2019-05-26 – 1 John 3.1–10 – His Seed Remains
Bible Text: 1 John 3.1–10 | Preacher: Pastor Jerry Higdon | Series: 1 John | 2019-05-26 – 1 John 3.1–10 – His Seed Remains
(Disaster Relief, Praise Concert, Yard Sale, Church Beautification, Camp)
Good morning everyone. It is so nice to be able to spend some time with you all in fellowship with the Lord. Thank you and God bless you for being with us today.
Tomorrow is Memorial Day. I hope you are able take a few minutes out of your busy day and pause and pray in honor of those who died for our country.
Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day, because many people visit cemeteries and place flags or flowers on the graves of our fallen heroes. Amy and the Adeline went to Oskaloosa, IA yesterday doing just that. Other ways we observe of Memorial Day is by:
-Flying the U.S. Flag at half-staff until noon
-Flying the ‘POW/MIA flag
-Participating in a “National Moment of Remembrance”: at 3 p.m. to pause and think upon the true meaning of the day
-And by renewing a pledge to aid the widows, widowers, and orphans of our fallen heroes, and to aid the disabled veterans of our communities.
Jesus Christ told us in John 15 “Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends”, then He did just that, and so has many in uniform.
That is what Memorial Day is for, to recognize them. So I encourage each of you to observe and enjoy this national day of reflection tomorrow. [pause]
Last Sunday we studied the words Anoint and Abide as it was referred to by the Apostle John. Again, as Christians, we are anointed to abide or remain in Christ, “so that when [Jesus returns] we may be confident and unashamed before him”.
Today we are going to deliberate a little upon the topic of Sinning Christians.
Please turn in your Bibles to 1 John 3:1, pg 1083 in the Pew Bibles, The Inspired, Infallible and Living Word of God, and let us start with Prayer.
Last week we ended on verse 28 of First John 2, where it is intitled God’s Children, and says: “So now, little children, remain in him so that when he appears we may have confidence and not be ashamed before him at his coming. If you know that he is righteous, you know this as well: Everyone who does what is right has been born of him.” So in this context, we are the “little children” in Christ, and in that, we should endeavor to remain or abide in God and His will.
Todays scripture continues that thought at chapter 3, verse 1:
1 See what great love the Father has given us that we should be called God’s children—and we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it didn’t know him. 2 Dear friends, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when he appears, we will be like him because we will see him as he is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself just as he is pure.
We are Christians, but the world doesn’t necessarily see us as God’s children.
I would argue if they did, you would probably be setting yourself for persecution. But when Jesus returns it will be obvious who are His and who is not His.
Have you ever ran into somebody, and within a few seconds, even though you have never met them before, you just know they are a part of another family that you do know. Maybe it was their looks, their voice, or their manner. But some characteristic stood out in them to the point you that understanding. As Christians we all should look and act in a way that others just know who we belong to. Jesus’s identity stamp is on our person. His light is in our heart, and we should reflecting that light. In Mathew 5:15 Jesus said, “No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.” You are God’s children, let that light shine.
The last verse in this section is dedicated to the understanding that we are being purified as we are living with His Holy Spirit inside our heart. It reads, “everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself just as he is pure.” The word purified here effectively means we are God’s “work in progress”. Since the day we accepted God’s calling on our lives, we will continue to be purified, sanctified or molded in His righteous image. In the Bible, several times it refers to us as being in the process of being purified like Silver and Gold, refined by fire. I don’t know about you, but I have a long way to go yet. However the Bible says, despite all our flaws and imperfections, when God looks upon us, He doesn’t see any of that. Instead He sees the perfect seed of His son Jesus within us. God sees us as pure righteousness because of what Jesus did for us on the cross. We now get to go to heaven only because of His pure and beautiful character and sacrifice. And for that, all I can say is: Thank You Jesus!
4 Everyone who commits sin practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. 5 You know that he was revealed so that he might take away sins, and there is no sin in him. 6 Everyone who remains in him does not sin; everyone who sins has not seen him or known him.
Regretfully I know that I am a sinner. I am “work in progress”.
A preacher once said, “If you knew all the sins in my life you wouldn’t want me to be preaching to you here today, However, if I knew all your sins, I wouldn’t want you here either”. Everyone here is a sinner that needs much grace. And that is exactly what Jesus offers each of us. “Amazing grace, oh how sweet the sound”.
The key phrase in our verse here is “practices lawlessness”. The word practice in this context means, “the customary, habitual, or expected way of doing of something”. As Christians, we are expected to repent or turn away from our sin. Sometimes we are successful in that effort, but sometimes not. We should ask for forgiveness when that happens and move on knowing that God forgives us. However, when we consistently continue in our sin so much that it becomes common or habitual for us, then you might want to check your faith walk. In that case, we must ask ourselves, do I really believe in Jesus? Have I given myself over to His Lordship? I saw a wonderful quote yesterday that said “Many [folks] grow up in church, but they haven’t grown up in Christ. They might know the hymns, but they don’t really know Him”.
7 Children, let no one deceive you. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 8 The one who commits sin is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God was revealed for this purpose: to destroy the devil’s works. 9 Everyone who has been born of God does not sin, because his seed remains in him; he is not able to sin, because he has been born of God. 10 This is how God’s children and the devil’s children become obvious. Whoever does not do what is right is not of God, especially the one who does not love his brother or sister.
