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Sun, Oct 09, 2005

1 - What if I Sin?

by Robert Dean
Series:Basics 2: Foundation for Living (2005)
Duration:42 mins 47 secs

Foundation for Living Lesson 1




Before we get started in our study of God's word, let's go to the Lord in prayer.

Father, we thank you for this opportunity to study Your word.  We thank you for its clarity, we thank You for its perspicacity, we thank You for the way it illuminates our thinking in every area.  Scripture says that it is in Your light that we see light.  Father, it is only as we submit our thinking to the teaching, the illumination, the revelation of Your word that we are able to properly grow as believers, to properly understand the creation around us as You have revealed the basis of all thought to us in Your word.  Thank You for the clarity that You give us regarding salvation that it is by no one else other than Jesus Christ.  Now Father, as we study these things this evening we pray that You would challenge us with what we study.  Make these things clear to us.  We pray this in Christ's name.  Amen


As young men grow up they often look role models, leaders, mentors.  They find them in various places.  Sometimes they are fortunate enough to find them in their own father.  Other times they find them in pastors, teachers,and professors.  Several years ago I sat down and wrote a list

of five men who were significant mentors in my life when I was in high school and college.  What is interesting is that in that list of five men, four are pastors.  One of the five was an internationally known professor of theology.  But on that list one man stood out as being different.  He was not pastor, not a theologian.  He was not even a believer.  He was a military man.  His name was Jim Calahan.  I first met him when I was about to matriculate my first semester at Stephen F. Austin State University at Nacogdoches.  I was going to go into the ROTC program.  I went up there for summer orientation and went by the military science building. There, there was this somewhat nondescript individual who I talked to.  I did not know much about military protocol and there was this individual dressed in civilian clothes.  We talked about the ROTC program, the military science program and some of the different things they had.  He did not impress me a great deal.  He was rather quiet, mild mannered.  He did not have the kind of physical presence you would normally associate with a military man or warrior, but he was someone you probably would not notice in a crowd. Over the next few months I came to realize that that's not who this man was. He was a genuine hero. He fought in Korea and several tours in Viet Nam.  He became a mentor, a leader and a hero to dozens of us who went through that military science program.  He stamped us with his influence.  He was a leader, he was a mentor and he was a man who was crazy as a loon.  All of that came together to provide a somewhat remarkable makeup for a military leader.  He taught us about leadership, what it was to be a man, what it was to assume responsibility.  He was our professor, our teacher and for some of us, as the years went by, he became our friend.  When I graduated from college and didn't go into the military, that was somewhat of a disappointment to him.  He had recommended me highly for a scholarship which I did gain, and went through college on an ROTC scholarship, and it was a great disappointment to him when I did not go into the military.  Some years later he found out I went to seminary.  He called a friend of mine and said,  okay, we both know Dean, he's a pastor?!  There has to be some money in it somewhere, what's the scam?  Figure it out.  Over the years we kept in touch.  I would go thru Nacogdoches every three or four years and visit.  We would sit outside and tell stories and tell lies.  We would go out shooting.  He had a great love for weapons, and probably knew everything  there was to know about any kind of pistol or rifle or shotgun.  As the years went by we developed a good friendship.  This last April I found out that he entered into the greatest battle of his life.  He had been diagnosed with lymphoma.  He was coming down from Nacogdoches every couple of weeks for treatment at MD Anderson Hospital. I found out he was in town and went down to the hospital to meet him.  We sat around in the waiting room.  They reviewed some tests and decided to check him in for a couple of days.  I had taken my book on Spiritual Warfare down there just to show him something that I had done.  Since they decided to keep him in for a few days, I came back the next day.  I brought him a copy of Victor Davis Hansen's book, Carnage and Culture.  He was a great military historian.  We loved to sit and talk about battles.  We talked about everything from the battle of Cannae to the battle of Gettysburg, to Viet Nam.  He would tell war stories and I would ask him about his experiences in Viet Nam and other things.  And after about 30 minutes, he said, ok Robbie, tell me why you are a pastor and what it is that is unique about what you believe.  And for the first time in 30 years, I had given him the gospel when I was a freshman, I went thru the gospel with him.  We talked about this and we talked about that.  We talked about evolution and creation.  We covered philosophy as well as well as theology.  We talked for three hours.  And when it was done, he seemed to say, I understand that, I understand the gospel.  But what do I do if I believe all that?  I said, well, I'll come back later and we'll talk about that.  I could not get down there for a couple of days and I decided to send my bulldog in there, so I call my bulldog, Gene Brown.  Just a week or 2 prior to this, another fellow that was in the ROTC with me had been killed in Iraq, serving in a civilian capacity.  Gene had at one time served on and A Team with this man who had just been killed, so they had that point of contact in common.  So Gene went down to the hospital and spent three hours explaining the gospel to Jim Calahan again, going over it in detail.  Gene called me afterward and said, I don't know if he is a believer, but he really understands grace and he understands the gospel.  Jim went home a couple of days later and had to come back for treatment about two weeks later.  I went to visit, and in the course of our conversation I was going back over my own Christian life testimony.  We talked about the fact that I'd always wondered if Christianity was really intellectually respectable.  When I was in college I heard so many attacks in the classroom, in psychology and sociology classes, that my local church background had not prepared me to specifically handle.  So there were a lot of doubts in my mind, as there are with many folks, if you can really intellectually trust Christianity, or do you have to park your mind and just believe something, take sort of an existential leap of faith.  Randy Price gave me a copy of Josh McDowell's book, Evidence that Demands a Verdict, when I was a junior in college. I read that and never looked back. I just mentioned that to Calahan as I was talking about my testimony and he said, wait a minute, what is the name of that book?  He said, can you get me a copy of that?  That afternoon I left the hospital and went down to a Christian book store and bought an updated copy and took it back to him the next morning.  He went home for another couple of weeks until the next treatment and when he came back two weeks later I asked him if he had had a chance to read any of the things I had given him.  I had bought him a bible and I gave him two or three other books and tracts that explained the gospel.  He read everything and had read 250 pages of Evidence that Demands a Verdict.  We sat there and talked and he said, you know, I believe in God, I believe God exists, I believe Christ died for my sins, what do I do now?  I thought, hm, I don't have a basic series to give this man.  I need to teach a basic series this summer. 


