Archive for February 6th, 2018

1 John 3

1 John 3 has our author reminding us that we can be a child of God.  “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called  children of God; and so we are….Beloved, we are God’s children now”. Becoming a child of God isn’t some future event – it happens whenever we receive Christ as our Savior and Lord.  We instantly become His.  As a result, our life should be different.  Sin should become less and less. “Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him”. So one mark of a true believer is that we begin to live with a focus on reducing and eliminating the sin from our life.

That isn’t so we can be saved.  It happens as a result of our salvation and our desire to serve and please God and each other as Christ Followers.  Jesus came to set the world free from the author of sin – the devil himself.  “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God”.  If we are truly a child of God, our desire will be to end our sinful ways and walk in God’s ways.  John reminds us that “whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother”.  Our faith walk is about action and living God’s ways!

John boils it down to a simple reality.  “For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.  It’s how Jesus modeled life for us.  We need to continually love each other.  The love we need to demonstrate is not lip service or convenience.  It requires us to be all in.  “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers”. That’s God’s love – a love where there is no consideration of the cost, only of the person being loved.  John challenges us to “let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth”.  Love requires action.  It is not a passive thing, but something we intentionally do for one another.

So what will it look like when Christ is in us? We’ll have His power at our disposal.  “Whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us”.  When we love God, we live for God in obedience.  We abide in Him.  And His Holy Spirit is abiding in us.  Being a Christ Follower means we live differently than the world.  We walk with Him and love those in our patch.  And when we do, God’s power and truth is ours.  What a promise He has given us!

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