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We are God's adopted children who
are called to love
This week we are going to continue on our series on 1 John. Last week
in chapter two we saw four main things…
- We have an Advocate and Defender (Jesus) in heaven pleading our
case when sin.
- There is a new/old commandment to love one another. It goes all
the way back to Leviticus!
- We are to not love the world and the things in it more than we
love God and His Kingdom.
- We need to be aware there are false teachers (antichrists) in
the world trying to lead us astray.
This week we are going to look at chapter 3. Like chapter two John
has some really good things that he wants us to remembers.
Bible Reading – 1 John 3
1 John 3:1-24 NIV - See
what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called
children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not
know us is that it did not know him. 2 Dear friends, now we are children
of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know
that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as
he is. 3 All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is
pure. 4 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. 5
But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And
in him is no sin. 6 No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who
continues to sin has either seen him or known him. 7 Dear children, do
not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is
righteous, just as he is righteous. 8 The one who does what is sinful is
of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The
reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work. 9 No one
who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in
them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. 10
This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of
the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God's child,
nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister. 11 For this is
the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. 12
Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his
brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil
and his brother's were righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, my brothers
and sisters, if the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed from
death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love
remains in death. 15 Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer,
and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him. 16 This
is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And
we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If
anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but
has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear
children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in
truth. 19 This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set
our hearts at rest in his presence: 20 If our hearts condemn us, we know
that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Dear
friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God
22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands
and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his command: to believe in the
name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded
us. 24 The one who keeps God's commands lives in him, and he in them.
And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he
Today I want to
bring out three keys points.
1. We are loved by God and
adopted as His children
1 John 3:1a says, “See what
great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called
children of God! And that is what we are!”
We are reminded that
God loves us and we are His children when we come to Christ. We are
adopted into His eternal family, now and forever. I love the way the NIV
uses the word lavished. God lavished His love upon us.
says a number of things about us being chosen as His children.
Ephesians 1:4-5 NIV - For He chose us in him before the creation of the
world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us
for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his
pleasure and will.
John 1:12-13 NLT - But to all who believed Him
[Jesus] and accepted Him, He gave the right to become children of God.
13 They are reborn--not with a physical birth resulting from human
passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.
NLT - So now Jesus and the ones He makes holy have the same Father. That
is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them His brothers and sisters.
Ephesians 2:19 NIV - Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and
strangers, but fellow citizens with God's people and also members of his
The great thing about adoption is it is about being
chosen – chosen before the foundation of the world. We are adopted
because we believe in Jesus and have accepted Him - God gave us the
right to be His children. We are brothers and sisters of Christ. We here
are fellow citizens and members of God household.
God’s children, we must not keep on sinning
1 John 3:5-6
NIV - But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins.
And in him is no sin. 6 No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one
who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.
word used for sin in the thigs passage is ham-ar-tan'-o. This means to
miss the mark. It gives us images of an archer aiming for the bullseye
in the centre of the target and missing.
Romans 3:23 tells us that
all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Therefore, to sin
is missing the target and falling short of God’s best standard.
But as we know as Christians Jesus has paid the price for our sins and
as verse 5 says, “appeared so that he might take away our sins.”
In the previous chapters, we saw that God is faithful and just and
forgives us and purifies us of our sin when we confess (1 John 1:9) and
that we have an Advocate in heaven (1 John 2:1).
So how do we
reconcile verse 6? “No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who
continues to sin has either seen him or known him.”
We need to
remember this in the context of the false teachers who were teaching the
people that you could live how you want and be right with God.
There is a difference between committing a sin and continuing to sin.
Even the most faithful believers sometimes commit sins, but they do not
cherish a particular sin by thinking about it all the time or
continually choosing to commit it.
A believer who commits a sin
can repent, confess it, and find forgiveness. A person who continues to
sin, by contrast, is not sorry for what he or she is doing. Thus, this
person never confesses and never receives forgiveness. Such a person is
in opposition to God, no matter what religious claims he or she makes.
Unlike the archer, instead of aiming at the bullseye of God’s
perfect standard and missing. The false teachers or antichrists did not
even have a bow, an arrow and a target! In their eyes, they didn’t need
God knows we will stumble. Jesus has paid the price for our
sin and we receive forgiveness when we sin, but we must not make a habit
of sinning. Sin is the most expensive thing in the universe – it cost
Jesus His life.
Before I finish this point, there are two verses
that help me to keep on track.
1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT - The
temptations in your life are no different from what others experience.
And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than
you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that
you can endure.
Romans 6:12 NIV - Therefore do not let sin reign
in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.
temptations strike, God promises to help us stand against it and show us
a way out. We also must not let sin reign. The only one who should reign
in our life is Jesus.
3. John tells us what real love is
This is the second time in this short letter that John talks about
loving one another. Without any spoilers, I suspect it is not the last
John again reminds us that this “is the message you have
heard from the beginning: We should love one another” (v11). He goes on
to say that our love for one another shows we have passed from death to
We see in verses 12 and 16 there are two ways to
live and love.
In verse 12 John warns us not to be like Cain -
“Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his
brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil
and his brothers were righteous.”
In verse 16 John tells us a
better way - “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down
his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and
There are two ways to live and love.
sacrificial of others for selfish gain. It puts my needs first and uses
others to get them.
One is sacrificial of self for others gain. Like
Jesus who laid down His life for us.
So how does this love show
itself? Verse 18 tells us, “Dear children, let’s not merely say that we
love each other; let us show the truth by our actions”. It is not enough
to love in word only, actions must follow.
Verse 17 gives us a
simple practical way of showing our love – helping a brother or sister
in need. Those with much should help those with little. It asks the
question if we don’t help, how God’s love can be in us.
section closes with the commandment: We must believe in the name of his
Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another (v23). If we do these things we
remain in fellowship with Christ.
In chapter 3 John wanted us to know that…
1. We are loved and
chosen by God – we are His children
2. As God’s children we need
to live right as we wait for Jesus to come back
3. Real love is
sacrificial and focuses on the good of others
By Dave Quinn
Founder of PASSIONAustralia.org
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