  So that was the inspiration for the series we just finished, and the one we are beginning this evening, which is Foundation for Living.  According to God's timetable, not my timetable, Jim Callahan went to be with the Lord yesterday morning.  During the last six or eight weeks, when I got him some tapes, I don't think he ever had a chance to listen to any of the basic tapes we provided.  His mind was not clear the last few weeks.  He was tired, the cancer was getting the best of him.  But I did get an opportunity during the summer to spend time with him, and I went up and spent the day with him a little over a month ago.  So that is the foundation for the series.  Even though I had other ideas, the Lord has his own timetable.  This Saturday I will be going go to Nacogdoches to conduct the memorial service.  That will be a challenge because a lot of the men I was in college with will be there.  The old rowdy gang from college will show up and I get to give them the gospel.  That will be a tremendous time.  Yesterday when I was talking on the phone to Calahan's oldest son Phil, who was just a 12 year old kid when I was in college and used to tag along on our ftx weekends, training in the woods, I said to him , now Phil, you have to understand your dad trusted Christ as his savior.  Phil almost broke down in tears, he said, you know dad was always a skeptic, a cynic.  I've just been scared to death that he did not know Christ as savior


That's a real challenge for all of us.  We need to make sure that our children hear the gospel, and that you tell your parents the gospel.  Make sure it is clear.  Don't let a day go by that you don't tell folks the gospel.  It has been a great opportunity of ministry to that family.  That gives you a little insight as to why we are going through this series. 


