If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to
cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:8-9).   

We can use the first epistle of John to measure ourselves in the light of the
word of God. We read in 1 John 5:13: “These things have I written unto you that
believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal
life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” We have no need to
doubt, fear or wonder whether or not we have eternal life.
This morning I want to dwell on one of the marks he has set forth whereby we may
know whether we have eternal life.

A couple of weeks ago we spoke about Job, and how the righteousness of Job was
not a righteousness sufficient for salvation. His righteousness was a
Pharisaical righteousness that centered on the sacrifice for justification. When
the Lord opened his eyes to see the spirit of the law written in his own heart,
he had to say, “Behold, I am vile.”
How do we see one of the marks of knowing that we have salvation? I can speak
from experience that to recognize a sin in my own heart is not as difficult as
it is to confess that sin, to admit, for example, that I was guilty of pride. I
was exalting myself. This confession is not just before the Lord. It means to
also confess it to our fellowman. I find that many of God’s dear children can
become so defensive if they are confronted with something they ought not to have
The word of God tells us in Hebrews 10:24-25: “And let us consider one another
to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of
ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so
much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” How can I reprove a man who
becomes defensive? 

The Apostle John is telling us how we can know if we have eternal life. We must
not only realize that we have sinned, but we must confess it. If you or I have a
brother who has caused contention, and he is defensive when we show him without
doubt that what he has done was wrong, the contentions never cease. Yet, if we
can confess our sins, it is so much easier to forgive.
If someone comes to me, confesses that they offended me, admits his wrong and
asks for forgiveness, it is much easier to forgive that person than if he is
defensive and justifies what he has done. Is that spirit in you that enables you
to confess when you are wrong?
The Scriptures are full of the perfections of Christ in our human nature as we
see from Hebrews 7:26: “For such an high priest became us, who is holy,
harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens.”
There is perfection in our human nature, but it is only to be found in Christ.
If you and I try to defend perfection in our nature then our text says: “If we
say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
There is no room for a Saviour. There is no room for salvation until there is
confession for sin. 

As far as perfection in natural man, the Scriptures teach in Romans 3:10-12: “As
it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that
understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of
the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good,
no, not one.” 

This includes self-righteous Job. That includes the self-righteous Pharisees.
That includes the self-righteous hypocrite that dwells in each of our hearts.
If there is any perfection to be found in the church, it is only found in
proportion with Christ being formed in them. Perfection can be in you as far as
Christ is formed in you. Now we are not talking about me, we are talking about
the new man of the spirit that has been created in me. That new man is Christ
formed in me. In that proportion, as Christ has been formed in me by the work of
regeneration, by the work of the Holy Spirit, there is perfection in me.
The Lord looks upon that perfection in spite of our shortcomings because He
looks upon it in Christ. Now he can be pleased with what we do.
In Colossians 1:27 the Apostle Paul wrote: “To whom God would make known what is
the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in
you, the hope of glory.”
In me, this fallen creature, this sinner who has nothing but wounds, bruises and
putrefying sores, the mystery of God is “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” This
is where perfection is.
Now watch what it says in verse 28: “Whom we preach, warning every man, and
teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in
Christ Jesus.” All faithful preaching must warn everyone of the sin that dwells
within them. We must be make knowledgeable of that human nature, that old man of
sin that needs the cross every day. Every day that old man of sin must be
How do I teach “in all wisdom”? The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
All faithful teaching begins in teaching the character and true nature of sin.
The fear of the Lord is to hate evil, so if I am going to teach every man in all
wisdom, I must teach them the fear of the Lord “that we may present every man
perfect in Christ Jesus.” The perfection is in Christ Jesus. How far Christ
Jesus is formed in me is how far I have had perfection wrought in me.
We read in verse 29: “Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his
working, which worketh in me mightily.” This is when we have learned to see the
sinfulness of sin. Romans 7 tells us how the Apostle Paul was brought through
the schools of Jesus Christ, and how he learned to see the wretchedness of sin.
The knowledge of sin was working in Paul.
The Apostle John says, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and
the truth is not in us.” 

