by Jeffrey W. Hamilton
Text: I John 2:1-6
I. At times a person sins and is caught. He has no regrets about his particular sin, except the embarrassment of being caught. He offers the illogical argument, “Well, nobody’s perfect.”
A. It is illogical because it insists that sinning can be acceptable since everyone else also sins.
B. It follows the same line of reasoning that when President Clinton was caught lying, the news was filled with articles on how everyone lies. They documented the lies of past leaders as proof that this was normal behavior.
C. When President Clinton was caught in adultery, the papers were filled with articles document how common adultery was, especially among past popular leaders.
II. Is it true that no one is perfect?
A. If by such a statement you mean there is no one who has lived a sinless life, except Jesus our Lord, then the statement is true.
1. Romans 3:23 - Everyone sins.
2. 1 John 1:8-10 - To say we have not sin is a lie (or a sin in itself).
B. Yet, in the Scriptures, perfection does not always equate to sinless lives.
1. We are commanded to be perfect - Matthew 5:48
2. If perfection was sinlessness, then how could anyone obey this command?
C. People who have been called perfect or some translations use the word blameless
1. Noah - Genesis 6:9
2. Abraham - Genesis 17:1
3. Job - Job 1:1,8
4. The rich young ruler was told he could be made perfect (or complete) by selling all that he had, giving it to the poor, and following Jesus - Matthew 19:20-22
D. The word “perfect” in the Bible generally means someone who is complete, whole, or mature
1. I Corinthians 2:6 - The wisdom of God is spoken to the mature (perfect in the KJV).
2. The same word is used in I Corinthians 14:20 to tell the Corinthians to grow up.
3. The purpose of the church and its leaders are to help Christians grow to be like Christ - Ephesians 4:11-16
4. It is gained through experience - Hebrews 5:14
5. Some obtain that maturity - Philippians 3:15
E. So is it true that nobody is perfect? No, some people do grow up. As Christians we are expected to grow up
III. Does the fact that people sin mean we are not responsible for our sins?
A. Is it just a fact of life, like growing old, that we just have to get accustomed?
B. Paul addresses a similar point
1. He argues that the law’s purpose was to define sin and make man conscious of his sins - Romans 5:20-21
2. It actually increased the amount of sin because sin doesn’t exist without a law - Romans 5:13
a. Sin existed before the Law of Moses, indicating there was laws men had to follow
b. But with the Law of Moses, sin increased as a more exact definition of right and wrong was given to the world
3. This does not mean the law was harmful, because God’s grace through the death of His Son was able to increase to cover man’s sins.
4. I suppose I could then walk away with the idea that it doesn’t matter how much I sin, God’s grace will cover it. In fact, the more I sin, the more grace I will receive.
5. Paul’s answer was a wish that it never would be that way - Romans 6:1-7
C. How can anyone imagine that people who have left the world of sin are now free to sin?
1. Galatians 5:13 - Do not turn freedom into worldliness
2. I Peter 2:16 - Do not use freedom as a cover for sin
D. A child of God must not sin - I John 1:5-7
1. Yet at the same time, John says to claim not to have sinned is a lie - I John 1:8-10
2. We must conclude that walking in darkness is remaining in sin.
3. All of us will misstep into darkness, but we must not remain in darkness
4. We must not practice sin (continue in sin) - I John 3:4-10
a. This passage is not speaking of single missteps, but a continual practice.
b. It cannot say that a child of God never sins, else John would be contradicting his statements in John 1:8, 10
c. We cannot remain in sin and be righteous
d. John is saying that sinning is out of character for the Christian. It is not something a Christian normally does.
E. How to return to the path of light
1. I John 1:9 - Confess our sins
2. We are able to do this because Jesus died for us - I John 2:1-2
IV. We must always be on our guard
A. Pay attention so we will not fall - I Corinthians 10:12
B. Be on the alert - I Peter 5:8-9
C. There are false teachers who turn the grace of God into a license to sin - Jude 3-4
D. Learn from the errors of those in the past - Hebrews 3:12-4:1
V. Despite our past, Christ is able to make us complete, if we hold on to the teachings - Colossians 1:21-23
A. Have any slipped from the path of righteousness. Have you made sin a continual practice?
B. Now is the time to return to the Lord. Leave your sins behind.