If We Say We Have No Sin
If We Say We Have No Sin
Sunday, January 5, 2008
“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves,
and the truth is not in us.” 1 John 1:8
1. The fall lied to us in the matter of sin. It lied about its cost, its power, its payment required and most of all it lied about its very own existence.
2. Sin by its very nature is deceiving and cunning. It lies to us and says “I’m really not here, you are a very good person and you wouldn’t allow any sin in your life.” But the Bible says that “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
3. Some fall into a temptation of trusting in themselves. They tell others to “be like me, follow me, just do what I have done and you will be saved and righteous” This is the big lie that John is destroying here today.
“He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”(Luke 18:9-14)
4. The only way a person can say “I have no sin” is if they are deceived. This is not what a Christian is or does. If we declare that we have no sin, we are saying “Look I am not a Christian” because “the truth is not in me.”
5. Christians are not perfect people. They sin every single day (yes that includes you and me). Christians are simply people who have been saved by God’s grace alone, are justified by faith alone and are trusting in Christ alone for the forgiveness of their sins.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
6. “Grace” is defined as God’s undeserved favor—his loving-kindness shown to sinners whereby he saves them and gives them strength to live for him.
7. Legalism is the opposite of grace and is humanity’s attempts to gain acceptance from God through individual effort and determination. Legalism is a great temptation, because it involves self-reliance and self–sufficiency (Gal. 3:1-3).
“O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Gal 3:1-3)
8. However, legalism does not work and the end result is bitterness and “a form of godliness that denies the very power it professes to believe in.” (Mt 23:23-26)
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel! “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.” (Matthew 23:23-26)
9. We must resist the temptation to make ourselves acceptable to God, or to create unbiblical rules for others to follow. “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” (Col 2:8)
“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness.” (Gal 5:1-5)
10. However, we should never confuse legalism with the clear biblical call for believers to lead lives of obedience to Christ (John 15:10; 1 Pet. 1:14-16). “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.” (John 15:10)
“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:14-16)
11. Let us finish today by looking at the verse again and the three things it says: (1) Not having a right understanding of sin leads to living a life that is a lie and you continue to walk in darkness. (1 John 1:6-10) (2) If I say that, then I am a liar and I am pretending to be something that I am not. “For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.” (Gal 6:3) (3) Not only am I lying to others, but I am lying to myself and deceiving myself. “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” (Gal 6:7-8)
GracePointe Baptist Church
2209 N Post Road
Oklahoma City, OK 73141
Phone: (405) 769-5050