Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O'Neill
I John 1:5 - 2:6: "This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth; but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. My little children, I am writing this to you so that you may not sin; but if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the expiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And by this we may be sure that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He who says,'I know him' but disobeys his commandments, is a liar and the truth is not in him: but whoever keeps his word, in him truly love for God is perfected. By this we may be sure that we are in him: he who says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked."
I remember the first time I was in the company of people I thought were holy people or were Christ-like people. I felt very uneasy. I remember the first thing I was aware of myself, was my own dirtiness and my own coarseness and of course it made me take a lot more care with what I said. In a way I wasn't really free because I was aware of how Christ-like and how gentle and how pure they were in their hearts, and I was very aware that I was not at that time like them. That's the way it will be in heaven. I was sitting down there with my wife and I looked at the stage and it is interesting, this stage has a lot more light, hasn't it, about it than when you are out there. This is bright, illumination. It will be like that. It will be like us all coming into bright, bright light where nothing can be hidden and where every blemish shows up. It won't ever be a case of God rejecting us; it will simply be that we cannot bear the light. It will be the same as I was with those dear people that I met. It will just be so uncomfortable that we won't feel at home there unless we have allowed God's Spirit to fit us for that place.
Loved ones, that's why tonight is such a dear feast for all of us who believe that in Jesus, God included all of our uncleanness, all of our dirtiness, all of our coarseness. This is a feast for us tonight because we realize again that there is nothing in us that is bad, nothing in us that is sinful, nothing in us that is coarse that God has not destroyed in His Son Jesus, and that we can now be freed tonight by the power of His Holy Spirit. That's why tonight is a celebration for those of us who are children of God. We believe that here is the secret to all of life, the death of our Lord Jesus. We believe with all our hearts the words of scripture, "God made Him to be sin who knew no sin, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."
There is no one here with a resentment in their hearts that they cannot get rid of. There is no one here with a bitterness at the bottom of their hearts that they cannot get rid of. There is no one here with a mind filled with unclean thoughts that they cannot get rid of. They can put all of those in Jesus by faith tonight and say, "Lord, I believe you allowed these to be destroyed with you on Calvary and I want now to let these go. Will you show me tonight what I have to be willing for, in my identification with you, to be freed from this sin?" The Holy Spirit, if you take that attitude, will answer you, and He will show you if it is resentment, or sarcasm, or if it is bitterness, or it is a critical spirit, or it is uncleanness, or selfish ambition, or the drive to be the most important person in the situation. Whatever it is, loved ones, the Holy Spirit will speak to you this evening and will say to you, "I want you to be willing to be treated like Jesus in this way," or "I want you to be willing to be identified with Jesus in this way" or "I want you to be quiet with Jesus in this way." He will explain it to you. Then all you have to do, and I know it from my experience, all you have to do is say yes from the bottom of your heart, and there will come a clean Spirit into you this evening: the gift of the Holy Spirit.
What we will find is the blessing in these evening communions is if God has given you light during this past month, that is why I read those verses. The verses say if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, first of all. Then secondly, the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin. Walking in the light means a readiness to call sin, sin. If God has shown you something that's wrong in your life, call it sin. Then walking in the light means a readiness to walk into obedience in regard to that area of your life and a readiness to have the Holy Spirit melt you and mold you into Jesus on the cross in whatever way is necessary. So what God has used is when some of us have felt free just to come up to this open microphone -- we will leave it just like that for the next 10 or 15 minutes-- and simply to share any light that the Holy Spirit has given you about your own walk and about your own life.
If I could encourage you, I think that it will be two kinds of light. I think with some of us it will be new light on a willful, rebellious attitude that we have had on something that we have been hiding in our hearts, a bitterness towards some person, or a resentment towards some person, or a critical attitude towards some person. That is, it will be an expression of our selfish will and something that is keeping us from being crucified with Christ. Loved ones, if the Holy Spirit allows you to do it, I would just share that and say, "I am done with that," and I would encourage you not to tolerate that kind of sin at all. I would share my own experience that God has taught me to be like a watchman with a telescope, and if I see anything that even looks like sin approaching my life, I fly from it. I get it out before Him. I confess it, I declare it publicly and get rid of it. If it is a selfish, willful thing like that, don't hesitate for a moment.
Then there is another kind of light. Many of us have been crucified with Christ and have no more trouble with "the good that I would I cannot do and the evil that I hate is the very thing I do." We have no trouble with that, but the Holy Spirit still leads us into new light in our lives, and that's precious light to share, because God can use it to light something up in some of our own hearts, those of us who are listening.
So I would encourage you above all not to hide anything and not to feel you are being particularly humble by sharing it. All we are doing is responding to God's light, and the more we do that, the more light will be shed abroad here in this room. So loved ones, we will just leave the microphone open and really, just as the Holy Spirit guides you, certainly not apart from that, but just as He guides you, I would encourage you just to share briefly if you would, because that enables more of us to speak.
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