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825. God’s Gracious Response to Christians Who Sin

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University
The Truth Network Radio
September 25, 2020 9:43 pm

825. God’s Gracious Response to Christians Who Sin

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University

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Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina today speaker is Dr. Steve Pettit, who served as an evangelist for over 29 years before becoming president of Bob Jones University.

Would you please take your Bibles this morning and turn with me to the epistle of John first John chapter 1 this morning and will read scripture here momentarily given the just natural weaknesses of our own human heart. What I'd like to do is spend some time speaking this morning about God's gracious response towards us as Christians who sin that like to avoid two extremes. Number one, the first extreme is that nobody is right with God and nobodies walking with the Lord in the second extreme is everybody's right with God and everybody's walking with. I think we all can say this morning that neither one of those things are accurate but not really true, but what I know is true that if we do sin as a Christian that God's grace is available for all who are willing to confess their sins.

So let's begin reading this morning and first John, where John unfolds God's gracious nature as the grounds for our confession of sin. First John chapter 1 verse five. This then is the message which we have heard of him and declare to you that God is light and in him is no darkness at all.

If we say that we have fellowship with him and walk in darkness, we lie and do not the truth. But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ his son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sin, we make him a liar and his word is not in us.

My little children, these things I write unto you, that you send not, and if any man sin, we have an advocate with the father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and he is the propitiation for our sins and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

John is telling us this morning that when we sin that there is actually grace that is available for our sin, and the truth is that we are in constant need of availing ourselves to that grace. Why, because of our own sin. So there are two simple thoughts. I want to share with you this morning as we look at this passage of Scripture. First of all want you to notice God's gracious provision for our sins, he says in chapter 2 in verse one my little children, I'm writing these things to you that you don't sin that can you imagine John writing something like this.

I'm writing to you that you just sent a little bit not too much.

God's goal for all of us is that we don't sin that we walk in the light, and John does not make the room and he does not give place for our ever accepting the sins that are in our lives. God doesn't accept sin. God deals with sin, but is clear. He says if you do sin, then God is gracious and he is provided for our sin and what is that provision. What is he say if anybody sins, we have something we have an ad for kit with the father. So what does that mean advocate well. The dictionary says that an advocate is somebody who publicly supports or recommends a particular calls or a particular policy so we talk about an advocate for clean-air or political advocates or advocates for better education.

But that's not what this word means the biblical meaning is very different because it refers to somebody who comes alongside of you to help you or to assist you. For example, a lawyer is often called an advocate who comes to help us in a legal matter that we make fun of lawyers.

In some cases, rightfully so, we tell jokes about them like the story of a little girl who visited the grave of her grandmother on their way out of the cemetery going back to the current car.

The little girl asked mommy do they ever bury two people in the same grave. Of course not. Dear the mother replies. Why would you think that well the tombstone back there said here lies a lawyer and an honest man. Well, we make fun of lawyers, but you don't have learned I learned that you're really glad you have a lawyer when you need one. And John says don't sin.

But if you do sin, you have a lawyer you have somebody who will come alongside of you to help you when you break God's laws. Melamine issue question. Do you know anybody that can come alongside of you to help you when you sin. Let me ask you this. Can you be your own helper. Do you have the power to wash away your own sin and guilt. Do you have the power to overcome your own sin. One of the greatest Christians that ever live. The apostle Paul made it very clear that he did not have the power to help himself with regards to his sin.

He says I do not understand my own actions, he says, for I do not do what I want to do, but I do the very things that I hate to ask you did you do anything over this past Christmas that you feel really bad about you hated it.

He goes on to say, for I know that nothing good dwells in me that is in my flesh, for I have the desire to do what is right, but the ability to carry it out, is the problem. Can you bear you can you be your own helper:*and another sinner come alongside of you and be your helper over your sin can they wash away your sin, can they give you power on the consistent teachings throughout the entire Bible is that anything that is unclean makes anything that is clean, unclean when it touches it, so can a sinner make another sinner claimed the answer is no, then who can help us and what is John's answer. There is only one help and that is Jesus Christ the righteous.

