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Real Faith: Real Confession (1 John 1:5 - 2:2)

“Real Confession”

1 John 1:5-2:2

 

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins

and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

(1 John 1:9)

 

When I was about 13 or 14 my family purchased a 1972 Volkswagen Beetle. It was bright yellow, in great shape (until that one time I tried to start it without engaging the clutch), and ran well (usually). The only bummer was that I couldn’t drive it! I could, however, wash it. I would clean it up and shine the chrome hubcaps and bumpers until they sparkled in the sunlight.

 

I worked hard to make the outside of that car clean but I never learned to work on the inside. I didn’t have a clue about how the engine worked. I never learned how the breaks worked. I didn’t even know how to change the oil. I never learned what to do if something broke on the inside.

 

Isn’t that how a lot of us work? We like to make the outside of ourselves sparkle but we rarely pay attention to what is happening on the inside. Sure, we may look good but our insides are a mess!

 

This week as we continue in our sermon series titled Real Faith we’re going to take a closer look at those insides. More specifically, we’re going to look at what 1 John has to say about Real Confession.

 

What it comes down to is this: there are many things we can do with our sin. We can let it all hang out, ignoring the consequences. We can hide it from others. We can make up excuses to justify our actions. Or we can confess it. We can bring all of our inside junk to God and ask for forgiveness. Through John, the writer of this letter, God makes us a promise. “If we confess our sins, [God] is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins

and purify us from all unrighteousness,” (1 John 1:9).

 

Forgiveness. That’s what we have in Jesus. When we bring all of our messy insides out in confession to God, our Heavenly Father, He washes them away. We can confess privately in prayer...we can confess corporately in worship...we can confess with a trusted friend or pastor. No matter who we confess to, when we hear the words of forgiveness in the name of Jesus, we are receiving God’s forgiveness.  

 

Real Faith isn’t concerned with our outward appearance. Real Faith isn’t about pretending we have it all together. Real Faith is about receiving the gifts of forgiveness, life, and salvation given to us by Christ.

 

Listen to the corresponding sermon series, Real Faith HERE!

 

Scripture Reading:

Read through 1 John this week. It’s only five chapters...you can do it!

 

Real Faith: Real Gospel (1 John 1:1-4)

Real Faith: Real Gospel

1 John 1:1-4

 

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— 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—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. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.

 

Real or fake?

 

That’s the question many people have started to ask themselves every time they turn on the TV or read a piece of news. Am I reading real news...or fake news?? Can I trust this source or should I change the channel? But how do we know? How do we know what is real and what is simply made up? How do we know which sources to turn to for real, verifiable news?

 

As our Easter celebration continues at St. Mark, we are entering into a new sermon series on 1 John titled “Real Faith”. The book of 1 John is all about distinguishing the real from the fake. When it comes to the Christian faith, how do we distinguish what is genuine and what is not?   

 

Real Faith begins with Real Gospel.

 

1 John opens with an affirmation of the truth of the Gospel based on real evidence. In no uncertain terms, John confirms that the experiences of the apostles with Jesus were true and verifiable. They actually saw him with their eyes, touched him with their hands, and heard him with their ears. No illusions, no tricks, no gimmicks.

 

Jesus, the Son of God, who has existed eternally with God the Father, was actually made manifest among us by becoming one of us. This Jesus, who was fully God, also became fully human in order to bring us new and everlasting life.

 

He walked with people, he talked with people, he ate with people, he healed people, he prayed with people. He died a very real death on a very real cross and was really and truly  resurrected and really overcame the stranglehold sin has on us. That’s the real Gospel. Jesus coming to save his people by overcoming death and transforming us into people of joy and hope.   

 

Scripture Reading:

During this devotional series, read through the book of 1 John once each week. (It’s only five chapters...you can do it!) How does John distinguish what is real from what is fake?    

 

St. Mark's New Website

After twenty years since its original website went live (April 1997), St. Mark was pleased to announce in October 2017 that a new website had gone live.  The new website is not simply an update, but a complete replacement of the old. Gone is the old technology, look and feel and inconsistent page styles. 

Taking advantage of a new provider, with their modern technology, the new website is presenting a fresh and consistent look throughout the site. In addition, the decision was made to create a simple site, then grow the site to meet St. Mark’s various ministry requirements, along with the needs of both St. Mark’s members and those in the community.

One feature that the old site did not have but the new does, is the usage of blogs as a means of presenting information, then receiving input back from the readers. As an example, this announcement is a blog as we would love to receive your feedback on the initial site and what it provides.

We would also like your feedback on what you would like the website to provide so we can consider them for future expansion.  For example, would you use online Bible studies, Bible references or other types of studies. Are there resources we can provide on the site or those that we can reference.   If you are not a St. Mark member, but simply a visitor to our site, we are also interested in what you would like to see. Please consider this opportunity to help our site grow to meet your needs.

We look forward to reading your input and having you help us grow our site. In addition to using the blog to provide input, you can also send a private email to the web administrator at webadmin@stmarksunnyvale.org.

Thank you for taking the time to learn about our new site and please explore it to see what is offered. Finally, thank you for your consideration to provide us with your input.

In Christ’s Name we serve,

St. Mark’s Web Team

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