Faithlife Sermons

Only The Beginning

Pastor Randy Bradley
The Book of First John  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  29:20
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Salvation is an amazing thing, God in His great love provided a way for us to enter into an eternal relationship with him. But God has called us to more than just getting into Heaven, He wants us to grow as Christians to walk with Christ, to abide in Him. As children of God, we need to continue to grow as we serve God and love others.

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1 YOUNG GREEK ARTIST NAMED TIMANTHES • STUDIED UNDER A RESPECTED TUTOR • TIMANTHES PAINTED AN EXQUISITE WORK OF ART • UNFORTUNATELY, HE BECAME SO ENRAPTURED WITH THE PAINTING • THAT HE SPENT DAYS GAZING AT IT • ONE MORNING WHEN HE ARRIVED TO ADMIRE HIS WORK, • HE WAS SHOCKED TO FIND IT BLOTTED OUT WITH PAINT • ANGRY, TIMANTHES RAN TO HIS TEACHER, • WHO ADMITTED HE HAD DESTROYED THE PAINTING. • "I DID IT FOR YOUR OWN GOOD • THAT PAINTING HAD STOPPED YOUR PROGRESS • START AGAIN AND SEE IF YOU CAN DO BETTER." • TIMANTHES TOOK HIS TEACHER'S ADVICE AND PRODUCED SACRIFICE OF IPHIGENIA, • WHICH IS REGARDED AS ONE OF THE FINEST PAINTINGS OF ANTIQUITY. • SOMETIMES WE CAN GET SO CAUGHT UP IN THE BEGINNING OF SOMETHING • THAT WE FAIL TO PROGRESS BEYOND THAT BEGINNING • OUR SALVATION IS AMAZING IT'S PHENOMENAL • IT'S ASTOUNDING THAT GOD HAS PROVIDED A MEANS • FOR US TO ENTER INTO ETERNAL RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM • BUT HE'S CALLED US TOO FAR MORE • THAN JUST ENTERING INTO THIS RELATIONSHIP • HE'S CALLED US TOO FAR MORE THAN JUST GETTING INTO HEAVEN • HE HAS CALLED US INTO FELLOWSHIP WITH HIM, • HE HAS CALLED US TO GROW IN CHRIST LIKENESS. • TODAY WE'RE GOING TO LOOK AT JOHN • INSTRUCTING HIS READERS TO BE AWARE OF THEIR SALVATION, • AND TO LIVE OUT THIS LIFE AS CHILDREN OF GOD • WHO ARE PROGRESSING FROM THIS BEGINNING TOWARDS • AN ETERNITY CONFORMED TO THE LIKENESS OF CHRIST. • TURN TO 1 JOHN 3:1 • JOHN HAD JUST TOLD HIS READERS • THAT THEY HAD A PROMISE OF ETERNAL LIFE • A PROMISE THAT WAS FROM GOD • HE TOLD THEM THEY DID NOT NEED • TO LISTEN TO THE FALSE TEACHERS ABOUT SALVATION • THAT THEY HAD THE HOLY SPIRIT • TO TEACH THEM ALL THINGS ABOUT SALVATION • AND HE HAD TOLD THEM THAT IF THEY PRACTICED RIGHTEOUSNESS • THEY COULD BE CERTAIN OF THEIR ETERNAL DESTINY • JOHN CONTINUES IN 1 JOHN 3:1 SEE HOW GREAT A LOVE THE FATHER HAS BESTOWED ON US, THAT WE WOULD BE CALLED CHILDREN OF GOD; AND SUCH WE ARE. FOR THIS REASON THE WORLD DOES NOT KNOW US, BECAUSE IT DID NOT KNOW HIM. WE SHOULD NOTICE GOD’S LOVE • THERE IS SOMETHING HERE WE NEED TO NOTICE • WHEN JOHN SAYS • SEE HOW GREAT A LOVE THE FATHER HAS BESTOWED ON US, • IT IS AN INSTRUCTION TO TAKE AN ACTION • HE IS INSTRUCTING THEM TO NOTICE, TO PAY ATTENTION • THE LOVE THE FATHER HAS GIVEN US • AND JOHN DESCRIBES THIS AS A “GREAT LOVE” • THIS PHRASE HIS LITERALLY WHAT KIND OF GREAT, • OR AMAZING, OR ASTONISHING LOVE • EVERY TIME THIS PHRASE IS USED IN THE BIBLE • IT ALWAYS IMPLIES WE SHOULD BE IN AWE, BE ASTONISHED, BE AMAZED • JOHN CALLS FOR HIS READERS TO BE AMAZED, ASTONISHED, IN AWE • OF THE LOVE GOD HAS GIVEN US • IN JOHN 3:16 JOHN DESCRIBES THIS LOVE JOHN 3:16 “FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD, THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, THAT WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM SHALL NOT PERISH, BUT HAVE ETERNAL LIFE. • THIS IS TRULY AN AMAZING LOVE, AN AWE INSPIRING LOVE • WE REALLY SHOULD DO AS JOHN INSTRUCTS • AND SEE.. TAKE NOTICE, BE AWARE OF THIS LOVE • IT WILL CHANGE HOW WE LIVE • IT WILL CHANGE HOW WE LOOK AT OUR SELVES WE SHOULD KNOW WE ARE GOD’S CHILDREN • JOHN MAKES IT CLEAR THAT GOD’S GREAT LOVE • IS WHY BE BECOME CHILDREN OF GOD • THAT IS IT IS NOT ANYTHING ABOUT US • IT IS NOT SOMETHING WE EARN OR SOMETHING WE DESERVE • AND THEN WE SEE THESE WORDS • THAT WE WOULD BE CALLED CHILDREN OF GOD; AND SUCH WE ARE. • THE POWER OF THIS STATEMENT, THE FORCE OF THE WORDS • IS JUST NOT THERE IN THE ENGLISH, THE TRANSLATION IS ACCURATE • BUT, THE EMOTION IS LACKING • JOHN’S POINT IS THAT WE ARE IN FACT ACTUAL CHILDREN OF GOD • WE ARE NOT JUST CALLED CHILDREN OF GOD • WE ARE IN ACTUAL FACT REAL CHILDREN OF GOD • PAUL CONFIRMS THIS FACT GALATIANS 3:26 FOR YOU ARE ALL SONS OF GOD THROUGH FAITH IN CHRIST JESUS. • IF WE NOTICE GOD’S AMAZING LOVE FOR US • AND IF WE UNDERSTAND OUR POSITION AS CHILDREN OF GOD • IT SHOULD CHANGE HOW WE LIVE • BUT IT MAY NOT CHANGE HOW OTHER PEOPLE SEE US WE SHOULD NOT EXPECT THE WORLD TO UNDERSTAND • THE FALSE TEACHERS DID NOT CONSIDER • JOHN’S READERS TO BE CHILDREN OF GOD • THEY TOLD THEM THEY HAD TO HAVE SPECIAL KNOWLEDGE • THEY TOLD THEM THEY HAD TO LIVE ACCORDING TO CERTAIN RULES • JOHN EXPLAINS WHY THESE FALSE TEACHERS DID NOT KNOW THE TRUTH • FOR THIS REASON THE WORLD DOES NOT KNOW US, BECAUSE IT DID NOT KNOW HIM. • THESE FALSE TEACHERS DID NOT KNOW GOD • HOW COULD THEY KNOW HIS CHILDREN? • THE SAME HOLDS TRUE FOR US • THE WORLD IS FULL OF PEOPLE WHO DO NOT KNOW GOD • AND THESE PEOPLE DO NOT UNDERSTAND US • THEY DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT WE BELIEVE • THEY DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT WE SAY • THEY DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT WE DO • AND JOHN HAS TOLD US THE REASON THEY DON’T UNDERSTAND • THEY DON’T KNOW GOD • WE NEED TO STOP EXPECTING THEM TO UNDERSTAND WHY WE ARE SO APPALLED AT ABORTION • WHY WE SEND PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD TO TELL PEOPLE ABOUT CHRIST • WHY GIVE OF OUR TIME, OUR RESOURCES, • OUR MONEY TO HELP PEOPLE WE DON’T EVEN KNOW • WHY WE THINK GOD CAME IN THE FORM OF A MAN • LIVED A SINLESS LIFE AND DIED ON THE CROSS TO PAY FOR OUR SINS • HOW CAN WE EXPECT THEM TO UNDERSTAND THESE THINGS • WHEN THEY DON’T EVEN KNOW THERE IS A GOD • WE NEED TO STAY FOCUSED ON GOD’S LOVE FOR US • AN AMAZING LOVE THAT HAS MADE US CHILDREN OF GOD • WE NEED TO DO OUR BEST TO LIVE LIFE AS CHILDREN OF GOD • PEOPLE SOMETIMES GET CONFUSED ABOUT WHO THEY ARE • WE SEE THIS MORE AND MORE IN OUR WORLD TODAY • BUT NOT KNOWING WHO YOU ARE IS NOTHING NEW THE FAMOUS GERMAN PHILOSOPHER SCHLEIERMACHER • WAS SITTING ON A BENCH IN A PARK CONTEMPLATING HIS EXISTENCE • A POLICE OFFICER SEEING THE RATHER DISHEVELED MAN SLUMPED OVER • AND ASSUMING HE WAS A VAGRANT CAME OVER AND SHOOK HIM ASKING • WHO ARE YOU? • SCHEIERMACHER SADLY REPLIED; “I WISH I KNEW” • KNOWING WHO YOU ARE IS IMPORTANT • JOHN IS TRYING TO MAKE SURE THAT HIS READERS • UNDERSTAND WHO THEY ARE, CHILDREN OF GOD • AS CHILDREN OF GOD, WE SHOULD ALWAYS BE AWARE OF WHO WE ARE • WE SHOULD KNOW THAT IT'S GOD'S LOVE THAT HAS MADE US HIS CHILDREN. • AND WE SHOULD NEVER EXPECT THE WORLD TO UNDERSTAND THIS FACT. • THE WORLD NOT UNDERSTANDING THAT WE ARE CHILDREN OF GOD • SHOULD NOT CHANGE HOW WE LIVE, SERVE, FORGIVE, LOVE • JOHN WANTED TO MAKE SURE THAT HIS READERS • DIDN'T LET THE FALSE TEACHERS DEFINE WHO THEY WERE • HE WANTED THEM TO KNOW THAT BEING CHILDREN OF GOD • DEFINES WHO WE ARE • AND WHO WE WILL BECOME 1 JOHN 3:2 BELOVED, NOW WE ARE CHILDREN OF GOD, AND IT HAS NOT APPEARED AS YET WHAT WE WILL BE. WE KNOW THAT WHEN HE APPEARS, WE WILL BE LIKE HIM, BECAUSE WE WILL SEE HIM JUST AS HE IS. WE SHOULD KNOW SALVATION IS NOT THE END • JOHN WANTS US TO BE CERTAIN WE ARE SAVED • BUT HE ALSO WANTS US TO KNOW THAT THERE IS MORE • TO THE CHRISTIAN LIFE THAN JUST GETTING INTO HEAVEN • HE STATES AGAIN THAT WE ARE CHILDREN OF GOD • BELOVED, NOW WE ARE CHILDREN OF GOD, • NOTICE HOW HE INCLUDED HIMSELF IN THIS WE ARE CHILDREN OF GOD • AND THEN HE TELLS US THERE IS MORE TO COME • AND IT HAS NOT APPEARED AS YET WHAT WE WILL BE. • BEING CHILDREN OF GOD IS AMAZING • BUT WE WILL BE SOMETHING MORE • AND THE TRUTH IS WE DON’T KNOW EXACTLY WHAT WE WILL BE • WE KNOW WE WILL BE GLORIFIED ROMANS 8:30 AND THESE WHOM HE PREDESTINED, HE