Fort Mitchell Baptist Church
The Sin of Silence
Part II – Birthmarks of the
“The Sin of Silence”
1 John 1:5-10
(Page 862 in pew Bible)
“You have the right to remain silent.
Anything you say can and will be held against you in
a court of law.
You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford one (which you probably
can’t) one will be provided for you.
Do you understand these rights?”
what is that called? That’s called the
Miranda Warning. Now if you have ever
watched these police shows on television (or if you have been arrested more
than once) you have seen the Miranda Warning given. In affect, it is a law that the Supreme Court
said is Constitutional whereby if you are accused of a crime you do not have to
confess to that crime or even admit anything to the police.
here is something you may not know about the Miranda Rights. The person who gave the name to that warning
was a man named Ernesto Miranda.
He was convicted of rape. Before
he was able to consult with an attorney, he confessed to the crime. But his conviction was overturned because the
Supreme Court said, “You don’t have to confess to anything. You have the right to remain silent.”
here is the interesting thing about Ernesto Miranda. In 1976 he was stabbed to death in a
bar. The person who did it wanted to
confess to the crime but instead he was read his rights, told he did not have
to confess, and he did not confess. And
to this day, no one has ever been convicted of that crime.
telling someone “you have the right to remain silent” may not violate their
rights according to the Constitution.
But “the right to remain silent” does violate the Bible. Because the Bible says just the
opposite. The Bible says you do not have
the right to remain silent. The Bible
says confession is one of the Birthmarks of the Believer.
are in a series called Birthmarks of the Believer. And the birthmark we are going to look at
this morning is confession. One of these days, sooner or later, every one of us
is going to have to confess our sins.
Now you can do it now before it’s too late, or you can do it later
when it is too late. Because your
sin has a way of coming out.
heard about a couple. One was named
Harry and one was named Sally. They met
and fell head over heals in love. They
wanted to get married. But they each had
a terrible secret that they didn’t want the other to know about.
had a terrible problem of bad breath.
Every time she would get close to Harry, she would pop in a mouthful of
mints or breath spray or something to hide the problem. But on the other hand, Harry had a problem of
smelly feet. He would never take his
shoes off or his socks off around Sally because he didn’t want her to know his
they got married. They went on their
honeymoon, went to a hotel and checked in.
They were getting ready for bed and they decided they would each go to a
separate bathroom and get prepared.
Harry went to his bathroom and began to scrub his feet. Sally rushed to her bathroom and started to vigorously
brush her teeth.
Finally they came out of the bathroom, sat on the edge of
the bed and Sally couldn’t stand it any longer.
She got very close to Harry and said, “Harry, I have a confession I have
to make.” He looked at her and said, “I
know what it is, you don’t have to say a thing.
You ate my socks didn’t you?”
sin has a way of coming out. You can try
to hide it all you want to but the truth of the matter is, we all have faults
and we all have sin. You might be
sitting there saying, “Well I don’t have to confess anything to God.” Look at V.8, “If we claim to be
without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.”
You know one of the things that encourages me when I read
the Bible, even the best people in the Bible sinned. Moses sinned, Abraham sinned, David sinned,
Peter, James and John sinned.
But you know how they overcame their sin? They overcame their sin by learning the
principles that I want to teach you this morning. I want to share with you how a Christian should
deal with sin so that he is never gored by the horns of guilt and never
paralyzed by the poison of sin.
is a verse in the 1st chapter of 1st John that I think
every Christian should memorize.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins
and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (Let’s say that together)
That’s a verse you will use everyday of your life. Because in that verse there are 3 powerful
principles of how to deal with sin in your life. And they will give you victory every day of
I want to share them with you this morning.
What should a Christian do with his sin?
Express Your Failure
again at V.9, “If we confess our sins…”
that is in the present tense. It denotes
continuous action. Literally it says,
“If we are confessing our sins day by day.”
What John was saying is this.
This is something we should do on a continuous basis. Do it daily and diligently.
Did you know, there are some people today who teach
Christians do not have to confess their sin.
say Jesus died on the cross; which is true.
