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3-4-2018 Bad Boys 1 John 3:4-10

1 John Series  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  41:40
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Introduction:
We live in a society that loves to deny absolute truth and in turn makes truth subjective—relativism—truth is relative. And subjective truth is the foundation to today’s Postmodernism. Postmodernism gives each person the right to determine their own truth. And everyone’s determination of what is true is true for them. And no one has a corner on the market of truth; therefore, what is true for me may not be true for you. But both truths are equally valid. You can see this throughout our society you see for example those who speak about homosexual marriage or so-called. “Christian Postmodernists” say things like this:
“According to my religion, my belief, I personally think homosexual marriage is wrong so I'm for traditional marriage. But don't misunderstand me, I have no foundation to tell you to agree. You may be for homosexual marriage and that's good for you--that’s your truth--that's your reality and I have no right to tell you what is wrong for you. But personally, my truth this: I'm for traditional marriage.”
And so both views are equally valid truths in the eyes of many despite the fact that they contradict each other. Since truth is then not objective, it is just as subjective as a preference for a flavor of icecream, and that is the “truth” of many. Your truth might different from mine but today that is okay since they are both equally valid.
This line of reasoning spills into all areas of life. For example, the topic of abortion: you'll hear politicians say things like: “Personally, according to my religion, I'm against abortion. But no that's not what our country believes, that's not true for our country; and therefore, I won't try to change this prevailing view, I will simply respect the popular view as being valid. I will not change it even though according to my religion I think I'm against abortion.”
Well, what are they really saying? When they say things like this “according to their religion” they say as soft as possible it is murder! It is brutal murder of the most helpless and innocent citizens of this country.
They say, “But that is only my opinion of truth and when I represent you before the law and murder, I won't enforce my view of ruthless murder upon you because your view of it is equally valid as my view and I shall never offend you lest I be accused of intolerance.” There's no objective truth, it simply up to the individual to construct truth to live by. And everyone has to agree that any truth is equally valid--no matter the inconsistencies, the absurdities, or the contradictions.
And the greatest sin, according to the postmodernists, is intolerance. They do not define tolerance/intolerance the way that it was originally defined. Traditionally tolerance to endure something. It's to suffer long because of something. Is to say it is wrong. And then still suffer with it and under it. But tolerance in today's terms and you could look this up on Google and it will give you definitions like this: tolerance is defined as a permissive attitude. And so we are told by this society to have a permissive attitude toward sin. The world says “You say you're so righteous. That's fine if that's what you hold to--those truths of the Bible--in that law, but don't push that on me! you need to have permissive attitude towards my sin.”
Or another way that they define tolerance is: to have an undogmatic viewpoint. You might have heard someone say “Well it's fine if you believe the Bible, but you cannot be dogmatic about it with me.” And it is true that you are to be tolerant of those who are not dogmatic about the truths of scripture and to those who reject the word of God. BUT as a Christian, we must define tolerance as it ought to be defined. We don't go around spitting on people and kicking them and killing them.
But what we do as authentic Christians is we say what is wrong. And we declare it! And then we may suffer because of it. But we do not have this permissive attitude or “undogmatic viewpoint” about sinful things.
So then, you cannot tolerate sin in the sense of the world speaks of toleration. You do not tolerate sin in the sense that you're not open minded about it, you're not interested in affirming it, and you ought not be undogmatic about.
But we do not have this permissive attitude or “undogmatic viewpoint” about sinful things.
If you are righteous, that means you're set squarely against sin. You speak against it you don't want it in your own life, you put it to death without mercy. You rebuke others! You desire that they turn away from it. Much Like Noah. Remember that Noah the days before the flood he was called “a preacher of righteousness.” He did not say to the heathens, “my truth is that a flood is coming and I need to get the ark, won't you join me if it doesn’t offend you?” No! to sum him up, he essentially said this is the truth: you will die by the wrath of YHWH and then he preached righteousness to that generation and then one last invitation to come.
Transition:
This morning’s passage is an emotional radical dichotomy which flies in the face of relativistic postmodernism and shames the so-called “Christian Postmodernists.” John has a word against these people:
Scripture Reading:
1 John 3:4–10 ESV
4 Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. 5 You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. 6 No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. 7 Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. 8 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. 9 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. 10 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.
John now defined sin in absolute terms, presenting negatively the same truth he just expressed positively in the last few verses (3:1–3).
This text clearly presents the goal that all believers long for, a total deliverance from sin. Through Christ’s power we have the potential for sinless living. But not everybody in the church has this goal in mind. This is John’s challenge to us today from his first epistle: Where do you stand?
Where do you stand?
Transition:
This challenge from this passage is repeated and really sectioned into three parts: a warning, a declaration, and a self examination. And these will be our 2 points this morning: challenge number one vv 4-6. And challenge number 2 verses 7-10.
and so first challenge is:
he warns us, he makes a declaration, then causes us to examine ourselves and the second challenge is John doing the same thing: he warns us, he makes a declaration, then causes us to examine ourselves again.

