************ Sermon on 1 John 1:7 ************
By: Rev. Adrian Dieleman
This sermon was preached on July 11,2004
1 John 1:5-2:2
1 John 1:7
"Jesus' Blood Purifies Us From Every Sin"
The chief and highest end of man is to glorify God and fully to enjoy Him forever. Man, in other words, was created to have fellowship with God, to walk and live in the light of His glorious presence.
It was this way in the beginning. Adam and Eve enjoyed a state of fellowship with God in the Garden of Eden. We are told that the Lord God walked in the garden in the cool of the day (Gen 3:8). There He conversed with man face-to-face, almost as one person to another (cf Gen 1:28-30; 2:16,17,19,22). There Adam and Eve lived holy and pure lives – living according to the light of God's holiness and purity.
It will also be this way at the end. Do you remember what we are told about life in the New Jerusalem?
(Rev 21:3) And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God."Furthermore, we are told that the New Jerusalem
(Rev 21:23-24) ... does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. (24) The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it.
I Sin Breaks Fellowship with God
A God's will for our lives, then, is that we have fellowship with Him, that we walk and live in the light of His glorious presence. Yet, most of mankind does not enjoy a state of fellowship with God nor do they walk and live in His light. Rather, they are estranged from God, estranged from each other, and even estranged from themselves. Instead of seeking God, they attempt to hide from Him. Instead of walking and living in His light they walk and live in darkness.
Why? What happened?
The state of fellowship between God and man was broken on account of man's fall into sin. The fall has put up barriers between man and God. The fall has put a great chasm between God and man – a chasm too wide for man to bridge. Where there once was peace, harmony, unity, and love there now is enmity, disharmony, disunity, and hatred. Where there once was the pure light of God's presence there now is the darkness of His absence.
B This past week we were asked to examine ourselves. This past week we have been asked to consider our sin and the wrath of God upon that sin.
When I look at sin in the light of the Bible, I am struck by how great, how encompassing, my sin and misery really are. Too often I merely think of sin as a breaking of God's commandments. And, it is true that many times the Bible writers present sin in this fashion – as a violation of God's law and God's holiness. But sin is more, much more than this. Sometimes the Bible also presents sin as injustice – taking advantage of the weak and powerless. Other times the Bible presents sin as missing the target, a failure to do what is right and good – not assisting the widow and orphan and fatherless, ignoring the needs of the poor and hungry.
That word "sin" is so comprehensive it includes everything at all that displeases God and does not match up with His will for our lives. It includes all wrong, all injustice, all failure to do right. And, I'm afraid, it is not limited just to my deeds: for my thoughts, words, feelings and even my inclinations are included in my sin.
C There were people in John's day who claimed to have fellowship with God yet walked in darkness. In other words, they lived in sin. Those who claim this, says John, "lie and do not live by the truth" (1 Jn 1:6). You see, my brothers and sisters, John teaches that it is simply impossible to have fellowship with God while living in sin.
Even today it is not at all uncommon for people to claim fellowship with God who lead a life that is filled with unconfessed and unrepented sin. They can speak so nicely about their love for the Lord and their faith in Jesus but their actions make a mockery of this. A man's verbal profession is not necessarily to be believed. It must be tested against his actions. We have every right to be suspicious of those who claim an intimacy with God and "yet walk in the darkness" of error and sin. Since God is light, such claims are ludicrous. Religion without morality is an illusion. Sin is always a barrier to fellowship with God for "what fellowship can light have with darkness?" (2 Cor 6:14).
Now there is a sense, of course, in which even the most committed Christians live in darkness. We live in a world opposed to God and characterized by darkness. The darkness of sin permeates even the holiest among us – a darkness which prevents us too from having fellowship with God and living in the life of His presence.
Topic: SinThis is a parable, a description, of the fatal attraction sin has not just for the world but even for the child of God. We often become so absorbed in sin that we often are devoured in the process.
Subtopic: Loved by Men
Title: Addicted Ants
Observers have noted that certain kinds of ants have a passion for the sweet, glandular substance given off by the caterpillar of a large blue butterfly. They can become so "addicted" to it that they even seek out "the supplier" and carry him to their nest with delight. But they unwittingly bring home an enemy in disguise, for the caterpillar gorges itself exclusively on ant larva. Usually such a threat to the colony would be repelled with great vigor, but the adults enjoy the tasty secretions of their "guest" so much that they are oblivious of the fact that their young are being devoured in the process.
II The Blood of Jesus
A The Good News of the Gospel this Lord's Supper Sunday concerns "the blood of Jesus."
Blood. Blood is unique and deserves great respect. Already at the time of Noah, God forbade the consumption of blood (Gen 9:4). Leviticus 17:11 tells us why:
(Lev 17:11) For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life.Blood represents life itself. Blood is a living fluid. It brings nourishment to the body and cleans out the wastes. And, because of its unique, vital biological function God has set it apart and reserved it as His instrument for making atonement. The Israelites were not to touch it, nor use it for ordinary purposes. It was to be regarded as holy. How much more holy, then, is the blood of Jesus, given as the ultimate sacrifice for sin.
The blood of Christ is one of the most important elements of Christian doctrine. Yet, it is the one element of the Christian faith that unbelievers especially find odious and revolting. For, who wants to contemplate someone shedding lifeblood, drop by precious drop, upon a cross. No one wants to dwell on such morbid thoughts.
B To the believer the blood of Jesus is precious. For, it is with that blood that Jesus "purifies us from every sin."
Purify. Other words we could use are "cleanse, wash, make clean." The blood of Jesus shed upon the cross cleanses us. It washes away from our lives the filth and dirt and pollution of sin. So we are now holy in God's sight. And, on that basis we can again have fellowship with God.
It is the blood of Christ which alone provides us with a solution to the darkness of sin which prevents us from having fellowship with God. It is only by the blood of Jesus that we are once again able to walk and live in the light of God's glorious presence.
Of course, when the blood of Jesus purifies us from sin, it does a complete job: it purifies us from "every" sin." The sins of the past, the sins of the present, and the sins of the future are all purified and washed away by Christ's blood. Sins of omission and sins of commission. The sin we are born with as well as the sin we actually commit. In fact, no sin is so great it cannot be washed away by the blood of Jesus.
C How does the blood of Jesus accomplish this? You need to realize that the "blood" John is talking about is not the result of a pinprick or a scrape or a fall or an injury. The blood John is talking about comes from the death of a sacrificial victim. The blood John is talking about is the result of Jesus suffering and dying on the cross. This blood purifies us and washes us and cleanses us and makes us righteous in God's sight.
Think of the blood, think of the suffering and death of Christ, as you eat and drink in the Lord's Supper this morning. Think of how the blood of Jesus purifies us from all sin. Think of how the blood allows us sinners to have fellowship with God.
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