1 John 1:9-10
 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
In the last session, I was talking about 1 John 1:9 when I finished the sermon.
It was said that we have fellowship with God and we can be forgiven of our sins by the blood of Jesus when we dwell in the light as God is light.
But if we do not confess our sins, but deny them, then we can neither be forgiven nor receive salvation.
Here, you should have a correct understanding of the meaning of “confessing your sins”.
Literally speaking it means that we openly admit to the sins that we committed.
But the confession in the sight of God is not just done with words.
It has to be followed by the deed of turning away from sins.
After confessing, we must not commit the same sin again and we also have to cast off the root of the sinful nature itself.
Some people attend church but they freely commit the same sins to the same extent as worldly people.
They cheat others, quarrel, get angry at others, and live in darkness of sin seeking their own benefit.
Then when they repent of them on Sunday they think they can be forgiven of all their sins.
But, when we just repent with only our lips after willfully committing sins, it is not true repentance.
Just as a dog returns to its vomit and a sow, after washing, returns to her wallow in the mire, it is something that God deems detestable.
2 Peter 2:20-22 says, “For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.  For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them.  It has happened to them according to the true proverb, ‘A dog returns to its own vomit,’ and, ‘A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.'”
If we just confess with lips and commit sins again, it is not just that we are not forgiven. It is to commit a greater sin called ‘calling God’s name in vain’.
True repentance is not done just with lips. It is tearing our hearts in mourning.
Saying we love and believe in God, we committed a sin, which God the Father hates so much, thereby grieving the heart of the dear Father. So, how sorry and embarrassed we are!
So, we make up our mind not to commit the sin again and we must not commit the same sin again.
When we repent truly this way, then, God will not remember that sin and set it as far as the east is far from the west.
But if we say we are repenting with our lips but continue to live in darkness, God will not accept our repentance and finally we will not receive salvation.
Brothers and sisters, let us look into the next verse, verse 10.
It says, “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.”
This verse restates the word in the previous verses 6-8.
All mankind are sinners who have original sin and self-committed sins.
Even though they try to live in righteousness, they realize that they were pathetic sinners if they reflect upon themselves with the Law of God.
So, when people say, “I have no sin” it means they consider the word of God that tells us ‘all mankind are sinners’ is a lie.
It is to forsake the love of God who gave us His one and only Son Jesus Christ.
After all, it is to profane God, and just like blaspheming against the Holy Spirit, this sin is one that won’t be forgiven.
In the last session, I explained we can realize the untruths in us if we have truth in us.
Just as dirt is revealed by lights shone, we can realize the evil in us that we couldn’t realize before.
To the extent that we take in the word of God as our spiritual bread, we can realize the evil in us when we reflect upon ourselves with the truth.
If we say we are sinless even though we have not cast off sins completely and have not yet entered into spirit, then, it means we don’t have the word of God in us.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, most of you here have confessed your sins and accepted the Lord Jesus.
You have been forgiven of sins, received the Holy Spirit, and become the children of God.
But this is not all. Even though we have been saved, we need to continue to try to reach the full measure of the Christ.
We shouldn’t just stay at the level where we are justified by faith, but we have to change to actually become righteous.
In order for this to happen, we need to continuously admit and confess our sins.
After listening to the sermons and advice of others, we can change only if we admit our shortcomings.
If we do not admit in heart that we really had such shortcomings and sins, we cannot really change.
For example, a person who likes jesting hears that he has to cast away jesting in order to have a truthful heart.
Hearing such a word, if he acknowledges the fact that he is jesting because he has an untruthful heart, then he may try to change himself.
As he keeps on trying to say all the words in truthfulness to cultivate truthful heart, he can also find out something that he couldn’t.
Not just jesting, but he can also realize his cunning mind that was hidden deep inside his heart.
As he tries to acknowledge his shortcomings and to put the truth in him, that truth will shine more light on him.
As he continues this process, he will eventually cast away untruths one by one and become perfect.
