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1 John 3:10-12 - The Power Over Sin

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Being Marked By Love

Love Reveals Your True Nature (3:10-11)

1.      In this the Children of God & the children of the devil are manifest:

a)         Righteousness & Love

(1)        Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God—(3Jn.1:10)

(2)        Whoever does not love his brother is not of God—(1Jn.3:14-15; 2:9-10; 4:8, 21)

(a)         A person who lives a righteous life and loves his brother takes his nature from God

(b)        A person who lives an unrighteous life & mistreats his brother takes his nature from the devil.

2.      This is the message that you heard from the beginning: “that you should love one another”

O.T. (Leviticus 19:17) cf. N.T. (John 13:34; 15:12-17)

Love does not persecute the righteous (v.12)

1.      The extreme case of persecution is used to illustrate the point—that of murder.

a)         Where did Cain come from (v.12)?

(1)        “Not as Cain who was of the wicked one…”

(a)         Cain & Abel were born to Adam & Eve, the first man & woman who ever lived.

(b)        John says Cain was of the “wicked one”

(2)        Universal Fatherhood of God & the brotherhood of man?

(a)         There are those who say:

·                  that all people are the children of God.

·                  that God is the Father of all persons everywhere.

·                  that we are all brothers & sisters in the same family.

(3)        All people fall into one of two categories.

(a)         The family of God & are a child of God (John 1:12; Gal.4:4-5; Eph.1:3-5; 1Jn.3:1)

(b)        The family of the devil & are a child of the devil (John 8:44 cf. Acts 13:10)

(a)        Cain & Abel were of the same family physically, but they were of different families spiritually.  Cain was of his father the devil (John 8:44)

b)        What did Cain do?

(1)        Cain committed the very first murder on earth:

(a)         He “killed or slew” his own brother Abel—“to put to death by violence,” ”to butcher, to kill a person by cutting his throat” (Genesis 4:1-15).


(2)        The Source of Murder (John 8:44)

(a)         Anger (Matt.5:21-22)

(b)        The heart (Matt.15:19)

(c)         The flesh—a work of the flesh (Gal.5:19-21)

c)         Why did Cain do it?

(1)        “his works were evil and his brothers righteous”

(a)         It seems that at some point, God had given the commandment as to how to approach Him.

·                  God prefigured the cross when He killed the animals & clothed them with animal skin.

·                  They saw that the only approach to God was by the shedding of blood (Heb.9:22)

·                  They had to put their faith in the shedding of blood; we put our faith in the shed blood of the Savior Jesus Christ.

(2)        Cain is the author of “false religion”, he did not want to go God’s way.

(a)         False religion is trying to come to God by any other way that the way God has prescribed.

·                  Cain wanted to make up his own religion, so he brought an offering of the fruit of the ground—it was without blood.  Nothing wrong with a grain or fruit offering but the blood offering was to be first because it dealt with sin.

·                  God will not accept our attempts to save ourselves.  Many people think they can get to heaven by what they do.

·                  There is only one entrance into heaven—that is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ

·                  False religion says there is another name, or another way.

·                  False religion is any way to God that God Himself has not prescribed

There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. (Proverbs 14:12)

Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12 NKJV).

(b)        Cain is an example of the religious natural man, who believes in God and even in religion but after his own will and who rejects redemption by blood.  Paul says of such people that:

They have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.   For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God (Romans 10:2-3 NKJV).

(c)         Abel offered a better sacrifice because it represented the obedience of faith. 

By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks. (Hebrews 11:4 NKJV)

(b)        Because of his faith, evidenced in obedience to God’s requirement for sacrifice, Abel was accounted as righteous.  He willingly brought what God asked, and he brought the very best that he had.  Abel’s sacrifice was accepted because he knew what God wanted and obeyed.

(c)         Cain’s sacrifice was evidence that he was just going through the motions of ritual in a disobedient manner, not evidencing authentic faith.  Cain’s sacrifice was rejected because he knew what God wanted, yet disobeyed.

When God would not accept Cain’s offering

the Bible teaches us that the envy and jealousy in his heart brought forth murder.

Sin Lies At the Door—Genesis 4:1-8

God's Interrogation of Cain.

1.      Why are you angry, and why is your countenance fallen (v.6)?

a)         Sin Is Not Fun

(1)        Satan somehow paints a picture in our minds that sin is always fun.

(a)         Sin leads to more sin (Rom.6:19), & sin leads to death (Rom.6:23)

(b)        Here is a man because of his sin has a fallen countenance.

