Putting God's Word into Practice…

1 John 2:28-3:10 Victory over Sin

on February 5, 2014

I started studying this portion of verses sometime last week, but it wasn’t until this morning that the truths broke through the academic level into the personal areas hidden in my heart.  These verses are so rich.  I hope that you will take the time to meditate on them prayerfully yourselves–asking the Lord where you need to be purified to look more like Jesus and not just a better version of yourself.

Beloved, we are God’s children now; and what we will be has not yet appeared, but we know that WHEN he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. AND EVERYONE WHO THUS HOPES IN HIM PURIFIES HIMSELF AS HE IS PURE. (3:2-3)

Not only do we have the present blessings associated with being God’s children, but we also have a future hope.  We will see our Savior face-to-face!  While on earth, one of our purposes is to see and know Jesus more and more and grow to look more like Him.  My sons are vastly spread out in age.  The oldest one–the one who has seen, experienced, and watched his dad the longest–is the most impacted by his character and subsequently has a high regard for him, desiring to emulate his qualities.  So it should be for those of us who have been redeemed by the sacrifice of Jesus’ blood shed on the cross for our sins.  The purity of Christ should be attractive to His followers–so much so that we want to be like Him.

So many Christians seem to want to be as close to the world and sin as they can instead of pursuing purity.  Jesus came and died to slay impurity.  Being pure like Christ is a heart issue.  Purity, righteousness and holiness should be the aim of a Christ-followers.  When that is the focus, all other pursuits will fall into place.

Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.  YOU KNOW THAT HE APPEARED TO TAKE AWAY SIN, AND IN HIM THERE IS NO SIN. NO ONE WHO ABIDES IN HIM KEEPS ON SINNING; NO ONE WHO KEEPS ON SINNING HAS EITHER SEEN HIM OR KNOWN HIM. Little children let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous.  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

This text lists two very important reasons why Jesus came to earth:  to take away sins and to destroy the works of the devil.  He accomplished that purpose when he breathed out, “It is finished,” on the cross and rose from the grave three days later.  Verse two tells us that Jesus will appear again to accomplish a two-fold plan:  the full redemption of believers and ultimate destruction of the devil (Revelation 20:10).

These verses also give us some great truths to overcoming the practice of sin in our lives–you know those sins we just can’t seem to give up–anxiety, anger, addictions, people pleasing, greed, jealousy, gossip, lying, bitterness, etc… 1) Abiding in Christ–relying on Him as source of everything we need for living a godly life (2 Peter 1:3).  When He is our comfort, we won’t turn to other things.  When He satisfies we don’t need anything else.  When we realize the grace and forgiveness we have been given, we can freely give it to others in place of anger, judgment and bitterness.  When we trust Him to meet our needs, we won’t have to worry about anything.  When we truly experience His love and rest in it, it will flow out of us into a hurting and broken world. 2) See and know Jesus–the more we see His works, power, beauty and glory around us, the more prone we are to want to be like Him.  The more we know His character and ways, the more we will change into His likeness.

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. 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. (3:4-10)

When I was “born again” into the family of God, He put His DNA in me so to speak.  Practicing sin is completely contrary to His intrinsic character. The same righteousness and love that defines God is the aim of His children as well.

Lord, help me never to be content with where I am spiritually–help my only aim to be more like Jesus until I see Him face-to-face.  Show me what it looks like to abide in Christ.  Make me aware of you in the world around me, and give me a desire to know You more.  Help me to love like You love–selflessly and sacrificially.  Show me all the areas of my life that need purified now…


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