On the other hand, if we do not confess our sins but say we are not sinful, then we cannot cast away our fleshly natures.
If this above person gives such excuses as, “How can we say I am untruthful just because I joke a little bit? We have fun in friendships when we have some jesting. How dry is our life without it?” then, he cannot find out his real self.
Those who do not admit their shortcomings will be spiritually asleep after all.
Even though they do not directly deny that they committed sins, if they stop circumcising their heart this way, it is same as saying that they are sinless.
If this kind of condition continues, one may seem he is full of Spirit for some time, but the Holy Spirit will be quenched little by little.
He may even reach a situation where it is difficult to be saved.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let me give you another example of ‘not receiving forgiveness of sins because we don’t confess our sins’. It is when we repent, but God does not accept it.
For example, some people commit such grave sins as blasphemy against the Holy Spirit and say they repented.
But in God’s sight, He may point out that this person continued to blaspheme the Holy Spirit even after repenting and he did not circumcise his heart, so he cannot be saved.
The reason why I continue to talk about sins leading to death is because of such cases.
Because I cannot directly tell them, I am giving them advice in the sermons so they can realize it and receive salvation.
But if I directly tell them, they will probably say they didn’t really do that.
They may say, “I didn’t do that on purpose. I just casually said a couple of things and it was a mistake. It wasn’t really a grave sin.”
They unwillingly repented because there were people who heard what they said, but their repentance was not even the repenting with tearing the heart.
They may even think, “Why does he talk about past things that I already repented before?”
Of course, if you truly repented, God does not remember even though you committed grave sins.
But what God is pointing out in this case is that they say they did wrong but their repentance wasn’t repentance of the heart.
The blasphemy itself is a grave sin, but in most cases they accumulate many more sins before they commit such a grave sin.
For example, there is a son who cursed at and spat on his father.
If this son can do that, how would he have generally treated his parents?
Could he just curse at and spit on his father ‘by mistake’ if he had been always respectful and loving toward his parents?
Of course not!
It means he lacks the respect for his parents and he normally looked down upon his parents.
Likewise, in the case of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, you shouldn’t just think about your momentary mistake but your heart and deeds that you had until that happened.
You came to say something that you must have never said because you had arrogance and self-seeking mind, not being spiritually awake.
But you don’t realize such heart of yours and say, “I didn’t do it on purpose, and it wasn’t even something big.” This way, you don’t admit your sins.
The person says he already repented and is forgiven now, but God still says he is full of sin.
Brothers and sisters, if you have truth in you, then even if you are in great hardship, you will not say anything easily that can break God’s heart.
You may sometimes experience something you cannot really understand or something overwhelming for you.
In these situations, if you complain or express resentment, it means your faith is small.
If you know the truth just a little bit, you’d rather close your mouth not to make any walls of sin before God.
If you say anything unrighteous, even though it may be something trivial, your heart will feel very afflicted.
Your heart will ache whenever you remember it, and you will make up your mind again and again not to do such a thing ever again.
And you cannot just consider it lightly if you said something to blaspheme the Holy Spirit. You cannot just say it was a mistake or you already repented and it is history.
If you really repented, there must have been thorough repentance and rending the heart.
Then, you had to change completely and bear the fruit of repentance in your daily life.
But those who fall into the cases that I am explaining now say that they repented, but they do not cast away their arrogance and selfish motives.
If they don’t like something, they also have resentment against their shepherd or the church.
They easily speak words of complaints about the things that are done by God’s will.
They want to be served having greed and untruthful mind. This way they give hard time to others but they don’t realize their evil.
They skip prayers often, but they don’t consider it serious thinking it’s not a great sin.
That is why God says if they continue to act that way, it’s difficult for them to even be saved.
There is also a quite an opposite case.
He has been faithful with all his life, and when I give advice on ‘arrogance’ he repents with tears immediately.
It’s not even because he realizes what his arrogance is right away.
