‘IF GOD SO LOVED US …’ – 1 John 4:7-12

Posted by Pastor Greg Allen on February 14, 2016 under 2016 | Be the First to Comment

Bethany Bible Church; a Valentine’s Day message; February 14, 2016 from 1 John 4:7-12

Theme: The love that God has shown us in Christ should motivate our love for one another.

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Posted by Pastor Greg Allen on December 14, 2014 under 2014 | Be the First to Comment

Message preached Sunday, December 14, 2014 from 1 John 4:6-11

Theme: The command to love each other is based on the love God has shown us at Christmas.

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1 John 1:9

Posted by Pastor Greg Allen on January 19, 2010 under Ask the Pastor | Be the First to Comment

A visitor to our website writes:

Would you give a short explanation of I John 1:9?

* * * * * * * * * *

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9, NKJV)

Dear friend,

I believe that the best way to understand verse 9 is by seeing it in the light of the verses that surround it.  Verse eight says, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”  That tells us that we are sinners in need of forgiveness from God; and that we would be kidding ourselves if we denied that fact.  Verse 10 says something similar; but in it’s case, the focus is on the person of God Himself: “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”  God Himself has testified that we are sinners (Romans 3:9-20; also Romans 3:23); and really, the fact that He sent His Son to die on the cross on our behalf is loud and clear proof of that fact!  And so, the first step toward entering into genuine fellowship with God through His Son Jesus is to admit the truth—that we are sinners and are in need of a Savior.  As John says in verse 9, “But if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (v. 9).

You can look at it this way.  One of the things that would most hinder our entering into a deep friendship with someone would be by our offending them or hurting them in some way, and then refusing to admit the truth about it.  We’ve all experienced that to some degree.  Similarly, one of the things that most stands in the way of someone entering into fellowship with God is a refusal to admit the truth about their condition before Him; and to acknowledge the truth about the harmful nature of the sin in their lives.  When they read the Bible, or they hear the scriptures preached in a sermon—and as the Holy Spirit uses such means to show them the truth about the sin in their lives—they dismiss it.  They let themselves off the hook.  They say that they’re not so bad; or that other people are way worse off than they are; or that those things aren’t really a problem—just “mistakes”.  But the word “confession” means, literally, to ‘say the same thing’ as God says about our sin.  And that’s what we need to do about our sin—say the same things that God says about it; and treat it as seriously as He treats it.

And that’s how we begin to walk in the light as He is in the light (verse 5-7).  Once we admit the truth, we stop hiding from His moral spotlight and we step into its beam and allow the sin in our lives to be exposed for what it really is (see John 3:18-21).  And the wonderful promise God makes for us in the verse you have asked about is that, when we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive those sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  God doesn’t simply ignore the punishment that is due to us because of our sin.  All of the guilt for our sin was placed on His Son Jesus as He hung on the cross; and Jesus received the total punishment for our sins on our behalf.  So God the Father is utterly just in forgiving us; because the debt was paid in the full.  And He is utterly faithful to do so; because He was the One who sent His Son to pay the debt for us.

I believe that the way we apply this verse in our lives is through prayer.  When we stumble into sin, or if the Holy Spirit brings to our recollection some sin that is keeping us from a full relationship with the Father, we must “confess” it to Him.  We must admit to God in prayer what it was that we did—and name it as “sin”.  We must admit the truth—that it was a sin so grievous to His holy character that it made the death of His own Son necessary.  And we must then place all our trust in what Jesus did on the cross for us, thank the Father that Jesus died in our place, trust in His full forgiveness, and—in His strength—turn from that sin.  Once we do so, we can move on and grow in fellowship with Him.

Pastor Greg
Bethany Bible Church

(All Scripture quotes are taken from the New King James Version.)

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