I. Challenge #1 (vv. 4-6)

1 John 3:4 ESV
Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.
Lawless against what law?
God’s Holy Law, not man's law that conflicts with God’s Holy Law--it is not sinful to break those laws. Remember in , the apostles before the Sanhedrin:
Acts 5:29 ESV
But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.
it is not sin to disobey man’s laws that are clearly against our Creator
John is saying when it comes to sin it is defined in regard to YHWH’s Law--It is a breach to YHWH’s Law
Since being born of God demands self-purification, then a life of sin, or a continual lack of purity, demonstrates that one cannot really be God’s child. Sin cannot coexist with the new nature derived from the new birth. Those who keep on sinning are active rebels against God.
There is a difference between committing a sin and continuing to sin. Even the most faithful believers commit sins, but they do not choose to commit it. A believer who commits a sin repents, confesses, and finds forgiveness is a healthy Christian. Those who choose to continue to sin will not repent of what they are doing. Therefore, they will not confess and never receive forgiveness. They live in opposition to God, no matter what religious claims they make.
This is the warning — don’t continue in sin! Now for the declaration:
1 John 3:5 ESV
You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.
3:5 Besides the fact that sin is rebellion against God, another reason that Christians should not sin is because Jesus came to take away their sins. In other words, to know of such a sacrifice and then to keep on sinning depreciates that sacrifice. The reason Jesus came to earth was to take away people’s sins. This could only happen because there is no sin in him, so he could provide a suitable sacrifice. Under the Old Testament sacrifice system, Jews offered a lamb without blemish as a sacrifice for sin. Jesus is “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (). Because Jesus lived a perfect life and sacrificed himself for sin, people can be completely forgiven (2:2). Only he could bridge the gap between the sinless God and sinful people. Jesus died on the cross in our place, taking all our wrongdoing upon himself, saving us from the ultimate consequences of our sin—eternal judgment. Because Jesus still lives and still has no sin in him, it follows that he is totally opposed to sin. It also follows, then, that those who claim to be his people must be totally opposed to sin.
Besides the fact that sin is rebellion against God, another reason that believers should not sin is because Jesus came to take away their sins. In other words, to know of such a sacrifice and then to keep on sinning depreciates that sacrifice. The reason Jesus came to Earth was to take away people’s sins. Well wait! What sin? What did Jesus take away exactly? How many of us here trust in Christ? How many of us still sin? We better take a moment and define sin!
We here know what sin is, we may even have memorized the shorter catechism question: What is sin? sin is any want of conformity unto a transgression of the law of God. easy! Next! yet we sometimes forget that it is about offending a most Holy God and see sin as only a part of the whole. Christians may define sin with a wrong emphasis: sin is simply spoiling their lives—”Oh it has to be okay once in a while to indulge in that sin” or maybe sin is defined as making us miserable. And while it is true that sin will at some point make us believers miserable, we miss the focus of what sin really is. This can became quite the problem because suffering makes us miserable and we might be tempted to call what God would have us endure: sin or maybe we feel miserable when we restrain ourselves from that sinful indulgence, and we give in to temptation.
We hear so often, too, that sin is brokenness and sickness and that is almost true. When God made us, He didn't make us to be broken by sin. And He didn't make us to live with diseases. We were created healthy and perfect. But that's not the definition of sin, that is results of sin. If sin is brokenness-- we become passive victims and not perpetrators. We then would not justly deserve condemnation.
When we think sin is only these parts, we miss the mark. The main point is that we offend YHWH and break His law, and position ourselves against the Lawmaker. Sin is anti-GOD! Sin is the opposite of the attributes of YHWH!
If this is true, and since this is true, it is only reasonable and easily understandable that only God can free us of an offense to Him. We can do something about those other parts — we can abstain from indulgences, we can change unhealthy lifestyles and avoid misery, but we cannot receive forgiveness apart from Jesus who has no sin! Only God can do that!
and now for the self-examination
1 John 3:6 ESV
No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.
Those who continue to live in Christ won’t sin. As believers live in Christ, they are free from the power of sin. Living in sin and living in God are mutually exclusive, like darkness and light.