The root of our imperfections lay in the corruptions of the heart as we see in
Jeremiah 17:9-10: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately
wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to
give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.”
As we look back to what the Lord has led us through in our lives, we start to
understand what it means “to give every man according to his ways.” This means
in this lifetime as well as in eternity.
I want to give you two illustrations. The first is Jacob. He deceived his old
father, he lied, he supplanted his brother, and the Lord rewarded him according
to his ways. Jacob went to Padan-aram, and he was deceived 10 times. When he
passed Penuel, he confessed that he was a traitor, a trickster, a liar and a
cheat. On his deathbed he realized that Joseph was yet alive. For 20 years his
children lied to him and deceived him with the coat of their brother as he
deceived his father with the coat of his brother. I want you to see how
precisely the Lord rewarded him according to his doings.
We see the same thing with David. David committed adultery and murder. The Lord
said that the sword would not depart from his house. It began with his own son
forcing his own sister to have sex with him, and his son Absalom killing his own
brother. With his own children, the Lord rewarded him for murder and adultery.
It concluded with Absalom forcing David off the throne and attempting to take
his life.
In the end, David would cry, “Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had
died for thee” (2 Samuel 18:33). David said this because he saw that this was
the fruit of his sin.
The Lord knows our hearts. He searches our hearts. I could spend the rest of the
day telling you about instances in my own life where the Lord has given me
according to my ways.
Can we confess our sins? If we say we have no sins, we deceive ourselves. If we
confess, the Lord will forgive.
Why are the failings, falls and grievous sins of God’s dear saints like Noah,
Lot, Abraham, Moses, David and Solomon recorded in Holy Writ? We see the answer
in 1 Corinthians 1:29-31: “That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of
him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and
righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is
written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”
It is of God that we are in Christ. It is of the work of regeneration in our
souls by the Holy Spirit. I cannot stand up and say proudly that I have wisdom
and I have righteousness and I have sanctification. No, it is of God. For those
who think they can obtain perfection in the flesh, our text says,  “If we say
that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
A man who had been in the ministry for many years had been taken in a sin, and
as he was being reproved, he referred to the sin of David as if it were his
license to sin. He said: “Well, David sinned.” That is not why these sins are
recorded. These sins are recorded to warn us that even David fell. Now we see
how subject we are to falling. We learn to confess our weaknesses, and we beg
the Lord for restraining grace that He will keep us from falling. This is not so
we can look at the sin of God’s people and use that as a license for our sins.
FOR OUR FIRST POINT, let’s consider the declaration, “If we say that we have no
sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
FOR OUR SECOND POINT, let’s consider the conditional terms upon which sin is
forgiven, “If we confess our sins.” The forgiveness of sins is conditional.
FOR OUR THIRD POINT, let’s consider the foundation of our assurance of this
pardon, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful.” This is the foundation upon
which we have a pardon.
FOR OUR FOURTH POINT, let’s consider how justice not only allows, but demands a
pardon, “If we confess our sins, [then] he is faithful and just to forgive us
our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
This morning, the Lord willing, I hope to dwell on our first point. This
afternoon I hope to dwell on points two, three and four.
FIRST, let’s consider the declaration, “If we say that we have no sin, we
deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” 

No man in a state of nature knows anything of the real character of sin, whether
he lives in open profanity, or as a Pharisee of Pharisees. Even if he lives the
life of Job, he not will understand the true character of sin by nature.
Before the Apostle Paul’s eyes were opened to the real character of sin, he
could say as we read in Philippians 3:4-5: “Though I might also have confidence
in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in
the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the
tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee.”
These are his credentials whereby he could trust in the flesh. If there was
anything to boast in the flesh, the Apostle Paul could boast about it. Until he
had the light shine into his soul, this was his opinion of himself. He did not
understand the true character of sin until on the way to Damascus the light of
God shined into his soul.
After Paul had seen the Lord Jesus in the way, he saw the law in a new light as
we see in Romans 7:11-13: “For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived
me, and by it slew me. Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and
just, and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But
sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that
sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.”
Now the Apostle Paul, that Hebrew of the Hebrews, as touching the law a
Pharisee, knew and understood what the Apostle John is talking about: “If we say
that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves.” Now he understood the true character
of sin.
After Paul learned to see sin in its right light, he said in Philippians 3:7-9:
“But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea
doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge
of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do
count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine
own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of
Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.”

All these things upon which he built the foundation of his salvation became an
abomination to him. He saw that circumcision on the eighth day availed him
nothing and that he needed the circumcision of Christ. 

We read in Colossians 2: 9-11: “For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the
Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all
principality and power: In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision
made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the
circumcision of Christ.”

