Love Has Won, Not Sinning

. 5 min read

Apr 2018, Christ Mountain Top
to Worship, Psalm 22:25-31
Acts 8.26-40
1 John 2.15-17, 3.4-15, 5.16-21
·       1
John 1:8
 If we say that we
have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
·       1
John 3:6
 no one who sins has
either seen him or known him.
·       1
John 3:8
 Everyone who commits
sin is a child of the devil
survey 2 weeks back – you all raised your hands to say you were sinners … Just
the reading in 1 John 3, one commentator writes, “Perhaps the preacher should
take a hint form the Lectionary and take a vacation from this text” (D. Moody
Smith, cited by Black, 415).
the reading in 1 John 5, on “mortal sin”, which doesn’t show up in the
lectionary either.
·       Thanks
John for nothing. Mortal, venial, 7 deadly sins
·       Doesn’t
name one!
·       Only
lists one command, a two-parter, love brother and sister and believe in Christ
Jesus (1 John 3.23)
·       Murder,
to hate brother or sister
·       Lie,
to say we have not sinned.
this cognitive dissonance:
·       Contradictory
is not the same thing as contradicting himself. “But yesterday, you said…”
“Today ain’t yesterday.”
·       No
attempt to systematize. Both the problem and the fun of the Bible.
·       Listening
in on half a conversation
I was traveling back to my hometown and, responding to Mother Nature, decided
to stop at one of those rest areas on the side of the road.
went into the washroom. The first stall was taken, so I went into the second
stall. I had just sat down when I heard a voice from the other stall.
there, how is it going?”
am not the type to strike up conversations with strangers while sitting on the
john in restrooms on the side of the road. I didn’t know what to do, but
finally I said, “Not bad.”
the voice said, “So, what are you doing?”
this point, I was starting to find the situation a bit weird, but I said,
“Well, I’m headed back east.”
I heard the person, all flustered, say, “Look, I’ll call you back. Every time I
ask you a question, the idiot in the next stall keeps answering me!!!”

look at sin in 1 John was focused around confession and forgiveness. Own your
stuff, bring it to God. AND, extend the same gift to your sisters and brothers.
Forgive them too. Take sin seriously. Confess. Forgive.
      Whatever else is going on in this section,
John is pretty straightforward. God’s people aren’t sinning people. That’s not
what we do. That’s not who we are. Take sin seriously. Stop it. Change.
Caleb and the bike helmet. We’re just a couple of overbearing uncool parents
who have friends who would be dead except for the fact that they were wearing
their helmets. No question here. If you’re a Bohanan and you ride a bike, you
wear a helmet. And, by the way kid, John tells us “all wrongdoing is sin.” So
let’s not minimize this. As the people of God, we don’t sin.
      But in a culture where we have no fault
car accidents & no fault divorce (Black, 415), we minimize sin ALL the
time. “I’m okay, you’re okay” is just not adequate (444). Our baptismal vows:
“resist evil, injustice, and oppression in
whatever forms they present themselves.”
examples (see 444)
·       Disobedience
and disrespect to parents constitutes a capital offense
·       Psalms
rejoice at God coming to judge the Earth, because that is also our salvation
·       Ananias
and Sapphira lie and die
·       Examine
yourself before coming to the table
STORY: series
of messages on sin: gossip, woman dies
people aren’t sinning people. That’s not what we do. That’s not who we are.
Take sin seriously. Our struggle with this:
·       Hypocrisy
·       Privilege:
certain categories, don’t drink, smoke or chew… Public Lifestyle Sins. But
private sins are no big deal – the angry retort with the people who love us
most, a little porn
·       Jesus
– seems as contradictory as John sometimes. “Judge not, so that you will not be
judged” (Matthew 7.1). “For judgment I have come into this world” (John 9.39).
“Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again” (John 8.11).
·       Paul
– “accept one another just as Christ Jesus has accepted you” (Romans 15.7,
NIV). “Hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that
his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 5.5).
Otterbein, communion tokens
people aren’t sinning people. That’s not what we do. That’s not who we are.
Take sin seriously.
      Too easily, this message becomes: “Take
sin seriously. Feel guilty. Feel worse about yourself. Work harder, but you’ll
fail more.” OR, “We have met the enemy and he is us” (420). That is not John’s
intent. Instead, he makes clear three truths that give us hope in our struggle
with sin:
born of God, born again, or born from above (415).
John 5:18
 We know that those
who are born of God do not sin, but the one who was born of God protects them,
and the evil one does not touch them.
is not our own power, our own goodness, that sets us free from sin. It is the
life of God born in us. Only God is holy, and God is in us.
born of God is just the beginning of growing up (416).
John 3:2
 Beloved, we are God’s
children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed.
that old conversation of what forms us – nature or nurture – the answer to our transformation
is BOTH. We are, here and now, children of God and dearly beloved. AND, we are
growing toward what we will be, a beautiful and glorious gift we cannot even
engine that drives this change is LOVE.
John 2:15
 Do not love the world
or the things in the world. The love of the Father is not in those who love the
Meye Thompson, 1-3 John, IVP NT
Commentary Series
Clifton Black, First, Second, and Third
Letters of John, The New Interpreter’s Bible, Vol XII