He is expressing why Jesus is the one who can help us.

Why does John calling the righteous because he is perfectly qualified to help us with our sin. Why, because he is qualified himself by his life. If you hire a lawyer. You won't want is not only qualified but you would prefer the best in the business will with regarding our sin, we have the best in the business for Jesus is perfectly qualified to help us with our sin, because he lived perfectly without sin. Not only that, but when Jesus was accused and charged with sin and was publicly executed on the cross as a criminal what God do what it God do to show that Jesus was righteous. He vindicated Jesus by raising him from the dead man Judge Jesus is a sinner and killed them. But God judge Jesus is righteous, and raised so Jesus Christ is our helper to whom are you going to go to to overcome sin and guilt. There is only one helper and that is our advocate, Jesus Christ. So how does he help us well what is John say he explains that he says he is the propitiation for our sins.

What is propitiation mean it's not a word that we normally use in conversation but it's a biblical term. Why think the best way to explain propitiation is to go back and look at an Old Testament illustration.

Maybe one that you're very familiar with and that illustration actually has to do with the way God dealt with sin with the Jewish people, and in order for the Jewish people to have a right relationship with God.

God prescribed away in which he was to be worshiped in the way sins are forgiven.

Now this included a variety of different elements that had to come together before relationship with God could take place. For example, these elements included a prescribed high priest who would act as a mediator between God and the people then there was a prescribed location where God was to be worshiped, and specifically it was a room called the holy of holies, where the high priest would enter into once a year and then there was a prescribed innocent sacrifice, who was killed. His blood was put into a bowl and then that blood had to be taken into that room. The holy of holies and that blood had to be sprinkled on top of a prescribed slab of gold called the mercy seat and when that blood was sprinkled two things happen one the sins of the people at that moment were forgiven, and all of their guilt was removed that action of sprinkling the blood and the removal of the sin is what propitiation me, it means that we have in Jesus Christ, the forgiveness of sin because of his sprinkled blood within the second action that took place is that God at that moment would meet with the Jewish people because we read in Exodus 25 and you shall put the mercy seat on the top of the ark, and there God says will meet with you from above the mercy seat so God manifested his presence and gave the Jewish people relationship because of that propitiation. Because of that sprinkled blood. So in the Old Testament. All these elements had to come together in one place. In order for the people to have a relationship with God. But what about the new test will here's the awesome thing that in the New Testament, all of these prescribed elements all came together, not in one place, but in one person and who is that person, Jesus Christ the righteous.

Jesus is our high priest. He intercedes for us. Jesus is our sacrifice whose blood was shed for us and Jesus is our mercy seat because that's where God meets with us. We read in Hebrews 217 therefore he had to be made like his brother. Speaking of Jesus in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. John said it this way in first John 17 the blood of Jesus his son cleanses us from all sin. So what is John saying John is saying that we have a propitiation so when you as a Christian sin. What do you do you need to believe that God has graciously provided for you a propitiation for your sins. And here's the most wonderful thing he wants to help you. He wants to cleanse you. He wants to restore you and not just you but anyone in everyone. For he is the propitiation for the whole world is that a wonderful thing here we are with hundreds of people sitting here in all of us have our own set of issues. All of us have our own sins. All of us have our own ups and downs in our failures and there is one who in him all of us can come to and through him, and by him God will forgive us of our sins and restores God's gracious provision for sin is found in Jesus Christ. That's what he's done for us in the past but let's go for it and ask what will he do in the present, how will he do it for me right now. Right now, and that leads me to the second point, and that is that we have not only God's gracious provision, but we have God's gracious promise. God is going to tell us what he's going to do and look at first John chapter 1 verse nine he says if we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

This is a promise. But notice two things. Number one. This promise is conditional. What's the first word in verse nine what is said say again, if that is the only place he says if no, go back and look at verse six was the first worded word in verse six he says what Google talk to me says what if we were 70 says, but what if whatever Sadie says if verse nine he says, verse 10 he says if what's he saying he saying is if he got was, I mean it means is conditional.