He saw that his keeping of the law as a Pharisee was a loss. He saw that it was
hypocrisy. He saw that the very righteousness he thought merited salvation in
itself was a damning sin because it was in the wrong spirit. It was not in the
spirit of the law. When he came to understand the spirit of the law, sin became
exceedingly sinful.
Righteousness is through the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ, where He by faith
endured the cross, despising its shame. He by faith stepped forward into the
wrath of the Father to take away the penalty of our sin, to appease the Father’s
wrath upon our sin by His perfect obedience, by His perfection of righteousness.
It was the perfect righteousness of Christ, that circumcision of Christ. He was
circumcised the eighth day, and He became a debtor to do the whole law on behalf
of His church. Now the Apostle Paul sees that righteousness is by the faith of
Christ, which is what we are reading about in Romans 4. There we read that
Abraham received the seal of circumcision as the evidence, as the pledge, that
the Lord Jesus Christ would be circumcised, that He would step under the
Father’s wrath, that by His perfect righteousness of faith, the church would be
Job experienced the cutting off of all his own righteousness when his eyes were
opened to see who he really was through the revelation of God’s true character.
We read in Job 40:4: “Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay
mine hand upon my mouth.” Here Job received the light of the gospel and saw the
true nature of sin.  

There is such harmony between the life of Paul and the life of Job.
As we receive a right understanding of God’s character, we learn what Paul said
in Romans 7:14: “For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold
under sin.” This is what we see when we understand the true character of sin.
I want to explain something that I think is so vitally important to understand.
It reveals our ignorance of self and sin when we can be critical of our
fellowman. When we do this we are saying, I have no sin. We are deceiving
ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

The scribes and Pharisees were critical of Christ Jesus, who had no sin. They
saw themselves to be so righteous that they could be critical of the Lord of
life and glory. They could call Him a Beelzebub. They could call Him a
blasphemer. Think of the names they called Him.
I want you to see what happens when we receive one glimpse of ourselves. Watch
what happened to these same scribes and Pharisees in John 8:7-9 when they
brought to Christ a woman taken in adultery: “So when they continued asking him,
he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let
him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the
ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went
out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left
alone, and the woman standing in the midst.”

The Lord Jesus Christ gave them but one glimpse of their own hearts and of the
spirit of the law. They did not have one stone left to throw at a person who was
guilty of a capital crime. That woman according to the law deserved to be stoned
to death.
How can we sit by such a large pile of stones and throw stones at our fellowman?
It is because we do not realize that we have sinned. It is because our eyes are
blinded to see the sins of our own hearts. When we understand the law and the
true character of sin, then we understand the true Spirit of Christ, and we do
not have a stone left to throw.

The real nature of sin astonishes the quickened sinner. That word behold in Job
40:4 where Job said, “Behold, I am vile,” was an exclamation of surprise. When
the Lord opened Job’s eyes to see the true character of sin, he was astonished,
and this is the way it is with you and me if the Lord truly opens our eyes. It
makes us gracious to the chiefest of sinners. We do not throw stones at the most
vile wretch. Our heart goes out to him with sympathy and love. “Oh Lord, how can
I reach out to that poor man and help drag him out of such a gutter.” I do not
throw stones at him, because I see the seeds of those same crimes in my own
heart. If it was not for the restraining grace of God, I would have been worse
than he. What stones do we have left to throw?
How should we come to such people as we read in Galatians 6:1-2: “Brethren, if a
man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the
spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one
another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” That is not being
critical. That is not throwing stones. That is seeking the man to restore him.

As the Holy Spirit opens our understanding to discover the spirit of the law, He
leads us into the chambers of imagery. He opens our hearts to understanding as
He did for these scribes and Pharisees to see the evil and wicked imaginations
of our own hearts. Now we understand what we read in Ezekiel 8:12: “For they
say, the LORD seeth us not; the LORD hath forsaken the earth.” That is the
secret imagination of the evil heart. I can be evil. I can be filled with
hatred. I can do all these things, and the Lord does not see it because the Lord
has withdrawn Himself. He has withdrawn Himself because of these sins. The Lord
withdraws His nearness and withdraws His Spirit because of these evil
imaginations of the heart. This gives us more license to sin.

