Summary: The truth is, that how we live, matters to God! Christians are to keep in step with the Spirit and to walk in obedience to God's revealed will - but what's our motivation for doing so? Is it Law or is it Love? And why does it matter?
No Compromise! - 1 John 3:1-10 - July 28, 2013
Series: That We May Know – Life With Jesus - #9
We’re continuing in our series in the book of 1 John this morning so I’ll invite you to open your Bibles with me to 1 John, chapter 3, and we’ll begin reading in verse 1. And, again this morning, the message is going to be shorter than usual, and we won’t have a lot of time to get into it, because we’re going to have some more baptisms today. We’re excited about that, and we’re looking forward to it, but at the same time we don’t want to miss what God is telling us in His word this morning either. So let’s get right to it …
If you were with us last week you’ll remember that John essentially divided everyone in the world into one of two camps – you’re either for God, or you’re not. If you’re not for God, then you’re against Him. There is no middle ground. You have to come down on one side of the fence or the other. So every one of us here today is either for God, or we are not. We either have Jesus, or we do not. And, while Christians may come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, there are certain things, that John says, that are true of each and every one of them.
First, is our attitude towards sin. A Christian does not rejoice in sin but is rather grieved by it. When we sin we become convicted of it and experience a godly sorrow that leads to repentance. It’s more than just feeling “sorry” for something; it’s desiring to, and being willing to, turn away from the darkness and live in the light.
Secondly, is our response to God’s Word. A Christian’s heart humbles itself to walk in obedience to God’s commands. There is a desire there to learn what God’s will is, what’s pleasing and right in His sight, and to live in accordance with that. So a Christian seeks to get into God’s word, not just to read what’s there, but to know God better, and to put His word into practice in our lives.
Thirdly, a Christian is growing in love – love for God and love for one another. A little later in this letter John is going to write these words … “We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.” (1 John 4:19–21, NIV84) Jesus said that love was the defining characteristic of His disciples, so the life of a Christian, is to be characterized by love. And that love begins with God. Let’s start reading in verse 1, where John writes these words …
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.” (1 John 3:1–3, NIV84)
God’s whole plan of salvation begins with love for the people that He has created. Listen to what Scripture says: John 3:16 - “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, NIV84) Romans 5:8 - “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8, NIV84) And Ephesians 2:4-5 - “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” (Ephesians 2:4–5, NIV84)
That love has been lavished on us for a reason – Why? That we might be called, “Children of God.” Who are the children of God? Those who have been redeemed by the blood of Christ, forgiven their sins, and born again of the Spirit of God. Jesus came, lived a sinless life, went to His death on the cross, in order to bear in His flesh, the penalty that sin demands. And there was a purpose in it. The Bible tells us that “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21, NIV84) These are the ones – the forgiven, the redeemed, the born again, who are the children of God. They have experienced the incredible reality of God’s love first hand, and they have been touched by His amazing grace which has brought them to salvation, and named them, “Children of God.”