The question that Jim Calahan asked is an important one that is often not addressed.  Now that I am a believer, now that I have eternal life, what do I do?  The scripture is very clear.  In fact, much of the scripture is addressed, not to people to get them saved, but to believers to teach them how to think like God.  How to understand Gods plan and purposes for their lives so that they can go through Gods training program in preparation for our future ministry during  the millennial kingdom as we reign as kings and priests with the Lord Jesus Christ, and from there on into eternity.  So the first question we have to address is, OK, if I get saved, what happens if I sin? What do I do?  What happens next?  This has been a perennial problem for pastors, theologians and Christians to deal with over the years.  What happens when I sin?  Do I lose my salvation?  Do I have to go through some kind of penance in order to get right with God?  Do I have to say some special kind of prayer, or go to the priest, or just what do I do to deal with any kind of sin in my life?  The scripture is very clear, Jesus Christ paid the penalty for all of our sin 

on the cross.  Therefore, you cannot commit any sin after salvation that has not already been taken care of on the cross.  However, when we do sin after salvation, it does have an impact on our ongoing relationship with God.  We've studied in the past few weeks about the nature of salvation.  At salvation we are regenerate, we are born again.  We receive new life in Christ.  We are adopted into Gods family, we His children.  We become sons of God, the scripture says.

As members of the family, we cannot be kicked out of the family.  But just as you as a child at times disobeyed your parents, and that created a barrier in your relationship with your parents,

the same thing happens in our relationship with God.  When we sin there is a breech of our fellowship with God.  Because we are indwelt with the Holy Spirit, and from the instant of salvation  God the Holy Spirit is working to mature  us, to sanctify us, the scripture says, to bring us to spiritual maturity, there is also an impact on that ministry of God the Holy Spirit. 


The apostle Paul uses two images to communicate that.  He says that we grieve the Spirit and we quench the Spirit.  In other words, at the instant of salvation we are indwelt with the Spirit.  We are also filled with the Spirit, and the Spirit begins His work in our life.  But as soon as we sin, that filling ministry of the Spirit, His sanctifying ministry, is squelched, shut down.  He is still working in other areas, but in terms of producing growth, that is cut off.  And the scripture says that there is a recovery process.  There are two passages that indicate that something needs to be done and these are given in James 1 and in 1 Peter 2. 


James 1 is always one of my favorite passages to poke fun at in the King James version, because the verbiage sounds so bombastic and meaningless in terms of our modern idiom. 


The passage reads, "Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness."

(Remember in the Old King James, that was the superfluity of naughtiness.  Naughty, to us, just doesn't quite convey what the Greek conveys.  In American idiom it is just a little off, not quite right.  In English idiom, naughty can be quite serious. It just has to do with idiom on this side of the pond.)  "and receive with  meekness the implanted word which is able to save your souls." 

What we find in this verse, without going into excessive detail on the grammar, is basic dynamics of Christian growth.  The command is to receive with meekness or humility the implanted word.  The command there 'to receive" is an aorist imperative, and that indicates that it is a priority.  Every time you find an aorist tense imperative mood verb in the New Testament, it is indicating a priority.  It is something of vital significance.  It needs to be implemented immediately if not sooner.  We have something interesting going on in this verse in terms of the grammatical construction that doesn't come across in the English .  It begins with a phrase that is translated 'lay aside', and it looks like that is an imperative as well.  Actually, in the Greek it is an aorist middle participle.  It has an imperatival sense to it because of the main command to receive the word.  In the Greek it is called the participle of antecedent circumstances.  Antecedent means that which goes before.  So this participle always precedes the main verb. 

The meaning of the grammar is that the participle indicates the circumstances or the conditions  that must be fulfilled before the main command can be fulfilled.  The main command is to receive the word which is the basis for our spiritual growth.  But before we can take in the word, something has to happen first.  And that is, there has to be this laying aside of what the translation says is filthiness and the overflow of wickedness.  What does that mean?  The word translated filthiness is the Greek word rhuparia, which indicates moral corruption.  It is just a synonym for sin. The overflow of wickedness is actually the excess which sin is in terms of translation.  We are basically told we need to do something, we need to lay aside this sin which is in our life.  The verb there for lay aside, apotithemi, is the idea of removing something.  It is the word you would use if a guest came into your house and you said, Take your coat off.  It is just the removal of a garment, taking something off, removing it, laying it aside.  Or putting it aside and putting it somewhere else.  I am reminded of the Old Testament passage, when we confess our sin, when God forgives us, He removes our sin as far from us as the east is from the west.  That is the idea here, it is a removal and a separation of sin that is the precondition for being able to take in the word of God.  The command is to lay aside all filthiness, and the excess which sin is, and receive with humility the implanted word.  What does it mean by the 'implanted word'?