Even though he doesn’t realize what his arrogance is, he trusts his shepherd and just accepts his word. Then he tries to realize what he has to repent.
He doesn’t give such excuses as, “I didn’t mean to do that. I think some people misunderstood my intention and made a wrong report to you, senior pastor.”
He didn’t have resentment thinking, “I did so much work being faithful with all my life, and how can he rebuke me this way?”
He just tries to realize what his arrogance is and tells me with tears, “Thank you for your rebuke. I will change quickly.”
Actually, I didn’t even tell him that directly. But he accepts all the weekly sermons as words given to him personally.
So, if he finds any shortcoming, he repents immediately.
He doesn’t consider trivial things trivial but he acknowledges his shortcomings and changes himself, thereby going into spirit quickly.
Brothers and sisters, you have heard me praising this kind of persons many times.
So, what would you do?
Imagine I am rebuking you for something that you don’t even understand in front of so many people, and what you would feel in that situation.
Would you be able to say something like, “I can acknowledge my faults and change them. I will receive it with thanks and joy without being disappointed or disheartened.”?
You can do that to the extent that you love God, you have truth in you, and you trust your shepherd who has been confirmed by God.
1 Timothy 1:15 says, “It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.”
Even before he met the Lord, the apostle Paul lived according to the word of God and he was blameless in the Law.
Since he met the Lord, he lived even more of a blameless and perfect life.
And yet he says he was the foremost of all sinners.
He forgot what had lain behind him and pressed on toward the goal, which is the perfection of Jesus Christ.
I hope you will also reflect yourself upon the word of God which is the light.
If you receive any advice or rebuke, do not say you are not like that but accept it with joy so that you can become blameless and perfect.
If you find any form of flesh in you, I urge you to confess it and cast it away, although it’s trivial.
As you keep on acting that way, you will be full of the Holy Spirit and you will be guided to the way of sanctification.
You will become children of light who have true heart and perfect faith, the true children of God.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I said that 1 John chapter 1 says God who is light planned human cultivation and sent the only begotten Son Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ came to this earth to save the sinners and give them true life.
We lived in darkness before, but when we confess our sins and walk in the light, we can be forgiven of our sins and receive salvation through the blood of Jesus.
When we acknowledge our old self and try to change ourselves, God gives us strength and makes us children of light who are sanctified.
In the next session I will begin to talk about the chapter 2.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, Matthew 5:14 says, “You are the light of the world.” And Matthew 5:16 says, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
In Heaven there is no darkness but only light.
But in this world where we are being cultivated, there are both the light and darkness.
God’s children should dwell in light and do the whole duty of men.
This way, they have to become the light in this dark world.
As you dwell in the brighter light, you will have deeper fellowship with God.
You can have deeper communication in the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and you can understand God’s heart and will more clearly.
You can receive greater blessings in spirit and body; God will be with you in all matters and confirm you.
I believe you are already experiencing how blessed and joyous it is to have fellowship in your lives.
Even though you can enjoy the greatest pleasures of this world, it cannot be compared with spiritual joy that you can enjoy in your fellowship with God.
When you deny yourself and forsake your old self, the joy and happiness that come from above are so great.
Furthermore, if you can have prosperity in each moment of your life through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, your life will be so exciting.
You will be full of thanks and testimonies, and give glory to God wherever you go.
You will prosper in your work place, and your family will also be evangelized quickly.
As you have bright light, you can also drive away darkness from those whom you meet.
For example, when you counsel somebody, his problem will be solved and he will feel freed.
Also, you can drive away the fleshly thoughts and negative feelings from other people so you can encourage them to act within the truth.
Especially, if you are pastors or leaders, you must be longing for this kind of authority so much.
Then, I urge you to resemble God who is the light by trying your best to dwell in the light completely.
I pray in the name of the Lord that, in doing so, you will enjoy fellowship with God and the Lord just as the hymn’s lyrics go, ”Tis so sweet to walk with Jesus!’