Monday, July 14, 2008

07.13.08 Living in the Spotlight

In Chapter 1:1-4 John quickly dives into the meat of the book, does away with the chit chat and the talky talky, and as we discussed last week, gives his testimony, "I heard about Jesus, what He was doing, I heard Jesus teach and preach, and I personally heard Jesus as He spoke to me, calling me to follow Him. Not only did I hear Him but I saw the incredible things that Jesus did, the miracles, the crucifixion, and the glorious resurrection....and I personally ate with the physical, resurrected Jesus!" John's letter forgoes any salutation and it leads me to believe that he did this because his message was urgent, purposeful, and he wanted us to pay attention.

I asked this question in class...."anyone remember the tag line from the E.F. Hutton commercials?" I think I seriously dated myself as the class looked at me like I had a large tumor on my face and the crickets chirped.

So, for all you young whipper snappers here is a short clip, (the video quality is horrible by the way)

My point is that John wants us to pay attention as what he has to say to us in the next 5 chapters are critically important and he doesn't want us to miss it.

1 John 1:5-10
5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 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 we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

The message that John heard Jesus talk about is this...."God is light, and in Him is no darkness."

The message is not a self-help, a how to, a what for. The message is not seven steps to success, 31 days to a healthy marriage, 2 weeks and a weekend to a clearer financial future, there are no secrets revealed, and the message is not about us. Yet go into any bookstore, even Christian bookstores these days and many of the books are published with you and me as the beginning and end to all our problems.

The message from Jesus is not about us it is about Him. It always begins and ends with Jesus. The message John proclaims to us is the very nature and essences, the character of God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We see Jesus lifted high, holy, pure, glorious, and radiating as His glory proceeds from His throne consuming everything in it's path that is not of His light (Revelation 20:11).

When Jesus enters our lives His light shines forth into every dark recess, every crevice, and cave of our minds and hearts exposing our sins of thought, word, and deed.

Point #1 - God is light and him Him is no darkness at all.
Point #2 - No one born of God can continue to walk in a state of constant, habitual sin.

Remember 1 John 5:13? "I write these things....that you may know that you have eternal life." The questions come at us...."Am I reborn? How do I know? Am I a new creature like the Bible says I am (2 Corinthians 5:17)? How can I know if I am truly saved?"

Throughout the book of 1 John, John gives us several "born again" tests so that we can know without doubt and the first one comes in Chapter 1:6 "If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness we lie and do not practice the truth."

If you say, "I love Jesus, I am a Christian, I am born again, I am a follower of Jesus, I am His disciple," yet are in a constant state of habitual sin then you lie. The two are incompatible.

Question? Does this mean if we sin then we aren't saved? No, we will address this shortly.

I think the key word in this verse is "walk". Notice that the scripture doesn't say tiptoe, or even says walk...specifically "walk in darkness." It kind of gives the picture that if this is where you live, if you camp out in the darkness, then you are comfortable, at home and you don't need the light to get around. vs6 says if this is you then you lie and your practice lies. Jesus said in Matthew 6:24 "No one can serve two masters."

Question? Are you living 2 lives? One of a Christian on the outside and another life of secrecy hidden from others? How comfortable are you in your sin?

Point #3 - Jesus exposes in in our lives, restores relationship, and cleanses us.

vs7 "But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin."

When we walk with Jesus, live in His light, read His word, camp out with Him, let His light shine on and in our lives onto the Good the Bad, and the Ugly then and only then can He restore our relationships and cleanse us from our sins.

Our problem is we compare ourselves and how well we are doing to others. We look at our lives and the lives of other people and pass judgment onto others and ourselves either by what we do or what we do not. The problem is that we are all sinners, we are all abnormal, we are all freaks.

vs8 "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us."

Other people are not are standard! Jesus is the only normal person we know. He alone lived a perfect life without sin. Jesus alone worshiped God in a God honoring way. Jesus alone displayed a God honoring relationship with others. Jesus glorified God in a perfect way and it is the life that Jesus lived that points to how we should live our lives but can't and how we will one day live our lives at the resurrection.

9 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 we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

When we look to Jesus, walk in His light, He exposes everything that is not of Him and brings all dark things to the surface for us to repent of and to be free of in and through Him.

Our only response to Jesus in light of His light, His glory, His perfection, His magnificence, His Holiness, is to repent so that once again He can forgive us of our sins, cleanse us.

May we never, never claim to be without sin....even for one moment as that would make Him out to be a liar.

No comments: