I INVITE you today to begin to consider the Word “us.” I John 1.9. To start off with, I'd have you to specially consider how the Word “us” is used in the Text. In this consideration, there are two things I have prepared for you. I. How the Word “us” is used in the Text. II. The instructions that may be learned.
I. How the Word “us” is used in the Text. In the Text, there are some Words that are used only once. The Word “if” is the first Word. It is a little Word. It is used only once. After the first Word, you don't see the Word again. There are other Words that are used twice. The Word “and” is a conjunction. It is used two times. But there is no Word in the Text that is used more frequently than the Word “us.” The Word “us” and its different forms appear no less than five times. The Text says: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” For this reason, the Text may be said to be “our” Text. We are mentioned more than anyone else.
And what does the Text say about us? In some places of Scripture, mankind speaks about himself. In Daniel 4.30, when the King of Babylon walked in his palace, he said: “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power?” In Ezekiel 28.2, the Prince of Tyrus said “I am God” and “I sit in the seat of God.” Yet when it comes to our Text, here is not what man says about himself. That is all too common. In the Text, there is something of far more value. Here is what GOD says about man. And without exception, in all the phrases of the Text, GOD does not say that we have “might.” He does not say that we have “power.” He certainly does not say that we are “God.” In every instance the Word “us” appears, GOD says in one way or another that we are sinners.
May I show this? The first Words of the Text are: “If we confess our sins.” In these Words, “we” are mentioned two times. The first time implies that we are sinners. The second time states it is GOD'S Will that we confess our sins to Him in Prayer. As the Text goes on, there are the Words: “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” In these Words, “we” are mentioned three times. The first time speaks we need GOD'S Forgiveness. The second time speaks we all have “our sins.” The third time speaks we are in need to be cleansed from our sins. So that in the end, there is not one place in the Text but what the Word “us” in some facet or aspect speaks perspicuously that we are sinners.
II. The instructions. From today's Sermon, there are Three Instructions. 1. The First Instruction is the Scripture says that all we have sinned. In today's Sermon, I spoke concerning the Word “us.” I showed that the Word “us” and its different forms shows up in the Text five times. There is no other Word that is used more. And as the Word “us” is used through the Text, the general Truth stated is all we have sinned.
2. The Second Instruction: In the Scripture, GOD frequently says that all we have sinned. In the Text, when GOD speaks all we have sinned, how does He do it? Does He briefly touch on the point and pass? No. In today's Sermon, I showed that the Word “us” is used five times. Every time the Word is used GOD speaks in some way that all we have sinned. When you hold these simple Facts about the Text in your mind, I do not stretch the Truth when I say that this is what GOD does throughout the entire Scripture. Throughout the entire Scripture, GOD says frequently and with unique variety that all we have sinned. In the Law, you read the Doctrine of it. In the Historical Books, you read examples of it. In the Poetry, you read Prayers against it. In the Prophets, you read Sermons against it. In the New Testament, you read the solution. There is no section of Scripture but what declares that all we have sinned.
3. The Third Instruction: Why GOD so frequently says in the Scripture that all we have sinned. So in the Scripture, why does GOD speak this Truth so frequently? There are two reasons. First: There are real obstructions in learning this Truth. Second: This Truth is important. Therefore GOD repeats it.
First: There are real obstructions in learning this Truth. In this world, there are things inside us and things around us that would divert us from the true knowledge of ourselves. For one thing, there is the pride of the human heart. I John 2.16 speaks about “the pride of life.” Which speaks that as we pass through the days of our lives, we live continually in the temptation to pride. There is the pride of youth. There is the pride of old age. There is the pride of knowledge, achievement, wealth, place, strength, and suffering. Pride is a blinder. Pride specially blinds you from seeing the Truth about yourself. There are the pleasures of this world. Isaiah 47.8 speaks of those who were “given to pleasures.” They made it the one objective of life to indulge in the pleasures of this world. When the mind drowns itself in pleasures, it is distracted. It cannot learn the Truth about itself.
Second: This Truth that all we have sinned is important. You know why this Truth is important? This Truth is important because you cannot savingly know GOD until you first know yourself. Is not this the logic in the Text? First: Through the Word “us,” the Text says we have sinned. Second: The Text says these sins should be confessed to GOD in Prayer. Third: When these sins are confessed to GOD in Prayer, thereby we step into His Forgiveness and Cleansing. Do you see? The knowledge of yourself is irreplaceable. Without the knowledge of yourself, you cannot come into the Knowledge of GOD. The knowledge of yourself rightly improved is the very occasion into the Knowledge of GOD. Therefore a sense of your sins should never scare you. By the sense of sin, there can come the search and the reception of GOD'S Grace. You cannot seriously enjoy GOD until you become displeased with yourself. Amen.
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