Summary: We become members of God's family because of what Jesus has done for us.
Text: 1 John 2:12-14
1. When I was growing up i had a great relationship with my mom. we would often have a playful back and forth, but i always knew when i had taken things too far. Like when she would ask me to do something and i would respond with the question, "why?' now i always knew i had taken it too far when she would look at me sternly and say, "just because i said so!"
2. You will notice in our text today that John uses several different ways of addressing members of the church. However, he isn't talking so much about physical age as he is about spiritual development. You will also notice that with every group he addresses them with the phrase, "because..."
3. We are going to look at three "because" statements...
1. Because Our Sins Are Forgiven
2. Because We Have Come To Know God
3. Because We Have Overcome Satan
4. Would you stand with me as we read 1 John 2:12-14.
Proposition: We become members of God's family because of what Jesus has done for us.
Transition: First John talks about...
I. Because Our Sins Are Forgiven (12).
A. God's Children
1. I once read a marvelous story about a country doctor in Scotland who had a very poor practice. Although his patients would pay him in eggs, chickens, vegetables at harvest, and meat at slaughtering time, his huge ledger book would contain many names, symptoms, treatments, and prescriptions, but a lot of empty boxes or columns where nothing was paid. Once per year, the doctor would go through his book and write "Forgiven" wherever he knew the patients would never be able to pay.
When the doctor died and his heirs received all of his material possessions, they brooded over the ledger book and all of the "Forgiven" debts. Eventually, they tried to take some of the patients to court. But according to the story, the old Scottish judge said that there was no way that any court in Scotland could possibly find for the heirs when the physical evidence of the ledger was so eloquent with its message of "Forgiven, Forgiven, Forgiven" on every page.
2. In v. 12, John writes, "I am writing to you who are God’s children because your sins have been forgiven through Jesus."
1. Literally in Greek John is saying, "your sins have been forgiven." This use of the perfect tense conveys the notion that "your sins have been once and for all forgiven and will never be brought up before God again."
2. This is listed first by John because forgiveness is the fundamental experience of the Christian life and the condition of fellowship with God.
3. Forgiveness of our sins is the one thing we all have in common. Forgiveness of sins is at the very heart of the gospel and hence a centerpiece of apostolic preaching in the book of Acts (Allen, Preaching the Word – 1-3 John: Fellowship in God's Family, 87).
4. John wants to encourage his readers, so he adds a precious phrase: "through Jesus."
5. Their sins were forgiven because of what Jesus had done on the cross.
6. God’s "name" stands for his character. We are forgiven on the basis of who he is and what he has done.
7. Our sins are forgiven, but not for our sake. They are forgiven for Jesus’ sake.
8. In other words, John is saying, "Your slate is clean, and it will always remain clean because Jesus died in your place" (Allen, 87).
3. God has forgiven our sins "for his name’s sake." This is a familiar refrain in the book of Psalms.
1. Psalm 23:3 says, "He leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake."
2. Asaph prayed in Psalm 79:9, "Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name; deliver us, and atone for our sins, for your name’s sake!"
3. My sins are not forgiven for my sake. They are not forgiven for anything I have done or deserved, but because of what Christ has done and earned for me!
4. My contrition, my repentance, my faith could never earn God’s forgiveness. They are the means for receiving that forgiveness, but the forgiveness itself is granted me "for his name’s sake."
5. God’s forgiveness of our sin must be forever detached from our merit (Allen, 87).
4. In Isaiah 43:25 God says, "I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins."
1. God’s divine honor itself is at stake if he were to refuse to forgive the sins of any repentant sinner who called upon the name of Jesus for salvation.
2. We saved sinners are forgiven "for his name’s sake."