Summary: A real Christian lives into Christ... consciously and continually becoming more and more like Him.
Title: Living into Christ
Text: I John 3:1-7
Thesis: A real Christian lives into Christ… consciously and continually becoming more and more like Him.
And I am sure that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ comes back again. Philippians 1:6
And as the Spirit works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more. II Corinthians 3:18
On April 12 the state of North Korea launched a long range test missile in their quest to develop the capability of a nuclear strike. The new leader of that country, Kim Jong-Un has stated that his first three priorities are to strengthen the military, strengthen the military and strengthen the military.
To a world watching the activities of an impoverished nation in which most of its citizens are hungry, spending another $815 on a missile launch is beyond absurd. Their foolishness prompted the United States to cancel planned food aid to that country.
I cite the actions and attitude of Kim Jong-Un as a contemporary example of a person who has been entrusted with great power and privilege and then behaved totally irresponsibily.
With great privilege, come great responsibility… when you have been entrusted with power and privilege and violate that trust by acting irresponsibly you have broken not only God’s trust but the trust of the people you serve.
Jesus said, “To whom much is given, much will be expected…” In the NLT it reads, “Much is required from those to whom much is given, and much more is required from those to whom much more is given.” Luke 12:48
Our text today focuses first on the privilege that becomes ours when we follow Christ. We are:
I. Privileged People…
God allows us to be called His children and we really are! I John 3:1-2
In the Gospel of John we are taught what happens when we become followers of Christ. "But to all who believed him and accepted [received] him, he gave the right to become children of God." John 1:12
The Gospel describes being born again as becoming children of God… as becoming members of God’s family. Our text today specifically affirms this new relationship with God as really becoming children of God.
In Robert Frost’s poem, “The Death of the Hired Man,” a farm couple is caught in a dilemma. Their former hired man, who was never very reliable, returned after being told that if he left during haying time he could not come back to work there again. It seems old Silas would go off to work for other people during the summer but when it got cold he would come back to live for room and board for the winter. And now the old hired man had stumbled back again promising to go back to work ditching the meadow.
Silas is described as “just the kind that kinfolk can’t abide.” Silas is unreliable and his own family has had it with him, so much so that he doesn’t even bother to ask his relatives for help. But he knows he can come back to Mary and Warren and they will take him in because it’s like Mary said, “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.”
There is a certain privilege to home… home is where they have to take you in. Home is where you will always find a place at the table and a bed to sleep in. Home is like a family safety net. Home is where you receive understanding and compassion.
When we become children of God we have found a safe place in God’s family.
It is a privilege to be in a family where you receive a roof over your head, food in your stomach, clothing on your back, companionship, nurture and educational support, health care, security, a heritage, emotional support, financial support, familial activities and hopefully a shared faith.
Jesus said of those who belong to him, “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. So no one can take them from me.” John 10:27-29
As children of God we even have the privileges of family and home and the promise of eternal security.
But with great privilege comes great responsibility. We are privileged people but we are also:
II. Responsible People… (Another word might be accountable.)
Those who believe this will keep themselves pure, just as Christ is pure. I John 3:3
Jesus said, “To whom much is given, much is required and to whom much more is given, much more is required.”