VN520435 2016-01-16 All Have Sinned
We’re going to the Book of 1 John, which is before the Book of the Revelation. John 1:8-10. Once again I’m going to be using the New American Standard. 1 John 1:8-10. “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.” I’m going to use the middle verse first. What’s going on, and I want to say it this way in particular, is we have divine revelation here in this book. This Bible is divine revelation. It comes straight from God.
Revelation is the act of God showing Himself to us and to the world through His prophets or whatever means He chooses to use. It’s through creation also but He has shown Himself, revealing Himself to us, giving us information that we could not absorb, that we could not find out on our own, in a lot of different ways, because we wouldn’t know that He is absolutely everywhere, omnipresent. We wouldn’t know that He is omniscient, that He knows everything, and not just everything that is possible. He also knows all of the possibilities. You know, the butterfly effect people talk about. He knows all the variations of all the possibilities. Our God is brilliant and so this is His revelation to us, and one of the important ones of this revelation is if we confess our sins He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we confess our sins.
Now a lot of people don’t understand and I know I’ve gone over this before, but sin is hamartia here and it just means, in the Greek, to fail to hit a target. I hope none of us here are under this cloud of saying, “I don’t sin.” I’ll be the first one to say, “I do” I’ll confess it. I know Barb has a time or two. I’m not saying, which Barb. Just a time or two. I’m just saying that we’ve all committed a failure, failure to hit the target. Some people try to limit this idea of failure just to the 10 Commandments, but when it comes to hamartia it is the failure of anything. If we’re not being good spouses we have failed. If we’re not being a good parent we have failed. If we’re not being good children we have failed. If we’re not being a good neighbor or a good friend we have failed. We have committed the sin of hamartia. If we miss the target of perfection we have failed, and when we have failed we do need to confess our sins. We need to say, “God, I am not perfect. I need your help”
The most interesting thing here though to me is this verse where it says if we confess our sins He is faithful and righteous to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us of our unrighteousness, from all of our unrighteousness. You would think that God would forgive us of our sin but it would be based mostly upon His love for us or His kindness to us, but John the Apostle here emphasizes the idea that God forgives us of our sins and He maintains His righteousness. Most ministers, and I’ve been around several in my lifetime especially Baptist. I’m sorry I somehow replaced it. I’d do a hellfire and brimstone service this morning in order to warm it up in here but that’s not going to happen, but a lot of them choose to use that idea and launching off into God is a righteous God. God is so pure that He can’t stand it whenever you sin and if you fail He turns His back away from you and He will not hear your prayers.
That’s not what it says. We confess our sins and He does this while maintaining His righteousness. You would think that His righteousness would really cause Him to be irked towards us and back away from us, but instead they’re emphasizing the idea of His perfection and because He is perfect and maintains it He can say this to us. I am perfect and I understand your failures because My Son, Jesus, who is also divine came down there and He took upon himself human frailty and He was tempted in every way that you were. I understand it. We understand the problems that you’ve got and I came up with a way of maintaining My absolute perfection and yet being able to let you into My presence. I have devised a plan from before the foundation of the earth was laid, a plan that would provide for you to come to me and we can fellowship one with another. Me 100% perfect and you, ehh, not so good, but we can hang out and talk to each other, and that brilliant plan that I have is Jesus himself.
He came down as a man, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, and as a man, just as a man He could have paid the price for one sinner, but since He is divine, since He is My Son, since He is very God of very God when He died He not only had the ability to propitiate for the sins, but He also had the capability of covering every failure of every human that walks upon the face of the earth, that ever did, ever will, and right now is walking on the face of the earth, and it’s the possibility of everybody in the future, all that combination. He is of such great value that He paid a total price for us. He paid the total price. So, God in His righteousness can stand there and say come to Me and I promise I’ll forgive you. Another way we can look at this is God is righteous and He doesn’t lie. That last line in the verses I read says we make Him out to be a liar because if people say they have not sinned we make Him out to be a liar because He said, “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God,” and then somebody says well, I’ve never sinned. He goes that’s not right. You’re calling me a liar.
We’re often taught that, but his righteousness is there for us. You see the whole idea though is He maintains that righteousness and yet He invites us to it and He does not sin, and He has made, there’s the point, because He is not a sinner and He is righteous He has made us promises. Yes. He has made us promises, and those promises are if you confess your sin I will forgive you. If you have a contrite heart and you come to Me I will be there for you. He does not lie. He made promises and He will stand by those promises righteously so we can always depend upon Him to be kind toward us. Now I said all that to continue with this idea of the revelation here. Verse 8 and verse 10. “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.” And then in verse 10. “If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” Here is this idea of people who claim that they have not committed any sin whatsoever and folks I have a problem with that. To say that I have not sinned, they approach it one of two ways.