That is the word which we are learning that God the Holy Spirit is going to implant and drive into our soul.  It is the word that is able to, as the translation says,  save ours souls.  This is not talking about entering into eternal life.  The word translated saved is the Greek word sozo.  In the New Testament it frequently does not mean entering in to eternal life or, as we often say, getting saved.  It has to do with the end product,  or the process of our spiritual life.  We are familiar with scripture we have gone through in the past talking about the three tenses of salvation.  At the cross we are saved from the penalty of sin, this is spiritual death.  We are born spiritually dead.  At the instant of faith alone in Christ alone, you are spiritually alive, you are regenerate.  From that point on we go through the process of experiential or progressive sanctification.  And we are being saved or delivered from the power of sin. We still have a sin nature, we still sin,  and we are learning to put to death the deeds of the flesh, as Paul says in Romans 6  We are in the process of spiritual maturity.  Then, when we die, we are absent from the body and face to face with the Lord.  We are saved from the presence of sin.  These represent the three tenses  of salvation, past, present and future.  In several of the New Testament books, for example, Romans, Hebrews and James, the word saved, sozo, and its derivative, soterion, for salvation and other forms of the verb, the noun doesn't refer to salvation here.  In American Christian idiom, when we say, Are you saved?,  we mean , are you going go to heaven, have you trusted in Christ as your Savior?  But in many of the New Testament books, the focus is on the present outworking of the reality of justification, which is phase one.  It is this process of being saved from the power of sin on a day to day basis.  That is the way James uses the word in the Epistle of James.  In fact we see this very clearly because in chapter 1,  verse 18 we read, "of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we may be a kind of first fruits among His creatures."  That bringing forth by the word of truth is a reference to salvation justification that we have talked about, when a person puts his faith alone in Jesus Christ.  When an individual recognizes that Jesus Christ died on the cross for his sin, at that instant he receives the imputation  of Christ's righteousness and God the Father declares you just.  That is the doctrine of  justification by faith alone in Christ alone.  You are simultaneously regenerated so that you become a new creature in Christ, and you have eternal life.  But it is several verses later, verse 21  when James begins to talk about the spiritual life itself - how do you grow?  He uses the term  saving the life, or delivering the life, that is from sin.  So the focus of James 1:21is how the believer grows.  To begin with there has to be this removal of sin.  What exactly does that mean?  How do we do that?  Before I answer that question, let's look at one other passage. 

1Peter 2, verses 1 and 2 have the same grammatical structure in the Greek.  They use that participle of antecedent circumstances in order to stress what must be done before the command can be fulfilled.  We have the same word used, laying aside is the verb apotithemi, it means to remove something, to take something off, to set it completely aside.  In 1 Peter 2:1, 2, we have a list of different sins that are representative, it is certainly not an inclusive list.  "Therefore, laying aside all malice (mental attitude sins related to hatred, envy, vengeance, vindictiveness)  all deceit,(that is anything related to lying, deception) hypocrisy and envy, ( all of these are mental attitude sins; mental attitude sins are among the most destructive of sins.  And then sins of the tongue) all evil speaking (whether it is lying, slander, all these things shut down the ministry of God the Holy Spirit, they grieve and quench the Spirit. 


