Summary: Sin - and how it divides us from God and each other. And the remedy.

“The Great Divide”

September 18, 2011

I John 3:1-10

1 See what great 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. 2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.

4 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. 5 But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. 6 No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.

7 Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 8 The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. 9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. 10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.”

Last Monday morning, just after I got up, my brother-in-law, Rob, came over to do a little work on the house. As I often do, when he comes over, I made him breakfast. As I was cooking the eggs and turkey bacon (I’m cooking more healthy now) Rob asked what was wrong with my voice. It had a deep melodious tone to it. I laughingly told him “this is what I would sound like if I were a professional singer.” Our worship team practiced Friday afternoon, practiced again Friday night before we sang at Celebrate Recovery that night, practiced Saturday afternoon, practiced Sunday morning, sang for the Worship service, then sang for an hour at the park Sunday Afternoon. My voice wasn’t sore - but it did have a very noticeable tonal quality to it. Unfortunately, it didn’t last!

I had a great time at the park. The worship team sounded GREAT! Chuck, who is one of the leaders of CR, said last year they had about 50 people – this year they had over 200 come by. It was great. I was so proud of you guys in your Abundant Life shirts. I think we were the predominate Church there. Although we are few in number – we are strong in spirit and in zeal. I applaud you guys for that.

One thing concerned me, tho. I left in the middle of the day to take Bob and Sandy home, and I heard my Baptist friend, Bill, put you on the spot. He asked everyone who was a sinner to raise his hand. Those who didn’t raise their hands he called liars.

That was unwise and divisive. It was unwise because it was a misquote of Scripture. He was referring to the Word in 1 John 1 that says,

“8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.”

Unfortunately Bill left out verse 9 that says,

“9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

If Bill would have said, “All who have ever sinned – raise your hands,” I would have been the first to raise my hand. Because I have sinned and fallen far short of God’s will. But He didn’t say that. He said, “If you are a sinner – raise your hand.” I am not a sinner. I WAS a sinner – but I am not one now. I am a child of God CLEANSED BY His grace and blood. That same chapter in 1 John says,

“7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”

So if God, through Jesus’ blood, purifies you from sin – are you a sinner? NO! You WERE a sinner – past tense. If you confess and repented of your sins – they are gone. You are no longer a sinner. You are a saint. You are no longer engaged in sin. You are a child of God – not a child of the devil.

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