In other words you have to do something and what is that that is what we have to confess our sins. So what is it mean to confess your sin will let me first of all, be very clear that you have to confess your sins. Now the reason I say that is sometimes is actually questioned by people number of years ago, a professor and a Bible college that I was affiliated with began to teach the Christian did not need to confess his sins because he was Artie forgiven. His logic was that if you stand is righteous is Jesus justified them why you need to confess sin because God doesn't see our sin, he only sees Christ's righteousness by the way, that's true. However, there was a problem and that is, he didn't really give the full picture of salvation because not only are we justified but we have to be sanctified. Not only are we declared righteous in Christ. But we have to grow in that righteous, so whenever somebody would come and preach directly on sin. You can imagine his response and even his reaction, but the problem was that his teaching permeated the student body and that was especially true that summer in the camp where I was serving with some of the counselors were working and of course you can imagine you're having evangelist breach and they were struggling with the messages because the messages were dealing with sin and they had come to believe that you don't need to confess your sins and they told the campers also. That created a real problem. So let me be very clear. I didn't write it. God did. He said Christians need to confess their sins. So what is important to understand is that confession is not to regain your salvation is if you've lost it because of your sin, but rather it is to restore your fellowship with God because it was broken. When you sin, we have a perfect illustration of this Peter in the upper room with the disciples. What did Jesus do, he began to watch their feet. He came to Peter and Peter said you're never going to wash my feet and Jesus. It will if I don't want your feet you have any part with me the Peter Civil War not at my feet. Only then wash my hands and my head wash my whole body, and here's what Jesus said the one who is Bay does not need to wash, except his feet. Why, because in those days people would walk along the dusty roads and they would get dirty feet and they had to keep their feet clean and I believe it is a wonderful illustration of you and I didn't say we been washed. But we have to keep our feet clean confession is vital for your Christian walk. So what then do I confess will notice. John says John does not say that you need to confess what you're going to do. For example, he doesn't say if we confess what we are going to do now the reason I'm bringing up that up is because that's sort of a natural way for us to think if I do wrong. What's the first thing I'm going to think I would start doing right and the reason we do that is because we are incurably works oriented people.

It's our nature.

We have a fundamental flaw and are thinking that believes that God's favor must be earned.

I have to do something. The whole concept of grace is not what I do is what God does for me, so we either think I have to stop doing what I am doing what have to start doing what I'm not doing and in either case, it is a form of self-improvement which is actually a form of self-righteousness because in the end you get the glory for what you do with the blood of Jesus Christ does not bring you glory it brings God glory. How many of you have ever made a promise to God that you're not going to do something after you did it and you did it again. Oftentimes our confession is a workspace confession.

If we confess what were going to do.

That's not what he is saying he is saying you have to confess what you've done if we confess our sins, we have already sinned, so to confess means to say what you've done, and specifically it means to say what God says you've done. You didn't for you live. Okay, that's what God calls you didn't sleep around you committed adultery because the confession of sin of sin is clearly stating what God says in the Bible tells us what is sinful and by the way, when you are confessing what God says about sin that's really called godly sorrow, godly sorrow does not primarily focus on the consequences of what I've done. For example, I feel bad because I hurt people. I miss things work. People are disappointed with me. Or maybe I got called.

That's worldly sorrow, which is based on the consequences. Godly sorrow is actually based on the calls.

Why did you do what you do, it sees what you've done from God's perspective in essentially what is God see about sin. Every time we sin, we basically choose our will over God's we all know that even in the weakness is either I love me or I love God. When you said you love me or you.