Then we have the positive command in verse 2, " as newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation".  The command is the word 'desire'.  We are to desire the milk of the word like a newborn babe.  The verb there is epipotheo and it means to yearn for something, to long for something, to hunger for something.  Most of us have heard an infant that gets hungry, it makes its will known.  He screams for food.  He cries out for food.  And you hear that awful noise as the baby starts wailing until someone sticks something into his mouth.  He is hungry and does not know any other way to express himself.  This is the image that the apostle Peter uses in this verse.  We, as new born believers, are to scream out, cry out, demand to be fed.  It is interesting what happens when you don't get fed.  I don't know how many of you have gone through a fast.  I went through an imposed fast.  Years ago I went through an outward bound type program that Wheaton College had.  It was the last elective I had to fulfill for my ThM, and I had to take a Christian education elective.  I wasn't thrilled about the Christian education courses at Dallas, and I didn't like the gimmicky things the Christian ed guys normally got into.  But I found out that Wheaton College had a two week wilderness learning seminar that was a backpacking and camping trip that was part of their Christian ed program.  And I could get those hours transferred back to Dallas to fulfill my Christian ed elective.  I thought what a great way to finish a course.  I was really into that sort of thing when I was younger, a lot of rock climbing, white water canoeing and rafting.  So I went on this 2 week trip  It was a great trip, except I came down with a staph infection, had a 103 degree fever, half way through.  They took me to a hospital where I got a shot of antibiotics, then they stuck me out in tent in the middle of nowhere, left me a little food and said get over it.  Then they disappeared.  They showed up three days later, picked me up and we continued with the trip.  I got up to the upper Michigan  peninsula  We ended the trip on the shore of Lake Superior. The mean temperature of the water in Lake Superiour is 33 degrees, 32 degrees is freezing, so the water temperature is so cold it kills any bacteria.  You can drink the water right out of the lake  without worrying about  getting any bacterial infection.  As we got to the shore they isolated everybody.  They strung us out along the shore about a hundred yards or so apart from one another.  and we were to have a three day solo during which we were to fast.  I was about 27 years old and really  didn't like to go more than 2-3 hours without food.  I certainly wasn't looking forward to fasting.  I had been anticipating, trying to figure out a way to squirrel away some food, so I could make it without really having to fast for three days.  Then we were told there were a  lot of bears in the area, and they could really sniff out the food, so it was really against our better interest to have anything in our possession that had even touched food, because the bears would smell that and they would come after us.  And indeed, during the three days were on the shore they attacked the home base where the leaders were and completely demolished four or five  $150.00 backpacks trying to get the food that was there.  We had plenty of water, but no food.  I discovered that when you have gone without food for about 36-48 hours, your appetite just disappears, you are not hungry anymore.


 People wonder how the Lord could fast 40 days and 40 nights.  Moses fasted for forty days and forty nights. People think, Jesus was God, of course He could go forty days and forty nights without food. No, in your humanity you can do that because your appetite will go away after about a day and a half.  But the way God has made us, as you get close to that 40 day mark,  your appetite comes back with a bang.  If you go much beyond forty days, it can get serious, life threatening.  I experienced some of that during that time at Lake Superior.  After a day and a half, I did not have any appetite.  I think this is what happens with a lot of people who get saved.  Nobody feeds them.  They don't get any teaching from the word, they just get this pablum that's typical. So after a short amount of time, their appetite goes away, the same thing that happens in the physical realm, I think,  happens in the spiritual realm. They go from church to church to church, no one is teaching  anything and you think, that's all there is. It's just this nonsense that goes on.  So people think, I'm supposed to go to church, so they go, and they get this pablum, this dog and pony show, and the emotion.  So you think that's what there is and you don't realize how much depth and meat there is to the word.  That is what this passage is talking about.  We are supposed to be like babies, demanding of pastors to feed us.  A pastor is like a chef.  He needs to prepare a meal for every body, from the infants to the mature, because this is how we grow, that is the thrust of the passage. "New born babes desire the pure milk of the word that you may grow thereby."  You don't grow from singing hymns, you don't grow from praise and worship, you don't grow from counseling, you don't grow from going to Sunday school, you don't grow from sitting around saying what does this  what did this passage mean to you.  You grow because somebody has dedicated their life to studying the word so they can teach and communicate the principals of gods word so you as a believer can grow and mature in the Christian life.  But there is a precondition, and that is what we saw in 1Peter 2:1 as well as James 1:  23, - the principle of taking off and removing sin.  The bible uses another image for communicating the image of cleansing.  There are 2 types of cleansing in the Christian life.  There is cleansing that occurs at salvation, related to all pre-salvation sin.  There is another cleansing that takes place after salvation on a regular ongoing basis as the result of confessing sin.  Let's understand the importance of cleansing 


