What is man’s greatest problem? Sin, S-I-N. We don’t like to talk about it, and even some preachers are hesitant to mention sin anymore, but this is where we must begin if we’re interested in eternal life.

ROBERT >> What is man’s greatest problem? Sin, S-I-N. We don’t like to talk about it, and even some preachers are hesitant to mention sin anymore; but this is where we must begin if we’re interested in eternal life. I hope you’ll stay tuned. We’ll be back in just a moment.

SINGING>> Speaking the truth, speaking the truth,
speaking the truth, speaking the truth in love.

ROBERT >> Today I want us to turn our attention to the letters of John, to 1 John chapter 1, where we read about the God of Christians regarding sin. And we learn that our God is absolutely sinless.

In chapter 1 and verse 5 of 1 John, the Bible says, “This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.”

You see, just as light cannot be overpowered by darkness nor diluted or adulterated in any way, so God is light. God cannot be affected by the darkness of sin.

Habakkuk 1:13 reminds us of this pure character of God. Here in this passage, let’s read it together, “You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness.”

Yes, our God is pure, he is holy, so that he cannot even look upon wickedness, that is, to lust after it or be tempted by it. In Psalm 5:4 we also learn about this sinless character of our God.

In Psalm 5:4 he says, “For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; nor shall evil dwell with You.”

Our God is a holy God, he is without sin, and therefore he is always separate from sin. But I also want you to notice from 1 John chapter 1 the many lies of Satan that are often put forward by Christians themselves. And sometimes they lie to themselves about these things. These are lies of Christians about sin, that great problem that separates us from God.

Notice here in chapter 1 of 1 John, beginning in verse 6. Here it says, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.”

Do you see what John is saying here? That if we say we can just go on, we can sin, we can do whatever we want to, and it’s not going to affect our relationship with God, that we’re lying to ourselves. We’re saying sin will not affect our relationship with God, who himself is sinless. Too many profess to have God while committing sin as though it doesn’t matter, or God’s just going to somehow overlook their sin.

But Isaiah warned God’s people long ago in Isaiah 59:1-2 about how sin does in fact affect our relationship with God. Here’s what he says: “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your god; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.”

You see, it was the sin that caused Israel to be separated from God, the sin in their hearts and in their lives. I want you to read with me 2 Corinthians chapter 6, beginning in verse 14, because we see the same problem began to occur in the church at Corinth. These were folks that had come out of idolatry, but seemingly were turning away from God and were leaving Christ, and there were at least some that were in danger of losing their souls because they were refusing to remain separate from sin.

In 2 Corinthians 6:14, here the apostle Paul tells us, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? What communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said, I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”

Let me pause here for just a moment, because I want you to see how big a lie it is that Satan is telling us that we can go on sinning and think that we can maintain our fellowship with God.

This is what the apostle Paul went on to say in verse 17: “Therefore, Come out from among them, and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”

So again, here we see that if we will strive to maintain a sinless life, if we’ll come out of the sin that’s in our life and stay away from the world and continue with the Lord, then we’ll have that fellowship, we’ll have that relationship, as God our Father, we, his children, his sons and his daughters.

Finally, Paul writes here in 2 Corinthians 7:1, “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

Yes, it’s our responsibility as Christians to keep striving to perfect holiness, to be holy, to be separate, to be sinless like our Father, our God, who is light.

Now, there’s another lie that sometimes Christians are saying to themselves and are being promoted by the church.

Look in 1 John 1:8. Here it says, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

Some think that they’re above sin, that it never shows up in their life, that sin does not affect the life of Christians. And they’ve closed their eyes to any and every sin that they have. Don’t be deceived, thinking that just because you’re a Christian, you’re not going to have to deal with sin, that you don’t have sin in your life.

In 1 Kings 8:46, we have this message about sin that reminds us the problem that it is even for God’s people at times.

1 Kings 8:46, where it says, “When they sin against You” (for there is no one who does not sin).

Now, that’s what the scripture plainly says. That means me and that means you. There’s no one who does not sin.

Look at Job 15:14. He says, “What is man, that he could be pure? And he who is born of a woman, that he could be righteous?”

That’s not who we are. We are in fact sinners. And until we recognize that, we’re deceiving ourselves.

Another passage from the old scriptures, in Proverbs 20:9, “Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?”

The point is that none of us can really say that. We know that our hearts are not pure. We know that our life is not free of sin. It’s only Jesus Christ that lived the perfect life that can provide that cleansing for us.