First they can say this, I have not sinned. It’s in the sense of it’s not my problem, it’s not my responsibility. I am not responsible for what I did. Therefore, you can’t hold me as a sinner or that I have sinned. It is my upbringing that caused me to react that way. It’s because, and this is a favorite one right now, it’s because it’s in my genetics that I stumbled the way I did. It’s something that couldn’t be helped. It’s the environment. Had I been raised in a better situation I would have been better and I would have chosen rightly. I was misled. Somebody else caused me to stumble and it’s not my fault. Well, we’ve heard that one since the Garden of Eden. And the other one is it’s in my temperament. I can’t help it. It’s just in my temperament to do that. It’s in my temperament to fly off the handle and get mad. I’m looking around to see if there are any red-headed people before I go any farther.
A lot of times kids that are red-headed, like I’ve told you before my grandmother favored the red-headed kids in our family but there was always the statement well, they’re red-headed, they’re going to have a temper. They’re red-headed, they’re going to get really uptight and in your face about stuff, and what we’re doing is actually defining that kid. Even though it’s said in a negative or a joking way we’re defining for the red-headed kids that we expect them to have anger issues and a lot of them use that as an excuse. I’ve had red-headed people get mad and rant and rave and say well, it’s just because I’m red-headed. No it’s not. It’s because you chose to get mad. It’s because you chose.
I had a friend that I went to Bible College with who was an artist. One time he flew off and he was rude toward a bunch of people and I just waited until they left and I said, “I want to talk to you. “ He goes, “Yeah, what?” I asked, “Why are you acting this way?” “Because I’m an artist and us artists are temperamental at times.” I said, “Would you show that to me in the Bible where you’ve got the excuse, “Because I’m an artist, I can be rude to people and I can act that way in public because I’m an artist. Can you show it to me?” Well, he really did get rude and temperamental at that time, towards me, but as time passed he came to me later and said, “You know what? You’re right. I use that as an excuse to excuse all of my bad behavior because they told me I was an artist and artists are supposed to be temperamental. I use that.”
A lot of people say, “I haven’t sinned because,” and they give a list of reasons. Another approach of saying this, “I haven’t sinned.” I know people who use this one, “I haven’t sinned because I am a totally unique being. I am of myself and to myself, and as I am living my life as myself therefore my behavior and my choices are totally consistent with me as that unique being, and since I am my own standard, therefore I have never committed a sin because it is within my capacity to do that and I chose to do it. Therefore, it’s not a sin because I am my own standard.” Ehh. That is not right. They use the idea and they’ll usually bring up this idea also and throw this in, “It’s like a snowflake. Every snowflake in the world is totally unique. They’re all different from each other and so you can’t say one is short or a failure because it’s totally different. You have to judge each snowflake by itself”.
The only thing I can think between these people who claim perfection based on their own standards and snowflakes is they’re both flakes. There is only one standard that we are judged by. I don’t know what the revealed standard of snowflakes is, but they are inanimate objects. They cannot make decisions of what they’re going to look like, shape like, how they’re going to fly through the air, where they’re going to land, and what’s going to end up with them. We, on the other hand, are free moral agents and we get to choose. We get to make decisions and just because we are “unique” doesn’t give us an exclusive or an elite standard. The standard is, and the word again is revealed by our God, our God has revealed a perfect standard. He is perfectly righteous and He has revealed it and people who say, “I have never sinned,” but have committed a sin and they are basically saying, “God is a liar.” That’s not a good thing to say.
Now all of that was just prelude to what I was really wanting to talk about. This idea of, “ I have not sinned, I am my own unique being and, therefore, I am unto myself a particular standard, or I can only be judged by my own generation, it’s couched in different terms and in different ways but the idea, in philosophical terms the word would be humanism. Humanism. It’s as old as the Book of Genesis but let me define what humanism is, and this is a dictionary idea. Humanism is a system of thought attaching prime importance to humans rather than the divine or supernatural nature centered on the notion of the autonomous self.” All that is saying is a humanist, and this is a very strong philosophy in our day and age right now.
It’s being taught through all of our schools, through all of our colleges, even some seminaries are teaching humanism, and it is; the human is in the elevated position of knowing what’s right and what’s wrong. There is no God, or if there is He is not involved with us in any way. He just started the system rolling and then He has backed out of it and it’s up to us to make our own standards. It’s up to us to define right and wrong, and we do that, we do that by consensus of what’s right and wrong. Humanism. Man has replaced God in the field of sin and justice, sin and purity, and the events that they have in their life they get to judge whether it was a correct understanding or correct decision, and technically under their philosophy there is no right, there is no wrong, all there is is consensus. Remember that. They do not believe that there is a right, they do not believe that there is a wrong. All there is is consensus.
