Summary: Sermon Series on 1 John
Series: 1 John
Passage: 1 John 3:4-6
Title: In the Law of the Lord or in Anarchy?
Focus: Christian Living
LAST WEEK RECAP: The Two Distinctions of the Children of God
• ONE: Change Personalities and Practices (1 John 3:1)
• TWO: Change Focus on Earthly to the Eternal (1 John 3:2-3)
INTRODUCTION: According to John, those who are born of God (saved) are commanded to live a life of obedience (1 John 3:5-10). John demonstrates in the highlighted passages how the Saints must move to take a stand on sin (that which is against God). If they take a stand on sin they will produces holiness (be that like Jesus) or fail to take a stand and be worldly (that which against God-like the world). The road only cuts two ways.
TITLE: In the Law of the Lord or in Anarchy (1 John 3:4-6)
Point #1: Living in Lawlessness (1 John 3:4 – OT Exegesis)
• Explanation: A General Understanding of OT Lawlessness (4 MAIN LAWS).
o The Ten Commandments (Decalogue - Dt. 5:6): The Ten Commandments are not “Israel’s criminal law” as specific penalties were not often not specified for breaking them. When one disobeyed, he or she would often be warned of the punishment from God and failure to obtain His promises/blessings.
o Code of Covenant (Exodus 21:2 - 23:33 and Ex. 24:7): The COC was given at the same time as the Ten Commandments. This is a collection of laws referring to alters, slaves, restitution, the Sabbath and festivals. The dominance of human life over property is reflected in these laws.
o Holiness Code (2 areas/sections – change perspective on reading Leviticus!):
• The Priests in Leviticus 1-16
• Obtaining Holiness in Leviticus 17-27.
o Deuteronomy (Second Law): Deuteronomy is a series of sermons by Moses about the law that urged Israel to keep the law if they wanted to prosper in the land they are about to enter. Deuteronomy is an attempt to persuade the nation of Israel to keep the laws. Chapters 12–25, appears to follow the order of the 10 Commandments (Decalogue):
• 12–13 - 1st: No other gods; 15–16 - 4th: Sabbath and festivals; 17–18 - 5th: Parents and Authorities; 19–21 - 6th: Murder; 22–23 - 7th: Adultery; 23–24 - 8th: Theft and Property; 25 - 9th: False Witness
• NOTE: The purpose of the law was to create a ‘kingdom of priests, a holy nation’ (Ex. 19:6) and a holy people (‘Be holy, for I am holy’ and to enjoy the presence of God in the midst of his people - Lv. 11:44–45; 19:2; 20:7; 26).
• Application: Legalism definition. Recognition of life according to the law and moving forward.
Point #2: Living in Christ – The Law (1 John 3:5 - NT Exegesis)
• Explanation: (The “law” in the NT – Pauline Illustration):
o “Law” means ‘principle’, ‘order’, or ‘rule’ in Rom. 3:27; 7:21, 23 and 8:2 with some reference to the law of Moses in EVERY CASE. In Paul’s day the Jews believed that the nations future were not happening because the people not following the Torah (the law – legalism - works). The keeping of the Law of Moses was considered to be essential for the deliverance of the nation and the fulfillment of God’s promises (works based salvation). This meant a few things:
1. There was an improper standing before God: Rom. 3:20 = NO ONE is right before God by “works of law” (Rom. 1:18–3:18). All people (Jews and Gentiles) have sinned and fallen short of God’s standard. A curse rests upon those who do not “abide by all that is written in the book of the law”. Because perfect obedience is demanded, the curse is removed through the cross of Christ by which he becomes a curse-bearer for believers (Gal. 3:13).
2. There was an improper View of Salvation (works): Paul had attempted to obtain right standing with God on the basis of “his own righteousness from the law” instead of “the righteousness of God on the basis of faith” (Phil. 3:9). Since the law of the old covenant is no longer binding, since there has been a change of priesthood (OT Priest to Jesus the High Priest - Heb. 7:11–12).
3. There were improper Actions and Activities: Since Christ has come, circumcision, food laws and observance of days are not mandated for the people of God (Rom. 2:26–29; 4:9–12; 14:1–23; 1 Cor. 7:19; Gal. 4:10; 2:3–5; 5:2–6; 6:12–13; Col. 2:16–23). The Mosaic covenant has come to an end upon the arrival of Christ (Gal. 3:15–4:7; 2 Cor. 3:4–18), for the promises given to Abraham that all nations would be blessed have become a reality (Gal. 3:6–9, 14–18, 29; Rom. 4:9–17). Circumcision, food laws and Sabbath are not required, because the days of separation between Jews and Gentiles have ended.