wrong – rather than taking responsibility for himself.

    2. My hope, my dream, my prayer is that you will take time this week to come before God and lay before Him the sins that moved you away from Him.

    3. Rather than saying, I have not sinned – come this week before God and say, “Here is how I sinned.”



iAMG Bible Illustrations. 2000 (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; Bible Illustrations Series. Chattanooga: AMG Publishers.

iiGreen, M. P. (1989). Illustrations for Biblical Preaching : Over 1500 sermon illustrations arranged by topic and indexed exhaustively (Revised edition of: The expositor's illustration file). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

iiiAssociated Press, “Rose Says ‘Sorry,’ but It’ll Cost You,” Houston Chronicle (September 20, 2006) quoted in Larson, C. B., & Ten Elshof, P. (2008). 1001 illustrations that connect (491). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

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