So, if you can get a bunch of people to back you then you are right, but if you can’t get the people to back you then you are wrong only as you relate or what you did, relates to the social environment in which you are. Now, that’s important to understand because like I said it is shaping our thought processes. They do not like the idea of God revealing anything to us. They don’t like the idea that there is a standard out there by which some being who is greater than we are is going to be holding up next to us and saying you have failed in my standard. They’re saying we dismiss your standard, we dismiss you. We are human. Therefore, we make our own decisions. There is none other greater than us. We are at the top of the pyramid. Some of them even say we are not even worthy of being at the top and the best thing to happen would be have humans die out, and there are people that push that idea that humans should as a species die out so that the earth can continue on and improve because it would be better off without us.
Now, this idea of humanism, like I said is as old as the Book of Genesis if you’ll let me just jump to Genesis, Chapter 3 verse 2, “The woman said to the serpent, from the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’ The serpent said to the woman, ‘You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.” And you guys know the rest of the story.
That is the root of humanism. They said to themselves if we can gain knowledge and know what’s good and what’s evil then we are as good as God. We can set our own standards. We can know what’s right. We will rule ourselves and we will have no need of this being called God. We can make all of our own decisions, and God permitted them free moral agency. They chose free will. He said you can do this but don’t do it because in that day you shall surely die. You will be separated from the presence of God. You will no longer be in the presence of life, which is God Himself. You will be separated from that, and they chose to be human and to elevate their own position and say we choose to elevate ourselves. We will know things and we will understand good and evil and we will set our own standards and we will not have this God revealing things to us and telling us how to run our lives. We are human. We know what’s best for us. We will make our decision.
And they took, and they ate, and then it dawned on them. They had free will but God is sovereign and He came in and said, “Where are you?” They said, “We’re hiding.” “Why?” “Because we’re naked?” “Who told you that? How did you gain this knowledge? Who told you that this was an evil thing that you had to hide?” And they knew that they had been caught with their hands in the cookie jar and they knew that at that point that they had made the wrong decision, and because of the humanistic idea that they chose at that time in their life, we have been suffering ever since because, as humans, we have this tendency to say, ‘We can do it ourselves. We can pull ourselves up by our bootstraps.” Yes, there are things that we need to take responsibility for and the first thing we need to take responsibility for is this, “God, I have sinned, I have failed. I need You to forgive me of my sins. I need Your righteousness to be gifted to me so I can stand in Your presence. God, I need Your help. I need Your revelation.
Humanists would say, “God, I still don’t need Your help. I can make it on my own. I did it my way. Like Frank Sinatra, I did it my way.” If I could sing now I’d burst forth into song but you guys dodged the bullet there didn’t you? No, I’m not going to. So, the whole idea that humanism has been working and permeating, percolating would be a better way, through human history all this time and we now are in the position of really suffering the repercussions. Man has called God a liar. “We have not sinned, we can make our own decisions, we don’t need You in our lives.” “We do not need Your revelation. We will not be held responsible to You for what You say is right and wrong. We, as a society, can stand up and determine for ourselves. We don’t need You.”
Romans 1:18-32. This is the product that humanism played out in our day. “For the wrath of God is revealed.” They don’t want revelation. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” They don’t want people to talk about the truth of Jesus Christ, the Gospel, the revealed truth of the 10 Commandments, the revealed truth of the Word of God. They suppress it. They deny it. “Because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations.” By the way, that word speculations is the root word for where we get theory.
Scientists talk about theories these days as though they are fact, but the Greek word and Latin word from which theory is derived from means to speculate. They start off with a pile of facts and they say from this pile of facts we can speculate what caused this to happen and we can go backwards and determine the origin of those facts. One of the mind games you play is there’s a guy that goes into an elevator and every day of the week he goes up to the 8th floor. He pushes the button, he gets off at the 8th floor, he walks the rest of the way to the top floor, but on rainy days he goes to the elevator and he rides all the way to the top floor. Why is it that this guy gets off on the 8th floor on sunny days and goes all the way to the floor that he is going to come to on rainy days? As a humanist you would sit there and say I can figure this out and you’re supposed to come up with an idea of why this happens and so they speculate the answer to the riddle. Does anybody know it? The guy is a midget. So, on the sunny days he can reach up there and hit number 8 and then he has to get off and walk up. On rainy days he has an umbrella so he can go there and hit the top button and go all the way to the top.
