What Great Love
1 John 3:1-3 ESV
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
These words are being addressed to the gathering of the church, though not everyone within these gatherings of the church is truly a child of God, which will become even more clear as we work our way through this passage of scripture. For, although Jesus Christ, God the Son, in his great love for us, gave his life up for us on that cross so that we can be set free from our slavery to sin, many within these gatherings of the church continue in bondage (addiction) to sin and yet claim to have faith in Christ.
Yet, the Word of God makes very definite distinctions between those who are truly in Christ, by God-given faith in him, and those who are not. If our hope is truly in the Lord, we will purify ourselves as God is pure. This is not works-based salvation, though. For, although Jesus Christ is the one who cleanses us from sin, we must cooperate with his work of grace in our lives. We must surrender to the Lord, and submit to his will, and yield to the Lordship of Christ in our lives, and walk in obedience. It is by grace we are saved, but through God-given faith, which puts action to our words.
1 John 3:4-10 ESV
Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared in order 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. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. 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. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.
If sinning against God is our habit, our custom, our way of living, our routine or ritual, i.e. our normal practice, then we are not truly born again of the Spirit of God, for the Word of God teaches us that if we walk in sin we will die in our sins, not have eternal life with God in heaven. This is not saying we will never sin again (See: 1 John 2:1-2), but that if we make sinning against God our practice, and if we don’t make righteousness our practice, then we don’t truly know God, we are not abiding in Him, and we don’t have the hope of eternal life with God in heaven when we leave this earth.
Yet, many people today are preaching and teaching that we can believe in Jesus, and have the hope of heaven when we die, by a mere profession of faith in Christ which requires no repentance, no obedience, no submission to Christ or his cross, no death to sin and no living to righteousness. Please know that this is a BOLD FACED LIE! Scripture contradicts that notion all throughout the New Testament.
These who teach this false grace gospel, which requires no death to sin or living to righteousness, but allows for a continual practice of sin in one’s life, are charmers, deceivers, manipulators and liars whose goal it is to deceive and to pull people away from genuine faith in Jesus Christ. And, what they teach are lies which they concocted, but which have no scriptural backing to them whatsoever. So, they pull scriptures out of context to support their lies, and they say what people’s itching ears want to hear, and so many people listen to them and follow them in their deceitful scheming.
These teachers of this false gospel and their messages are full of pride, moral and spiritual indifference, lies, deceptions, fakery, and hypocrisy, while they give credence in their own lives, and in the lives of their followers, to sinful habits (the practice of sin) and to lying excuses for why they continue in those sinful practices, or why they feel at liberty to do so. Oftentimes they blame others for their continued sin or even blame Jesus Christ, as though it is His responsibility to make sure they don’t sin.
But, Jesus did his part. He made the way for us to be free from our slavery to sin, and he has given us everything we need to live godly and holy lives, pure lives in him, pleasing to him. We are not puppets on a string which he makes do whatever it is he wants us to do. We have a choice whether to obey him or not; whether to submit to him and to yield to his Lordship, or whether to go our own way and keep on living in sin. So, we have no one to blame but ourselves if we choose to keep making sin our practice, and to not love our brothers and sisters, as a result of those practices, and thus to not have fellowship with God, and to not have heaven as our eternal home.
Love One Another
1 John 3:11-15 ESV
For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
If we make sin our practice, and that sin involves sinning against other people, then not only are we not acting in love towards others, but we are acting in hate, for hate is the opposite of love. If we cheat on, lie to, abuse, misuse, take advantage of, trick, and play mind games with others in order to silence them, and then make excuses for the sins, blame others, including blaming God, this is hate, especially if we make it our habit, and we know better, and we know the truth, but we refuse to live the truth we know.
And, then, if there are those who love us enough to tell us the truth about our sin, and to show us the way out from underneath our addiction to sin, and we don’t listen to them, but we treat them with contempt and abuse, and we slander them or blame them for our sin, then that is hate, and it is murder, the same as Cain murdered his brother because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s deeds were righteous. So, if this is how you live, and it is what you continue in, then you abide in death, not in life, and you don’t have eternal life with God abiding in you. Please take this seriously!
God is going to judge you for your sins. One day he is going to lay low your pride, but the goal, I believe, will be to humble you in order to turn you away from your moral filth, your pride, your selfishness, your sinful addictions, your lying excuses, your blame games, and your apathy (your spiritual indifference), and to turn you to repentance, obedience and purity of heart and mind. But, the choice is still yours to obey or to not obey.
Yet, for those of us who are walking in the Spirit, and sin is not our practice, i.e. we are not walking according to the flesh, we can expect that we will be hated and mistreated by those who are living according to the flesh. They will hate us, for we stand for righteousness, and they know that what they are doing is wrong. So, if we love others enough to tell them the truth about their sin, and to call for repentance, and obedience to Christ and his Word, like did John the Baptist, in preparing people’s hearts for Jesus, then we should expect that we will be hated and persecuted for righteousness.
In Deed and Truth
1 John 3:16-18 ESV
By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
If we truly love our brothers and sisters in Christ, or the people of this world, we will willingly lay down our lives for them, i.e. we will tell them the truth about their sin and what they need to do to be free, even if it means they will hate, abuse, misuse, slander and blame us, in return.
Please know this: True faith in Jesus Christ, the kind which saves us, comes from God, and is divinely persuaded by God as to his righteousness and holiness, and of our need to repent of our sins and to walk in obedience to Him. If we buy into the lies of these deceivers, and we think we can continue in sinful addiction and treating others abusively, while claiming Christ as our Lord and heaven as our eternal home, we will be in for a big surprise, and not a good one! True faith in Jesus Christ walks the talk. It does not just talk the walk and then not put faith into action. Truth faith, which saves, loves God and others, not just in words, but in action (in deed) and in truth.
For Our Nation
An Original Work / September 11, 2012
Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.
Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.
Friday, April 6, 2018, 6:46 a.m. – Thank you, Jesus, for this teaching from Your Word. Bring it home to our hearts, I pray in Jesus’ name.