Summary 1 John 1:5-10; 1 John 2:3-17; 1 John 3:1-3
Not everyone who professes faith in Jesus Christ is a true child of God. For, we read in 1 John 1 that if we say we have fellowship with God while we walk in darkness (sin), we lie and do not practice the truth. And in 1 John 2 we read that whoever says he knows Jesus but does not keep (obey) his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. And it also says that whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness.
Also in 1 John 2 we read that we are not to love (prefer, long for) the world or the things in the world, for if anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world – the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and the pride of life – is not from the Father but is from the world. And then it says that you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness (that is of God) has been born of God.
And then in 1 John 3:1-3 it essentially says that if we are God’s legitimate children then the world should not be intimately acquainted with us. And why is that? It is because all that is in the world is not from the Father but is of the flesh and it is of the lusts of the flesh and of the pride of life. And we are to have no part in the desires of the flesh now that we are in Christ by faith in him, for everyone who hopes in Jesus purifies himself as God is pure.
And that brings us up to the following passage. And I think it is good when we can look at this in context, for it gives us a broader perspective and additional insight into what we are reading:
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.”
Okay, let’s break this down and look at what this is saying here to us who profess faith in Jesus Christ. This really serves as a warning to us as do most of the passages from 1 John which were talked about above. It is letting us know some hard but necessary truths, because our eternity depends on us knowing and living the truth of the gospel of our salvation.
So if we practice sin we also practice lawlessness. And Jesus appeared in order to take away sins. Yes, Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, and that we might live for Jesus and no longer for ourselves. And he shed his blood for us to buy us back for God (to redeem us) so we would no longer live in sin, and so we would be God’s possession, and so we would now honor the Lord with our lives.
[1 Peter 2:24; 2 Corinthians 5:15,21; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20]
And, if our faith is genuine God-given faith, then by that faith 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 enslaved to sin. Therefore, we are to not let sin reign in our mortal bodies, to make us obey its passions. For, if we present ourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, we are slaves of the one whom we obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness (Romans 6:6,12,16).
So, if sin is what we practice, and if righteousness and obedience to our Lord are not what we practice, then we don’t know the one we profess, but rather we are of the devil, and we are not born of God, and we are not of God. That is pretty strong, but it is the truth. And this message is consistent all throughout these first three chapters in 1 John, at least, and it is consistent all throughout the teachings of Jesus and of his New Testament apostles.
So, to be born of God, which is to be born again, requires that we die with Christ to sin and live to him and to his righteousness (1 Peter 2:24). This is the essence of the gospel message. By faith in Jesus Christ we are crucified with Christ in death to sin and raised with him to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. The old has gone, the new has come, and now we walk in holiness and righteousness, in obedience to our Lord, and we no longer walk in sin, by God’s grace (Romans 6:1-23; Ephesians 4:17-24; Romans 8:1-14; Titus 2:11-14).
[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
Unless You Are Born Again
An Original Work / November 3, 2013
Based off John 3:1-21
Nicodemus came to Jesus.
He acknowledged God was with Him.
Jesus said, “You can’t see heaven
Unless you are born again.”
“How can a man be born when he’s old?
Can he enter into his mother’s womb?”
Jesus answered, “Flesh is flesh,
So of the Spirit, you must be.”
Jesus said to Nicodemus,
“You’re a teacher, and yet you don’t
Understand of what I tell you,
Because you will not believe.
“For God so loved the world that He gave
His one and His only Son for your sin.
So, whoever believes in Him
Has eternal life in heav’n.
“Light has come into the world,
But human beings love the darkness,
Because their deeds are so evil,
So in truth, they stand condemned.
“Everyone who practices evil
Fears that the Light will expose his sin.
Yet, whoever lives his life by the Light
Does so through his God.”