Love you and when you obey God you choose to love him. He said that you love me, keep my commandments. And this is important because what we're doing and confession is not just confessing our actions, but is actually going to our heart, and I think that's what he means in verse eight, when he says if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves that were no sin is not referring to our actions is referring to our nature to referring to our heart when I confess with my mouth.

I'm saying something about my heart and I'm saying God I'm not just a sinner because of my actions, but God.

I'm confessing my need of you because of the nature of my own heart and the blood of Jesus cleanses your heart so the first thing he says about this promise is that it is conditional but the second thing he says about this promise is that it is certain what is he say if we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. The certainty of forgiveness is rooted in the nature of God, he is faithful God will never live.

He is totally trustworthy.

He is fully dependable. You can count on him.

If God says he's going to do it. He's going to do it but he is also just. That means he deals with sin in the right way. He's not going to overlook it. He's not going to hide it. He's not going to act as if it didn't happen. He's going to deal with it and how did he deal with it. He paid for with the life of his son any wash away with the blood of his son. God is justly dealt and paid for your sick your sin and the certainty that God will forgive you is not rooted in you being faithful are you doing what is right is rooted in the fact that God is faithful, and God does what is right and what will he do for us. He will forgive us our sin he will free us from our guilt because he will remove it. You know, sometimes it's good to reflect on your fat, your past failures because it keeps you humble and thankful. I think it's a dangerous thing to become introspective because when you become introspective is actually pretty self oriented and it really throws you into a workspace acceptance with God, and it kills your joy and it paralyzes your service.

You know the Lord want you to do. He wants you to look to the blood he wants you to look to him was thankful he will free you from guilt you need to be guilt free. That the semester you can be you have to confess your sin and then he says he will cleanse you from all unrighteousness.

The idea of cleansing is actually to restore you back in the place of fellowship with God, he will cleanse you a whole concept of cleansing was so that you could come in the presence of God in first John chapter 1, five, six, and 70s talking about walking in the light walking with God. And here's the point. The blood cleanses and it restores my fellowship with him and the restoration of that fellowship is also the restoration of power.

You and I don't have the power to live the Christian life. He has the power and the one way of access to the power is through the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us if we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanses a man went up to the temple to pray. Luke chapter 18. He was so ashamed he would lift up his head to God. He bowed his head in shame over the sins of the done and he beat his own chest know, sometimes personally, I feel like I need to beat my chest.

I'm ashamed of my thoughts, my responses but he prayed a prayer that we all need to pray is very simple, very short but very profound. He said God be merciful to me a sinner when he said God be merciful. It literally means God be a propitiation for me. We could say this way, God be my mercy seat. You know what, there is a mercy seat. And if you go to that mercy seat. There is blood and that blood will cleanse you and restore you back into fellowship with him. There is grace for our sin as we confess them to God. Would you bow your head with a place can origin this morning that sometime. Oh sometime soon quickly, which you run. Would you believe would you hostile to the mercy seat. Name your sin. Name your sin. God forgive me God I'm trusting in the in the propitiation of Jesus to wash me for my sins as we pray this morning how many of you would say with an uplifted hand. Dr. Pettit, there are sins that I need to bring to the mercy seat this morning.

How many of you will be humble enough to acknowledge that we do the slip it up all over the room. Today all over the we put your hands down. Father, we are humbled by our sin, but we are profoundly thankful for the blood of Jesus and thank you that if we confess our sins, that you are faithful and you are just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Help us to walk in the light as you are in the light.

In Jesus name, amen. To learn more about the impactful programs and ministries happening at Bob Jones University, visit the news website feature you Thank you for listening to The Daily Platform. Please come visit our beautiful campus in Greenville, South Carolina, and see how God is working in the lives of our students. For more information about Bob Jones University, visit or call 800-252-6363. We hope you'll join us again next week as we study God's word together on The Daily Platform

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