In Ecclesiastes 7:20, notice here what the wise man said, again, long ago in the Old Testament scriptures: “For there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin.”

And finally, in the New Testament, in James 3:2, “For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.”

Yes, we don’t just sin every once in a while; we stumble and we mess up in our weakness, in our ignorance, and many times we sin. We stumble in many things, he says. Particularly he reminds us of the tongue. And the tongue’s in a slippery place, and it often gets us into trouble. So don’t be deceived, and don’t believe that lie that sin has no effect on us as Christians. It does. But then let’s notice something else, another lie of Satan that sometimes we as Christians begin to believe or that we promote in our teaching and our preaching.

In 1 John chapter 1, look with me at verse 10. “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”

These folks were saying they never had sinned. It’s not that they don’t sin as Christians, but he’s saying here they never have sinned. They’re saying that sin never has affected them. Now, I’ve only run into one person who insisted that they’d never committed even one sin. Usually when I’m trying to speak to people about Jesus Christ to help them to see that they’re sinners in need of a savior. And though most of us readily recognize that we fall short of the glory of God, that we’re sinners, there are some who refuse to admit it, who will not acknowledge it. There are many who do not want to think of themselves as sinners, and are quick to dismiss sin in their lives. But I want you to read with me Romans the 3rd chapter beginning in verse 9, where really in these first three chapters of Romans the apostle Paul indicts the whole world because of their sin: The Jews, God’s people under the old law, the physical nation of Israel, and the Gentiles, all the peoples of the other nations.

And he brings this together in Romans 3:9 when he says, “What then? Are we better than they? The Jews better than the Gentiles? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin. As it is written: There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one. Their throat is an open tomb; with their tongues they have practiced deceit. The poison of asps is under their lips; whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

Isn’t it true as we look around us today, as we look out in this world, and even when we look at ourselves in the mirror, we see that we are indeed sinners in need of a savior, that sin has affected every one of us.

Paul concludes in verse 23 of Romans 3, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Yes, all of us have sinned in the past, and we presently fall short of the glory of God. Whoever we are, sin has affected us. Let’s not believe those lies that say we can go on sinning and it will not affect our relationship with God, or that we as Christians don’t have sin anymore, or that we have never, ever sinned. No, let’s realize that every one of us has sinned, and we do sin, and that will affect our relationship with God, and we need a savior.

Now, that brings me to this point today, and that’s the cleansing of Christians from sin. You see, we do have a savior in Jesus Christ, our cleansing has been provided from sin, our cleansing from sin has been provided by Jesus Christ. And this is something that John emphasizes throughout this first chapter and throughout the letter of 1 John.

Look with me in 1 John 1:7. “Here he says, 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.”

In verse 9 he says, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. You see, we cannot rely upon anyone or anything else to provide the cleansing of our sins, including our own good works; but it’s only the blood of Jesus that can pay the price for our sins.”

In verse 7, “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

In verse 9, “He is faithful and just to forgive us, to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

And notice chapter 2 of 1 John. “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.”

He’s the propitiation, he’s that atoning sacrifice. Only the blood of Jesus can pay the price for our sins.

In him, Paul said in Ephesians 1:7, “in Christ we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His grace.”

In Romans the 3rd chapter, I want us to go back there again. After Paul had indicted the entire world and every one of us as sinners, he then says in verse 24 of Romans 3, “Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”

You see, there is our redemption. There the purchase price for our sin, for our souls, our sin-sick souls has been paid by the blood of Jesus Christ. And you see this throughout the scriptures.

For example, in Hebrews 2:9, we see he tasted of death for every man. So I want you to see that it’s only the blood of Jesus Christ that can pay for our sins and provide that cleansing. But let’s also notice that our cleansing from sin is conditioned upon a penitent confession of those sins.

Go back with me to 1 John chapter 1, and notice verse 7 again. It says, “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.”

Yes, you see, we must walk in the light.

And you’ll notice in verse 9 of this same chapter, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

What does it mean to walk in light, to confess our sins?

You see, to walk in the light, we’ve got to step out of the darkness of sin into the light of God.

To confess literally means to say the same thing; that is, to agree with God about our sin. It is not only a humble acknowledgment that what we did was wrong and that we deserve to be separated from God, but it is also a decision to turn from our sin, trusting that God is able to forgive us and to cleanse us by the blood of Jesus and restore our relationship with him.