That’s the idea, the speculation, the idea that these people come up with. We have a present reality and then I’m going to go backwards in time and I will speculate on how we came to this point here and so I will determine what the origin is. It’s a speculation. It’s just something that they have run through their mind and said this works, or we think it works, and if that doesn’t work we’ll try it again. We’ll come up with another speculation. Where was I? Somewhere in the verse of speculation. I don’t know. “For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations.” They did away with God because they speculated how everything started without Him. “And their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.”
What’s he saying? He’s saying humanists deny the revelation of God. They take their facts and they extrapolate backwards and say we don’t need a God. Here is a good enough reason for us. We don’t want God. We don’t want a revelator. We don’t want somebody telling us how to live our lives. We don’t want His standard, we want our standard. Therefore, we can’t be condemned. I don’t condemn you, you don’t condemn me. We get along quite nicely without You God. Stay out of the picture. And so they live their life and God says you’re calling Me a liar because I said no one is perfect. “All sin and come short of the glory of God.” You called me a liar. Therefore, I am going to let you live in it. Go on, live your life and when it’s all said and done you stand before Me at the great white throne and I will look you in the eyes and I will say you knew better and you will say yes I did. You chose what to do and it was your free will. Yes I did, but I was misled. It was the environment. Other people told me this is the way to go. It’s in my genetics. It’s my temperament.
You knew right from wrong and yet you chose. You played the cards that you’re dealt with, that you’ve been dealt. You played those cards to the best of your ability. You knew. You knew and yet you made choices that you knew were wrong. Don’t come whining to me at the final judgment, and He puts the goats on the lefthand side and they’re led away. This is what’s going on in our world right now and this is what’s being taught. We need to step up and start understanding and seeking the truth of God and understand why. This is the Word of God. It’s been protected for thousands and thousands of years. People have been trying to destroy it, burn it, and cut it up. Jeremiah’s own words were burnt in front of him and he had to rewrite the book again. We’ve had this. People have been killed over this and yes, there has even been church denominations that have said the people, the laity out there should not be permitted to read the Bible because it will lead them astray.
There have been all sorts of crazy things going on, but this is the Word of God. This is His revelation and we need to start understanding the truth of this and go back and say see how this works and how it fits because one of the proofs is if we live according to this standard does our life improve like it says it will? There is a man who toured Africa. He came back to England. I probably told you before but he came back to England and he said if you want to lift the third world countries in Africa out of their poverty, out of their ignorance, out of their ways that are just plain mean, if you want to lift these people up and get them to a higher level where they become more like first world nations you don’t need to send money down there, you need to send Christian missionaries because I’ve seen where the Christian missionaries have influenced these people and these people converted and accepted the Word of God and they modeled their life as disciples of Jesus Christ. I have seen how families, how individuals, families, neighborhoods and nations have been transformed and the results are amazing.
If you want to lift the third world countries up you need to send them Christian missionaries, and then he said and I am an atheist but it works. If you want it to work send the things that work. If you want improvement send the things that work, and he said I am an atheist but even I can see what’s working down there and we need to send missionaries. That is one of the proofs that the Bible works is because the people that accept it into their life they have life transforming events and as they walk in the ways of the Lord they are conformed more and more to the image of Jesus Christ each and every day. That’s one of the proofs of walking in light and not walking in darkness is because you and your life will be improved each and every day. It might be incremental but it will be an improvement. I’m asking you to commit yourself to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.
January 31st we’re going to have a baptismal service. That baptism is not what saves you. It’s faith in Jesus Christ that saves you. That baptism is actually your first act of committing to say I am not just a believer in Jesus, I am a disciple and this is my first step into following Him into what He tells me to do. It’s a public commitment. You do it in front of people and you say I am going to be a follower and I’m committed to this and then you start studying things from all the way back in history and how come God has the right and the proof of the revelations that are in this book all the way to the future and the proof of the revelations that are in the book and what’s coming to us. It’s not necessarily a fun life, it’s not necessarily an easy life, but it is a worthy life to live and I would call upon you to commit yourselves to be disciples of Jesus Christ.
Shall we pray? Father, in the name of Jesus I once again acknowledge that You are my Lord and my Savior. I also want to say I want to be a better disciple, I want to commit my life to You and to walk in Your ways and when the ways get tough keep me in Your way, and if I stumble forgive me of my sins and help me to demonstrate the life of Jesus Christ to other people so that they will know I don’t walk in the darkness but I walk in light and they will want to have an improved life themselves. Father, even the atheists can see the results of following Your son. I ask that You would cause other people to have their eyes open and that we will be one of those people that causes that opening just like a spiritual healing going on for these people. Father, I ask that You would use us to increase Your kingdom. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.