 John 13 ties in with the Lord's table, because this took place the night before Jesus Christ went to the cross when the disciples gathered together in the upper room for the Lord's table.  As the disciples came into the upper room, the Lord Jesus Christ had taken His outer garment off and 

He had wrapped it around His waist so it would not get in the way, and He had brought a basin out.  As the disciples came into the room, He knelt down and washed their feet.  This was the standard practice of the host as guests came into the home to celebrate the Passover meal.  But this was the Lord who was doing this and it really bothered the disciples that He was getting down and washing their feet. When He came to Peter, it was just too much for Peter.  In verse 6, we read, "Lord, are You washing my feet?"  Let me wash your feet.  Peter just could not accept the fact that here was the One who he recognized as the Messiah back in Matthew 18, that this was the Lord of the universe, the Son of God washing his feet.  And Jesus said to him in verse 7,  "What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this."  In other words, I am doing something that has a benefit, I am teaching a doctrine with symbolism here.  You may not understand all of its ramifications right now, but you will eventually.  Peter said to Him,  Lord "You never shall wash my feet."  An interesting Greek word is used, nipto.  Jesus said to him in response "If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me."  Peter said to him. "Lord, not my feet only, but my also my hands and my head."  Don't just wash my feet, wash my whole body,  give me a bath.  And Jesus then said to him, "He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet."  When He uses the word bathed, he uses a different Greek verb - luoo.  Nipto means to wash something partially, like your hands or feet.  Luoo has the idea of taking a complete bath, .  washing from head to toe.  Jesus is pointing out to Peter, when you got saved you were washed from head to toe,  that is cleansing from your pre-salvation sins. But now you need to have an ongoing partial washing, and that is just of your feet.  This is indicated by the word nipto.  And He says to him in verse 10, he who has been bathed (luoo), washed from head to toe, that is, the person who is completely cleansed at salvation, needs  only to wash his feet (nipto) but is completely clean.  This is the Greek word katharizo, which means to be cleansed or purified.  These words are important and they have a heritage in the Old Testament.  In the Old Testament when the high priest was inaugurated into his role, he was bathed from head to toe.  In the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament, the Jews understood what the nuances were.  There was only one word for bathing or washing in Hebrew, the verb  xxxxx  but when the Jews translated  the Old Testament into Greek,  they made a distinction between the different kinds of washings related to the high priest.  When the high priest was inaugurated he took a bath from head to toe, and this was translated in the Old Testament by the verb luoo, indicating a complete bath.  But from that point on the high priest never took a complete ritual bath.  As he entered into the tabernacle or the temple he came to the laver and he would wash his hands and wash his feet. This was symbolic of the fact that he needed to be partially cleansed before he could go into the presence of God.  He was completely cleansed at his inauguration.  A picture of the fact that every believer is completely cleansed at the moment of salvation.  But we do things and go places we shouldn't.  We think things and act ways in which we shouldn't.  We commit sin, so there needs to be partial cleansing on an ongoing basis if we are going to maintain our relationship with God  This is why Jesus said to Peter,  "If you do not let Me wash you (nipto-continually cleanse you)  you will have no part with Me."  The word  'part'  does not mean role or place or ministry in  your life. It is the Greek word xxxxxxxxxx.  It is a technical word as in a legal document,  such as a  will, to indicate a portion or share of the inheritance the heir would receive.  The same word is used in the story of the prodigal son.  When the younger son wanted his inheritance he asked for his portion, his xxxxxxxxxxx  What Jesus is saying to Peter is, there won't be any cleansing in your life and therefore you won't have any production that has eternal value.  There won't be any inheritance for you if you don't let Me cleanse you on a regular basis.  The key word here is cleansing.  That is the important word.  