In Psalm 32:5, listen to these words of David. “I acknowledge my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, I will confess my transgressions to the Lord, and You forgave the iniquity of my sin.”

Yes, David, when he came to realize what he had done, and when he was ready to acknowledge it, he made that decision to turn to God for forgiveness.

You can read about this in Psalm 51. This great chapter in the Psalms written by King David was written upon the occasion of his sin with Bathsheba. He had taken another man’s wife and committed adultery. He had her husband killed. He tried to cover up his sin for some time. But it wasn’t until he finally turned to God in penitent confession that he found cleansing. Let me read some of the verses from this chapter for you this morning.

In Psalm 51, he begins, “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight – that You may be found just when You speak, and blameless when You judge.”

A little bit later on down in this chapter, I want you to hear what he said here in verse 16, “For you do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart, these, O God, You will not despise.”

Yes, it’s not until we acknowledge with true penitence in our heart the awfulness of our sin and make that decision to turn to God that we can be cleansed and forgiven.

Proverbs 28:13 says, “He who covers his sins will not prosper; but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.”
v I want you to remember this morning the tremendous love that God has for you that he demonstrated at Calvary’s cross for you by providing our redemption through the blood of Jesus Christ. But I also want you to come to him in his appointed way, that you might know that cleansing.

It begins with a confession of your faith that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and a decision to turn away from sin, and then that act of faith, giving yourself to him in the waters of baptism.

The scripture says, “Arise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”

Having become a Christian, however, do not be deceived that sin will not affect your relationship with God. You cannot go on in your sin and think that it will not affect your relationship with God. You must continue to walk in the light, and you must confess your sins before God. You must acknowledge them with broken heart and a determination to live for him. And you can be assured as his child that he hears you and that he cleanses you and that he’ll keep you for eternal life.

Do you have that assurance in Jesus Christ today?

Do you need to come to Jesus Christ?

Do you need to talk to God today so you can get right with him?

Do you need our prayers?

Will you let us know here at The Truth In Love how we can help you towards heaven today?

SINGING>> Peace, perfect peace in this dark world of sin.
The blood of Jesus whispers peace within.
Peace, perfect peace, by thronging duties pressed.
To do the will of Jesus, this is best.
Peace, perfect peace, our future all unknown.
Jesus, we know that he is on the throne.
It is enough.
Earth’s struggles soon shall cease,
and Jesus calls us to heaven’s perfect peace.

SINGING>> I heard an old, old story, how a savior came from glory,
how he gave his life on Calvary to save a wretch like me.
I heard about his groaning, of his precious blood’s atoning,
and I repented of my sins and won the victory.
Oh, victory in Jesus, my savior forever.
He sought me and bought me with his redeeming blood.
He loved me ‘ere I knew him, and all my love is due him.
He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood.
I heard about a mansion he has built for me in glory,
and I heard about the streets of gold beyond the crystal sea,
about the angels singing and the old redemption to story,
and some sweet day I’ll sing up there the song of victory.
Oh, victory in Jesus, my savior forever.
He sought me and bought me with his redeeming blood.
He loved me ‘ere I knew him, and all my love is due him.
He plunged me to victory, beneath the cleansing flood.

ROBERT >> I want to thank you so much for watching our program today. And we’d love to hear from you, so let me encourage you to contact us with your questions, your comments, or requests at The Truth In Love, P.O. Box 865, Hurst, Texas 76053.

You may e-mail us at requests@ttil.tv.

Or call our toll-free number, 800-819-2966.

And also, please visit our web site at www.ttil.tv. Remember that all of our materials and services are absolutely free of charge. We just want to do what we can to help us all towards heaven. So let us know how we can help you, and please join us next time right here on The Truth In Love.

SINGING>> Sing to me of heaven, sing that song of peace.
From the toils that bind me it will bring release.
Burdens will be lifted that are pressing so,
showers of great blessing o’er my heart will flow.
Sing to me of heaven,
let me fondly dream of its golden glory,
of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall,
sing to me of heaven,
sing the sweetest song of all.
Sing to me of heaven tenderly and low
till the shadows o’er me rise and swiftly go.
When my heart is weary, when the day is long,
sing to me of heaven, sing that old, sweet song.
Sing to me of heaven,
let me fondly dream of its golden glory,
of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall,
sing to me of heaven,
sing the sweetest song of all.

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