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1 John 3

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1 John 3:4-9                                                                                                                         Don?t Be Decieved About Sin

            Recently I read a story about a young lady named Julie who had a pet Raccoon. Julie loved her pet racoon dearly but she really didn?t understand just how dangerous her little pet was. Fortunately, she had a friend who was a zoo keeper who advised of the dangers of having a pet racoon. You see raccoons go through a glandular change at about 24 months. After that they often attack their owners. A 30-pound raccoon can be equal to a 100-pound dog in a fight. Unfortunately, Julie didn?t take her friends advice seriously. She listened politely as he explained the coming danger. But she responded by saying, ??It will be different for me?? Three months later Julie underwent plastic surgery for facial lacerations sustained when her adult raccoon attacked her for no apparent reason. Her pet was released into the wild.?

            Folks, sin, often comes dressed in a adorable disguise. How easy it is to think ?It will be different for me.? The results are predictable. Just as that racoon turned on its owner and brought terrible and painful consequences if were not careful sin will do the same thing to us. You see Julie was deceived about Racoons. She didn?t understand the nature of the beast she was dealing with. Friends, we can?t afford to be deceived about sin. That?s my purpose in preaching this message today. To keep you from being deceived about sin. We are going to study four important truths that every Christian must understand to avoid being deceived by sin.

            Our text will be 1 John 3:4-10. Before we look at the text, I think it is important to remind you of Johns unique cyclical approach in 1 John. John uses a set of three tests to help believers examine themselves and those who are pseudo-Christians. These tests are moral, social, and doctrinal. These tests could also be labeled as the righteousness, love and belief tests. John applies this battery of tests three times through out the epistle. We will be studying the second round of those tests in the next four messages. The test will be looking at today is the moral or righteousness test. John actually began his discussion of the moral/righteousness test in our previous passage. In his exhortation for Christians to be confidently prepared for Christ?s return John made it clear that we must practice righteousness. He also said that the hope of Christ?s return should motivate us to purity. In today?s passage, John transitions from his focus on being confidently prepared for Christ?s return to informing the believers about the deception of sin. In fact, John will give us four important principles that will keep us from being deceived about sin. 

            The key to unlocking today?s the passage is when John says, ?Little children, let no one deceive (planao-lead astray) you. . .? Clearly from the context he is talking about sin. This is not a new subject for John, he started the epistle of by talking about being deceived about sin. Why does John spend so much time talking about sin and deception? Because there were false teachers attacking the truth about sin and its consequences. Things haven?t changed much in 2000 years.

            If there is anything people are deceived about today it is sin. Our society has done everything it can do to redefine and rename sin. We now have diseases and disorders. For example, drunkenness is no longer sin it is now called the disease of alcoholism. Homosexuality is no longer sin it is an alternative life style. Rebellion is no longer sin it is now called ODD short for oppositional defiance disorder. Can you imagine what God?s conversation with Adam in the garden after the fall would sound like today? He wouldn?t blame Eve. Instead he would blame it on ODD. ?Did you eat from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?? ? I couldn?t help it God I have ODD.? ?I think I need a Psychologist or a prescription.? Unfortunately this deception has crept into the church. Many in the church are living unholy lives. Immorality, greed, materialism are sins that are rampant in the church. Somehow we seem to think that there are no consequences. We have forgotten that the Scripture says the wages of sin is death! We have been deceived.

            If there is anybody in Scripture who understood the high cost of being deceived by sin it is King David. David was deceived into believing he could commit adultery and get away with it. Then he was deceived into believing that he could hide his sin through murder. But then the day came when Nathan the prophet confronted him about his sin and its horrible consequences. David ended up losing three of his children because of his sin. His own son attempted to a coup upon his kingdom. Though the Lord forgave David, because he humbled himself and confessed his sin ?Adversity never departed from David?s house. Such is the life of one who allows himself to be deceived about sin. What ever you do avoid being deceived by sin. Instead lets follow our sinless Savior Jesus by heeding his words in John 8:31-32, "If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; [32] and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

Lets look at look at the four important truths that will ?set us free? from being deceived by sin. If were going to avoid being deceived by sin....

I.         We must understand the lawless nature of sin. (4)

            A.        The NT has several places where sin is defined. For instance in Romans 14:23 sin is defined as whatever is not from faith. In James it is defined as ?who knows right and doesn?t do it? In 1 Jn 5:17 John defines sin as unrighteousness. But none of those definitions get to the true nature of what sin is like John?s definition in this verse. John says sin is lawlessness. The Grk word anomia which literally means no law. Lawlessness is not the result of sin but it is the very essence of sin. No matter what the outward action maybe a sinner?s attitude is lawlessness. (Little girl) It is the willful choice to rebel against the known will of God. Paul give us a pretty clear picture of lawlessness in 1 Tim. 1:9-10 realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous man, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers [10] and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, Paul also uses this term lawlessness to describe the Antichrist in Thess. 2.

