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.
God’s Great Love
Because of God’s great love for us, we who are sinners by nature, and who are separate from God, because of our sin, can be reunited with God. For, God the Father sent his Son Jesus Christ to the earth to take on human form, and to die on a cross for our sins, so that we could be delivered from our bondage to sin and have eternal life with God.
We, who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of our lives, who are being led by the Spirit of God, are the children of God. We are those who have been united with Christ by faith, who have crucified sin in the flesh, by the Spirit, and who are now walking (in lifestyle) in agreement with the Spirit of God, also by the Spirit (Rom. 8:1-17; Lu. 9:23-25).
We are walking (conducting our lives) in the light (truth, righteousness) of God, by that same Spirit, and we are no longer walking in (practicing) the darkness (sin, wickedness), for Jesus Christ set us free from our slavery (addiction) to sin (Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Tit. 2:11-14).
They Don’t Know Us
The people of this world, who are still walking in the darkness, and not in the light of Christ, though, will not be able to understand us and why we do what we do. And, this will include many people who profess faith in Jesus Christ, too, who are still caught up in the ways of the world, and who have truly not ever surrendered their lives over to Jesus Christ in death to sin and in living to righteousness.
They won’t understand why we must live holy lives, separate from the world of sin, and separate unto God and to his service. They won’t see that we must forsake our lives of sin in order to follow Jesus Christ in surrender and in obedience to his will. And, this is because they do not truly know God. Though they may have made a profession of faith in Christ, they were never truly born anew of the Spirit of God, because they were unwilling to be crucified with Christ in death to sin and to walk in obedience to his ways.
For, those of us who have truly put our hope in Jesus Christ, and who truly are believing in him (present tense), understand that daily we must, by the Spirit, be putting to death the deeds of the flesh. And, daily we must be putting on (not faking it) Christ and his holiness. And, we must be, by the Spirit, purifying ourselves, as God is pure, for we are to be like God in all that we do and are and say, not necessarily in perfection, but daily growing in our walks of faith in holiness, purity and in maturity in Christ.
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.
A Perfect Description
This is actually a perfect description of this word “love.” It is to lay down our lives for others, for their legitimate needs, because we care about them, and that they may also come to faith in Jesus Christ and be delivered from their bondage to sin. For, love gives of oneself for the legitimate needs of others, and it does for others what is best (beneficial) for them, as God determines best. And, since this love prefers what God prefers, which is what is pure, holy, honest and righteous, it won’t do what is harmful to others, either.
While it is true that we should not be hypocritical, and that we should not just talk about doing stuff and then never do it, this is not saying that talking with our lips is to be excluded in how we demonstrate love to others. For, Jesus not only healed the sick and afflicted, raised the dead, comforted the sorrowful, delivered people from demons, and fed the hungry, but he preached repentance for forgiveness of sins, warned of divine judgment, and he called people to a walk of obedience to him to follow him in his ways.
And, that is what got him killed, because he confronted people in their sin and he told them that what they were doing was wrong and that they needed to do what was right. And, they hated him for it, especially the religious leaders did, because he called them out on their hypocrisy and their false religion, and because he exposed their wicked hearts. And, so they put him to death. For, they wanted to hold on to their false religious practices, and to their self-righteousness, and to their secretive sins.
Laying it All Down
And, the same is true for us today. If we, out of love for others, do what Jesus did in calling people to leave their sins behind to follow Jesus in obedience, we will be hated, persecuted, falsely accused, rejected, ostracized, and maybe even kicked out of fellowships, etc., because we are teaching the truth, and people don’t want to hear the truth. They want to hear the lies, for the lies coddle them in their sins. The lies tell them that they don’t have to stop sinning and that they don’t have to obey Jesus.
So, when we tell the truth, knowing that many will hate and reject us in return, we are laying our lives down for the same reason Jesus laid his life down, and that was so we can be delivered from our slavery (addiction) to sin and so we can walk (in lifestyle) in his holiness and righteousness (1 Pet. 2:24). But, we better be prepared that we may lose friends, be rejected by family, and be ostracized by some within the institutional church. And we may, at times, feel like we are all alone. But, this is sacrificial love.
Yet, we, too, must not neglect people’s physical needs. If God makes us aware of a need, and we know that it is real (not a scam), and that what we give is actually going to get to the people in need; and if we have the resources to help, even if we must sacrifice meals or things we want, we must reach out and help those in need, for this is putting our faith into practice, too. For, it is following the model that Jesus gave us for how to love others with his love.
But, this should never be to the exclusion of sharing the gospel, too, for people need to hear it so that they can believe. So, we must stand strong on our faith, and keep sharing it, even if we are mistreated in return, so that many can hear, and so they can believe, and so they can be delivered from their sins, walk in obedience to their Lord, and have eternal life with God.
An Original Work / December 24, 2013
Based off Various Scriptures
The Word of God throughout taught.
Some people heard, but did doubt.
Still others had faith in Christ.
By grace He purified them.
They turned from sin
And they obeyed Christ.
He opened up their blinded eyesight;
Turned them from darkness
To the true Light;
Forgave their sin by His might.
He strengthened them in their faith.
He said, “Remain my faithful.”
He called them to obedience.
By faith, they were so grateful.
By faith, they were to follow Jesus;
To daily sit and listen to Him;
To have such faith
That mountains could move;
To love those whom He gave them.
Be on your guard; courageous.
Stand firm in faith. Be thankful.
Take up the shield of your faith;
Protect against all evil.
Do not move from
The hope that you have.
Your faith in Jesus let it endure.
Hold to the truth;
Your conscience be clear.
Endure with perseverance.
Wednesday, February 27, 2019