We Do Not Continue To Sin Because...
Sunday, June 18, 2017
1 John 3:3-10
1 John 3:3 All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.
What was the hope John was speaking of? When Christ appears, we shall be like Him.
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. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 8 He 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 him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has 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 a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother. (NIV)
Christians are to be working at overcoming sin in their lives. Believers are to work at loving God and other people. Children of God are to be seeking to live in obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ. We are to purify ourselves.
If you are not a Christian you have little or no reason to fight against sin. When you have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, you need to be listening to Him and following where He leads. We call this discipleship. Disciples learn from and follow their Lord, their Master.
Are you a disciple? Have you been learning from and following where He leads?
Remember those stories about Mom having eyes in the back of her head? She always knew about things you did and you could never figure out how! If you had known she would see you, would you have done those things she confronted you about?
Christians do not continue in sin because they know God is always there. He loves us and we disappoint Him when we fall short of His expectations. We do not continue in sin because He loves us. We do not continue in sin because we have chosen to love Him.
Mom confronted us about those things because she loved us. God loves us too. He loves us so much He confronts us when we begin living as if He is not looking. We call that the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
When we think of God as the rule giving judge that really does not care about us, we see the rules He gave us as His way to keep us from having fun, or to keep us from doing what we really want to do. We felt the same way about our parents when we were young and immature.
When we grew up and had children of our own we began to understand why Mom and Dad had the rules they had. They loved us and wanted to protect us. They wanted us to become the mature, successful people they knew we could be.
The world and the flesh do not believe that God loves them. They refuse to believe in Him because they do not understand how much He loves them.
When we understand that God loves us and that He provided His Son to be the atonement for our sin… when we begin to understand that God forgives us when we are honest with Him and confess when we have fallen short, we begin to mature in our faith.
Early in our Christian life we try to keep the rules in our own power. As we mature we begin to understand that God is with us, that He wants to give us the right motives and the ability to obey Him because He loves us.
We do not continue to disobey God because we have come to see that the rules He gives are for our good, not to deprive us of the joys of life, but to help us enjoy life as we were meant to live it.
As we grow in our relationship with God, we begin to understand that putting God first in our lives is good for God, good for us, and also good for anyone watching us.
Let’s take church attendance. A few weeks ago, I was talking about our reasons for going to church. Why do we come to church?
Think about how our coming to church is good for God. We, His people, honor Him by coming together and giving praise to Him. He is honored and those who watch us, our neighbors and our children and other family members, see the commitment we have and know that we live to bring honor to Him. It is a high priority for us. It is one way we say to others that we believe that God is real and that He is important in our lives. Just coming to church faithfully is a witness to God and to others that we love Him and that we believe He loves us and has the right to tell us how to live. Our faithful attendance at church glorifies God. This is one way we love God.
Our faithful church attendance is good for other people because when they see our commitment, they may move a little closer to believing in God for themselves. God, as the Holy Spirit, can speak to them about their need to honor God because we brought it to their attention by our faithful attendance. Our coming to church is good for people around us. Our children need to see that this is a priority in our lives.
Our faithful attendance at church is good for us. We come together and as the family of God we encourage each other as we share our testimonies about how God has helped us. We pray for one another as we learn from each other about needs in our lives. If the pastor or teacher is teaching the Word of God, you also learn about God and you grow in your own relationship with God.
Of course, if all you do is attend church, you may have some growing and maturing to do in your own relationship with God. We must not assume that faithful attendance at church is all we are called to do as His disciples.
What I am saying is that what God wants for us is what is best for everyone. Faithful attendance at church is just one of many things I could use as an example to make this point. God loves us and what He wants from us is what is best for us.
Those who are born of God, those who are children of God are in the process of growing and maturing in their relationship with Him. We will not continue to sin because God is working on us to help us learn to be more obedient to His will, to follow Him as His disciples.
The relationship with Him is the key to purifying ourselves. We are working with Him and becoming more like Him.
Remember what John said at the beginning of chapter 2. He said he was writing so that we might not sin, but if anyone does sin we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, His Son.
Learning to live out the Lordship of Christ, is to learn to live in obedience to God, to live without sin. This is what discipleship is all about. As we grow closer to the Lord, we are learning to live as His servants in this world.
Look at verse 9 and 10 again:
9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has 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 a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother. (NIV)
We do not go on sinning because we are born of God. Those who have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are the children of God. God is our Father. His seed is in us. His Spirit is in us giving us the guidance to understand His Word. He is within us giving us the correction we need when we begin to stray from Him.
Sin is not just breaking the law, it is disobeying the God who has taken up residence in our hearts. He brings the law to mind as we live out each day. He reminds us to love one another.
We love God and others by obeying the rules God has given us and by listening to and obeying the Spirit who lives within. The main rules are love God and love people.
This is how we know that we are the children of God. His Spirit is there convicting us when we get off track. Are you worried that you may not be a child of God? Children of God are working at overcoming sin in their lives. They have the Holy Spirit nudging them along to grow in their faith and obedience.
We do not continue to sin because the Lord will not leave us alone. His Spirit continues to move within us to help us become more like God in the flesh. Jesus came that we might have life and that we might have the best life possible.
God wants us to become the mature, obedient disciples that He created us to be. He loves us and continues to work in our lives to help us become more like Christ.
Are you working with Him to become like Christ?
We do not continue to sin because God loves us and we have chosen to love Him and to love other people.
In Him is no sin and we shall be like Him.