This is from my friend and pastor David, from his S.O.A.P. time this morning. (Study, Observe, Apply, Pray). I thought it such a meaningful addition and deeper enhancement of the context in this morning’s Daily Light.
Subject: 4-19-18 1 John 3:6-18 Less sin, more love
4-19-18 1 John 3:6-18 Less sin, more love
6 No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. … 8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, … The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 9 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. 10 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. … ESV
We all know that we should not sin. John goes beyond that and says those who are born again will not continue in sin. But we must remember his words in Ch 1 that if we claim we have no sin we lie, and we call Jesus a liar because He knows we do sin. John says those who continue with lives like before they believed in Christ do not know Christ but are still “children of the devil”. Strong words!
And he is not just telling them to exert more will power, because will power can never make us like the Lord Jesus. It takes a new birth, being born again and His life in us for us to live the Christian life. We need more than a new purpose or new effort, we need new life and new power – His life and His power. Christians are not sinless, but they sin less, because He gives us new desires and new ability to accomplish those desires. Children of the devil would never enjoy yielding their lives to Christ, but those who have been born again have wonderful delight in walking in the Light.
We all know John 3:16; so let that help us remember today’s passage, 1 John 3:16 “ By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. ESV
Speaking of the woman who anointed his feet with perfume Jesus said “I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” (Luke 7:47) A person who recognizes the forgiveness and grace of God in his/her life will want to show that same love to others – and John writes of compassion for basic and obvious needs – food, clothing, shelter. But if someone has no desire to show love, it is strong indication they have never understood their true need for a Savior or God’s grace. If a person understands John 3:16, they will also understand 1 John 3:16. If they don’t manifest 1 John 3:16, they probably have never understood the gospel.
Lord, I realize we do not come to a full understanding of this right away. Growth (sanctification) takes time – a lifetime. Thank You for Your patience with me and that I have greater joy in serving You and showing compassion to people now than ever before. I am truly thankful for the desire and joy You have been nurturing in me. Again, I pray You would use me to help others find this same joy, and that many would hallow Your name.