Priceless Privileges and Possessions of the
Believer In Christ-2
Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.
Sermon Delivered 4/18/04
Part 2, I John 1:1-10b
This our fourth message as we study through the little epistle of 1 John. In our last message we began looking at the priceless privileges and possessions that the believer has in Christ. In our previous message we saw what a believer has in Christ is…
A Sure and Certain Knowledge (1:1-2) – By that I mean that you know Christ is real because John is sharing eye witness accounts of hearing, seeing and touching Jesus Christ in both his mortal and immortal body. Further, believers have a sure and certain knowledge of Eternal Life. Next we sat that the believer has…
A Sweet Satisfying Fellowship (3), and that fellowship is with God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ and other believers.
Let’s look at today’s priceless privileges and possessions that believers have --
Let’s focus in on
"And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full." 1 John 1:4
The word joy is a translation of the Greek word cara -chara which expresses the idea calm joy and rejoicing. Next we come the word full which is the Greek word peplhrwmenh - peplaromena (pa-pla-romen-a) which means to fill to the brim. The world may know joy, however, the world’s joy is never full. The world’s joy is never satisfied. But, the joy of the believer who is living in fellowship with God is full and overflowing. Real joy is to be found in the Savior. Isaiah 12:3 "Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation." There is great joy knowing that your sins are forgiven and you Salvation is secure. We get a glimpse of this aspect of spiritual joy when we read Isaiah 61:10 "I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels."
There is more! Turn in your Bibles to Jeremiah 15:16 "Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts." Fullness of joy that comes through the Word of God. The Word gives light for life and living (Psa. 119:105). You can build your life on it with surety because it lasts forever (1 Peter 1:25).
"This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:" 1 John 1:5-6
The forth priceless privilege and possession of the believer is a splendid message – "…God is light, and in him is no darkness at all."
Let’s begin by considering the word light (fwv-phos). Light, in the Scriptures, is the symbol of truth, purity, knowledge, prosperity, and happiness. Darkness is just the opposite – sin, impurity, ignorance, poverty, and misery. John here says that "God is light." In the Greek the sentencs construction is, not the light, or a light, but light itself; that is, God is himself all light, and is the source and fountain of light in all worlds. Further, He has all knowledge, with no admixture of ignorance on any subject. He is infinitely happy, with nothing to make him miserable. He is infinitely true, never stating or countenancing error; He is blessed in all his ways, never knowing the darkness of disappointment and adversity. In verse 6 light illustrates that God is perfectly pure, without any admixture of sin. He is perfect holiness, perfect truth, and perfect love. Next we come to the phrase "in him is no darkness at all." That means there in not the smallest trace of sin in God. There is not a tiniest spot of moral imperfection in God. There is not even the slightest trace of falsehood in God. There is not the faintest shadow of selfishness in God for He "is light, and in him is no darkness at all." This is a splendid message! I don’t know if Christians today really appreciate this but those who read this little letter in the day that it was written could. Here’s why. The Greek and Roman gods and goddesses that were worshipped in that day were divisive, deceitful, depraved and egotistical. Praise the Lord our God is not like that! He can be trusted. "…He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake." Psalms 23:3
"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another…" 1 John 1:7
Before a person trusts Christ as his/her personal Savior, it is not possible to "walk in the light." However, when you trust Christ as your personal Savior the Lord gives you the desire and power to live a life that pleases Him (Philippians 2:13). Turn to John 8:12 "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." In fact, since God is light and does not walk in darkness, we cannot walk in darkness and have fellowship with God. This is confirmed in Amos 3:3 "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" This is a rhetorical question, meaning that the answer is understood. Since God is light, there can be no fellowship with Him on our part if we walk in darkness. To walk in darkness is to walk in sin and disobedience to the will of God. Any person who is holding on to that which he knows is sin, is walking in darkness, and that person does NOT have fellowship with God. It is a priceless privilege to be able to walk in the light and have fellowship with God.
"…the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 8 If we say that 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 that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us." 1 John 1:7-10
This passage reveals we see how Christians try to cover their sins. How do they cover them? By lying. First, they tell lies to others. To see this we must take a quick look at verse 6 "If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth." We want our Christian friends to think that we are "spiritual" so we lie about our lives so they will look at us in a good light. As one commentator says, "We want them to think that we are walking in the light, though in reality we are walking in the darkness." Second, Once someone begins to lie to others, he will sooner or later lie to himself. 1 John 1:8 deals with this. The problem now is not deceiving others, but deceiving ourselves. One preacher put it this way – "It is possible for a believer to live in sin yet convince himself that everything is fine in his relationship to the Lord."
The classic example of this is King David (2 Samuel 11-12). It all started when David lusted after Bathsheba. Next, he committed adultery with her. Then, instead of openly admitting what he had done, he tried to cover his sin. He tried to deceive Bathsheba’s husband, made him drunk, and had him killed. He lied to himself and tried to carry on his royal duties in the usual way. When his court chaplain, the Prophet Nathan, confronted him with a similar hypothetical situation, David condemned the other man, though he felt no condemnation at all for himself. The point is this. Once we begin to lie to others, it often is not be long before we actually believe our lie. But it does not end there. The next step is trying to lie to God (see 1 John 1:10). Once we make ourselves liars, next we drag God in to it and try to make Him a liar! We contradict His Word, which says, "all have sinned," and we maintain that we are exceptions to the rule. We apply God’s Word to others but not to ourselves. We sit through church services or Bible studies and are not touched by the Bible’s teachings. Believers who have reached this low level are usually highly critical of other Christians, but they resist applying the Word to their own lives.
So what should you do if you find yourself in this position? We must be honest with ourselves, honest with others, and honest with God and apply 1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Therefore, don’t cover your sins, but confess them and walk in the light and your sins are washed away and kept away.
Finally let me review the priceless privileges and possessions the believer has in Christ. We have…