Life is like a box of chocolates, but it shouldn't be for Christians!
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1 John 3 (ESV)
1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us,
that we should be called children of God;
and so we are.
The reason why the world
does not know us
is that it did not know him.
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.
3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
4 Everyone who makes a practice of sinning
also practices lawlessness;
sin is lawlessness.
5 You know
that he appeared in order to take away sins,
and in him there is no sin.
6 No one who abides in him keeps on sinning;
no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.
7 Little children, let no one deceive you.
Whoever practices righteousness
as he is righteous.
8 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.
9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning,
for God’s seed abides in him;
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:
does not practice righteousness is not of God,
nor is the one who does not love his brother.
11 For this is the message
that you have heard from the beginning,
that we should love one another.
12 We should not be like Cain, who
was of the evil one
and murdered his brother.
And why did he murder him?
his own deeds were evil
and his brother’s righteous.
13 Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you.
14 We know that
we have passed out of death into life,
because we love the brothers.
Whoever does not love abides in death.
15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer,
and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
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.
19 By this
we shall know that we are of the truth
and reassure our heart before him;
20 for whenever our heart condemns us,
is greater than our heart,
and he knows everything.
if our heart does not condemn us,
we have confidence before God;
whatever we ask
we receive from him,
we keep his commandments
and do what pleases him.
→ 23 And this is his commandment, that
we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ
and love one another, just as he has commanded us.
24 Whoever keeps his commandments
abides in God,
and God in him.
And by this we know
that he abides in us,
by the Spirit whom he has given us.
1 John 3 Summary
Forrest Gump would have loved the theology John sets forth in this third chapter. As his mother always said, 'Stupid is as stupid does.' The logic holds true for Christians: Christians are as Christ would do.
In his elegant writing style, John makes this simple point abundantly clear:
If you continue sinning, you're of the devil (v8).
If you practice righteousness, you're of God (v10).
Thankfully the fact that we stumble and fall into sin every day doesn't mean we are no longer in Christ. John doesn't mean Christians can become perfect and sinless in this life, what he means is that once a Christian realizes their sin has caused them to trip and fall on their face, they stop sinning and repent.
It may be that you may trip again this afternoon and tomorrow and the day after over the same sin. An unbeliever won't be upset that they continue to fall (or even notice that they have fallen), but one who is living in Christ will recognize their brokenness, repent of the sin, and strive to not do it anymore.
Christians and Christianity are less and less tolerated in our ever increasingly 'tolerant' society. For many of us, this represents a dramatic shift from the way life used to be in which almost everyone we knew lived a mostly Christian lifestyle, and it seems shocking to see society abandon the Biblical principles which have brought so much blessing.
But we should not be surprised at all. The reason that the world can not tolerate Christianity, John tells us, is because it could not tolerate Christ (v1). Society turned on Jesus in the span of a week. They sang His praises as He marched triumphantly into Jerusalem, but just a few days later they formed into a riotous protesting mob demanding He be executed.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Expect to be hated because you love Jesus (v13).
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father God is greater than our heart and he knows everything (v20).
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Ask God that your love for Him and others would not be just in word or talk but in deed and truth (v19)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: