Faithlife Sermons

To Take and Destroy (1 John 3:4-10)

1 John  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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First, we need to know that this passage talks about habitual sin, a practice of sinning, keeps on sinning, . Sin is a major focus of this passage, and many people get offended when hearing about sin.
But if we push away talking about sin, we’re pushing away the hope of someone understanding their need for the Savior, Jesus. So we can not be quiet about sin.
But when we talk about sin, we don’t need to leave feeling bad about ourselves; instead, we should be overwhelmed with joy because any decent preacher is going to talk about the remedy for that sin—Jesus!
Don’t get down about hearing about sin. Let it bring you to that point of being overwhelmed with joy about Jesus!
We have a great definition of sin here in v.4: sin is lawlessness.
Sin is missing the mark of God’s standard, His Law. Therefore, it is lawlessness. This is why I like approaches to witnessing to people that use the 10 Commandments, the foundation of God’s Law, as a starting point to show them their need for Jesus.
This is
Every person will be guilty of at least one of the 10 Commandments, and the Bible says that breaking even just one makes you guilty of them all.
For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it.” (, ESV)
Here is our big problem—SIN. Lawlessness. We have disregarded God’s Law. We’ve been disobedient.
Sin is the underlying theme of this passage. It recognizes that sin is our big problem, but then it also explains our great hope!
Remember John is writing to believers.
In v.4, it’s almost like a general statement of the problem with every person in the world. Then he begins v.5, “You know that he appeared...”
Believers, you know something the world does not understand.
Believers, you know the remedy for this problem of sin!
That remedy is that Jesus appeared! He came into this world. God himself came into this world. That’s how big of a problem it is — God himself had to step in.
Kind of like if you were in a home where the mother didn’t feel like her discipline was effective, and she says wait until your father gets home...
Transition: Christians, you know the remedy for sin, and John reveals 2 specific reasons why Jesus came into this world. That will be my outline for the rest of this sermon; I want to talk about how Jesus came to take away sin; and Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. In other words, Jesus came to take and destroy.
Let’s look at how each of these works of Christ impacts your daily living.


The sacrificial system of the OT set the precedent that there had to be a sacrifice to atone for sin. An animal would be presented to a priest in the temple, and the process there of sacrifice would purify that person in the sight of God.
Heb. 9:26
That process never changed. But Jesus finished it by being our perfect substitute. READ ()
Jesus’ work changes how we live. Here, it means that we have righteousness instead of sin. V.5 “…and in him there is no sin.”
Jesus took away our guilt and gave us his righteousness.
2 extremes:
1) You might wonder why you still commit sin. You understand why Jesus came, but is there something else that explains why I might struggle with the same sin constantly. Am I helpless?
2) You might think great, Jesus did that. Thank you Jesus, now just stay over there. I’ve got it from here.
Both of these attitudes are addressed. And they are both explained in the 2nd reason John gives why Jesus came to this earth:


Jesus’ work changes how we live. Here, it seen in the practical way that the Holy Spirit dwells in us—God’s seed abides in us. The work of the devil, who has been sinning from the beginning and tempts us to sin, has been destroyed because God dwells in us.
Our dead, unresponsive, hopeless life is now regenerated. It is alive, responsive to the work of God, and hope-filled because of who we are in Jesus Christ now.
The Holy Spirit dwells in you! And while sinning is of the devil, the devil is not the cause of your sin.
Flip Wilson- the devil made me do it. No! You are responsible for your sin. “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” (, ESV)
So if we are required to have self-control over our evil desires, where does help for that come? Wouldn’t you know that self-control is a fruit of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit. God’s seed abides in us.
And one reason Jesus came was to destroy the works of the devil. Satan is the god of this world ()—he has influence and he is powerful, but he cannot control.
That’s why the language here regarding sin is referring to a lifestyle of sin. Because you choose whether to give in to your evil desires.
You have the power to say no to sin because the Holy Spirit is within you. “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,” (, ESV)
And here’ the best part of this passage:
v.9 Keeps on sinning (present tense) vs. has been born of God (perfect tense)
vs. has been (perfect tense) born of God
Because you are born of God, which leaves a permanent change of your heart (which will then impact your behavior/choices), you can make the choice to not keep sinning.
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