Read — 1 John 1:8-10
Message Alan Burke
Some years ago now I remember sitting in a morning midweek having a wee cuppa with some of the older members of the congregation. I had joined them because one of the ladies arrived down to tell me that today wasn’t pavlova or a myriad of different traybakes, today they had home made sausage rolls. The minister I worked with at the time lead us in prayer and took us though a passage, asking questions along the way. I can’t remember how it came up but in conversation I had called myself a sinner and said that they were sinners too. For most of those gathered I had said nothing wrong, but for one lady it was is I had thrown what was left of my cold cup of tea in her face, the rage, it was something akin to the transformation that happened to Dr. Bruce Banner in the incredible Hulk.
I want you to know as you read this that you are a sinner just as I am, and if you don’t like it, you don’t believe it, then you are deceiving yourself and the truth is not in you (8, Rom 3:23). But here is the paradox, if you admit it, face up to the reality that you are a sinner, if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Rom 10:9). If we do this then we will be saved, that sin no longer stands against us, it has been dealt with. If we confess our sin, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from unrighteousness (9).
Here’s the but, but if we fail to see that we are sinners, if we deny that we are sinful and deny our sin, then we deny the ability of Christ to save us. For it is only those who are sinners need a saviour. For those who persist in saying that they have not sinned, that they are not sinners, then the word of God is not in them (10). Sadly there are many even in the church today that say that they are not sinners, that they are not sinful, their attitude their behaviour and it is especially seen when it comes to sexual ethics. And if you think that this problem is just out there, its not in here lets not kid ourselves, sadly this attitude infects the church too, we no longer call sin sin, adultery has become an affair, we don’t steal copyrighted material we just stream it, selfishness is seen as standing up for my rights, and then there is greed, jealously, envy, malice, bitterness, how we can be critical of other believers and show such little forgiveness towards our brothers and sisters the last thing we want to admit is that our attitudes are sinful and that we are sinful.
What we need to remember is that although we are sinners, God in his grace forgives sins, let our old self be crucified with Christ, let us turn from sin and live in that resurrected life, so that we become more like the God whose fellowship we are learning to daily enjoy. Let us live in the light (5,7), live in this way just as Jesus told us to as disciples.
What is the reason annexed to the fifth commandment?
The reason annexed to the fifth commandment, is a promise of long life and prosperity (as far as it shall serve for God’ s glory and their own good) to all such as keep this commandment. (Deut. 5:16, Eph. 6:2–3)
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