Who are the Children of God?

1 John 3:4-6 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.”

Making Sin your Practice

We read in Romans 6 that by faith in Jesus Christ we died with Christ to sin that we might now live in newness of life in him. Our old self was crucified with Christ in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing so that we would no longer be slaves to sin but slaves of righteousness.

For, we are told, that we are slaves to the one we obey. If we obey sin, it leads to death, but if we obey obedience, it leads to righteousness and to sanctification, and its end is eternal life with God (Rom 6:1-23).

Then we read in Romans 8 that the righteous requirement of the law is fulfilled in us who walk (conduct our lives, in practice) not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For, if we walk (in practice) according to the flesh, we will die in our sins. But if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, then we will live (Rom 8:1-17; cf. 1 Jn 1:5-9).

And we read in Galatians 5 that we are to walk (conduct our lives) by the Spirit, and we will not gratify the desires of the flesh. But if we make sin our practice, and we deliberately and habitually continue in such sins as sexual immorality, idolatry, impurity, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these, that we will not inherit the kingdom of God (Gal 5:16-21; cf. Eph 5:3-6).

We also read that we are all going to be judged by our works and that we are all going to reap what we sow. If we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap the destruction of our lives. But if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life with God.

[Rom 2:6-8; Gal 6:7-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Col 3:5-11; 1 Jn 2:3-6; Jn 8:51; Heb 10:26-31; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11]

1 John 3:7-8 ESV

“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.”

Don’t Be Deceived

There are many wolves in sheep’s clothing in positions of pastors in today’s modern market-driven and flesh-driven gatherings called “church.” They are charlatans (frauds, imposters) who masquerade themselves as servants of righteousness but who are really thieves and robbers out to destroy the church.

For, they don’t teach the pure word of God, but a twisted and altered gospel created in the minds of humans which appeals to human flesh and which gives free license for the “believer” to continue living in sin without guilt. And many of them are telling the people they don’t have to repent of their sins or obey Jesus or submit to him as Lord.

So, this is a warning to us to not be deceived. Righteousness is not just a status we gain by believing in Jesus. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous. And faith is not just some words that we say so we can escape hell and go to heaven when we die. Faith is action. We prove our faith to be genuine or not by what we do.

If we claim to believe in Jesus, but we don’t repent of our sins, and we don’t die with Christ to sin, and if we aren’t changed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God away from living in sin to living to Christ and to his righteousness, then according to Scripture, we don’t know Jesus and we will die in our sins, not have eternal life with God.

1 John 3:8-10 ESV

“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.”

To Destroy the Works of the Devil

For, Jesus died on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us. He shed his blood for us on that cross to buy us back for God that we might honor God with our lives (1 Pet 2:24; 2 Co 5:15, 21; 1 Co 6:19-20).

This is not saying that we can’t ever or that we won’t ever sin again, but that if we believe in Jesus, in truth, we won’t keep living in sin, making it our practice. We won’t remain addicted to sin, for Jesus set us free from our bondage to sin. We won’t walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For, we died to sin, so how can we live in it any longer? (Rom 6).

Jesus said that if anyone would come after him he must deny self, take up his cross daily (daily die to sin) and follow (obey) Jesus. For, he said, if we hold on to our old lives (of living for sin and self) we will lose them for eternity. But if we lose our lives (die with Christ to sin) for Jesus’ sake, then we will have life eternal with God (Lu 9:23-26; cf. Eph 4:17-24).

Now, this doesn’t mean we will be perfect, but that lack of perfection is never to be used as an excuse for deliberate, habitual, and even premeditated sin against God. It also doesn’t mean that we can’t ever stray from our pure devotion to the Lord and need to be brought back to repentance (See Revelation 2-3).

But if we have this idea that now that we are “saved” that our sins no longer matter to God or we wonder how much we can get away with and still go to heaven when we die, then we don’t have the mind of Christ but the mind still controlled by the flesh. A heart transformation of the Spirit of God has not taken place, for we did not die to sin.

But even to the churches all throughout the New Testament there are warnings against us falling back into sin, and there are strong encouragements to us that we need to remain in Christ and in the faith and in his word to the end of our lives if we want to inherit eternal life.

So, we need to take such teachings as these to heart and not become lazy or callous about our walks of faith. For, again, if we walk (in practice) in sin, we will die in our sins. We will not have eternal life with God no matter what we have professed with our lips.

Seek the Lord

An Original Work / July 20, 2012
Based off Isaiah 55

“Come to Me all you who thirst; come to waters.
Listen to Me, and eat what’s good today,
And your soul will delight in richest of fare.
Give ear to Me, and you will live.
I have made an eternal covenant with you.
Wash in the blood of the Lamb.”

Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him.
Let the wicked forsake his way, in truth.
Let him turn to the Lord, and he will receive mercy.
Freely, God pardons him.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,”
declares the Lord, our God.

“My word that goes out of My mouth is truthful.
It will not return to Me unfulfilled.
My word will accomplish all that I desire,
And achieve the goal I intend.
You will go in joy and be led forth in peace.
The mountains will burst into song… before you,
And all of the trees clap their hands.”

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