That is the idea behind James 1: 21 and behind 1 Peter 2:1  The believer has to be cleansed of sin.  That word is picked up in 1 John 1:9, the key promise, the most clear statement of this truth. But as I have pointed out it is not the only statement of this truth.  The key word in 1John 1:9 is not the word confession, which a lot of  people hone in on. The key word is cleansing.  This is the word you find from Genesis all the way through Revelation. There needs to be a cleansing of sin at salvation, which happens when we are justified and saved from the penalty of sin. But there needs to be an ongoing post salvation cleansing that takes place throughout our Christian life as we grow and mature.  We are given the promise in 1John 1: 9 that  "If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."  We have to be cleansed from that sin and that superfluity of naughtiness, or excess of wickedness in James 1:21  We have to be cleansed of the gossip, malice and the mental attitude and overt sins mentioned in 1 Peter 2:1.  We do that by simply admitting  the sins that we commit, according to 1 John 1:9.  The word there is homologeo, which simply means to admit or acknowledge.  The etymology of the word,  sometimes you find people who say it means to say the same thing as.  But that's not what it means in terms of usage.  It is a legal courtroom word.  It means to simply admit or acknowledge  that you have done something wrong. You have breached the law.  You have broken an ordinance.  You are no longer innocent, you are now legally guilty.  The solution is to admit guilt which is done in silent prayer.  You just tell God, I have done this, I have had mental attitude sins of envy, lust, I have gossiped, maligned, slandered, whatever it may be.  We just say, Father, I have done this, and we are instantly forgiven. It is not a matter of remorse, feeling sorry for your sins.  Remember, you may commit a sin you feel sorry for, but it is only because you have shocked yourself and you are afraid of Divine discipline.  So you beg and plead to God, we've all done this, 'just don't lower the boom this time, I won't do it anymore.'  And God has a great sense of humor and grace, and He kind of chuckles and says,  I know, but your going to do it 15, 742 more times,  so don't try to convince Me you are not.  Just admit the sin.  The promise of 1 John 1:9 is if you admit the sin I will forgive you and forgive you from all unrighteousness, even the sins you have not already committed.  And at that instant we are restored to fellowship with God.  The sanctifying ministry of God the Holy Spirit resumes in our life.  He begins again to use the implanted word of God to save our souls, that is,  to save us from the ongoing power of sin in our life, to produce spiritual growth through the word of God.  That is the starting point.  We have to understand that once you are saved, it doesn't mean you are perfect.  It just means you have an eternal destiny in heaven.  Now you have to deal with ongoing sin in your life. 

So we have a grace based solution.  To simply admit or acknowledge our sins, we are forgiven and restored to fellowship so we can move forward.  Now we all know that when you are a young believer you go in and out of fellowship.  We sin and sin again.  Everybody goes thru that.  But as you grow and mature, that bouncing back and forth thing slows down and is not as significant.  You spend more and more time in fellowship, walking with the Lord, walking by means of the Spirit.  That's the next thing we need to address as we go forward in our understanding of what we do after salvation.  We have to first of all admit our sin so we can be in fellowship and be in right relationship with the Holy Spirit.  Then we have to learn to walk by means of the Spirit and we'll get into that next time


With our heads bowed, and our eyes closed.  Father, we do thank You for this opportunity to study Your word.  Thank you for Your grace, that our salvation, indeed everything in our life is based on Your grace, it is not based on who we are and what we do, it is based on who You are and Jesus Christ did on the cross.  On the cross Jesus Christ paid the penalty for our sins.  He died in our place so that we can have salvation.  Scripture says there is no other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved. Salvation is simple, it is simply believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. It is believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.  Father, we pray You will challenge us with the things we have studied this evening, make them clear to us.  We pray this in Christ's name.  Amen.