1 John 1:5-9 Talk is Cheap: Choose to Pursue Holiness
SERMON INTRODUCTION. This is the last in our series on Living Holy. The first sermon “How You Living? Holy or Hoe-ish” asked us to look at ourselves and whether we pursue the things of God or the things of the flesh? “Holy is Who You Are” reminded us that God created us to be holy, righteous, different from the world. This is who God made us to be. But our hard-heartedness, leads to ignorance, futile thinking, lack of sensitivity to God, sensuality, and ultimately spiritual death. This last sermon emphasized two points. First, talk is cheap. It is not what or who we say we are that matters. Rather, it is being honest with God about our flaws choosing to pursue a Godly life that makes a difference. We always have a choice about what we do. What will we choose? We must choose to pursue a Godly/holy life. And, when stumble, reach out to God with a sincere heart. God forgives, cleanses and makes us holy.
JOHN/TELLING YOU WHAT I KNOW(v1-4). We’ve heard the phrase “I’m not telling you what I heard; I’m telling you what I know.” That is how the disciple John begin this letter to the church. There are those – back then and today – who claim Jesus was not real. John is making it plain . . . He has walked with, talked with . . . he knows The Lord.
- How different is it rely on what somebody “heard” versus somebody telling you what they saw or experienced?
- How important is our personal testimony about who/how God has been in ours lives?
TALK IS CHEAP(v5-6). We choose what we pursue. And, what we say does not always match what we do. Some claim – with their mouths – to walk with and have fellowship with God. But, their actions do not match their words. Sometimes, this is what we do.
- What does it mean to have fellowship with someone? What does it mean to have true fellowship with God? How can WE do better at pursuing fellowship with God?
- What does it mean if we say we walk with God but we continuously walk and act sinful ways/walk in darkness (remember our homework from Ephesians 4:25-32)?
CHOOSE TO WALK IN LIGHT (v7). Instead of being hypocrites we can choose to pursue God . . . to walk in the light and be honest about ourselves.
- What does it mean for us to walk in the light . . . to seek to do what is right?
- Verse 7 tells us that when we choose to walk in the light, we can be in fellowship with one another. Have you ever worked with someone when you were going in different directions? How different is it to work and be together with someone when you are moving in the same direction? When we sincerely pursue God, it enriches the quality of our fellowship – and our fellowship is important to God.
- And, when we pursue walking with God, what does God do for us?
TALK IS CHEAP/CHOOSE TO ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR SIN(v8). Here is another choice, and the critical one in choosing to pursue holiness. Are we people who “claim to be without sin?” Have you experienced or been one others who act as if they are “super holy”? This person is not just annoying but they are actually in danger. Why? What does verse 8 say about such a person?
CHOOSE TO PURSUE HOLINESS(v9). Remember that we get to choose. We can choose to lie and deceive ourselves. Or, we can choose to be honest with ourselves and our God. Pay attention, this may be the most important point. It is not our “perfect” living that leads to righteousness and holiness. It is when we confess/acknowledge our sin and seek/pursue God. Pursuing God honestly and zealously leads to our holiness.
- Some in the public were recently shocked by the Pope acknowledging that he is a sinner? How do we – honestly – feel about acknowledging/confessing our sin before God?
- What has God promised he will do about our sin once we confess to Him? Why is forgiveness important to us?
- What does the verse say about attributes of God’s character? He is faithful and just; will God keep this promise?
- Pay attention. What do we in this verse that causes God to purify us on our pursuits of holiness?
It is not that we are perfect or better than other people. It is not that at all. It is that we are honest about ourselves and our God. We are honest about our faults and our sin. We pursue what God has for us. When we are honest in our hearts and repentant of our sin, God forgives and he attributes his holiness to us. Pursue God.