What Is The Problem?

This morning I approach our time together with great humility because of our subject matter.  This morning I want to consider the Apostle John’s words in I John 1:8, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”  Here in the text before us John reminds us of our humanity.  The fact is everyone is included in I John 1:8.  Every person who is born is born with a sin nature that evidences itself by sinning.

However, most people try to side-step the sin problem.  This begins early in life as children have within them a sin nature that from the earliest stages of life denies their problem.  For example, “When you give your child a direct command to clean up his or her room.”  The child leaves your presence and thirty minutes later you walk into their room and discover he or she has not even started cleaning their room.  You ask, “Why have you not cleaned your room?”  The response, “I don’t know.”  You probe even deeper, “Did you not hear what I told you to do?”  Finally an honest response, “Yes.”  You quickly move to seize the moment with what should be the revealing question, “Then why didn’t you obey what you heard?”  And even quicker response comes back from the child, “I don’t know.”

Brothers and sisters, unless a child is forced to deal with his or her sin, the problem will continue in adulthood. For example, “A man chooses to disobey God’s direct command to be faithful to his wife.”  A dear friend confronts him with his sin by asking, “Why are being unfaithful to your wife?”  He responds, “I didn’t intend to, it just happened.”  Notice, the adult has a little more content in his response, but the problem is the same.  He is unwilling to admit his sin.

Question, “How many of us are guilty of the same problem?”  Brothers and sisters, John is clear in his writing, “If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth,” 1:7.  The key to overcoming this problem is by “Practicing the truth!”

How does one practice the truth?  The process begins with “Confession of sin.”  “If we confess our sins.”  This confession must first be to God who, “is faithful and just to forgive our sins and the cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Next we need to confess to the people around us.  We admit our sinfulness and we confess our repentance through baptism which tells the world we are beginning a new life in Christ.  This process is completed by daily practicing truth.

This last part is crucial.  You and I will not be perfect.  However when we practice truth our days are filled with healthy confession and healthy clinging to the truth of God’s word that daily changes our lives.  Yes, I can have fellowship with God if, “I walk in the light as he is in the light.”  

Now that we know what the problem is, I pray we choose to accept the solution to the problem!

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