ALSO CALLED; AND THESE WHOM HE CALLED, HE ALSO JUSTIFIED; AND THESE WHOM HE JUSTIFIED, HE ALSO GLORIFIED. • BUT THE DETAILS OF WHAT THIS WILL LOOK LIKE, • HOW THIS WILL FUNCTION, HAS NOT BEEN REVEALED TO US • WE MAY NOT KNOW THE DETAILS BUT WE DO KNOW THE GENERAL IDEA • WE SHOULD KNOW CHRIST LIKENESS IS THE GOAL (PAUSE) • THE ULTIMATE GOAL OF THE GOSPEL IS THAT WE BE LIKE CHRIST • WE HAVE TO ENTER INTO RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD • THROUGH FAITH IN CHRIST’S DEATH ON THE CROSS • BUT THAT IS JUST THE BEGINNING • THE COMPLETION OF THE GOSPEL COMES WHEN CHRIST RETURNS • AND WE ARE GLORIFIED IN HIS LIKENESS • WE KNOW THAT WHEN HE APPEARS, WE WILL BE LIKE HIM, BECAUSE WE WILL SEE HIM JUST AS HE IS. • WHEN IT SAYS WE WILL BE LIKE HIM • THAT DOES NOT MEAN WE WILL BE GOD • THERE ARE THOSE THAT TEACH THIS • THEY TAKE THIS AND OTHER VERSES OUT OF CONTEXT • AND THINK THAT WE CAN BECOME GODS • TO BE LIKE CHRIST DOES NOT MEAN TO BE EQUAL TO HIM • IT MEANS WE WILL BE SIMILAR, NOT THE SAME • IN THIS CASE, BECAUSE OF THE CONTEXT OF THE PASSAGE • I THINK IT MEANS WE WILL BE WITHOUT SIN • WHEN WE COME TO FAITH IN CHRIST • WE ARE FREED FROM SLAVERY TO SIN • AS WE GROW IN CHRIST, ABIDING IN HIM • WE ARE FREED FROM THE POWER OF SIN • AND AT OUR GLORIFICATION, IN THE NEXT LIFE • WE WILL BE FREED FROM THE PRESENCE OF SIN (PAUSE) THE FIRST ELECTRIC LIGHT WAS SO DIM • THAT A CANDLE WAS NEEDED TO SEE ITS SOCKET. • ONE OF THE FIRST STEAMBOATS TOOK 32 HOURS • TO CHUG ITS WAY FROM NEW YORK TO ALBANY, A DISTANCE OF 150 MILES. • WILBUR AND ORVILLE WRIGHT'S FIRST AIRPLANE FLIGHT LASTED ONLY 12 SECONDS. • AND THE FIRST AUTOMOBILES TRAVELED 2 TO 4 MILES PER HOUR • AND BROKE DOWN OFTEN. • CARRIAGES WOULD PASS THEM WITH THEIR PASSENGERS SHOUTING, "GET A HORSE!" • THERE CAN BE GREAT DIFFERENCES • BETWEEN HOW THINGS BEGIN AND HOW THEY FINISH • WE HAVE VAST ELECTRIC LIGHTING THAT LIGHTS ENTIRE CITIES NOW, • WE HAVE A SPACE STATION THAT GOES AROUND THE WORLD EVERY 90 MINUTES • WE HAVE AUTOMOBILES THAT DRIVE THEMSELVES. • THE BEGINNING OF OUR LIFE WITH GOD • CAME WHEN WE PLACED OUR FAITH AND TRUST IN JESUS CHRIST AS OUR SAVIOR. • THE CONCLUSION OF THIS JOURNEY COMES • WHEN WE ARE CONFORMED TO BEING LIKE CHRIST. • THIS DOES NOT OCCUR IN THIS LIFE BUT IN THE NEXT. • KNOWING HOW THIS JOURNEY WILL END • SHOULD AFFECT HOW WE LIVE OUT OUR LIVES HERE AND NOW 1 JOHN 3:3–6 AND EVERYONE WHO HAS THIS HOPE FIXED ON HIM PURIFIES HIMSELF, JUST AS HE IS PURE. EVERYONE WHO PRACTICES SIN ALSO PRACTICES LAWLESSNESS; AND SIN IS LAWLESSNESS. YOU KNOW THAT HE APPEARED IN ORDER TO TAKE AWAY SINS; AND IN HIM THERE IS NO