Outline and Audio Sermons:
Dr. Walter D. Huyck Jr. D.Min.

The Evidences Of Life

A Confession To Make

1 John 1.8-2.2

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[So far in 1 John we have discover that there is: ]

  • [A Communion To Cherish]
  • [A Covenant To Proclaim]

[In this study we will discover that there is A Confession To Make.] 

A.     The Question of Sin (vs 8) [– If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. – The verses before us today bring us to a study of the doctrine of Hamartiology, which is the theological term meaning the study of sin.  Sin is the cancer that plights our world.  Many in our culture try to improve our society by treating the symptoms of society’s disease rather than the actual malady or illness.  Treating symptoms will usually result in more symptoms, however attack the actual disease and a cure may be on the horizon.]  As we consider the question of sin we must understand: 

1.      The Definition of Sin (Jer 40.1-3) [ The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, after that Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had let him go from Ramah, when he had taken him being bound in chains among all that were carried away captive of Jerusalem and Judah, which were carried away captive unto Babylon. 2 And the captain of the guard took Jeremiah, and said unto him, The LORD thy God hath pronounced this evil upon this place. 3 Now the LORD hath brought it, and done according as he hath said: because ye have sinned against the LORD, and have not obeyed his voice, therefore this thing is come upon you. – The best definition of sin is revealed in this text and spoken by a lost, pagan, polytheist Nebuzaradan.  Why is it that lost people seldom have difficulty identifying sin, but people raised in Christian homes seem to have a lot of trouble recognizing the obvious?] 

[Our Christianized Culture – The largely Christian culture of America has tried to redefine sin and its nature for many years.  The only reasonable explanation that can be given for ones need to redefine sin in our culture is that people love their sin and wish to justify their sinful lifestyle and desires.  This redefinition of sin has taken on many faces over the years.  Some like to say,] 

a.       [All people are good people – These social experts want us to believe that all people are good when they start out.  They deny any idea that sin might be a part of ones character from the moment they are conceived and born into this world.  Their argument is that it is the circumstances of ones life, upbringing, and environment that turns good people into bad people.] 

b.      [Sin is a matter of your opinion – Just because someone might say something is sinful or wrong does not make it wrong for everyone.  Hence, right and wrong become a matter of ones personal opinion.  This position denies that there are any absolute truths, because it denies that there is a God to establish those truths upon.  Hence, truth becomes subjective, and sin becomes obscure.  The end result of this position is utter chaos.] 

[The fact is that sin is simply failing to obey God, as Jeremiah’s text clearly declares.  Our passage reveals the undeniable reality of sin in life when it says, If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves. . .  But what does it take to identify what is or is not sin, it takes an authority higher than ourselves.  We could debate for days about whether or not something is right or wrong if truth is merely a matter of opinion.  But when there is a higher authority, an umpire to make the decision, a judge to make a ruling, then the matter is settled.  While worldly umpires and judges are fallible, God is infallible and hence His decree or judgment is never in error.] 

[When it comes right down to it, it doesn’t matter what I think, it doesn’t matter what you think, all that matters is what God has said, and He wrote it down in the Bible to remove all doubt.] 

[Sin is failing to hear and heed God’s Word.  Sin is failing to obey God.] 

2.      The Distribution of Sin (Rom 3.10,23; 5.12,18; 2 Cor 5.21; 1 Pet 1.18-19) [- If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves. . . – Who is the we in this statement?  Obviously this statement applies to those who are sinners.  Who are theses sinners?  Anyone reading this passage will be a sinner. The Bible reveals:] 

a.      [All Are sinners (Rom 3.10, 23)] 

[Romans 3:10 10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:]

[Romans 3:23
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;]

[God unequivocally declares that without exception every man, woman and child born into this life is a sinner.  All have sinned, all are unrighteous.  Why? All are sinners because all have disobeyed God.] 

b.      [We are sinners by nature (Rom 5.12,18) You were a sinner at birth because sin was a part of your nature when you were born.  You were not good at birth, you were bad at birth.]   

[Illustration: This is boldly illustrated in that you do not have to teach a baby to be bad, instead you must teach them to be good.] 

