Summary: 9th in First John Series
REASONS FOR RIGHTEOUS LIVING
INTRO: Why should we live a life of righteousness and holiness? John gives some reasons why we should do that. In 1 John 3:1 the Bible says, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called the children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.”
ILLUS: How government trains agents to recognize counterfeit money. That’s the same approach that John takes here in 1 John 3. The discussion is about the children of God and about the children of the devil. Instead of going into a long dissertation on how we might recognize the children of the devil, he tells us how to recognize the children of God. We should live a righteous life first of all because of:
I. THE AFFECTION OF THE FATHER (vv. 1-3).
Our Position (v. 1). — Our position is we are the children of God.
1. Have been selected by the Father. — Selection is on the basis of His love. The Father’s love is amazing to behold, it is awesome to try to comprehend. John said what manner of love is it?
Unbelievable. — It’s unbelievable that God should love lost humanity, because there is nothing in lost humanity worthy of love. Read what the Bible says about man. Man is totally, absolutely depraved, there is nothing in man that can please God. But God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. The love of the Father is unbelievable. You know what makes you worth something? It is the fact Jesus loved you enough to die for you.
Undeserved. — It’s undeserved because of its unbelievability. Who would think that God would become man and die for the sins of men? Who would think that God would do what men could not do? That is, bring man to salvation, reconcile God to man. We don’t deserve to be Christians, but on the basis of love God chose us.
Unearthly. — There is no love on the face of this earth like the love of God for man. It is a heavenly love. It is born from above and bestowed on the elect.
2. Slighted by the world. — “The world knoweth us not.” It’s highly unlikely that the world is ever going to recognize any of us. We have a home but it’s not in this world.
Our Potential (v. 2). Our potential is one day we’re going to be all that God saved us to be. I may not look like much right now, but wait till God gets done with me. God is going to perfect a work of grace in my life and in your life. We have the potential to be some day like Jesus is right now. The church is not perfect, but God is ironing out all the wrinkles. God is cleaning up all the spots and the church is headed for perfection.
Our Practice (v. 3). Our position and our potential should determine our practice. Why should we study the second coming? Is it to satisfy our curiosity about Bible prophecy? Is it to scare the daylights out of everybody that’s not living right and get them to living right? Well, that’s partly true, but the main reason that we study the second coming of Jesus is: “every man that has this hope in him purifies himself even as He is pure.”
II. THE MANIFESTATION OF THE SON (vv. 4-8).
John moves from Jesus appearing in the future to His appearing in the past, He was manifested. The word means “He appeared.” Jesus Christ appeared in the past to do two things:
Remove the Practice of Sin (vv. 4-7). As you study the Bible, you find the people that we call Christians. The church age is unique in that the Holy Spirit of God dwells within them. So we have the power to overcome sin. The word commit in the KJV is the Greek word (ðñáóóù) prasso and would be better translated “practice.” Jesus Christ appeared to take away the practice of sin. We don’t have to practice sin, because the Spirit of God dwells within us,
Rob Satan of Power (v. 8). Destroy does not mean to annihilate. The word that is translated destroy means to take the power of the devil. Jesus Christ appeared to take away his power. We could talk about the great power of Satan, but the Bible says, “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.” Why should you live a righteous life? Because Jesus Christ was manifested, to remove the practice of sin and to rob Satan of his power. Every Christian sins, but the Christian does not sin consistently as a way of life. He is not a habitual sinner, because Jesus Christ came to remove the practice of sin. The Christian cannot sin without being grieved about it.