1 John 3:1-15 (including 2:28-29)
Now, start today – it doesn’t matter what we’ve been doing in the past
Right now – today – ABIDE in Him.
When He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him.
Why would we lack confidence?
What in the world would cause us to be ashamed before Jesus when He returns for us?
Sometimes the best way for me to grasp something is to look at it’s opposite meaning.
The opposite of confidence in this case is fear.
As a born again believer in Jesus Christ, I know, according to 2 Tim 1:7, that God has not given me a spirit of fear but of power and love and of sound mind.
1 John 4:17-18 tells me that, “Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”
In other words, If I have been perfected in love, I will have boldness or confidence in the day of judgment – that day when Jesus comes back for me. I will anticipate His coming with joy.
How is it that I am perfected in love?
Well, according to 1 John 4:16 “God is love”.
Jesus tells us in John 15:9-10; “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.”
So if I want to be perfected in love, having no fear but rather confidence at the return of Christ, I need to ABIDE in the love of Jesus – I need to abide in Christ!
If we are abiding in Christ at His return, not only will we be confident, but we will be unashamed.
Unashamed of what?
It could absolutely be the things we are doing, if we are stumbling around in the darkness, entertaining the things of the world
(which are…..? chapter 2:16)
But given the over-riding theme of abiding and love in this letter, I believe it is even more so speaking of The condition of our hearts ; why we do the things we do.
1 Cor 3:9-15
Notice it says “how” a man builds, not “what” a man builds…
These rewards will be in the form of crowns:
1 Thes 2:19 crown of rejoicing
2 Tim 4:8 crown of righteousness
James 1:12 & Rev 2:10 crown of life
1 Peter 5:4 crown of glory
1 Cor 9:25-26crown of victory
When I stand before the thrown of God, I want rewards, I want crowns!
Because we won’t keep them – we will throw them at the feet of Jesus! (Rev 4:10)
The bible says our works are as filthy rags – there is non righteous.
These rewards will be given as a result of acting under the authority of Jesus righteousness.
I don’t want to stand before Jesus empty handed, I don’t want to be ashamed.
Where is your heart? Who holds it?
Romans 6 tells us that we are either a slave to this world or a slave to God
Romans 6:12-14, 16, 19 (focusing on the last line of 19)
Practicing righteousness, or godly living,
When we allow Jesus righteousness to flow through us in the things we do and say – unhindered by self or flesh
We bear witness to the fact that we are born again believers - we are women who have the spirit of God living in us!
What is the fruit of the Spirit? What is the 1 things that is produced in the life of a true believer?
Gal 5:22– all those other things are manifestations of LOVE.
This love, this amazing agape love comes from God himself!
Behold – don’t miss this! Pay attention!
What manner of love the Father has bestowed on us.
Consider the incredible love of God – JOHN 3:16
Jesus Said greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. That is exactly what He did…
Romans 5:5, Romans 8:39, Eph 2:4, Eph 3:19
He has bestowed this love on us:
Bestow means to give completely – not holding anything back, expecting nothing in return. Freely given, freely received.
And the proof of His amazing love for us is that He calls us His children!
You are a child of God, what does that mean to you?
Romans 8:17, Gal 3:19, Eph 3:6
To me this means being chosen, hand picked.
Consider you – when you were growing up, the mistakes you made, the stupid things you did… when you were a young adult… the places you went, the things you did prior to giving your heart to Christ – even after you gave your heart to Christ. God still chose you – you out of everyone in this entire world, God chose you to be His daughter, to lavish you with His love in a way only a Father can…
I had a friend one time ask me “if you knew back when you adopted the boys that this is how things would be, would you have made the same decision?”
I looked at her dumbfounded! Of course I would.
I told my boys “God grew you in your mothers tummy, but He grew you in my HEART”.
Therefore… (part 2 of verse 1)
If I had never told that we had adopted our 2 older boys, I don’t think you would ever question it. Josh has black hair and hazel eyes. Joey’s hair is the color of mine and his eyes are the same color as Corban’s. Josh has Ron’s skin color, Joey has mine. Same height as Ron, same mannerisms, same sense of humor, God made us a family and He did it perfectly! There would never be a doubt in anyone’s mind that they were Hodson’s.
The same is true from a spiritual standpoint.
When we abide in Christ we take on His characteristics, His mannerisms; and because of that the world doesn’t understand us – the things we do or don’t do, the way we speak, how we act and react makes no sense to them.
My dad, when we were moving out here asked me “how do you do what you do? How are you able to stay home with your kids and homeschool? How can you leave everything and move to ND where you don’t have jobs, you don’t know anyone?” He followed it by telling me how much he admired what I was choosing to do, but he truly didn’t get it.
There is so much tenderness in this word
It is a term reserved for believers alone.
But it isn’t just how God views us, it is how we are to view eachother
BELOVED – someone worthy of love – that extravagant, expecting nothing in return, perfect, holy love.