3:6 Those who continue to live in Christ won’t sin. As believers live in Christ, they are free from the power of sin. Living in sin and living in God are mutually exclusive, like darkness and light.
Some claimed to have a special relationship with God despite their sinful lifestyle. They assumed and even taught that their behavior did not matter to God. To the false teachers, John explained that sin was indeed very important to YHWH. In fact, to keep sinning proves that they did not “live in God” at all: those who keep on sinning have never known him or understood who He is. We ought to seek to remain “sinless” in God’s eyes by continually confessing sin to God and repenting of it. We do not keep on sinning. When we truly repent of sin, we will desire to remain free of that sin.
Sometimes we feel sympathy for those who don’t know Christ and we might say, “There’s something missing something in your life and you feel it--there's a hole in your heart--there's something wrong you know it.” and that is true about the unbeliever. But Jesus is not just a plug for the hole in your life. Christ came to pay the condemnation and wrath of God due to your sin. Often when we witness we avoid mentioning that main issues. We prefer to speak about the Gospel in terms that minimizes sin and just communicates, “you're missing something” as opposed to “God is angry with you.” But here, John emphasizes sin as rebellion against YHWH. And that is why Christ came--not come to fill a god-shaped hole in your heart only or primarily. He did not come just to fix you. He came primarily to take away our sins.
Some claimed to have a special relationship with God despite their sinful conduct. They assumed that their behavior did not matter to God. To the false teachers, John explained that sin was indeed very important to God. In fact, to keep sinning proves that they did not “live in God” at all: those who keep on sinning have never known him or understood who he is. Christians seek to remain “sinless” in God’s eyes by continually confessing sin to God and repenting of it. But they do not keep on sinning, meaning that they do not impose upon God’s forgiveness by taking it for granted in order to keep on living as they please. When they repent of sin, they truly desire to remain free of that sin.
3:8 Satan is the founder of lawless rebellion against God. Therefore, when people keep on sinning, it shows they belong to the Devil. The Devil has been sinning since the beginning—even before the creation of the world. Since then, as the prince of this world, he has been both sinning and causing people to sin. The false teachers who spoke lies and sinned without remorse showed that they belonged to the Devil himself (see 2:22). Those who followed these teachers were aligning themselves with the Devil and thus fighting against Christ.
There is a cure for sin, however, because the Son of God came to destroy these works of the Devil. The Greek word behind “destroy” does not mean to annihilate; rather, it means “to break down” (see ), “to undo,” “to render ineffective.” Though it would have made more sense, humanly speaking, for Christ to have obliterated Satan, he didn’t. Instead, Christ came to undo Satan’s work and thereby free people from sin and all its awful consequences. John was therefore arguing that Christians cannot be involved in what Christ came to destroy.
3:9 At first glance, these words appear to completely contradict what John said earlier: “If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves” (1:8). This passage states that those who have been born into God’s family do not sin … they can’t keep on sinning, because they have been born of God. So, do Christians sin or don’t they?
Experience tells every Christian that sin still has its hold. For true believers, however, deep inside their spirits, they aspire not to sin. This aspiration comes from the life of God within them. When they were “born again,” a new life was born inside (). Christians have this new life—God’s life is in them. They desire not to sin, and they fully renounce sin because sin is entirely incompatible with their new life. Although, at times, they may give in to sin, they are continually fighting against it. Sin is still active, but it no longer has complete control over them. The Holy Spirit works, through the Word of God, to set his people apart from sin—to make them holy and pure, as Christ is (3:3). (See also 5:18.)
3:10 John spoke in absolutes; he offered no middle ground: a person belongs either to God or to the Devil. The conclusion of the matter is that believers can tell who are children of God and who are children of the Devil. The way to tell the “pretenders” is to see whether they obey God’s commands (see also 2:3–5) and whether they love other Christians (see also 2:7–11).
Transition:
So to sum up this first challenge: Where do you stand? …but we’re not finished!

