TALKING THE TALK and WALKING THE WALK
Various Text In 1 John

INTRODUCTION:
Margaret Sangster had charge of a good will center among the underprivileged in a big city. One day, speaking to a large audience, she told this experience.

"There came into my big playroom one day a crowd of boys. Among them was one walking on a homemade crutch and a homemade cane. He limped in. One foot turned completely around and faced backwards. His whole body was so twisted he couldn't play with the others, so he backed up against the wall and followed them so hungrily with his eyes that my heart just broke for him. I called him into the office and asked him what had happened. He answered, "A truck ran over me."

I cleaned him up and made an appointment with a doctor friend who had helped me many times before. The doctor examined him carefully, then called in several other doctors. Finally they said, "Miss Margaret, we can straighten his leg and arm and a few other things. There is no reason why he can't walk again! It will take several operations. He'd have to stay in the hospital for a long time. The only problem for you now is to get somebody to pay the hospital expenses. We'll do our work gratis--we'll gladly do it for you if you can find somebody to pay the expenses.

"I picked up the telephone and called the president of one of the banks and told him I needed to see him right away. He said, 'Well, come on down. I've got the president of one of the other banks here with me. Come on, it's just about a block and we will both be glad to see you.' The little boy, on one crutch and a cane, limped with me into the president's office. I told them the story. They looked at each other for a moment, nodded, and then said to me with a smile, 'Go ahead, Miss Margaret, put him in the hospital. We will see that the bills are paid.'

"The day came when the boy literally danced into my playroom and putting his hands on his hips, he hopped up on one foot and then on the other, then asked, "How'm I doing, Miss Margaret?"

I answered, 'You're doing just fine.' When he had gone, I walked around the playroom with my shoulders up and my head held high with pride. I said to myself, 'Margaret, that's one thing that you did that you can see.. You are always complaining that you can't see any visible results, and you don't know whether you are accomplishing anything or not. There's one thing definite that you can put your finger on that you did.'"

Then Margaret Sangster leaned over the podium and asked: "Where do you think he is today--that boy the doctors and bankers and I straightened out?"

Someone in the audience replied, "He's a preacher." She said, "No."

"A banker?"     "No."

"Governor of the state?"     "No."

"A Senator?"     "No."

"A lawyer?"     "No."

Miss Sangster held up her hand for silence and with sadness in her voice said: "You'd never guess. He's in the penitentiary for life for a crime that was so heinous, so terrible, that except for his youth they would have sent him to the electric chair or the gas chamber." After a moment she continued. "Do you see what my mistake was? I spent so much time teaching that boy how to walk that I forgot to tell him where to walk."

In first John we find the words  "IF WE SAY"  and  "IF WE"  are prominent words in this book.   I take from these words and the entire book that we are to walk the walk and talk the talk of the Christian Life.
 
 

I.    WE ARE TO TALK AS A CHRISTIAN. "IF WE SAY" 


A.    CONCERNING THE PRACTICE OF OUR STEPS.     1 JO 1:6
    If we say that we have fellowship with Him and {yet} walk in the darkness, we lie and do not
    practice the truth;

SOME WALK and DO NOT TALK,   VISA VERSA
 

B.    CONCERNING THE PRINCIPAL OF OUR SIN.       1JO 1:8
    If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
 

C.    CONCERNING THE PRACTICE OF OUR SIN.   1JO 1:10
    If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
 
 

II.    WE ARE TO WALK AS A CHRISTIAN. "IF WE" 


A.    WALK AS CLEANSED PEOPLE.    1JO 1:7 but if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the
        light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

ILLUSTRATION:
W. R. Alexander, who for many years was executive secretary of the Relief and Annuity Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, for a while was pastor in a city of about twelve thousand people. Out on the edge of the city, there lived a terrible old character, known to all of us only as Old Miss Sadie. She was despised and held in contempt by everybody who knew her. When people wanted to say something was ugly or mean, they would say it was as ugly or as mean as Ole Miss Sadie. If they wanted to say something was lowdown and despicable, it was a bad as Old Miss Sadie. To tell anyone he or she was as bad as Old Miss Sadie was the crowing insult. Dr. Alexander tells the story:

"We engaged Gipsy Smith, Jr. to come and hold a tent revival. The Protestant churches of the city co-operated. The Spirit of God got hold of all of us. The revival spread to the very limits of the city--even out to where Old Miss Sadie lived. Two ladies, with a lot of compassion in their hearts, went out and visited her and invited her to the meeting. She just laughed at them, and said, 'You wouldn't have me in your church if I did come, and if God did save me.' They left in confusion, but went back again and begged Old Miss Sadie to come. She laughed at them again, but they went back the third time.

