1 John 1:5-10 – 1 John 2:1-2
Sunday Morning – 17 Mar 2019 11:11:08 am – Pastor James Yang
If you can see sin in your heart, then your sin can be put away.
About three years ago, a sister came to me to have fellowship. She was having difficulties with her father as her father had not been supporting her with basic tuition fees for her university study at Macquarie University. She was so angry and apparently when she spoke with her father, he swore at her as he was having difficulties with his business. So in her heart, this murderous heart arose in her. As she spoke, I came to understand her heart a lot deeper.
This was a very critical point in her life for me to fellowship with her. I could agree with her and send her off. However, this would destroy her life further. So I showed her the Words from Matthew 7:
“And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
Matthew 7:3-5 NKJV
I explained to her that what she saw in her father was only a speck but in reality, she could not see the plank in her. I told her that had it not been for her father, she would never have been in Australia in the first place. As I spoke with her, she could see the grace she received from her father. Then her heart changed and she began to see herself.
When she returned to Korea, she united with her father – at heart – and she took a photo with him and sent it to me. I was so thankful for this change that came about in her. She was finally able to see her sin and in doing so, then it could be put away.
Consider the repentance of David:
“I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more! Why have you despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in His sight? You have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword; you have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the people of Ammon. Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ Thus says the LORD: ‘Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, before the sun.’ ” So David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die.”
II Samuel 12:8-13 NKJV
When David confessed that he has sinned before the Lord, Nathan the prophet said “The Lord also has put away your sin”.
Now let us compare the confession of Saul which is also similar.
“So Samuel said: “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king.””
I Samuel 15:22-23 NKJV
Saul was commanded by God to annihilate all the Amalekites – the cattle, the children, the people of Amalek. So Saul agreed and proceeded to destroy them. However, the people persuaded Saul to spare the best of the sheep and cattle. Saul agreed and he even spared Agag, the king of the Amalekites and spared all the best of the cattle and flock. As a result, Samuel reprimanded Saul. But what was the heart of Saul like?
“Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice.”
I Samuel 15:24 NKJV
If Saul ended, here it would be good. But Saul kept insisting on his heart. David stopped at ‘I have sinned against the Lord’. This is wrong repentance of Saul.
“Now therefore, please pardon my sin, and return with me, that I may worship the LORD.””
I Samuel 15:25 NKJV
Now this is something for God to do and not for Saul to say. Saul could not discern. He did not have a clear line in him and did not have clear repentance in him.
Nathan said to David that God had put away his sin. But Saul could not hear from the prophet. Verbally, he was telling them that he had sinned before God but in his heart, he could not see the sin in his heart.
If you can see sin in your heart, then your sin can be put away.
Knowing the bible with knowledge is useless as there is no guidance of the Holy Spirit. One has to attain salvation from the heart. In order to do so, one has to see the sin in one’s heart.
“But Samuel said to Saul, “I will not return with you, for you have rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD has rejected you from being king over Israel.” And as Samuel turned around to go away, Saul seized the edge of his robe, and it tore.”
I Samuel 15:26-27 NKJV
In Saul’s heart, he did not acknowledge his heart and himself. He was holding on to something. Even for brethren, if they cannot acknowledge their own sin, then they hold on to complaints and judgements and so on. Even though the come to church, this is what they do. Saul was in the state of this heart.
Let’s read further to delve into Saul’s heart.
“So Samuel said to him, “The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today, and has given it to a neighbor of yours, who is better than you. And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor relent. For He is not a man, that He should relent.” Then he said, “I have sinned; yet honor me now, please, before the elders of my people and before Israel, and return with me, that I may worship the LORD your God.” So Samuel turned back after Saul, and Saul worshiped the LORD.”
I Samuel 15:28-31 NKJV
Obviously, Samuel did not want to go with Saul. If you are not the sinner in the heart, you will always try to exalt yourself. Then you will feel sad and upset because you are not exalted in the heart. This is because you have not discovered yourself in the heart. Once you discover your true evil self full of sin, then you will naturally look to the Lord.
