Summary: This is the 5th study in the study "Light In The Darkness".
WALKING IN PROOF
The United States Treasury Department has a special group of men whose job is to track down counterfeiters. These men need to know a counterfeit bill when they see it. How do they learn to identify fake bills? They are not trained by spending hours examining counterfeit money. Instead, they study the real thing. They become so familiar with authentic bills that they can spot a counterfeit by looking at it or sometimes even by just feeling it.
Our text warns us that there are counterfeit Christians in our world; but instead of listing all of their characteristics, our text describes what a real Christian looks like. 1 John 3:1-10 shows us what the Trinity has done and is doing in Christians.
God The Father Loves Us
God’s love for us is unique. Although we were God’s enemies, He loves us so much that He sent His Son to die for us! The motive for God’s gift of salvation is love. 1 John 3:1-3 gives us three descriptions of how God’s love affects believers.
1 John 3:1 (NIV)
1 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.
1 John 3:1 (MSG)
What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it—we’re called children of God! That’s who we really are. But that’s also why the world doesn’t recognize us or take us seriously, because it has no idea who he is or what he’s up to.
This is what we are as Christians. We are God’s children.
1 John 3:2 (NIV)
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 he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
1 John 3:2 (MSG)
But friends, that’s exactly who we are: children of God. And that’s only the beginning. Who knows how we’ll end up! What we know is that when Christ is openly revealed, we’ll see him—and in seeing him, become like him.
This is what Christians will become. We will become like Jesus when He comes back.
1 John 3:3 (NIV)
3 Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.
1 John 3:3 (MSG)
All of us who look forward to his Coming stay ready, with the glistening purity of Jesus’ life as a model for our own.
This is what Christians should be. We should be pure. Our text now moves from God the Father’s love for us to God the Son’s sacrifice for us.
God The Son Died For Us
Verses 4-8 give us two reasons why Jesus left Heaven and came to this earth to die.
1 John 3:4-6 (NIV)
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.
1 John 3:4-6 (MSG)
All who indulge in a sinful life are dangerously lawless, for sin is a major disruption of God’s order. Surely you know that Christ showed up in order to get rid of sin. There is no sin in him, and sin is not part of his program. No one who lives deeply in Christ makes a practice of sin. None of those who do practice sin have taken a good look at Christ. They’ve got him all backwards.