[Why do we have to teach our children to be good?  Children have to be taught to be good because their nature is bad or sinful at birth.  Our sin was inherited from our parents, not because of what they taught us but because of what was already in our blood.  Sin is a part of our heritage.  ] 

[Romans 5:12 12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: ]

[Romans 5:18
18 Therefore as by the offence of one (Adam) judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. ]

[Hence, when Adam sinned his nature became sinful and he passed that on to his sons in his blood.  Adam’s sons passed that sinful blood on to their sons, who passed it on to their sons, until our parents passed it on to us, because it is our heritage.  Sin is in our blood.]

c.       [Our Sinless Christ There has only been one human being who was without sin, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ.  The Bible declares,] 

[2 Corinthians 5:21 21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. ]

[What is it that set the Lord Jesus apart from the rest of humanity?  It was His blood, or His sinless nature at birth.  Jesus did not have Adam’s blood running through His veins, Jesus father was not a human being.  The blood line had been broken in Christ.  Jesus father, thanks to the immaculate conception, was God.  Therefore Jesus’ blood was God’s blood.   Jesus’ blood was perfect blood.  Jesus’ blood was sinless blood.  Hence Peter wrote,]

[1 Peter 1:18-19 18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: ]

[Hence Jesus is referred to as the Sinless Lamb of God!  Jesus could become the propitiation for your sins, because He owed no penalty for sin Himself.  So He took your place and paid the price you owed for your sins, that He might save you.] 

[Make no mistake about it – You are a sinner.  There is nothing you can do to change this fact.  You can deny it, you can debate it, you can disregard it but you are and always will be a sinner.  What you need to be is a sinner who is saved by the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.] 

3.      The Darkness of Sin (Rom 3.3-4; Philip 2.10-11; 1 John 1.5-7) [- . . . we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us -  Many have rebelled against the Word of God and have chosen to deny that they are sinners just because the Bible says they are sinners.  They might argue, “well what the bible says will only be true for you if you choose to believe it!”  The truth is that it does not matter whether you believe what the Bible says or not, your belief or unbelief changes nothing.  God has said,] 

[Romans 3:3-4 3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? 4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged. ]

[You can try to deny that the Bible is God’s Word.  You can try to deny the absolute nature of sin, truth, and righteousness.  In the end, when all is said and done God, and God’s Word will prevail and your folly and deception will be broadly revealed.] 

[You are deceived if you say you do not have sin.  You are believing a lie.  In the end when all is said and done this truth will prevail and be manifested.  I happen to be of the opinion that you already know that you are forcing this deception and lie upon yourself, by the divine act of God you know deep down inside that you will give an account for your folly one day.  For,] 

[Philippians 2:10-11 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.]

[But know this.  As long as you persist in this deception you are robbing yourself of the brilliant, illuminating truths of God’s Word and the spiritual presence of the Holy Spirit of God.  As the preceding verses declared,]

[1 John 1:5-7 5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. ]

B.     The Quandary of Sin (vs 9-10) [- If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. – Our world has caused a lot of confusion about sin as it tries to explain our sin away.  Our sense of self preservation wishes to excuse our sin for the sake of our own self preservation.  Much contributes to the difficulties surrounding sin in our lives.  One thing is certain, the Bible is absolutely resolute concerning sin.  God, through His written Word has removed all possible misunderstandings about sin and sinfulness.  As we consider the confusion that surrounds sin in our day] This text reminds us that: 

1.      A Confession Is Required (vs 9) [- If we confess our sins, . . . – The confession of sin is indicative of our biblical understanding concerning sin, and our responsiveness to God because of our sin.  This verse reveals:] 

a.       A Cleansing That Is Conditional (Rom 6.23; Isaiah 53.5; John 3.16; Heb 12.2-4) [ If we confess our sins, - A confession is the absolute prerequisite to ones cleansing.  What is a confession?] 

[Confess - ὁμολογῶμεν (Gk) – from a basic meaning say the same thing; (1) as binding a speaker to his word (solemnly) promise, assure (MT 14.7); (2) as confessing that something is true admit, agree (HE 11.13), opposite ἀρνέομαι (deny); of an acknowledgment of sins confess (1J 1.9); (3) in judicial matters make a binding statement, confess, bear witness (AC 24.14); as making a public acknowledgment of allegiance confess, declare, acknowledge (JN 9.22); (4) in a religious and moral sense, as making a public statement of what one believes profess, confess, acknowledge (RO 10.9, 10); (5) as acknowledging what is due to God praise (HE 13.15)[1]] 

[What does it mean to say the same thing that God is saying about sin?  What should we mean when we confess our sins.  God says,] 

(1)   [Sin is Deadly (Rom 6.23) – We have the tendency to justify or excuse our sin and sinfulness, but God says, that sin, all sin, every sin, requires death.  Sin sends people to hell for all eternity.  Hell is the price tag affixed to every sin.] 