II. Challenge #2 (vv. 7-10)

Here he starts with another warning!
1 John 3:7 ESV
Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous.
Christ is righteous, and His character produces nothing but righteousness; so also is it with the righteous Christian.
Apparently, these false teachers who were also claiming that they knew God, were living so unrighteously that it is satisfactory proof that they were not anywhere near Jesus. John warned his audience not to let anyone deceive them about this one point: When people do what is right, it is because they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous. Believers’ righteousness is given to them by Christ and naturally leads to doing righteous acts. And as we saw a couple weeks back, a tree that bears good fruit is a good tree. But here, we can add that the fruit doesn’t make the tree good; it proves that it is good.
and now the next declaration:
1 John 3:8 ESV
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.
1 jn
These are very strong words! Perhaps we should tone it down a bit John—you might be seen as intolerant!
Satan is the leader of lawless rebellion against God. Therefore, when people keep on sinning, it shows they belong to ὁ διάβολος. satan has been sinning since the beginning—even before the creation of the world. Since then, as the prince of this world, he has been both sinning and causing people to sin. The false teachers who spoke lies and sinned without remorse showed that they belonged to satan. Those who followed these teachers were partnering with ὁ διάβολος and thus fighting against Christ.
and thus fighting against Christ.
. satan has been sinning since the beginning—even before the creation of the world. Since then, as the prince of this world, he has been both sinning and causing people to sin. The false teachers who spoke lies and sinned without remorse showed that they belonged to satan. Those who followed these teachers were partnering with the devil and thus fighting against Christ.
There is a cure for sin, however, because the Son of God came to destroy these works of satan. But does it look like today that satan’s work has been destroyed? The Greek word behind “destroy” does not mean to annihilate; rather, it means “to break down,” “to undo,” “to render ineffective.” Okay Josh, but why wouldn’t Jesus destroy ὁ διάβολος himself and rid us of satan altogether? Even though it might make more sense to us, humanly speaking, that Christ could have annihilated Satan, He didn’t choose that this was the time. Instead, Christ came to undo Satan’s work and thereby free people from sin and all its awful consequences. John was therefore arguing that Christians cannot be involved in what Christ came to destroy.
vv.9-10 both contain the self-examination
1 John 3:9 ESV
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.
Did John just say that the believer cannot sin anymore? At first glance, these words appear to completely contradict what John said earlier:
3:9 At first glance, these words appear to completely contradict what John said earlier: “If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves” (1:8). This passage states that those who have been born into God’s family do not sin … they can’t keep on sinning, because they have been born of God. So, do Christians sin or don’t they?
1 John 1:8 ESV
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
1 John 3:9 ESV
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.
1jn 1:8). This passage states that those who have been born into God’s family do not sin … they can’t keep on sinning, because they have been born of God. So, do Christians sin or don’t they?
This passage states that those who have been born into God’s family do not sin … they can’t keep on sinning, because they have been born of God. So, do Christians sin or don’t they?
This passage states that those who have been born into God’s family do not sin … they can’t keep on sinning, because they have been born of God. So, do Christians sin or don’t they?
Experience tells every genuine Christian that sin still has its affect on . For true believers, however, deep inside their spirits, they aspire not to sin. This aspiration comes from the life of God within them. When they were “born again,” a new life was born inside (). Christians have this new life—God’s life is in them. They desire not to sin, and they fully renounce sin because sin is entirely incompatible with their new life. Although, at times, they may give in to sin, they are continually fighting against it. Sin is still active, but it no longer has complete control over them. The Holy Spirit works, through the Word of God, to set his people apart from sin—to make them holy and pure, as Christ is (3:3).
John was confronting various types of false teachers. Some taught that they were sinless, actually unable to sin. They claimed superiority over everyone else. These teachings are refuted in 1:8–10. To this group, John explained that while Christians should indeed be “sinless,” it was not the kind of sinlessness that the false teachers claimed to have.

So What?

Do you love God enough to live for Him? or are you living for yourself?
1 John 3:10 ESV
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.
1jn 3
self examination again! Do you love one another? are you easily offended? are you harboring bitterness?
John spoke in absolutes; he offered no middle ground, no relative thinking: a person belongs either to God or to satan. The conclusion of the matter is that believers can tell who are children of God and who are children of the Devil. The way to tell the “pretenders” is to see whether they obey God’s commands and whether they love other Christians. These thoughts from John are a rehashing of chapter two because it is so prevalent among his church that he felt it worth repeating.
Conclusion:
Conclusion:
Every believer can bear witness to the fact that sin is still very much in every person’s life. Yet believers can stop living a life of sin, through conviction of sin when it occurs, sincere confession and repentance from sin, and then the sweet acceptance of forgiveness from the one who already took the punishment. Where do you stand?
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