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Tag Archives: I John 1

Why Shouldn’t the World Think Us WEIRD? (A Study of I Peter 1:8-9) Part 1

My friend Frank and I are now going through I Peter. This is our read-the-same-chapter-every-day-for-a-week online Bible study which I’ve described here. We’re making great progress going through the epistles of the New Testament. But the following passage from I Peter really got me thinking:

Please forgive my underlining and bolding and changing colors, but these two verses kind of hit me between the eyes. And they help me not to be so surprised when the world looks at me funny and thinks I need medication or a lengthy stay in a mental hospital.

I. We Love What We Do Not See!

Jesus-followers love the One they presently do not see and have never seen. Visibility is over-rated, don’t you think? We so often “live by sight” and not “by faith.” We have many reasons to love the Lord Jesus, but the experience of seeing Him right now with our own eyes isn’t one of them. We have good historical evidence of others who saw Him and their view of themselves and the world was never the same. I think of John who wrote:

John is quite empirical in this text, isn’t he? He speaks of Christ as One “which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at.” He is “the life [which] appeared.” And he says “we have seen it” and it “has appeared to us.” And, once more for good measure, he says, “We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard . . .” Though we presently are to walk by faith and to love the One we do not see right now, He WAS SEEN. John could not have given stronger empirical testimony to the reality of the Lord Jesus! And we are to love this One Whom we presently do not see. (to be continued) [you might enjoy my Calvin & Hobbes cartoon on this issue found here].

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2020 in I Peter 1

 

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STUCK! Ten Areas That Will Bury You as a Believer and How to Dig Your Way Out! (Area #3- Sin!) (con’t)

We are thinking about the fact that all Christians get STUCK in SIN.  But what are we to do about it?

This new series of messages at Crossroads Fellowship Church (crossroadschurchinaugusta.com) is asking, what areas cause us to get bogged down in the Christian faith?

We need God’s dictionary to define SIN, don’t we?  Let’s take one more look at our main text, I John 1:

5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 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, purifies us from all sin.

8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.

God is not the source of our SIN.  True fellowship with God means that we are not walking in darkness.  And if we are walking in the light, we have true fellowship with one another!  We can easily fall into self-deception, thinking that we are without sin.  God’s alternative is that we CONFESS OUR SINS and count on His forgiving and cleansing us!  Claiming we have not sinned is a worse sin, for it is calling God a liar.  And I don’t want to do that, do you?

You may have heard the story of the young priest who was being evaluated by his Father superior.  “Son, you’re doing a good job here at St. Michael’s.  Your homilies are good and you show your love for your people.  But, son, when you are in the confessional and listening to your parishioners’ confessions, don’t say WOW anymore.  It’s just not appropriate!”

We’re to confess our sins — to one another (James 5:16 – “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”).  Have you done that recently?  Ever?

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2017 in christian growth

 

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STUCK! Ten Areas That Will Bury You as a Believer and How to Dig Your Way Out! (Area #3- Sin!)

Do you ever get STUCK in SIN?  Me  neither.  But this post might help you and me help others who get stuck in sin.

This new series of messages at Crossroads Fellowship Church (available on their website: crossroadschurchinaugusta.com) is looking at ten areas where we Christians get bogged down.

Let’s tell the truth — all of us get bogged down by SIN!  We might call it by other names, but our choices, habits, and thoughts are often quite different than what God wants for our lives.

Part of the problem is we aren’t sure what qualifies as a SIN anymore!  When our culture is our dictionary, defining sin becomes a moving target.  However, God’s declarations of what is sin and what isn’t must be the believer’s standard.  I love the following cartoon which illustrates the need to call things by name:

We need God’s Word to “clear up a few things around here,” don’t we?  Our tendency is either to redefine sin or to grade some sins as worse than others.  Of course, murdering someone is worse that thinking about doing them in, and actually committing adultery is worse than lusting after another person in one’s heart.  BUT, Jesus was getting at the heart of the matter in Matthew 5.  SINS are not just outward actions, but expressions of the inner man, one’s heart.

The main text we want to look at in regard to SIN is I John 1:5-10 which reads:

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 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, purifies us from all sin.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.

Just one point today from this text:  God is not the source of our SIN.  He is light and there is no darkness in Him at all.  In a world that would rather compromise the character of God than confess its transgressions, we must insist that the true God is holy, holy, holy.  And we aren’t.  (to be continued)

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2017 in christian growth

 

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STUCK! Ten Areas That Will Bury You as a Believer and How to Dig Your Way Out! (Area #3- SIN!)

The believers at Crossroads Fellowship Church (crossroadschurchinaugusta.com) are receiving a series of sermons from me on the areas in which Jesus-followers often get STUCK!

This third area is easy.  We frequently get stuck in SIN!  Sometimes we euphemize it (use words like “My mistake!” or “My bad!”), instead of calling it what it is.  Our culture’s categories of sins seem to always be changing.  We rate some sins as worse than others and forget, as one writer put it, “there are no small sins before a holy God!”

Certain truths about SIN are undeniable in the Bible:
1. WE don’t define what a sin is — GOD does!
2. All sins (except rejecting Jesus Christ) are forgiveable!
3. Jesus-followers aren’t sinless, but are saints who sometimes sin!
4. God doesn’t want His children to languish in unconfessed, un-dealt-with sin!
5. We need to learn to confess our sins to one another!

Let’s think about I John 1:5-10 for a few moments:

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 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, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.

Just a few preliminary thoughts on these verses:  Notice that God is not to be blamed for our sins (v. 5- He is absolute light with no darkness at all!).  Walking in fellowship with Him means we must turn away from the darkness of sin and live out the truth (v. 6)!  Such a life allows us to have true fellowship with one another, which includes the need for His purifying blood with regard to our sin (v. 7).  (to be continued)

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2017 in christian growth

 

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