[Romans 6:23 23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.]

(2)   [Sin is Costly (Isaiah 53.5; John 3.16) – Sin is the reason that Jesus had to come, and had to die.  Jesus paid the toll required for your sin.  God gave the very best that heaven had to offer to redeem you from the penalty owed for your sin.  If you want to understand just how expensive your sin was, then just consider how Jesus suffered for your sins as He went to Calvary’s Cross.]

[Isaiah 53:5 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. ]

[John 3:16
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. ]

[You are not confessing your sin, or agreeing with God about your sin until you speak the same language God is speaking about your sin. If you find it easy to excuse your sin, and to continue in your sin, then you have not fully acquired what God reveals in His Word about sin.] 

[One way the Bible states it is,] 

[Hebrews 12:2-4 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. 4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.]

[What does your life, the way you live your life, reveal about your understanding and agreement with God about sin?  If you really confess your sin then you will hate all sin.] 

b.      A Cleansing That Is Certain (Ezekiel 33.11; Psalm 86.5; Isaiah 55.7) [- he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, - The comfort provided to every human being is the promise that if and when we confess our sins God will faithfully cleanse us of all unrighteousness.  God is willing and ready to forgive your sins.] 

[Of sinners and their condemnation God says,] 

[Ezekiel 33:11. . . As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?]

[The Psalmist wrote,]

[Psalms 86:5 5 For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.]

[Isaiah wrote,]

[Isaiah 55:7 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. ]

[We rarely feel like God ought to forgive us for our sins, but God is willing and faithful to forgive us if we will agree with him about our sinfulness and confess our sin to Him.] 

c.       A Cleansing That Is Complete (1 John 1.7; Psalm 103.12; Isaiah 43.25) [- and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. – God’s cleansing of the repentant soul is absolutely complete.  Jesus paid the whole penalty for our sins, not just part of it.  Jesus said it is finished and so took the whole of your sins away.  This cleansing is for,]

(1)   [Salvation - For the lost soul the first and most important cleansing is the salvation that is offered through the Lord Jesus Christ.  Salvation comes before any other kind of cleansing or forgiveness.  Since it is the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ that washes our sins away,] 

[1 John 1:7 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. ]

[Then one must first recognize and accept the redemption offered through the blood sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ in order to be cleansed of ones sins.] 

[When you accept the Lord Jesus Christ, His precious blood washes all of your sins away.] 

(2)   [Purification – Through the cleansing blood of our Lord we come to understand that our sins are faithfully and eternally forgiven.  What does God do with our sins? ]  

[Psalms 103:12 12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. ]

[Isaiah 43:25 25 I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.]

[When a Born Again child of God confesses his sins there is no cause for guilt or remorse, for God faithfully forgives those sins and casts them into the expanse of forgetfulness.  God will remember those sins no more.] 

2.      The Confusion Of Rebellion (vs 10) [– If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. It seems as though John is merely repeating what he already stated in verse 8.  However, what John is pointing out in verse 10 is that if you have heard the testimony of God regarding sin from the Word of God, and you choose to deny what God has clearly declared concerning your sin and sinfulness, then either God is lying or you are lying.] 

[John goes on to say that if you say the Bible is wrong concerning sin, then you deny the written Word of God (Bible) and the living Word of God (The Lord Jesus Christ) is not in you and if Jesus is not in you, then you are lost in your sin and you are on your way to that terrible, terrifying place called Hell.] 

[You had better get this sin thing right.  Your eternal soul lies in the balance.] 

[Are you willing to risk your eternal soul by denying God’s testimony and declaring God a liar?  When you stand in opposition to the Word of God you are calling God a liar, whether you say the words yourself or not.] 

