1 John 1:5-10 says
5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.
As I've matured being a Christian, I've learned something, it's very helpful to have someone you can talk to about the sins you still commit. I think from reading this scripture we can understand that this is what God intends. God does not want you to go it alone. Practicing this Scripture is hard though. We've come to have a negative association with 'confessing'. Let's put that to rest today. I'll go first.
I'm not going to drag out a bunch of dirty laundry, or brag on my sins or tell you about all the things I do that seem like a great idea at the time, even if I know it's not part of God's will. I will tell you about something about myself that bothers me though, and I wonder if you can relate. Jesus told a parable about dirt once, and how the quality of the dirt affected the soil. There was hard dirt where the seed could not even find a place to grow. Next was rocky dirt, and seed could sprout there, but it soon withered when the heat came on because the roots were shallow. Third was ground where weeds had taken over, and buried the good plant, choking it out. Finally there was good dirt, and a crop could be grown. Most days I wake up, and I know I'm option three. My dirt is loose, relatively rock free, but these weeds! I know exactly what Jesus is talking about when he says that the worries of this life choke out the word of God. Have you been there too? That's my confession. I worry about this life and it keeps me from stepping out on faith when I know that's what God wants me to do. These weeds didn't come about overnight, I've been a Christian for over twenty-five years now, I've had plenty of burns, marks, unrealized dreams, forgotten promises, missed opportunities. Fortunately, I also know the cure for these weeds.
The passage that we read together is part of one of my all time favorite chapters of the Bible. I want us to read the whole thing together before we take the Lord's Supper today because I'm tired of the weeds and I want to share with you how we can help pull the weeds out of each other's soil.
1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— 2 the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— 3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
In the beginning of the book of 1 John we see the key to getting the weeds out of our life: we bear testimony to what has happened to us, and what we've seen God doing in the world. When we do that, We will be encouraged to make more happen, to bring forth more fruit, then we have more story to tell. We'll come back to this table prepared, not because we spoke a prayer asking God to forgive us, but because we remembered what God did this week, whether in our lives, or the lives of our neighbours. Let's pledge to God when we take the bread and cup today to tell the story of what He's doing in us!