            B.        John makes it clear here that whoever practices sin commits lawlessness. Why is this so important. If you understand the definition of lawlessness it?s clear that sin is incompatible with who were are as believers! We shall see that John makes that point several times in these verses. Now that you understand the definition of sin do you see the horribleness of it. When we sin we are willfully rebelling against God. We are acting in contradiction to our who we are.

II.        We must understand the devilish origin of sin. (8b)

            A.        Where did sin begin? It began with Satan himself. Listen to what Jesus said about Satan. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies.

            B.        Ezekiel 28:15 "You were blameless in your ways From the day you were created, Until unrighteousness was found in you.

            C.        Isaiah 14:12-14 "How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations! [13] "But you said in your heart, 'I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, And I will sit on the mount of assembly In the recesses of the north. [14] 'I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.'

            D.        In the garden he tempted Adam into rebellion against God........That rebellion brought sin and death into this world. It brought fear, shame, and guilt. It created separation between us and God. Whenever we choose to sin we are imitating the devil. Now that you understand the origin do you see why its so important we avoid sin. Whenever we choose to sin we are joining literally joining the enemies rebellion against God. We behave like traitors.

III.       We must understand the righteous work of the Savior. (You know) (5b) 2 Cor. 5:21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

            A.        Jesus came to take away sin. (5a)

                        1.         Manifested is talking about the incarnation.....Matthew 1:21 "And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins." John?s gospel, 1:1, 1:14

                        2.         Takeaway sin --John 1:29 How did he do that....1 Peter 2:24 and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. Isaiah 53:5-6 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.

            B.        Jesus came to save sinners. (5a) The result of Jesus taking our sin upon himself is that we are saved from the consequences of our sin. Jesus said of Himself in Luke 19:10 "For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost."

            C.        Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. (8c) destroy here doesn?t mean to annihilate...it means to render in inoperative or rob of power....

                        1.         Sin

                        2.         Death

            D.        Now that you understand the righteous work of the Savior do you see why it?s so important to avoid sin. Think about the incredible price Jesus paid for your sin. To willfully sin in light of Savior?s incredible sacrifice is an incredible act of ungratefulness.

IV.      We must understand the divine difference between the Saint and the Sinner. (10a)

            A.        Saints cannot practice sin because they have been born of God. (9a,c) Is John saying Christians can?t sin....if he is we are all in deep trouble. John can?t be saying that because of what he said at the beginning of the book. What John is saying is that a Christian cannot live a life of habitual sin. A believer may sin sometimes but sin won?t be the ruling principle of his life. Abraham, Moses, David, Peter, are all great example of this truth.....

                        1.         A Seed abides in the Saint. (9b) sperma of God, Ezekiel 36:26-27 "Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. [27] "And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. 1 Peter 1:23 for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and abiding word of God. 2 Peter 1:3-4 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. [4] For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.

                        2.         A Saint abides in Christ. (6a) the habit of his life is to abide...there may be momentary lapses in fellowship....but never in relationship...

                        3.         A Saint behaves like Christ. (7b) Righteousness will be the practice of his life because that is his true nature

            B.        Sinners cannot practice righteousness because they are of the devil. (8a)

                        1.         A sinner?s lifestyle confirms their identity. (10b)

                        2.         A sinner?s lifestyle confirms they haven?t met the Savior. (6b)

Conclusion

            So what have learned today. To avoid being deceived by sin, we must understand it?s lawless nature, we must understand its devilish origin, we must understand our Savior righteous work, and we must understand the divine difference between the saint and sinner.

            Christian have you allowed sin to deceive you anyway? Is there a particular sin that you have allowed to creep into you life? Perhaps your sinning in your thought life. Maybe your sinning with your tongue. Maybe your sinning with money? What sin is it that the Holy Spirit is convicting you of today? What sin is that you need to repent of and confess to God. Can you see how incompatible sin is with who you are as a child of God? Can you see how living in willful rebellion against God is an incredible act of ungratefulness. Listen sin is nothing to play with. Just as the Racoon turned on Julie sin will eventually turn on you.

            Instead we need to heed the words of the Apostle Paul concerning sin in Romans 6. Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound. God forbid!

            If you?re here today and haven?t trusted Christ as you Savior. I don?t want you to be deceived about sin.......

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