Summary: Just as surely as Gil Grissum of CSI (Las Vegas) says, "follow the evidence", so does God’s word in determining who is of the Father and who isn’t.
* Let’s begin this morning with 1 John 3:10 “This is how God’s children — and the Devil’s children — are made evident.” I don’t know about YOU, but for me, when the Bible says so clearly that “this is the way” for us to know who’s going to heaven and who’s not, who belongs to God and who belongs to Satan, I’m interested. I love dealing in facts.
* I remind you that verse 7 of chapter 3 says, “let no one deceive you”. Last week we saw how we were encouraged not to be deceived about sin, Satan, self, and even the Savior. Paul teaches us more than one time (in his writing) to evaluate or examine ourselves so we won’t be deceived.
* Now in verse 10, John uses the word “evident.” Consider this word for a moment. What does it mean? Some of the synonyms are “made known”, “manifest”, “identified”, one translation even said, “know who they are”. However, the word evident has a first cousin, “evidence” Now most of the older generation knows this word (if for no other reason) because of Perry Mason. The younger generation’s television attorney was Matlock. The evidence was and is an integral part of any legal case. It is used to “prove”.
* TEXT CALL. Our text today seems to give us indication about the evidence found in our lives & what it proves.
* TEXT. For years, you and I have heard the old adage which asked, “if you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict?” This morning, I will approach this question a little different. Let’s say you that the only thing of which you are accused is being a “person.” We will examine the evidence this morning and “see what it leads us.” For the last many years, the television program CSI has led the ratings. Today, we have multiple programs which carry this title. On the original show which is located in Las Vegas, NV, the CSI team is led by a man named “Gil Grissum.” Griss has no interpersonal or administrative skills to speak of, but he is an incredible, dispassionate scientist which has only one desire; to find the truth. One of his favorite expressions is; “follow the evidence.” This morning, let us do exactly that, “follow the evidence”. Let us not attempt to manipulate, influence or control the evidence, just follow it. Our plan involves 3 parts;
1) The Exposure of the Evidence – In our system of juris prudence, one of the needs for any case is the disclosure or the exposure of evidence. Local Judge King told the story of ruling that the “gambling machine” was legal at one point and the next time it was presented, he ruled it was illegal. How and why did that happen? It was a matter of evidence. This text exposes 3 pieces of evidence for us.
a) Our Actions – The text says, “who does not do what is right is not of God.” This statement rates at least two thoughts; first, notice the work DO. As a pastor who has heard sermon after sermon about us “being” believers, which is very Biblical, the Bible raises our “Being” to another level which is DOING. The action word DO appears dozens of time in God’s word as a call for the believers to demonstrate who they are by their actions. In the same way, the Devil’s Children make it evident who they are by what they do.
* Then we get to the value judgment, does not do what is “right.” Here is a point for discussion, debate, and division, or so it seems. In my lifetime there was a time when a common standard of right and wrong existed. Sadly, today the question is frequently asked “who is to say what is right and wrong?” The result has been confusion on the highest order.
* Allow me to clear up this passage. This work “right” might be better translated “righteous” or “the one who does not “live righteously” or practice righte-ousness”. This is definitely a picture of “right” as proclaimed by God Himself. The evidence is based on our Obedience or disobedience to God’s word.
b) Our Attitudes – “whoever does not love is not of God particularly the one who doesn’t love his brother, the message from the beginning has been love each other.” Do we understand the full meaning of this? We learned love from Jesus, who laid His life down. We know we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers. The attitude of God’s children makes them “givers”, the attitude of the Devil’s Children’s makes the ‘stingy’ and ‘takers’. Satan’s children show no compassion, nor generosity, nor kindness.
c) Our Activities – John is not talking about only the “big” actions we take, but our daily “works”, that is, the things which make up our lives. Not just loving in word or speech, but in “deed” and “truth”.