SIN. NO ONE WHO ABIDES IN HIM SINS; NO ONE WHO SINS HAS SEEN HIM OR KNOWS HIM. WE SHOULD STAY FOCUSED ON CHRIST • IF WE ARE FOCUSED ON CHRIST • WE WILL LIVE THIS LIFE • BASED ON WHO WE WILL BE IN ETERNITY • AND EVERYONE WHO HAS THIS HOPE FIXED ON HIM PURIFIES HIMSELF • IN BIBLICAL TERMS TO HAVE HOPE MEANS • CONFIDENT EXPECTATION IN A FUTURE EVENT • IN THIS CASE IT MEANS TO TRUST IN THE FUTURE FACT • THAT WE WILL BE LIKE CHRIST • AND JOHN SAYS THAT IF WE HAVE THAT HOPE • WE WILL PURIFY OUR SELVES • THAT MEANS WE WILL STRIVE TO SIN LESS • SINCE WE ARE GONNA BE LIKE HIM IN THE NEXT LIFE • WE WILL START LIVING MORE LIKE HIM NOW • NOTICE HOW IT SAYS PURIFIES HIMSELF • STAYING AWAY FROM SIN TAKES BOTH OUR EFFORT • AND GOD’S POWER • ONLY BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT CAN WE RESIST SIN • BUT ONLY WHEN WE PUT FORTH THE EFFORT WILL WE RESIST SIN • RESISTING TEMPTATION IS A COOPERATIVE EFFORT • THE FALSE TEACHER JOHN WAS WRITING AGAINST • THOUGHT THAT YOU DID NOT NEED TO RESIST SIN • THEY THOUGHT THAT SIN WAS JUST NOT THAT BIG A DEAL • SEE THEY THOUGHT THE PHYSICAL WORLD WAS ALL EVIL • AND THE SPIRITUAL WORLD WAS ALL GOOD AND HOLY • SO TO THEY TAUGHT THAT IF YOU WERE SPIRITUAL ENOUGH • YOU COULD DO ANYTHING YOU WANTED PHYSICALLY AND NOT BE TOUCHED BY SIN • JOHN MAKES IT CLEAR THAT SIN IS A SLAP IN GOD’S FACE • TO HELP HIS READERS UNDERSTAND HOW GOD SEES SIN • JOHN MAKES THE STATEMENT • EVERYONE WHO PRACTICES SIN ALSO PRACTICES LAWLESSNESS; AND SIN IS LAWLESSNESS. • THIS EVERYONE WOULD INCLUDE THE FALSE TEACHERS, THEY PRACTICED SIN • BUT WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO PRACTICE SIN • AT THE END OF THE PREVIOUS CHAPTER • JOHN HAD SAID; YOU KNOW THAT EVERYONE ALSO WHO PRACTICES RIGHTEOUSNESS IS BORN OF HIM. • AND I SAID PRACTICING RIGHTEOUSNESS MEANT TO STRIVE TO GROW IN CHRIST • TO ABIDE IN HIM, TO WALK WITH HIM • SO PRACTICING SIN MEANS TO STRIVE TO GROW MORE SINFUL • TO ABIDE IN SIN, TO WALK IN SIN, • TO PRACTICE SIN IS TO MAKE YOUR LIFE ALL ABOUT IT • PRACTICING SIN IS HABITUAL, CONSISTENT, UNREPENTANT SIN • AND JOHN HAS JUST SAID ANYONE WHO DOES THIS • ALSO PRACTICES LAWLESSNESS • NOW THIS DOES NOT SOUND LIKE A BIG DEAL TO US • SO WHAT.. LAWLESSNESS BIG DEAL • BUT THAT’S CAUSE WE THINK LAWS COME FROM • THE GOVERNMENT.. FROM MEN.. FROM POLITICIANS • BUT JOHN KNOWS LAWS COME FROM GOD • TO SAY SIN IS LAWLESSNESS.. • IS TO SAY SIN IS AN AFFRONT TO GOD’S AUTHORITY • SIN IS A WILLFUL REJECTION AND AN ACTIVE DISOBEDIENCE • AGAINST GOD’S MORAL STANDARD • THE WILLFUL PRACTICE OF A LIFE FILLED WITH SIN • IS A REJECTION OF THE DIVINE AUTHORITY OF GOD • SEE, WE GO AROUND