Summary: We respond to God’s extravagant love with holiness
1 John 2:28-3:10 November 12, 2006
God’s Love & Our Response
God’s Great Love
Prodigal Son – tell story
Justice = You made your own bed, now you can sleep in it, leave and never come back.
What have you done in your life that God should just cut you off for?
Grace = you can come back as a slave
Love = You are my son
Lavished Love = kill the fatted calf!
Great – The Greek has the meaning of “out of this country” - Out of this world, exotic, like nothing you have ever seen, you have no box in your brain to put this in
Lavished – filling the room with roses
Peter - "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers." – Luke 22:31-32
Our Response – Holiness
“I love her so much, how could I ever look at another woman?”
We could also respond by thinking that since God loves us so much and lavishes his grace on us, we don’t need to worry about our behavior – God will look after everything.
This is why John writes “Dear Children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous. The one who does what is sinful is of the devil” (Verse 7&8)
God loves us when we are rebelling against him – Romans 5:6-11
6You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
9Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Our response to God’s love in our rebellion is not to rebel more – it is to quit our rebellion and come over to his side
John’s statements could be read as prescriptive rather than descriptive – it is not that we will never sin, but if we really grasped God’s love for us, we would not.
John is making this strong statement, saying that if we truly know God’s love, and if we truly love him, we will not sin, that does not mean that when we sin it must prove that we do not know him – remember that this letter is written to encourage, not discourage us!
John is also not taking about some unknown sin that we feel some vague sense of shame over –
Paul writes to the Galatians: 19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. (Galatians 5)
Paul says, “the sinful nature is dead, now act like it,” “We live by the Spirit, now walk with him.”
The Spiritual reality is that we are pure – make it an outward reality
Verse 28 – we want to meet Jesus in the end and be able to look him in the face.
We think of a soldier returning from war to his sweetheart – Is the embrace full of joy or is it mixed with the shame of the things he has done while he was gone?
Our hope in this is that John says, although we don’t know exactly what we will be like when Jesus returns, we do know that we will be changed to be like him. – but we should not wait until he returns to be pure – “All those who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.”
Pray for an Experience of God’s Love
Desire of Holiness