Summary: The good news is that there is a cure from this deadliest of plagues that has infected the entire human race. These verses speak of our Lord’s first coming into the world. Why did God send his Son into the world?
WHY JESUS CAME
Throughout history, the world has been affected by plagues. Of course, we are reminded of the plagues in the book of Exodus. One of the deadliest plagues in history took place in the years 1348 -1350. This plague was known as the Black Death and killed one-half the population of Europe. It was actually the bubonic plague and was caused by rats. Even in our day, there are plagues of one type or the other. The fear of a bird flu pandemic has been in the news lately.
But the deadliest plague that has ever been in the world is the plague of sin. Sin began when Adam and Eve yielded to the subtle ploy of the serpent, and they disobeyed God. Adam and Eve fell into sin and passed the plague of sin to the entire human race.
What is sin? John defines sin for us in verse 4. "Sin is lawlessness." The practice of sin is the opposite of the practice of righteousness. The so-called new morality of today takes little note of sin. Yet the Bible defines sin as lawlessness. Sin is rebellion against God’s moral law. Do you know what the moral law is? Basically sin is the violation against the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20).
Human sin has infected every person who ever lived. The wages of sin is death. Physical death is total in every generation. Spiritual death means eternal separation from God in hell.
The good news is that there is a cure from this deadliest of plagues that has infected the entire human race. These verses speak of our Lord’s first coming into the world. Why did God send his Son into the world?
I. Christ appeared that he might take away our sin. John begins this section with a reference to the seriousness of sin. “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin” (3:4-5). In these verses we learn much about sin. Note that sin is universal. “Whoever commits sin….” The Bible declares, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). The whole world is guilty before God.
Sin is lawlessness. “Sin is the transgression of the law.” Sin is a defiant violation of God’s moral law. John Stott (p. 126) wrote, "It is not that sin manifests itself in disregard for God’s law, but that sin is in its very nature lawlessness. Lawlessness is the essence, not the result of sin." We excuse sin by calling it a mistake or a personality problem. Sin is more that just missing the mark, it is a deviation from what is right. Sin is essentially an active rebellion against God’s known will.
Christ came into the world that He might take away our sin. John the Baptist declared of Jesus, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). The Apostle John said, “In him is no sin.” The sinless Son of God came to remove our sins. If the eternal nature of the Son of God is sinless, and he came to remove sin, then no one who lives in union with Christ keeps on practicing sinning. People who persist in sin have never really seen Christ nor have they known Him. To see and know Christ as the sinless Savior of sinners is to outlaw sin in our lives.
II. Christ appeared that He might destroy the works of the devil (3:8-10). “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.”
In these verses we see the origin of sin. Sin originated with the devil who has been sinning from the very moment of his rebellion against God. The person who constantly lives in sin is of the devil. Sin is the ruling characteristic of the devil. Sin is his nature and constant activity. Everyone who sins exhibits a character which is derived ultimately from him. If the characteristic work of the devil is to sin, the characteristic work of the Son of God is to save us from sin.
The Son of God came into the world to “destroy the works of the devil.” The word "destroy" is from a word meaning "to loose." The destruction of Satan is the loosing the diabolical chains that have bound us. Jesus came to liberate us from Satan’s power. This does not mean that the devil’s work has been absolutely and finally destroyed. That will take place later. It means that Satan’s power has been deprived of its force and rendered inoperative. Satan is still active doing his wicked works. He is still our enemy, but he was defeated at Calvary.