When the Spirit begins to awaken a sinner to the true character of sin, he
attempts to purify himself by turning from some of his most sinful actions. The
first response is that self-righteousness begins to compound itself. We try to
become holy within ourselves. We are going to turn from certain sins, correct
ourselves and stand right before God. This is still not confessing ourselves to
be sinners under the light of the true character of sin.
As the Spirit continues to awaken the sinner to the true character of sin and
the spirit of the law, then one as perfect as Job will say as we read in Job
9:30-31: “If I wash myself with snow water, and make my hands never so clean;
Yet shalt thou plunge me in the ditch, and mine own clothes shall abhor me.”
Then we learn to see that our best righteousness is but filthy rags. We can do
all in our power to cleanse our own selves of sin, and the Lord would still spew
us out of His mouth. Then we start to see our need for the perfection of Christ.
We start to see and understand that we need Christ’s righteousness, that we need
His blood for cleansing.
Our text says, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the
truth is not in us.” 

When a man is brought to understand the true character of sin, he begins to
realize what the Apostle Paul said in Romans 3:19: “Now we know that what things
soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth
may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.”
You and I by nature are under the law. The law comes as a warrant officer to
arrest us and bring us before the judge. Then we understand what it means to
become guilty before God, and we are not defensive anymore. Our heart can tell
us that we are wrong. Our heart can convict us, yet we will phrase our defense
in some way that we will never confess that wrong. It even takes the grace of
God to come to where a conviction of sin brings forth a confession of sin.

“All the world” (Romans 3:19) means there is no exception. We are all guilty
before God. Until we have been brought to see that we are guilty before God, we
will never see the beauty of the imputed righteousness of Christ, which only has
merit. How do I need the perfect robe of Christ’s righteousness when I look at
my own clothes, and they are clean?

I want you to see in 1 Corinthians 1:30: “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who
of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and
redemption.” It is all of God. He is altogether lovely. Everything flows from
Him, and everything flows back to Him because He is all in all. Now, we become
The only ones who can say, “We have no sin,” are those described in Proverbs
30:12-13: “There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not
washed from their filthiness. There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes!
and their eyelids are lifted up.” They can say that they have no sin, but our
text says they are deceived. The truth is not in them. They are righteous in
themselves, but they are not cleansed from their filthiness.

God’s word illustrates how those who say they have no sin appear in His sight in
Proverbs 30:20: “Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth
her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness.” We are spiritual adulterers
when we say we have no sin. When we do not see and recognize the sin of our own
hearts, we are guilty of spiritual adultery because we can stand up and be so

When we may think that we sin not in thought, words or deeds, then how often we
must confess as we read in James 3:7-9: “For every kind of beasts, and of birds,
and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of
mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly
poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men,
which are made after the similitude of God.” 

It does not matter who we are, we can be a wise man or a man of few words, but
scripture says that no man can tame the tongue. When we understand how much we
sin with the tongue, then we will never be able say that we have no sin. That
member of the body that has been defiled by the fall is an unruly evil, full of
deadly poison.  Anytime we have said anything unkind about any man, do not
forget that he might be fallen in sin, but he was still made after the
similitude of God.
No human creature can plead innocence in this matter. We are all guilty of this,
and we must all come before God and confess that we are guilty of these things.
Our text says, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the
truth is not in us.” 

See the confession of Hannah as she poured out her heart to the Lord in 1 Samuel
2:2-3: “There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither
is there any rock like our God. Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not
arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him
actions are weighed.”
Hannah was talking to the same one James was talking to, the human tongue. The
Lord weighs the actions of every man. The Lord weighs my actions. I have said so
often, Until we can start preaching with our feet, we had better keep our mouths
shut. We must know what it is to be gracious to our fellowman, forgiving his
weaknesses and praying with a sympathetic heart to the Lord to restore such a
one, rather to be critical of him and condemn him.
The Lord will weigh my actions in the balance of His actions, and then justify
me or condemn me based on how I judge my brother. Judgment begins at the house
of God, and I will be judged with the same judgment as I judge my brother. If I
forgive, God will forgive.

Can we boast of our actions before the Lord as the Pharisee, saying in Luke
18:11-12: “The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee,
that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as
this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.”
Notice the prayer that the Lord Jesus is teaching us in Luke 18:1: “And he spake
a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to
faint.” As the Lord explains what this prayer must be, He goes on to show the
prayer of importunity, and then in verses 11 and 12, He shows the prayer of the
Pharisee, who did not see any sin in himself. The Pharisee brought his actions
before the Lord, and by the Lord actions are weighed.