(c)         Rather than being repentant for his disobedience, he was angry with God, whom he could not kill, and jealous of his brother whom he could kill.  He should have been angry with himself, but he is angry with God that things have not gone right.

2.      If you do well, will you not be accepted (v.7)?

a)         The Mercies of God

(1)        Here is a prime example of the mercy of God.

(a)         God still speaks to Him and gives Him an opportunity to repent.

(b)        Jesus also gave Judas and opportunity to repent (Lk.22:48).


(2)        There is always the opportunity to come to God.

(a)         When I come to God, I must come on His terms.

(b)        Cain was seeking to approach God on His own terms.

(c)         Many today try to come to God without the sacrifice of the Lamb. I have heard them say, "I believe in God, but I can't believe in Jesus.

3.      Here is hope for all men.

a)         If you do well, God will accept you

(1)        Jesus said, "He that will come to Me I will in no wise cast out" (John 6:37)

(2)        He also said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man can come to the Father, but by Me.

(3)        God will only accept you through His Son Jesus Christ, who died as our sacrificial Lamb. (1) Does that make you angry? (2) Go join with Cain.

God's Declarations to Cain.

1.      If you do not do well, sin lies at the door (v.7)

a)         The word for sin, means missing the mark.

(1)        The word translated lies, in the Hebrew, is crouching like a lion ready to pounce on you.

(a)         Sin is crouching at your door, ready to pounce on you like a lion.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8 NKJV)

(b)        Sin is waiting to ensnare you, to put you in bondage (Heb.12:1)

b)        At the door of your mind or heart.

(1)        Guard our Hearts & Minds.

(a)         Proverbs 4:23 – Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.

·         This has the literal sense “to watch” in Mk. 14:34; 24:43; Lk. 12:37.

·         It has the figurative sense “to be vigilant” in (Mt 24:42; Mk 13:35; 1 Th. 5:6; Rev. 3:3), linked with sobriety in (1 Th. 5:6), prayer in (Mk. 14:38; Col. 4:2), concern for salvation in (Acts 20:31).

(b)        2 Corinthians 10:5 – Take every thought captive unto the obedience of Christ.

2.      And its desire is for you.

a)         Sins Desire is to Rule Over Your Life.

(1)        Jesus said to Peter, "Satan has desired you that he might sift you like wheat."

(a)         How Satan desires to destroy you through:

·                  Temptation (Matt.26:41)

·                  Sin’s enticement (James 1:13-15)

·                  Awesome calamities in your life to cause you to curse God like Job’s wife wanted him to do, but he did not.  We read that Job worshiped the Lord (Job 1:20-22)

b)        Jealousy Wants to Rule Over Your Life.

(1)        This is caused by:

(a)      The flesh ( Galatians 5:19-21, esp. 20)

(b)      The life and blessings of others ( Luke 15:28)

(c)      The pay and labor of others ( Matthew 20:12)

(d)      The position of others ( Luke 9:49-50)

c)         Jealousy Will Lead to Envy & Envy Will Lead to a more serious sin.

(1)        Envy is inconsistent with the Gospel & Leads to every evil work (James 3:13-18)

(2)        Envy is the very reason the religionist plotted to kill Jesus (Mark 15:10; Matt. 27:18)

(a)         We are to not envy one another (Gal.5:26)

(b)        Not to walk in envy (Rom.13:13)

(c)         To lay aside all envy (1Pet.2:1)

The Bible contains a strong warning against being envious of sinners, who might prosper and be powerful today, but will be no more tomorrow: “Do not envy a violent man or choose any of his ways” (Prov. 3:31, niv; cf. Ps. 37:1).

(d)        The apostle, in 1 Cor. 3:1-3, suggests a contrast between this spiritual state and that of the babe in Christ.

But, You Should Rule Over It.

1.      If you do not rule over sin in your life, then you be sure that it is ruling over you.

2.      How can you rule over sin?

a)         You can only rule over sin through the power of God's Holy Spirit within your life (1Jn.4:4)

(1)        We should pray to God

(a)         Don’t let sin reign in your body (Rom.6:12), present yourself to God (Rom.6:13ff).

(b)        To search for sin, in our hearts (Psalm 139:23-24)

(c)         To make us know our sin (Job 13:23)

(d)        To forgive our sin (Exodus 34:9; Luke 11:4); To keep us from sin (Psalm 19:13)

(e)         To deliver us from  sin (Matthew 6:13); To cleanse us from sin (Psalm 51:2)

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