Jesus shed His blood; which is true.
has already forgiven us of all of our sin and there is no need for a Christian
to ask forgiveness.
that is plainly and Biblically wrong.
say, “Well why are they teaching that?”
Because these people misunderstand the difference between a Judicial
Pardon from a Judge and Parental Forgiveness from a Father.
see in once sense it is true, if you have been saved, you have been forgiven of
all of your sin – singular. When
you read the word “sin” in the Bible, and it’s sin – singular, it’s talking
about Judicial Pardon. It’s talking about the sin condition you were born into.
you took Jesus as your Savior, as your Judge, God forgave your sin…that
is, the judgement of your sin…the penalty of your sin…the separation
your sin caused. You are made right with
a Holy God. Your sin is no longer
charged to your account, your sin is charged to Jesus’ account.
notice, Judicial Forgiveness is not what John is talking about. He says “if we confess our sins” –
plural. Now he’s not talking about your
relationship to God as Judge, now he’s talking about your relationship
to God as Father.
see, when I was saved as a young boy, I didn’t become perfect, I just became
forgiven. God forgave the judgement of my sin-singular, but I have sinned since
I became a Christian. I got a new nature
but I also have an old nature. And
sometimes that old nature wins out over that new nature.
when that happens, my sins-plural, still have consequences. And one of the consequences of my sins is
broken fellowship with my heavenly Father.
So that sin must be confessed.
Not so that I can keep my salvation, but so that I can enjoy my
I’m convinced that there are a lot of Christians sitting in this building today but they are living in defeat everyday of their life because they have never learned how to deal with sin.
there is only one way to deal with sin.
Not 2 or 3 or 4. Only 1 and that
is to confess it openly to God.
Did you know that there is only one kind of sin that can defeat you if
you’re a Christian? Only 1. And that is unconfessed sin.
Now to understand what confession means I want to give you
a little Greek lesson. The word there
for confess is a compound word.
the word homo-logeo. Now you know homo
means “the same” and logeo means “to speak.” So when you put these two words together the
word literally means, “to say the same thing.”
you confess your sin to God, you say the same thing God says about sin. You look at it just the way God looks at
it. And let me tell you why that is so
important. Did you know that you can
admit sin without confessing it?
do this all the time. They admit sin but
they don’t confess sin.
A mother was trying to teach her 4-year old son how to
tell time without using a digital clock.
So she kept telling him about the big hand the little hand. One day she was in the living room and her
little boy was in the kitchen. She
thought she would teach him a lesson and she said, “Johnny, what is the little
hand on?” He said, “A chocolate chip
the way you deal with sin is to call it what God calls it. When you confess that sin, it means that you
are broken over that sin, you hate that sin, and you look at
it the way God looks at it.
I want to give you a practical illustration of this. I’m not trying to dig up old dirt but we all
saw how our former President tried to deal with his sin. He called it “a mistake – an error – bad
judgment – inappropriate.” But he still
hasn’t gotten it right. He still hasn’t
called it adultery.
see what God calls sin is not just a bad habit.
It’s not just a mistake; it’s not just poor judgment. Sin is high treason against Heaven’s King.
there are 2 keys to confession.
Call it what it is.
One of the problems we have in America today is “double
speak.” For example, according to a
report issued by the Counsel of Future State of the Language, they sited
the example of double speak.
stock broker called a recent stock market crash “A forth quarter equity
Pacific Gas and Electric Company referred to its bills as “Energy documents.”
shut down at a General Motors plant in Massachusetts was labeled by the company
as “A volume related production schedule adjustment.”
recent publication claimed that jumping off of a tall building could lead to
“sudden deceleration trauma.”
what that is, is double speak.
God says if it’s lust, call it lust.
its adultery, call it adultery.
it’s bitterness, call it bitterness.
it’s jealousy, call it jealousy.
it’s greed, call it greed.
call it what it is. Don’t minimize it
and don’t rationalize it.
here is the 2nd key.
Call it what it is.