LOOKING AT SIN THROUGH • THE EYES OF THE WORLD • WHEN WHAT WE SHOULD BE DOING IS SEEING SIN AS CHRIST SAW IT • CHRIST THOUGHT SIN WAS SO BAD THAT HE CAME • IN THE FORM OF A MAN, LIVED A SINLESS LIFE AND DIED ON THE CROSS • ROSE AGAIN AFTER THREE DAYS AND ASCENDED TO HEAVEN • AND HE WILL COME BACK • AND HE DID ALL THIS TO RID THE WORLD OF SIN • YOU KNOW THAT HE APPEARED IN ORDER TO TAKE AWAY SINS; AND IN HIM THERE IS NO SIN. • TO ME THAT MEANS JESUS CHRIST TAKES SIN VERY SERIOUSLY (PAUSE) • ARE WE GONNA BE LIKE HIM AND SEE SIN THAT SAME WAY? • UNDERSTAND JUST WHAT SIN IS WHAT SIN DOES? • IF WE SEE SIN THE WAY HE SEES SIN WE WILL KNOW SIN SEPARATES US FROM GOD • THAT IS WHY CHRIST HAD TO COME AND DIE • SIN HAD SEPARATED US FROM GOD • JOHN TELLS THEM ABOUT THIS SEPARATION • WHEN HE SAYS; NO ONE WHO ABIDES IN HIM SINS; • TO ABIDE IN CHRIST MEANS MORE THAN JUST TO BE SAVED • TO ABIDE MEANS TO WALK LIKE HE WALKED TO GROW TO BE MORE LIKE HIM • TO HAVE CHRIST AS THE CENTER OF YOUR LIFE • AND JOHN SAYS NO ONE DOING THIS SINS • BUT WAIT A MINUTE, JOHN SAID BACK IN 1 JOHN 1:10 IF WE SAY THAT WE HAVE NOT SINNED, WE MAKE HIM A LIAR AND HIS WORD IS NOT IN US. • AT FIRST GLANCE THIS LOOKS LIKE A CONTRADICTION • BUT WE KNOW THAT THE BIBLE HAS NO CONTRADICTIONS IN IT • THE KEY IS FOUND IN THE WAY JOHN USES THE WORD SIN • WHEN HE SAYS; “NO ONE WHO ABIDES IN HIM SINS” • HE USES A FORM OF THE WORD SIN THAT MEANS ON GOING • OR CONTINUAL SIN. • THE ENGLISH STANDARD TRANSLATION PUTS IT THIS WAY 1 JOHN 3:6 NO ONE WHO ABIDES IN HIM KEEPS ON SINNING; NO ONE WHO KEEPS ON SINNING HAS EITHER SEEN HIM OR KNOWN HIM. • JOHN IS SAYING IF WE ARE WALKING DAILY WITH CHRIST • WE WILL NOT BE WALKING DAILY IN SIN • IF OUR FOCUS IS ON BEING LIKE CHRIST • WE WILL NOT BE FOCUSED ON SINNING • YOU CAN ONLY ABIDE IN ONE OR THE OTHER (PAUSE) • AND THEN JOHN MAKES IT CLEAR THAT THOSE WHO • ACTIVELY, DELIBERATELY LIVE A SINFUL LIFE • ARE NOT IN RELATIONSHIP OR FELLOWSHIP WITH CHRIST • NO ONE WHO SINS HAS SEEN HIM OR KNOWS HIM. • AGAIN, JOHN USES THAT FORM OF THE WORD FOR SIN • THAT MEANS ON GOING CONTINUAL SIN • AND HE SAYS ANYONE LIVING THAT LIFESTYLE • HAS NOT SEEN CHRIST AND DOES NOT KNOW CHRIST • THE WORD USED HERE FOR SEE MEANS MORE LIKE EXPERIENCED • OR SOMETIMES WE SEE IT TRANSLATED BEHELD • AND I THINK JOHN IS USING IT TO MEAN COME INTO RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST • AND WHEN HE SAYS THEY DO NOT KNOW CHRIST • HE USES A WORD THAT MEANS DEEP PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE • KNOWLEDGE FROM EXPERIENCE, • I THINK THIS IS TALKING ABOUT BEING IN FELLOWSHIP WITH CHRIST • SO JOHN IS SAYING