by Dr. George Jacob
"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," 1 John 1:8-9. In me, this fallen creature, this sinner who has nothing but wounds, bruises and putrefying sores, the mystery of God is "Christ in you, the hope of glory." This is where perfection is. In Colossians 1:27 the Apostle Paul wrote: "To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." in verse 28: "Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus." All faithful preaching must warn everyone of the sin that dwells within them. We must be make knowledgeable of that human nature, that old man of sin that needs the cross every day and be crucified. How do I teach "in all wisdom"? The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. All faithful teaching begins in teaching the character and true nature of sin. The fear of the Lord is to hate evil, so if I am going to teach every man in all wisdom, I must teach them the fear of the Lord "that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus." The perfection is in Christ Jesus. The Apostle John says, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." The root of our imperfections lay in the corruptions of the heart as we see in Jeremiah 17:9-10: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings." As we look back to what the Lord has led us through in our lives, we start to understand what it means "to give every man according to his ways." This means in this lifetime as well as in eternity. I want to give you two illustrations. The first is Jacob. He deceived his old father, he lied, he supplanted his brother, and the Lord rewarded him according to his ways. Jacob went to Padan-aram, and he was deceived 10 times. When he passed Penuel, he confessed that he was a traitor, a trickster, a liar and a cheat. On his deathbed he realized that Joseph was yet alive. For 20 years his children lied to him and deceived him with the coat of their brother as he deceived his father with the coat of his brother. See how precisely the Lord rewarded him according to his doings. We see the same thing with David. David committed adultery and murder. The Lord said that the sword would not depart from his house. It began with his own son forcing his sister to have sex with him, and his son Absalom killing his brother. With his own children, the Lord rewarded him for murder and adultery. It concluded with Absalom forcing David off the throne and attempting to take his life. In the end, David would cry, "Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee" (2 Samuel 18:33). David said this because he saw that this was the fruit of his sin. The Lord knows our hearts. He searches our hearts. I could tell you about instances in my own life where the Lord has given me according to my ways. Can we confess our sins? If we say we have no sins, we deceive ourselves. If we confess, the Lord will forgive. Why are the failings, falls and grievous sins of God's dear saints like Noah, Lot, Abraham, Moses, David and Solomon recorded in Holy Writ? We see the answer in 1 Corinthians 1:29-31: "That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord." It is of God that we are in Christ. It is of the work of regeneration in our souls by the Holy Spirit. For those who think they can obtain perfection in the flesh, our text says, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us."
See Also: Confession - 1st Sermon | Confession - 2nd Sermon | Confession - 3rd Sermon | Confession - 4th Sermon
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