Confess it when it happens.
the exact moment it occurs, confess it right then. Don’t wait until you get caught. Don’t wait until you can’t find a way out.
know what most of us do? And let’s be
honest. We love to sin retail but
confess it wholesale. Here is what
we will do. We’ll go through the whole
day and we’ll get mad at the wife, we’ll yell at the kids, we’ll kick to dog,
we’ll kill the cat and do all kinds of terrible things. We’ll let it roll along. And this is what we’ll pray before we go to
bed. “Lord, if I sinned today, please
know what God is saying? “What do you
mean, If ? Who are you trying
to kid.” Instead the minute you lose
your temper say, “Father I just lost my temper and I know that violates what
you want a Christian to be, forgive me.”
“Lord I took something that didn’t belong to me, that’s stealing. After all you have blessed me with, I just proved
that I am not really thankful and I’m not really trusting you. I’m sorry, forgive me.”
means to say the same thing as God.
see a lot of people are making excuses when they should be making
Ten Boom said, “The blood of Jesus never cleansed an excuse.” And if you’re going to get right with God,
you have to confess it.
talked about guilt a few weeks ago. Do
you know how to deal with guilt? The
best way to keep guilt out of your life is this. The moment you sin, you get to God before the
devil does. Because you know what
happens every time you sin? The devil
goes to God and says, “You see what he did, do you see what she did, do you see
what he said, what she said?” but if you
get to God 1st, then when the devil comes, God can say, I’ve already
dealt with that.
the 1st thing you do.
Express your failure. And when
you do, you can…
Expect God’s Faithfulness
at what he said in V.9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just….”
Now of all the character qualities God has and of all the
attributes John could refer to, why did he talk about faithfulness and why did
he talk about justice? Why?
me give you two reasons:
God is Faithful to His Promises.
let me give you a promise in the Bible that God is faithful to.
Isaiah 55:7, “Let the
wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts, let him return to
the Lord and God will have mercy on Him because God will abundantly pardon.”
says that even though we lie, God never lies.
Even though we break our promises, God never breaks His.
God is Just in His Purposes.
see John said that when we confess our sins, He is not only faithful, He is
just. Now let me tell you why that
matters. God being faithful is
important to me. But God being
just is important to Him.
see, whenever we sin, God is automatically faced with a problem. On the one hand, God is merciful and loving
and God wants to forgive the world of its sin.
But on the other hand, He is just and holy and He can’t just turn a
blind eye to human sin. The Bible says, “the
soul that sins will die.”
So how can God solve that problem. The way God’s problem is solved is Jesus
Christ on the cross. On the one hand God
is merciful and forgiving, but on the other hand He is holy and just because
Jesus paid for that sin.
to Romans 3:25-26, “God presented Him (meaning Jesus) as a sacrifice of
atonement through faith in His blood. He
did this to demonstrate His justice at the present time, so as to be just and
the one who justified those who have faith in Jesus.”
Now what happened to the Old Testament? In order to gain forgiveness for their sin,
the Jews would sacrifice lambs and rams and goats on an altar. But the New Testament says very clearly in
Hebrews that the sacrifice of animals was not enough to pay for human sin.
So what happened?
God said before the cross, “I will forgive their sin on a temporary
basis until the perfect sacrifice has come.”
But on this side of the cross, we can take our sin directly to God and
know that we have been forgiven.
me give you some great news this morning.
I don’t care what you’ve done. If
you take your sin to the cross of Calvary, God has to forgive you. You say, “Why does He have to?” Because if you take your sin to the cross and
God doesn’t forgive you, then that dishonors His son and His sacrifice.
had people come into my office with a guilty conscience. And they will try to tell me what they have
done and they’ll cry and you can tell that they are broken over the sin. And they’ll say to me, “Pastor, I have begged
God to forgive me.” Now listen to me
carefully. You don’t have to beg God
to forgive you. Did you hear
me? Because of Jesus, if you just ask
God to forgive you, He will forgive you.
He will forgive you freely and fully and finally.
say, “How do you know that Pastor?”
Because the Bible says, “He is faithful and He is just.”
know what the word “faithful” means? It
means every single time. You men
who are married. Let me ask you a
question. If a man is faithful to his
wife 364 days a year, is that man faithful?