Now let’s see Psalms 51 – which was written by David expressing and acknowledging his sin. But for Saul, he could never write such this or testify of them because in his heart, he never truly acknowledged his sin.
David wrote Psalm 51 although he had just committed sinful things with Bathsheba. Are you able to write such a Psalm? It is much easier for one to write a song of praise when things have gone well – e.g. when one had won the war, or overcome suffering. But for David, he wrote a Psalm to praise God when he was in such a shameful state. In the book of Psalms 51, he met with the heart of God.
“Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me.”
Psalms 51:1-3 NKJV
When you look at the heart of David, his heart is expressed as in 1 John 8.
“If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.”
I John 1:6 NKJV
Truth and sin complement each other in that, when one sees oneself in sin, then one can come to meet the truth. You must be able to draw a very clear line about this in your heart and not only let it remain as theory.
Now, David confessed as below:
“Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight— That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge.”
Psalms 51:4 NKJV
According to the law of Moses, David had committed adultery and he has to die. However, David’s heart moved from the Old Testament to the New Testament.
“Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.”
Psalms 51:5 NKJV
David knew that he had no choice but because of sin, he had no choice but to do such things. For David, he knew that sin was ever present before him and so his heart was not drawn to deeds and works.
“Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.”
Psalms 51:12 NKJV
David was saved but still he committed sin. He was not able to discern in the beginning. This is why God sent Nathan the prophet to reprimand David and correct him.
Leaving God, despising God – this is sin.
Murder, theft and so on – yes are forms of sins but before God, these are merely symptoms of sin.
Strictly speaking – leaving God, departing God is sin. This is what sin is.
David got to know about this – that he left David in the heart.
“How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word.”
Psalms 119:9 NKJV
“For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”
Romans 5:10 NKJV
When can we reconcile with God? When we are enemies and when we discover this. Why does this have to be the case?
Because God wants us to stand before Him and be accepted by His grace only. Then only, thankfulness can come about. Those who have no thankfulness is because they are closely connected with their own thoughts and works.
“But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
I John 1:7 NKJV
The light here is the Light that is Jesus Christ as God spoke about in Genesis 1:3. It is not the sun light which was created on the fourth day.
This Light of Jesus shone upon the men who were holding stones to stone Jesus. Then eventually, they were able to drop the stones and walk away.
In church, people are so happy after they receive salvation. But over time, soon Satan deceives them to think that since they received salvation, they are good. However, the bible says that we humans are only evil continually.
Being able to go to heaven is not dependant on our works but only by the grace of Jesus.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
I John 1:9 NKJV
This is not talking about the confession of deeds.
For born-again Christians, they know that they are evil and therefore accept that Jesus has forgiven all their sins.
For non-born-again Christians, they always insist that they should confess their sins but still in their heart remain as sinners. Such people always cannot say that they are going to heaven. They will say “Who knows? Only God knows. We can only know after we die”. They have no assurance.
The bible gives us this assurance though and if we understand the heart of God, we will know clearly where we are headed to.
So in verse 9 it says “once forgiven, then we are cleansed from all unrighteousness”.
Fact is, after you confess, you should have been forgiven of all your sins and you should have no sin remaining. Yet, in the hearts of people, they are fundamentally still sinners and cannot say that they are righteous.
It does not matter how long you have been going to church.
Fact is that when David confessed that he had sinned before God, then Nathan the prophet said “The Lord has put away your sin”.
Born-again people have this clear assurance that their sins are washed and put away. If they do end up committing sin in the future, they return back to the Word again and the fact that Jesus has washed away all their sins. And so they can be thankful for the grace of Jesus Christ.
People who are not saved though, always go around in circles asking for forgiveness and confessing their sins over and over again.
I hope that you can reflect upon these Words and confess the confession of David where eventually his sins were put away.