ANYONE YOU SEE RUNNING AROUND • WITH THEIR LIVES FOCUSED ON SINNING IT UP • LIVING IN CONTINUAL, HABITUAL SIN • THOSE FOLKS ARE NOT IN RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST • THOSE FOLKS ARE NOT IN FELLOWSHIP WITH CHRIST • NOW, WE NEED TO BE REALLY CAREFUL HOW WE USE THIS VERSE • WE MIGHT WANT TO JUMP UP AND START POINTING PEOPLE OUT • “WELL CLEARLY HE DOES NOT KNOW GOD.. LOOK HOW HE SINS” • OBVIOUSLY SHE IS NOT IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD LOOK WHAT SHE DOES” • BUT THAT IS NOT WHY JOHN PUT THESE VERSES HERE • THAT IS NOT WHAT THEY ARE FOR • JOHN’S POINT IS THAT THE FALSE TEACHERS • WERE WRONG ABOUT SIN, THAT SIN IS NOT SOMETHING TO MESS AROUND WITH • THAT SIN IS VERY SERIOUS AND SIN SEPARATES US FROM GOD • HE DID NOT PUT THIS VERSE IN HERE FOR US TO USE IT TO JUDGE PEOPLE • HE PUT THIS VERSE IN HERE FOR US TO UNDERSTAND JUST HOW SERIOUS SIN IS • BECAUSE WE ARE CHILDREN OF GOD AND WE NEED TO LIVE LIKE IT • AND STRIVE TO NOT SIN, PUTTING FORTH EFFORT AND TRUSTING IN GOD’S POWER PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN • SIGNED THE EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION ON SEPTEMBER 22, 1862. • THE MOMENT IT WENT INTO EFFECT ON JANUARY 1, 1863, • EVERY SLAVE LIVING IN THE CONFEDERACY WAS LEGALLY FREE • BUT UNTIL THEY KNEW OF THEIR FREEDOM, • THE LEGAL FACT HAD NO IMPACT ON THEIR LIVES • IN FACT, UNION SOLDIERS CARRIED HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS • OF COPIES OF THE PROCLAMATION AND PASSED THEM OUT • AS THEY MADE THEIR WAY THROUGH THE SOUTH DURING THE WAR • CHRIST HAS SET US FREE FROM POWER OF SIN • WE MUST RECOGNIZE THE FACT OF OUR FREEDOM AND LIVE LIKE IT • BEING SAVED IS AMAZING, IT IS SO AWESOME THAT GOD • LOVED US SO MUCH THAT HE CAME AND DIED TO PAY FOR OUR SINS • BUT AS AMAZING AS THIS IS… IT IS NOT THE END • GOD HAS MUCH MORE IN STORE FOR US THAN GETTING TO HEAVEN • WHEN WE KNOW WE ARE GOD’S CHILDREN WE WILL LIVE LIKE IT • WE WILL SEE SIN THE WAY GOD SEES SIN • AS AN AFFRONT TO HIS AUTHORITY AS A SLAP IN GOD’S FACE • WE WILL STRIVE TO SIN LESS • KNOWING THAT IN ETERNITY WE WILL BE • CONFORMED TO THE LIKENESS OF CHRIST • FREE FROM THE PRESENCE OF SIN (PAUSE) • JOHN WROTE THESE WORDS TO ASSURE HIS READERS OF THEIR SALVATION • THAT THEIR FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST AS THEIR PERSONAL SAVIOR • HAD IN FACT ASSURED THEIR ETERNAL DESTINY • IF THERE IS ANYONE HERE WHO HAS NOT PLACED THEIR FAITH IN CHRIST • ANYONE WHO HAS NOT ENTERED INTO THIS RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD • IN A MOMENT… 99
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