No. If you’re faithful you are
I tell Debby every now and then, “I’ve always been
faithful to you.” I told Debby one time,
“I’d rather die than be unfaithful to you.”
She said to me, “Don’t worry, if you are you will.”
let me tell you why this is so important.
I’ve met a lot of people who have told me, “Pastor I have begged God to
forgive me but I just don’t feel like I’m forgiven.” Can I tell you the good news according to
this birthmark of a believer? Your
forgiveness is not based on your feeling.
It is based on His faithfulness.
It doesn’t really matter if you feel forgiven or not. God says I am faithful and I am just.
you express your failure, you can expect His faithfulness.
Now here is the last truth.
How Do You Deal With Your Sin?
Express your failure.
Expect God’s faithfulness.
Experience His Forgiveness
again at 1John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and
will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
don’t miss this. Here is what God
does. When we sin God does 2
things. He pardons us and then He
Now that’s why you never have to bring up a confessed sin
twice to God.
was a great Bible teacher that not many people read much any more. R.A. Torrey once said, “If you are at
this moment troubled by any sin that you’ve ever committed either in the past
or the present and you’ve taken that sin to the Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross,
remember it is an act of ingratitude to God to brood over sin that He, in his
infinite love, has already forgiven.”
Let’s just say you go to God with a sin. Let’s say it’s the sin of jealousy. And in America that is an easy sin to
commit. Maybe you see a neighbor who
bought a new car and you’re jealous that he can afford a new car and you
can’t. And you say, “Lord I was jealous,
forgive me.” But the next day you go
back to God and say, “God I’ve been jealous of my next door neighbor.” Do you know what you just did? You just insulted God. You basically are saying, “God, you didn’t
do what you said you would do yesterday so I’ve got to come back to you again.”
You see our problem is we ask for forgiveness over and
over and over again. Rather than really
confessing it once and then thanking God that He has forgiven us over and over
again. In fact, the next time you are
reminded of something you did but confessed to God just stop and pray and thank
God for His wonderful faithfulness and His forgiveness for you.
Don’t you see why confession is so important? Do you realize what it does? Confession puts you in a position to get your
heart right with God but confession also puts God in a position to get sin
removed from your heart.
Now John says, “…He is faithful and just and will
forgive us our sin and purify us from all unrighteousness.” That is, he will pardon, but he will
If you’ve ever done any farming, you know that before a
farmer goes out and plants any seed in that soil he has to prepare the
land. He knows that the seed will grow
best if it’s planted in prepared soil.
So what does he do? He will go
out and remove the rocks, he will cut down the trees, pull up
the stumps, he’ll get the ground ready. If it’s hard, he’ll water it. He may even put fertilizer in the soil
before the seed is ever planted.
Every time you go to God and confess your sin to God, you
are inviting God to walk over the field of your heart. And God looks over your heart and sees a
rock of greed or a root of pride and God takes the water of His
grace and the fertilizer of His love and prepares your heart so that
sin can’t stop His seed from growing in your life.
Now that’s why confession must be true and sincere and
honest. You see, every time you commit a
sin there is really only one of two things you can do. You can either confess it or you can cover
That’s why the Bible says, “He who covers his sins will
not prosper. But he who confesses them
and forsakes them will have mercy.”
I heard about a priest who had an unusual experience one
time during a confession. The man came
in and sat in the booth and the priest said, “What have you done my son?” The man said, “Well I’ve been stealing lumber
from where I work. I have been stealing
other supplies too. To be honest, I have
stolen enough to build a home for myself at a lake house and I’m feeling very
guilty about it.”
Well the priest said, “Son, this is very serious. Let me think of a way you can make it
right. Here’s what you need to do. You just get away from life, get away from
the routine of living, go and isolate yourself.” The priest said, “My son, have you ever done
a retreat?” The man said, “Well no,
but if you can get the blueprints, I know where I can get the lumber.”
