Sin, Righteousness, and the Believer (Pt. 2)
1 John 3:4-10
December 15, 2013
The story is told about Calvin Coolidge — nicknamed “Silent Cal” for his reticence to talk — that after returning to the White House from attending worship one Sunday morning he was asked by his wife Grace about the sermon. “It was good.” “What did he preach on today?” “Sin.” “Well go on, what did he say about sin?” she prodded him. “He was against it.”
It’s easy and somewhat tempting to take a simplistic approach like that about the topic of sin. Of course we are against it. But it’s more complex than that, isn’t it?
For the believer in Christ, we are against sin, yet at the same time, we find our flesh attracted to it at times and we constantly battle against it, and sometimes become discouraged with the ongoing battle. We know we shouldn’t sin, we don’t want to sin, but every day there are evidences of sin in our lives and every day there are even more battles against temptation. Is there hope for us?
In 1 John 3 the apostle provides great hope for the believer in his battle against sin.
In this passage are two important realities that serve as the theme of these verses:
Sin and the believer are incongruous.
God has given everything we need not to sin.
And because sin and the believer are incongruous and because Christ has given us what we need not to sin, in these seven verses, John provides eight reasons why believers should not (and don’t have to) live in perpetual and habitual sin:
- Do Not Practice Sin Because of What Sin Is (v. 4)
- Do Not Practice Sin Because Christ Satisfied God’s Wrath Against Sin (v. 5)
- Do Not Practice Sin Because of Your Fellowship with Christ (v. 6)
- Do Not Practice Sin Because Christ is Righteous (v. 7)
- Do Not Practice Sin Because Sin is from the Devil (v. 8a)
- Do Not Practice Sin Because Christ Destroyed the Devil’s Works (v. 8b)
- Do Not Practice Sin Because God’s Children Cannot Perpetually Sin (v. 9)
- What You Do Reveals Whose You Are (v. 10)