Summary: 4th in the series, "Love Notes: A Letter from John." Why should we be like Jesus? Because of His Promise, His Passion and His Power.
Clip from Princess Diaries 2 about living up to expectations of being a royal, ending with “The concept is grasped, the execution is elusive”
It can be difficult to live like King’s Kids. But that’s what we’re called to do, to live a life that reflects the image of our father. Now I’m not talking about living like Kings Kids in the sense that was popular some years ago—the sense of having to have the nicest of everything and show off wealth as if that is somehow spiritual, but in the sense of living a life worthy of the children of a holy God—lives marked by righteousness.
Even though it’s hard we have strong incentive to do so. I’d like to look this morning at the passage we read a few moments ago which gives us three good reasons to be like Jesus
We should be like Jesus because of His PROMISE
2:28 28And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.
Our Lord’s promise is that He has prepared a place for us and is coming to get us. John tells us we ought to live in such a way that we will not be ashamed when he comes for us. In other words we ought to be living our lives here as practice for there.
Why should God let into heaven those who haven’t grasped the concept of what it means to live as His children? Of course we have confidence that God’s grace abounds and reaches us in our imperfection—but we’re talking about motive here—a motive to live clean and godly lives and we’re told that our expectation of His return is reason enough to “continue in him.”
That phrase implies slogging it out and persevering even when it’s difficult. It reminds us that the Christian life is not a sprint but a marathon we must Continue in him so that we won’t be ashamed when he comes.
Then a few verses later we are reminded again of his coming
3:2-3 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears,[e]we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.
If we truly have the hope of eternal life in heaven, John says, then we will “purify ourselves just as He is pure” Those who have the hope of heaven have cause enough to live like citizens of that holy place.
The Power of a promise to keep a child’s behavior in check
Similarly since we have his promise of heaven we should be watching our p’s and q’s
We should be like Jesus because of His PASSION
3:4-6 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. 5But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. 6No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.
Jesus appeared so He might take away our sin. The reference here is to the price Jesus paid in dying on the cross for our sins. But notice that the primary emphasis here isn’t simply on forgiveness for sins (although that’s an essential part of what he did for us) but rather the emphasis is on “taking away our sins” in the sense of setting us free from the tangle of a life of sin. “No one who lives in him keeps on sinning,” verse 6 proclaims.
Our Lord’s passion and death on our behalf in turn becomes a powerful motivator for right living. When I was a teenager a song was popular on Christian radio called “Judas’ Kiss.” The chorus went “I wonder how it makes you feel when your children disobey,” and concluded “It must feel just like Judas’ Kiss.”
Every day we have many opportunities in which we must decide to serve our master or betray him once again. The picture of his passion should be motive enough for us to choose to follow. Indeed more than just should be, IT IS enough in and of itself, for the Scripture boldly proclaims, “No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.”
There’s one last reason to be like Jesus I’d like to look at…
We should be like Jesus because of His POWER
3:8b-10 The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. 9No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. 10This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.