And that’s the way a lot of people’s confession is. It’s not true, it’s not complete. Confession must be made but it must be
You see, when we come to God and say, “God I have fallen
into the mud of sin.” Notice what God does. God doesn’t do what we do with our kids
When our kids fall in the mud, we may forgive them after
we have given them a good spanking. But
then we’ll say something like this, “Get over there and clean yourself up. I told you not to do that before we went to
But do you know what God does? When we fall in the mud, He forgives you
and then God washes the mud off and gives us brand new clothes. He forgives us and then cleanses us from all
Now let me tell you how you’ll know when you are really
ready to deal with sin. Some of you may
be involved in something and you know it’s wrong but you really don’t want to
give it up. Real confession says, I
will go any distance, I will pay any price, I will count any cost, if I can
just be right with God.
Let me tell you a story.
This is a true story. It will
break your heart but it’s true. On
September 22nd, 1998 a man by the name of Daniel Crocker confessed
to a murder he’d committed 19 years before.
But here is the fascinating thing.
Nobody had tracked him down, nobody had found him out. Nobody had gotten his fingerprints. Nobody had uncovered DNA evidence. Nobody knew he even did it. But yet he confessed to that murder.
Now you say, “Why did he do that?” Because it came from a conviction God had
placed on his heart. At the age of 38
with a wife and 2 young children, Crocker had become a Christian. He was growing in the Lord, he was reading
his Bible and every time he would read a verse like 1 John 1:9, God would speak
to Daniel’s heart and say, “Daniel, you haven’t come clean. Daniel you haven’t dealt with that sin. You’ve not confessed that. Daniel, you and I could never totally be
right and we can’t have the fellowship and connection that I want until you get
19 years earlier, he had been on a 3-day high from
LSD. He met a teenage girl named Tracy
in a convenience store, got her in his car, took her out in an abandoned field
and killed her. There were no
clues. Detectives admitted the case
would never have been solved had Daniel Crocker not come forward and
Several years later through a miraculous set of events,
Daniel Crocker came face to face with Jesus Christ. He gave his life to the Lord. He got off of drugs, he started going to
church, and he started reading his Bible.
He met a wonderful young lady in 1986, got married, had a family, had
two beautiful daughters and they didn’t know anything.
But by 1998 he couldn’t stand it any longer. He sat his wife down and his 2 little girls
and he said, “Let me tell you something.
Your husband is a murderer and your daddy is a murderer. I’ve confessed it to God and now I’m
confessing it to you and now I’m going to confess it to the victim’s family and
to the police.”
He kissed his wife and girls goodbye. He got on a plane in Virginia; he flew to
Kansas City, MO. He had prearranged a
meeting with prosecutors there and turned himself over to the police, went to
trial. The District Attorney didn’t have
much of a case but he presented it. The
Defense Attorney never spoke but Daniel Crocker got up and spoke and said,
“Your honor, I plead guilty as charged.
I did exactly what they’ve accused me of doing. I don’t make any excuses
for it. I’m not only throwing myself on
the mercy of the court, I’m throwing myself on the mercy of God. I believe God has forgiven me but I hope that
the family can forgive me and I am willing to accept whatever the court
He was sentenced to life in prison and he is eligible for
parole in the year 2008.
When the trial was over reporters were standing
outside. The defense attorney came out
first and said, “I’ve never seen anybody come forward and willing to take
responsibility for what they’ve done like this man has.”
The prosecuting attorney came out and he simply made one
statement, “I’ve never seen anything like this in all my legal practice.”
But when they interviewed Daniel Crocker, here is what he
said, “I know it’s hard to understand but it’s the right thing to do because
it’s the only way I can be right with God.
And it’s the only way I can be totally clean and it’s the only way I can
finally be forgiven and that is the only thing that matters.”
Now do you know what.
Daniel Crocker was exactly right.
As long as you live on this earth, up until the very moment you die, the
only thing that really matters is to be right with God. And the only thing that really matters is to
be clean before God. And the only thing
that really matters is to be in total union with God.
you are a Christian, one of the Birthmarks you have on your heart is a desire
to enjoy complete forgiveness. And the
good news is, the Blood of Jesus has never cleansed one excuse. But “If we confess our sin, He is faithful
and just, and will forgive our sin and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
AMEN'd this Sermon: