Friday, November 17, 2006

1 John 2:1 – 11
“Paid in full”

The IDEAL is to not sin. The REALTY is we do sin.

Confusion: One German poet wrote, “I love to sin. God Loves to forgive sin. Really, this world is admirable arranged.”

The Effect:

1. Some people give up because they are discouraged or frustrated. They think they can never be “good enough.”

2. Some people enjoy wallowing in the guild.

3. Some people us it as a license to sin. (They feel, since it is not possible then there is no point in disciplining ourselves.)

4. Some people get stuck in a cycle. (The book of Judges demonstrates that this cycle is a downward spiral.)

Confusion: One person giving a testimony said, “I ain’t what I ought to of been. I’ve stolen hogs, and told lies, and got drunk, and was always getting in fights, and shooting craps, and playing poker, and I’ve cussed and swore, but I thank the Lord there’s one thing I ain’t never done; I ain’t never lost my religion.”

PROBLEM: we put sin on a hierarchy and say some are worse than others (we recognize there are greater social implications... say between murder and lying). However, sin is still sin.

***** So how do we deal with this spiritual conflict? *****

I. We have a defense lawyer – Jesus [vv 1 – 2]

A. The “advocate.”
1. This is an image of a court room setting, we are on trial.

2. The Father is the judge and the Son is the defense lawyer.

B. The defense lawyer has already paid the penalty.

1. KJV = “propitiation” which means Jesus has satisfied the wrath of God.

2. NIV = “atoning sacrifice” which means Jesus as made full payment for our sin by being our substitute.

***** Jesus is our substitute. He took our punishment and paid the price for our sins.” *****

II. We have a pattern for our lives – Jesus [vv3 – 6]

A. God’s Word.

1. We see God at work.

2. We see God’s love in our lives.

3. This does not mean things will not go wrong or feel uncomfortable.

***** Often it is the pressure of things not going right that motivates us to follow the pattern closer. *****

(Ill.) High School shop class, learning the jig saw. We were given templates to follow. If we did not follow the template we would have a duck with no head.

***** When we get off track – sin – we need to be able to understand that there is a pattern to follow. This pattern helps us get back to where we need to be. It gives us direction. *****

B. “Walk as Jesus did.”

III. We have a basic test – our brother [vv 7 – 11]

A. Jesus identified His disciples by saying they would love one another.

1. Remember that person you’ve had a hard time with may be your neighbor in heaven (for eternity).

2. John filled out the other side when he wrote: “But whoever hates his brother is in darkness...”

a. “Brother” is singular... one (not many) become the rule not the exception.

b. In other words, it only takes one to prove that we are a liar.

B. Notice the choice is either - or between two extremes. (Love -v- Hate)

Abraham Lincoln once said “the only ground between right and wrong is battle ground.”

It is not possible to be neutral. The problem is that we would like “gray area” where we don’t have to love the person but also feel it is not right to hate the person. So we create this neutral area were we are not responsible for pro-actively loving but we are not guilty of hating either.

Conclusion: If we sin:

1. We can be forgiven. We have the best defense lawyer BLOOD can by in the Lord Jesus Christ.

2. We can get back on pattern by obeying God’s word and by imitation Jesus.

3. We can do a gut check in our attitude and behavior toward our fellow Christians as a test to see where we are...

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