Text: 1 John 3:4-10
Thesis: To learn how to become and stay a child of God.
(1) In the Parable of the Sower (Matt. 13:3-9), Jesus teaches us that most will either reject or fail to hold onto the gospel.
(2) Yes, it is possible to fall away from God (cf. 2 Pet. 2:20-22; Gal. 5:4; Heb. 3:13).
(3) However, it is equally possible to be the good soil and be truly converted.
(4) Therefore, let us look at how we can be truly converted to God Almighty.
I. First, one must begin his/her Christianity with a proper birth.
A. In verse 9, we learn that one must be born of God.
1. Obviously, to be born of God is a spiritual birth (cf. John 3:1-5).
2. Baptism is the means by which we are born of God (cf. Rom. 6:3-5; Gal. 3:27).
B. The phrase “of God” denotes that our birth is to be done correctly and for the correct reasons. Hence, we ask, “What are the correct reasons?”
1. The primary reason is to obey God/accept His gift of salvation.
a. Too often we may do this because of peer pressure, family pressure, etc.
b. We must do this “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38).
2. Also, we must not get the cart before the horse.
a. There is a proper order to observe.
b. Belief and repentance must precede baptism in order truly to die to the old man and to arise a new man (cf. 2 Cor. 5:17).
II. Second, after becoming a Christian we must have a persistent belief.
A. Verse 9 states that Christians “cannot keep on sinning.”
1. Does this mean that such is impossible? Certainly not, because there are numerous warnings given to Christians about the possibility of apostasy.
2. The NASB reads “No one who is born of God practices sin […]”
a. This does not mean that we will never sin, but rather that our continual lifestyle is not one of sin.
b. To live a lifestyle of sin is to practice lawlessness (v. 4), to not know God (v. 6) & to be of the devil (v. 8).
c. However, a true child of God walks in the light and the blood cleanses his/her sins (1 John 1:7).
d. As we do this, then nothing will separate us from the love of God (Rom. 8:39) and no man will be able to pluck us out of the Father’s hand (John 10:29).
e. Hence, we must be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord (1 Cor. 15:58; cf. Rev. 2:10).
B. Those who fail to have this persistent belief will not be committed and will eventually depart being not of us (1 John 2:19).
III. Third, in order better to have genuine growing faith, one must have a personal bond with God.
A. Verse 9 notes that God’s seed abides in true Christians.
B. In order for this to occur, we must abide in Him (v. 6).
C. As we abide in Him, we become like Him.
D. Therefore, we must work on abiding in Him.
1. One key is communication.
a. We talk to God through prayer.
b. We listen to God through reading His Word.
2. Another key is worship (cf. Isa. 6).
3. A final key is making time to nurture this relationship (cf. Psa. 46:10).
(1) Are you truly converted?
(2) If not, have you begun with the proper birth?
(3) If so, then are you being faithful and spending time with God?
(4) If not, then begin today so that you can be committed to God and allow Him to bless you and He so desires.