This publican who was so despised by the Pharisee could not boast of his actions
and that he had no sin, but which of the two went home deceived? I want you to
see the tone of our text, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves,
and the truth is not in us.” That Pharisee had no truth in him. The Lord was
weighing his actions, but He also weighed the actions of the publican. We read
in verses 13 and 14: “And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so
much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful
to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather
than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that
humbleth himself shall be exalted.”
The publican confessed his sin. He did not boast of who he was. He confessed who
he was. The Pharisee was deceived, and the publican was justified.  

There is such blessed harmony in the gospel. Our text says in 1 John 1:8-9: “If
we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If
we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to
cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
When I see the sinfulness of my sin, confess that I have sinned and come before
the Lord and confess that I am a sinner and need forgiveness, then He is
faithful and just to forgive.
So, which were the two greatest contrasts in the prayers of the Pharisee and the
publican? First, the Pharisee supposed he had no sin, therefore he deceived
himself, and the truth was not in him. Second, the Publican confessed his sins,
and he went home justified.
With the Lord’s help, we hope to consider our second point this afternoon, which
is the conditional terms upon which sin is forgiven, “If we confess our sins.”
I want you to take notice of this prayer of the publican and the Pharisee, and I
want you to weigh that with the language of our text. “If we confess our sins,
he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all
unrighteousness.” In other words, we are made righteous in the righteousness of
Christ if we confess our sins. The difference was that with the Pharisee, he
confessed his righteousness, and he deceived himself.
The mere knowledge of how great our sins and miseries are is no basis upon which
to build our hope for eternity. We may teach three things that are needful to
live and die happily. One of them is how great our sins and miseries are. That
is what it says in the Heidelberg Catchecism. 

King Saul received much knowledge about his sins and miseries, but there was no
salvation in it for him. I want you to see this in 1 Samuel 28:20 and how he had
gone to the which at Endor and had her bring up Samuel: “Then Saul fell
straightway all along on the earth, and was sore afraid, because of the words of
Samuel: and there was no strength in him; for he had eaten no bread all the day,
nor all the night.” 

The fact that he was now brought to this knowledge had no salvation in it
because even at this point Saul did not confess his sin. If he had fallen
prostrate before the Lord and confessed, I have sinned, the Lord would have been
faithful and forgiven him his sin, but one thing the Lord withheld from King
Saul was repentance. That knowledge of sin and misery has no salvation in it
apart from confessing it.
Samuel had told Saul in verses 18 and 19: “Because thou obeyedst not the voice
of the LORD, nor executedst his fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore hath the
LORD done this thing unto thee this day. Moreover the LORD will also deliver
Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: and to morrow shalt thou and
thy sons be with me: the LORD also shall deliver the host of Israel into the
hand of the Philistines.”
Even at this point what did Saul lack? Our text says in 1 John 1:8: “If we say
that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” Verse 9
says: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins,
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I want to underscore that word if
in verse 9. It is conditional. If we confess our sins from the heart He will
forgive us and cleanse us. 

We can learn from many scriptural examples how God’s saints who shine as the
brightest stars upon the pages of Holy Writ were no exception to the spiritual
warfare in which all God’s dear children must fight. This is a struggle against
the power and character of sin.
Of Moses we read in Numbers 12:3: “(Now the man Moses was very meek, above all
the men which were upon the face of the earth.)” No man can claim he was more
meek than Moses. Yet it was of this same Moses that the Lord’s displeasure is
recorded against his pride and rebellion in Numbers 20:10-12: “And Moses and
Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them,
Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?” Do you see their
Continuing in verses 11 and 12 we read: “And Moses lifted up his hand, and with
his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the
congregation drank, and their beasts also. And the LORD spake unto Moses and
Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of
Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I
have given them.” 

Can we say we have no pride? For their pride, Moses could not enter the Promised
Land. Moses, the meekest of all men, was rebuked for his pride. This is a
message you and I must understand. We need to confess our sins.
May God give us an attentive heart this afternoon, and the words He will bless
as we unfold our other three points.
FOR OUR SECOND POINT, let’s consider the conditional terms upon which sin is
forgiven, “If we confess our sins.”
FOR OUR THIRD POINT, let’s consider the foundation of our assurance of this
pardon and the foundation of His faithfulness that it rests upon, “If we confess
our sins, he is faithful.”
FOR OUR FOURTH POINT, let’s consider how justice not only allows, but demands a
pardon, “If we confess our sins, [then] he is faithful and just to forgive us
our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

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