She finally consented to go if they would let her sit in a chair in the dark beyond the light of the tent. Five nights she sat out there. The two ladies, bless their hearts, sat out there with her. The sixth night she came in and sat on the back seat. Through something the preacher said, God came straight into her heart and Old Miss Sadie said out loud, 'Praise the Lord.' Everybody around her turned to look. When the invitation was given, she walked to the front.

"There was a great stir through the whole congregation. Many were dismayed and afraid she might want to join their church. Nobody wanted Old Miss Sadie. Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, all of them were afraid. They just hoped she wouldn't come to their church.

"Sunday morning came after the revival service, and I was in the pulpit when Old Miss Sadie walked in the door and sat down on the back seat. You could see the whole congregation move a little, just like the wind blowing across a wheat field. Everybody fidgeted. I gave the invitation, and she stepped out into the aisle and started to the front. A wave of resentment swept over the congregation.

"Then I saw the most beautiful thing I ever saw in church. In the choir back of me was a girl of about nineteen, the antithesis of Miss Sadie--pure as the driven snow, lovely, sweet, innocent, adorable, she was just everybody's sweetheart. She was such a beautiful character. She seemed to sense the situation, pushed the choir door open, and walked right down over the pulpit and met Miss Sadie four seats from the front. She took that old, haggard face in her hands and kissed Miss Sadie's forehead. She slipped her arm through Miss Sadie's and sat down with her on the front seat.

"Suddenly, the resentment changed to shame. Some of the people even wept. We received Old Miss Sadie into our church and she never missed a service until we buried her. And one of the biggest funerals I ever had was the funeral of Miss Sadie. Maybe one of the greatest sermons on the power of God to change a life was the conversion of Old Miss Sadie."
 

B.    WALK AS CONFESSION PEOPLE.   1JO 1:9
    If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from
    all unrighteousness.
 

C.    WALK AS COMMANDMENT PEOPLE.    1JO 2:3
    And by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.
 
 

ILLUSTRATION:
A guard was stationed at a stairway going up to the palace in England.  One had been stationed there for years.  Finally, somebody came by and said, "Why are you standing here as a guard."  And the guard simply answered, "I was ordered to."

They began to check, and found out many years ago the stairway had been painted and a guard was sent to guard the stairway to see that no one disturbed it while the paint was drying.  No one ever revoked the order so there was a guard standing by the stairway to the palace year after year.

This illustrates the way that we as Christians ought to be, Simply because it's commanded or ordered by the Lord.  We ought to stand guard.

D.    WALK AS COMPASSIONATE PEOPLE.    1JO 4:12
        No one has beheld God at any time; if we love one another,  God abides in us, and His love is
        perfected in us.
 

ILLUSTRATION:
A mother had told the same stories over and over again to her child.  She'd gotten tired of telling the same stories so she got the idea of putting the stories on cassette.   She would take her child to bed put on the cassette and leave the room.  But her child didn't like it.  Finally the child said, "Mother they're the same stories but they don't have any lap."  They wanted the compassion consistent with lying on her mothers lap and getting the pats as well as getting the story.
 

E.    WALK AS CONVERSANT PEOPLE.    1JO 5:9
    If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for the witness of God is this,
    that He has borne witness concerning His Son.
 

F.    WALK AS CONFIDENT PEOPLE.    1JO 5:14
    14  And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to
    His will, He hears us.   15 And if we know that He hears us {in} whatever we ask, we know that we
    have the requests which we have asked from Him.
 


CONCLUSION:

Paul Powell shared the story about his wife playing with their grandchildren.  She would go out by the garage and play basketball with the two boys.  And one boy was trying to pretend that he was Michael Jordan.  The younger boy then asked Grandma this question, "Grandma, is Michael Jordan better than Jesus?"

And Grandma stopped and knelt down by the little boy and she said,"Grandson, I want you to remember this, nobody is better than Jesus."  To her amazement, the little boy then bounced the basketball and said, "I'm going to practice being like Jesus then."

Now we smile about that, but the little boy had a good glimpse into the Christian life.  That's exactly what we are supposed to do.  We are to talk the talk and walk the walk.
 
 


 
 


 
 


 

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And Beyond.    Amen?    Amen!