• Have you looked out in nature and noticed that apple trees always produce apples?
• When you plant an apple tree, you do not hope that it produces a few oranges do you? You are not hoping for a mix of lemons and apples are you?
• When I see an apple tree, I see apple pies and apple turnovers!
• Have you ever walked under an apple tree and see a bunch of lemons lying under it?
• SLIDE #1 When you stand under the apple tree, you find that the apple does not fall far from the tree.
• When an apple falls from the tree, it stays close to the tree. In the orchard, you can tell which apples came off of which trees by their proximity to a tree.
• As we live our lives, after a while it becomes evident which tree we fell off of.
• There are only two trees in the orchard of life, the tree of God or the tree of the devil. We can all become a part of the tree of God if we want to.
• Just claiming that we are from the tree of God does not make us a part of that tree. We can say we are an apple all we want, but if we have the look, smell, taste, and feel of a lemon, we are not an apple. We are not a lemon.
• Last week we finished the message by seeing that everyone who has their hope fixed on Jesus and what He will do for us will purify themselves.
• God wants to take us from being lemons to becoming apples.
• When we become a born again, things change for us. Today we are going to look at three principles that will help us to grow to be more Christ-like, three things we need to understand so that we can purify ourselves for Jesus!
• Let’s read 1 John 3:4-12 together this morning.
I. LEMONS CANNOT FALL OUT OF APPLE TREES. (4-6,9)
Habitual sin and the child of God are incompatible.
1. Sin is lawlessness. (4)
• Verse four tells us that everyone who PRACTICES sin PRACTICES lawlessness.
• Sin is missing the mark. It is as though God put a target out there for us to hit, and we keep missing it.
• The passage is correctly translated “PRACTICES” sin. We are not speaking of committing a sin or even struggling with sin, we are speaking of a lifestyle of sinning.
• It is a habitual way of life, a willful act by the guilty party.
• Lawlessness is a purposeful disregard for God’s law.
• Little Judy was riding in the car with her father. She decided to stand up in the front seat. Her father commanded her to sit down and put on the seat belt, but she declined. He told her a second time, and again she refused. “If you don’t sit down immediately, I’ll pull over to the side of the road and spank you!” Dad finally said, and at this the little girl obeyed. But in a few minutes she said quietly, “Daddy, I’m still standing up inside.”
• There are too many who are still standing inside.
2. Jesus came to take away sin. (5)
• This is another reason that a lifestyle of sin is not compatible with a child of God. Jesus came to take sin away, He came to take away the effects that sin has on us. SLIDE #4
• John 8:34 says when we commit a sin we are a slave to sin. Jesus came