Beloved, now we are children of God
Romans 8:15 tells us that we have received the Spirit of adoption (God’s Spirit) by whom (the Spirit isn’t a what, He is a Who) we cry out “Abba Father”.
Abba means Daddy
Right now, we are God’s kids, loved, adored, cared for, held, carried, defended by, rejoiced over, praised, and disciplined by our Daddy Who has plucked us up like a brand out of the fire (Zech 3:2)
Ps 40:2 tells us that, “ He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps.”
Why? Because He loves us.
This is the manner of love He has for us
This is the love we abide in as His kids, the kind of love we should have for eachother.
This is why the world doesn’t get us
And as amazing and overwhelming as this is, it is only a glimpse of what is to come;
But what we do know according to the last part of verse 2 is:
That even though we really don’t comprehend what lies ahead, we DO know that when we see Him, we will be LIKE Him because we shall see Him as He is.
You see, right now, sin hinders our relationship, obscures our vision and distorts our perception of Who God is.
1 Cor 13:12 Paul writes, “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
When we meet Jesus face to face sin will be gone.
1 Cor 15:53 tells us that when Jesus calls us to Himself we are going to change; “53For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”
And when this happens we will be like Him because we will see Him as He is – love personified in all of His beauty, all of His glory…
If we are going to be like Him for all eternity, shouldn’t we desire to be like Him now?
The person who is in habitual, unrepentant sin is rebelling against the Law. In other words:
Habitual sin is rebellion against God.
Jesus life, death, and resurrection offers us redemption – freedom from a life of sin.
Prior to receiving Christ, we were bond or shackled by sin – we had no choice – we were destined to a life of sin followed by an eternity in hell. (we talked a little about this in Romans 6).
Jesus came to free us from that life. Sin no longer has a hold on us. He broke the chains. Now we have the freedom to choose a life of abiding in Christ or rebellion against Christ.
For the person who professes a relationship with Jesus and continues to walk in rebellion, willingly, knowingly continuing in sin, then they really don’t know the God they profess to have a relationship with. Because if they did, there would be conviction followed by repentance. You cannot have an abiding relationship with Jesus Christ and be content to continue in your sin.
Verse 7 says
There is a beautiful field and in the center of this field is a fence. Jesus stands on one side and Satan on the other. There are people on both sides, but one man decides to straddle the fence. Both groups of people are lead away by the owner of the fields. While the man on the fence gazes at Jesus and His followers, Satan approaches and says to the man, “let’s go!” to which the man replies, “I haven’t made up my mind” Satan replies, “yes you have… you see, I own that fence.”
We cannot abide in both worlds. There is no sin that is acceptable in God’s eyes.
1 Peter 1:13-16, Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”
If we are truly children of God, we will never be content in a life of sin – it goes against our new nature.
2 Cor 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
John, through the H.S., brings us back to the theme of this letter – LOVE.
There is not gray area, no wiggle room… no “but she… but he…”
There are 2 groups of people. Who are they?
Children of God and Children of the Devil.
What 2 things are tied together?
Practicing righteousness & being loving
We show the world who we are, who we belong to in our actions. Our actions are motivated by the condition of our hearts. The condition of our heart is determined by who or what is enthroned there.
John uses and extreme but appropriate example – love vs. murder
God is Love – 1 John 4:8
Satan is a murder – John 8:44
He uses Cain and Able to illustrate this point.
What do we learn about Cain?
His works were not right and his heart was not right.
Cain was a man who knew God and went through the motions of worship.
How do we know he was just going through the motions?
Because God didn’t accept his offering.
God’s response was to offer Cain hope – a way of acceptance.
Cains response was anger fueled with jealous pride which produced hatred leading to murder.
God gave him a chance to repent – “where is your brother?”
Cain responded with a lie – “I don’t know”
God offered Cain forgiveness, Cain chose to be cast out.
I don’t think any of us are shocked when the world hates us. We know that Jesus said that the world hated Him and so it will hate us also. We can deal with that.
I think the shock and hurt we feel comes when we are hated from within the body. When we are the subject of gossip or the recipients of un-forgiveness. When we are shunned or ignored by those we have trusted.
Does this mean that those who have treated us this way are unsaved? Maybe.
There are absolutely people today who profess a relationship with Jesus Christ and yet their hearts are void of love. When a heart is void of God’s love, it naturally will be filled with what Satan has to offer – lies and hatred.
But there are those who have simply allowed sin to creep in and although they belong to Christ, they battling a heart issue.
This unloving behavior is something that we are all susceptible to. It is another reminder that we need to abide in Christ on a daily basis.
Verse 14 says that “we KNOW we have passed from death to life”. So we need walk in that knowledge.
We need to be those who are compelled by the Love of Christ to pursue fellowship and love the brethren in spite of the hurts we’ve received, or the hurts we have inflicted on others.