The "Ifs" in Our Walk With God
Date: 24 August, 2017
Text: I John 1:5-2:2
Title: The "if's" in Our Walk With God.
In life - you have probaby noticed that there is such a thing as good news and bad news.
exp. - some people want the bad news first - others want the good news first. Sometimes the order doesn't matter.
"Good news - you won a trip to Europe - bad news - the flight left yesterday."
"Bad news - the stock market dropped and you lost 2,000 pounds. Good news - you only had 2,000 pounds of stock and so you can't lose anymore."
In our text this morning - there is good news and there is bad news contained in "if" statements.
We are going to take the good and bad "ifs" as they come in our texts in chronological order."
EVERY "IF" IN OUR TEXT HAS to do with our walk with A HOLY GOD.
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.
ill. There is very little in life that is pure.
- Your food is allowed to have so many bug parts before it is deemed unsafe.
- Getting a microscope - Water has microscopic elements.
- Seeing rays of sunshine in a room and noticing all the dust particles floating around.
exp. What John has said - is that God is light without ANY DARKNESS WHATSOEVER. There is no impurity AT ALL in God.
question: The problem is that you and I are full of darkness - impurity. To come to the light, we must also be made light.
ill. If we could turn off the light that is coming into this room - no matter how hard you tried - AS SOON AS WE INTRODUCED LIGHT - THE DARKNESS WOULD FLEE. IT HAS NO ABILITY TO (ASSOCIATE) WALK WITH THE LIGHT.
Exp. There is I trust in your heart a desire to walk with God - HOWEVER - there are conditions regarding our walk with God.
These conditions are set out by the apostle John as the bad and good "ifs."
To WALK WITH GOD YOU MUST GET RID OF THE BAD "IFS" AND OBTAIN THE GOOD "IFS."
I. Get rid of the bad "if" of profession.
6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
exp. John includes himself in the application of this truth as he says IF we claim association with Jesus but are walking in sin we are liars.
ill. Judas - never had fellowship with the Lord Jesus. He thought he did and would profess that he did.
- He sat and listened to the teaching of Jesus.
- He would profess that he believed that Jesus was the Messiah.
- He looked like a good guy
ill. the disciples didn't suspect Judas.
John 13:21 When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.
22 Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake.
27 And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.
28 Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him.
29 For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor.
- He attended public worship services at the synagogues.
- He seemed to care about what Jesus was doing.
BUT - Judas was walking in unrepentant sin and had never given his heart to God.
John 12:1 Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.
2 There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.
3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.
4 Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him,
5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?
6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.
7 Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this.
8 For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.
app - Judas would have argued with you saying that he was a disciple of Jesus and that he fellowshipped with Jesus - BUT HE COULDN'T AND HE DIDN'T BECAUSE HE NEVER GOT RIGHT WITH GOD. It was just a profession. profession - are you lying about your walk with God and walking in darkness? THAT IS A BAD "IF" which you must get rid of to walk with God.
II. Obtain the good "if" of inspection.
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.
exp. There is a wonderful transparency in the life of someone who truly walks with God.
ill. Psalm 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
exp. Some people don't want to be inspected by God.
ill. House in Lake Mills, WI - Old house with bark on wood beams supports in the basement. Shimmying up my door frame and saying, "Good night mommy." Mom suspected something was wrong. She smelled the problem as soon as she got to the room. I had been playing with rubber bands on the radiator and the rubber had burned causing a bit of smoke.
exp. When you have something to hide - you don't want an inspection.
Joh 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
app. inspection - are you willing to let His light search every corner of your life? If you want to walk with God - YOU NEED THE GOOD "IF" OF INSPECTION. "Search me Oh God...."
III. Get rid of the bad "if" of deception.
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
exp. I've heard this used even by a well meaning older preacher to say that we can't be sinless EVEN WITH THE WORK OF THE LORD JESUS.
1Jn 1:7 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.
1Jn 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
2Co 5:21 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.
note: This has to do then with a man who is being confronted with his sinful condition BEFORE OBTAINING SALVATION AND SANCTIFICATION.
ill. "I'm a good person." ill. Pharisee at the Temple
10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
app. deception - Do you think you have no sin to confess having never had the blood of Jesus Christ take away your sin? You are deceived like that Pharisee.
YOU NEED TO GET RID OF THE BAD "IF" OF DECEPTION TO WALK WITH GOD.
You can't be saved until you realize that you are a sinner just like the rest of us.
