Recent Sermons

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Assembling a Prayer List - Part 2

Some believers are under the impression that once saved, there is no further need for confession. However, that is contrary to the clear teaching of 1 John 1:5-9:

This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

John the apostle is writing to believers about what he had heard from Jesus. This message binds us to apostolic teaching. The passage teaches that a rift will develop between the believer and God. God is light. We walk in darkness, don't practice the truth, and in actuality have no fellowship with Him.

The remedy is to walk in the light because that is where God is. The expected conclusion is that we would have fellowship with God if we walk in the light, but the text says that we have fellowship with one another. Our rift with God has opened a rift with one another. The good news is that the blood of Jesus keeps on cleansing us from all sin.

It does little good to delude ourselves into thinking that we do not sin each and every day. This denial evidences the fact that the truth is not in us. So, as believers we must confess our sins. That is, we must agree with God that sin has once again separated us from one another and from Him. We are not separated in the sense of losing our eternal salvation. God is always our Father. However, we are separated in the sense of losing our fellowship with Him and with one another.

The loss of fellowship means that we no longer talk about anything of eternal value. We no longer experience the rich blessing of sharing an inheritance that we have in Christ. But if we will realize that a rift has opened ...that we have offended a holy God, we can confess. To confess means to say the same thing about our sin that God says - to no longer live in denial. Once we realize what we have been doing, then God is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

God has forgiven us in the sense of forgiving sin past, present, and future. However, this verse speaks of the need of daily cleansing and restoration to fellowship. It is refocusing on how feeble we actually are gracious and faithful God actually is. We cannot have fellowship without expressing our grief over sin. Failure to do so affects every aspect of our existence. Our emotional and physical lives included.

Therefore, daily prayer must include daily cleansing. We must be quiet before God, ask Him to search our hearts, admit that we have failed Him, and ask for forgiveness. We will receive it because of God's faithfulness.

We must also model that extension of forgiveness. That is, we must forgive others who have sinned against us. If we do not, then the rift will remain - both vertical and horizontal. If we will not forgive neither will our Father in Heaven forgive us.