The question we will tackle today is how do people who have experienced the miracle of the new birth deal with their own sinfulness as they try to live in the full assurance of their salvation? That is, how do we deal with the conflict between the reality of the new birth on the one hand, and our ongoing sin on the other hand? How can we enjoy the assurance of being born again, and yet not take lightly the sinfulness of our lives that is so out of step with being born again?
John’s first letter here, more than any other book in the Bible, seems to be designed to help us in this practical, daily battle. Consider 1 John 5:13 for example, it says: “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.” This letter-book is written to help believers have the full assurance that they truly have been born again—that is, that they have a new spiritual life in them that will never die. John wants you—God wants you—to experience something in this letter that makes you profoundly confident that you truly have passed from death to life in Him.
Jesus says in John 5:24, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” So John and Jesus clearly desire for us believers to know that judgment and death is behind us. Our judgment has effectively already occurred when Jesus was judged in our place; and our spiritual death already happened when Jesus died in our place. As a result, there is new life now is in us, and this life cannot perish and cannot be taken away; it is eternal. John 5:13 says, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”
John, in these verses today, is primarily addressing the teaching of some false teachers in regards to sin. John clearly shows them and us today how to deal with our own sin in relation to our Christian walk.
The key verse here is verse 7, “Children, let no one deceive you. The one who does [or practices] what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.” He is saying beware of the false teachers who say that you can be righteous and still not practice righteousness. There are plenty of people out there that claim they are Christians but yet there is no evidence of it in their character. They continue to practice getting drunk, they continue to practice looking at pornography, they continue to practice gossiping, they continue to practice using God’s name in vein, and on and on.. Again John says, “Whoever practices righteousness is righteous”, and not the other way around.
John insists that our spiritual born again character should be validated by our physical doing. Our doing confirms our being. On the same lines, Jesus’ half-brother James has the similar assertion when he says that “Faith without works is dead”. How we act, will prove out who or whose we are.
The title of this message today is His Seed Remains. Effectively John says, when we are born again, “God’s seed” abides in us, and we “cannot keep on sinning.”
The “seed” is the Spirit of God, the Word of God, or the nature of God. As Christians, God Himself is at work in the heart and head of the believer’s new Born Again character, therefore they cannot keep on practicing sin. God’s seed in their hearts and heads cannot make peace with that old pattern of behavior.
So to better address the dynamics of sin in the Christian’s life, I will briefly address a few key points directly:
1) There is no such thing as a Sinless Christian. 1 John 1:8 says: “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
In other words, we are all sinners in need of much grace. Although we may not be caught in the practice of habitual of sin, we all still continue to sin in some fashion. Therefore, every day we should repent (choose to turn from sin) and ask God for forgiveness
2) As Born Again Christians, we have an Advocate. 1 John 2:1 says, “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”
The synonyms for word “Advocate” here are, Supporter, Backer, Promoter, Believer, Activist, Campaigner and Sponsor. Jesus steps in and covers our sin. And for that, all I can say, Thank you Jesus, Amen?
3) Praying for each other is a priority. 1 John 5:16-17: “If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life.” And James 5:16 says, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” We need to be praying for each other regularly. And the only way we will know what to pray for is when we share our burdens. That is why Jesus gifted us with this church, so we can share life together, Amen?
The last verse 10 we have here is an excellent cap to this subject of sin, it says: “Whoever does not do what is right is not of God, especially the one who does not love his brother or sister”. This bears us the question: How do we deal with people who call themselves Christian, but they keep on sinning?
Effectively, the apostle John is warning us against hypocrisy (claiming to believe one thing but our life practice contradicts it). That can be directly or indirectly. We already talked about how we deal with our own sin, but this also has to do how we look at others in regards to their sin. When we hear about somebody else’s sin, we shouldn’t be so quick at looking down at them in such a way that it violates Jesus’ Greatest Commandment, “Love the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself”.
Your brother, your sister, and your neighbor needs your prayers. When we stop loving and caring and praying for those in our lives that are sinning, then we too ourselves become sinners. Don’t be too quick to judge. Remember Jesus said, “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye”. We need to continue having compassion for one another, for that is what a true Born-Again Christian believer does. Always remember, we are all saved by grace alone. Amen?
So in conclusion, when you find yourself sinking down in fear and discouragement and even despair that your righteousness, your love for people, and your fight against sin are just not good enough. If your conscience is condemning you, and you think maybe that your works and deeds could never prove out that you are Christ’s child. Take comfort today, because God knows what is in your heart.
As the previous chapter starts out (1 John 2:1), it says: “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin”. That is the goal. But as born-again Christ followers, we have the grace of Jesus, and have nothing to fear.
May the Lord confirm your salvation through His word here today. May He grant you to embrace both the warning, and the comfort, and put them into proper perspective in preserving in the full assurance of your salvation.
On this Memorial Day weekend, I pray that you get a few moments think about our fallen military, the people who have positively impacted your life through the years that are now passes. But most importantly think about Our Savior Jesus Christ, and the fact the He died for you and for me. How truly blessed are we.
Please stand. Let us Pray..