1Ti 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
IV. Obtain the good "if" of confession.
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
exp. Again John emphasises the COMPLETE forgiveness and COMPLETE cleansing for those who will JUST BE HONEST ABOUT THEIR TRANSGRESSIONS.
ill. I shared the story on Thursday night about scratching Jim's car. If I had hid my sin - I would have.... continued in guilt at what I had done and fear that it would be found out.
exp. Jim was so gracious and like the Lord - forgiving me and cleansing my transgression. (He even allowed my brother in the future to marry his daughter.)
app. You could be here today - carrying the burden of your guilt and afraid that it will be found out. HEAR THE TRUTH OF GOD'S WORD - GOD IS WILLING TO FORGIVE YOU AND CLEANSE YOU.
Isa 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
YOU NEED TO OBTAIN THE GOOD "IF" OF CONFESSION TO WALK WITH GOD.
confession - are you willing to confess any sin that God brings to light?
Pro 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.
V. Get rid of the bad "if" of rejection.
10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
exp. "I'm not a bad person." "I only do unto others what I would have done unto me." "I treat others with the same respect I expect." If God thinks I'm a bad person - he is wrong - I reject what His Word says about me.
ill. GSCE - exams - Imagine you getting your grades back and declaring that you did extremely well. Your parents ask to see your exam and they say, "This paper says you did not do well." If you continue to declare your success - you will have to reject WHAT THE EXAM RESULTS DECLARE.
ill. The most frequent statement I receive from people to whom I speak about God is, "Well, I just believe in being a good person and God knows that I am. I believe he will accept me."
exp. It's like holding the exam paper and saying - I've done really well WHEN IT DECLARES OTHERWISE.
exp. The results are in regarding our goodness - and we haven't done as well as we'd like to think.
Rom 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
Rom. 3:20 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
app. rejection - Do you reject God by saying he is a liar if He thinks you are a sinner? TO WALK WITH GOD WE MUST GET RID OF THE BAD "IF" OF REJECTING GOD'S WORD.
VI. Obtain the good "if" of reception.
2:1 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.
exp. Propitiation - atonement/ covering. Jesus is the only covering for man's sin and shame.
ill. When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden
- The were ashamed and hid themselves from God.
- They could not walk with God because they were unclothed EVEN THOUGH THEY TRIED TO MAKE THEIR OWN CLOTHES.
- God had to make a covering (atonement) for their sin. An animal (lambs) had to die so that they could have the shame of their transgression removed.
exp. CALVARY IS THE LAMB SLAIN TO COVER (BE A PROPITIATION) FOR THE SIN OF THE WORLD.
question: What did Adam and Eve have to do to receive God's atonement - RECEIVE IT THE COVERING.
app. reception - do you understand that Jesus is the only solution to man's sin? Have you received Him into your heart as your sin covering.
TO WALK WITH GOD YOU MUST PUT ON THE GOOD "IF" OF RECEPTION.
VII. Obtain the good "if" of submission.
3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
Exp. If you wonder today if you are really walking with Jesus - are you keeping His commandments. EVEN IF YOU HAVE RECEIVED GOD'S ATONEMENT - you can still sin and must confess/ forsake/ and OBEY HIS COMMANDMENTS.
QUESTION: Where did Jesus walk? in COMPLETE OBEDIENCE TO GOD IN EVERY AREA OF HIS LIFE.
ill. John Newton did not continue as a slave trader after he got saved.
ill. Paul didn't continue to kill Christians after he got saved.
ill. George Minsick - didn't continue in Al Capone's gang after he got saved.
BECAUSE THEY WANTED TO WALK WITH GOD AND HAD TO WALK WHERE HE WALKS.
app. submission - do you know that you know Jesus because you are walking as He walked? (Keeping God's commandments?) IF YOU WANT TO WALK WITH GOD YOU MUST OBTAIN THE GOOD "IF" OF SUBMISSION.
The bad "ifs"
- profession - are you lying about your walk with God and walking in darkness?
- deception - Do you think you have no sin to confess? You are deceived.
- rejection - Do you reject God by saying he is a liar if He thinks you are a sinner?
The good "ifs"
- inspection - are you willing to let His light search every corner of your life?
- confession - are you willing to confess any sin that God brings to light?
- reception - do you understand that Jesus is the only solution to man's sin? Have you received Him into your heart as your sin covering.
- submission - do you know that you know Jesus because you are walking as He walked? (Keeping God's commandments?)