C.     The Quest Against Sin (vs 2.1-2; Rom 6.1-2,15) [– My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. – This is an incredible statement.  I have had more Christians, sitting in a Church sanctuary, say, “Well, preacher, I am only human.  God knows that.  I am going to sin and I will just have to ask God to forgive me for my sin.”  My friends this is the most common cop out used by God’s people.  I believe it is also the most hideous to our God.] 

[John writes that we are to “Sin Not.”  ] 

[Paul wrote,] 

[Romans 6:1-2 1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?]

[Romans 6:15
15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. ]

[Without a doubt we are commanded time and time again not to sin at all.  So why do we keep making excuses for our sin?  Because we like our sin so very much.] 

[You might be thinking, preacher how can I ever hope to resist sin at this level?  Two thoughts come to mind.] 

1.      Have A Proper Regard For Sin (Gal 6.7; Psalm 19.13; Amos 5.14-15) [– Most Christians wrestle with the idea that they can actually go through a day without sin for two reasons.  ] 

a.      [First, they have been told and falsely believe that they sin just because they are breathing.  To them, to live is to sin.  This is a lie.  God would never command you to do something that you cannot do.  Christians need to understand that to live is to be tempted, but just because you are tempted does not mean you have to sinned.] 

b.      [Secondly, most Christians will vehemently defend the preceding point because they really like their sin.  If they really believe that they can do what God commands them to do in this text and “sin not” then they will have to do away with their favorite sin.] 

[The point is simple, until you start thinking rightly about your sin you will continue to sin and you will excuse your sin. But know this,] 

[Galatians 6:7 7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.]

[Consider what the Psalmist wrote,] 

[Psalms 19:13 13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. ]

[What are presumptuous sins?  Presumptuous sins are sins that you know are sins, and you know you shouldn’t commit them, but you know you are going to commit them even while you are confessing them and asking God to forgive you for them.  Presumptuous confessions are not confessions at all, because they fail to agree with God about what He has already said about sin.  Just because you say the words, out loud, does not mean you have confessed your sin.] 

[Hence, what is the regard you need to have concerning sin as a child of God?  Amos said it best,] 

[Amos 5:14-15 14 Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the LORD, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken. 15 Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph. ]

[There is only one thing that God says a Christian should hate.  We should hate evil, or we should hate sin.  You will have trouble living a God honoring, holy life, until you start hating sin and evil as God hates sin and evil.] 

2.      Have A Proper Regard For Your Savior (vs 1-2; Gen 39.9) [– Even a Christian who has developed a proper regard for sin will occasionally stumble and sin.  What then?  Then he has an advocate with his Heavenly Father, the Lord Jesus Christ.  God knows your heart.  God knows if you are harboring sin in your heart, or if you have stumbled in your Christian journey.  God truly honors those who honor Him.  Confess your sin and God will faithfully forgive it.  ] 

[A second regard that will strengthen your resolve against sin is to have a proper regard for your Savior.  Temptations are alluring, they are enticing, they are traps and snares.  They smell like that Sunday dinner your wife has had cooking all morning, or like the aroma of your favorite food cooking a your favorite restaurant.  You can smell it before you get out of the car, and you savor its taste before you ever enter the restaurant. Hence, you need something that can help you balance the enticement of those temptations.] 

[Consider the incredible suffering of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  That is what the Apostle John is calling our minds toward in 1 John 2.2.  If you are having trouble developing a hatred for the sin you like so much, then get in your mind what that sin did to the Lord Jesus Christ, who loves you so very much.  If the reality of what your sin did to Jesus Christ does not cause you to start hating your sin, then you do not love the Lord nearly enough.] 

[Think about Joseph when he was enticed by Potipher’s wife.  What was it that caused Joseph to run from that house, instead of sinning with that woman?  Joseph said:] 

[Genesis 39:9 . . . how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?]

[More than anything else, Joseph’s love for God strengthened him to resist sin in his life.  Joseph’s love for God must have been what kept him faithful when so many bad things came into his life.] 

[Christian, you get a proper regard for the Lord Jesus Christ and what your sin did to Him, and you will find it easy to hate sin and to resist sin.]  


[1]Friberg, T., Friberg, B., & Miller, N. F. (2000). Vol. 4: Analytical lexicon of the Greek New Testament. Baker's Greek New Testament library (281). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.


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