11/1/1998 6:00 PM
I John 3:1-10
It is a privilege to be called a child of God. There is a noticeable difference between a child of God and the world. You shouldn't be like the world as we are to even now be like as he. We may not know all there is to know about heaven, but all with the hope of heaven purify themselves to be even more like him. Christ saved us from our sin, not just from the guilt or punishment of our sins. Had he have only saved us from the guilt or penalty of our sins, it would not have changed our life though it would have taken away the load. He took away our sin. Whosoever is in God "don't sin"! How much clearer can it get? Righteous people do righteousness. Who is your spiritual father...? Christ... or the devil? Christ didn't just come to separate us from the guilt of sin, but he came to destroy the works of the devil. Sin is the works of the devil. People are taking away from the power of God to promote the grace of God. Christ came to destroy the works of the devil (sin) and replace it with works of righteousness. Verse 10 tells us how we can tell who is whom... it is by the works that are done. This is what makes known what they are. When Christ moves into the heart there should be a difference there that is plain for all to see.
Pure people produce pure fruit and good works. Lots of people profess to know God, but in their works are denying him. Do your works acknowledge Christ, or do they deny him? People are denying the ability and power of God to deliver from the power of sin. They run from answering the question of whether or not you "have" to sin... by saying... I didn't want to... I didn't have to... but "it just happened". Something has to cause sin to happen. People recognize that you really don't HAVE to sin... but they don't want to admit that they sin because they WANT to sin... It has to be one way or the other. If you say that it "just happened" then you are saying that you "have" to sin... that there is no choice in the matter. A profession has no meaning if there are no works to back it up.
If Joshua had been able to provide the people with rest, there would have been nothing to look forward to. The Israelites did not have rest in the land of Canaan because they were continuing on in their own works. There is a rest when you cease from your own works. Labor to go God's way. When the works of sin are gone from your life you will have rest. When you know longer have to struggle with the carnal nature inside you will have perfect rest.
Jesus said... "The Father dwelleth in me, he does the works." Why should we not expect that the Holy Spirit in us should do the works? Who is doing the works? Greater works... living holy. This is greater works because he went to live with the Father... and since the Comforter has come to be with mankind... mankind is now able to live holy too. What is ruining the world is sin... not sickness, poverty, or things like that... sure they have their problems... but sin is the ruination of the world. He says here "the works that I do shall he do also"... he is speaking of the ones that are saved. If we are possessors of the divine nature, we also will live holy and produce good works as He did.
These had trouble with Christ claiming to be the son of God. Christ asks them a question here... "For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise and walk?" We tend, as the people back in that day did, to think that it takes greater power to raise one that is sick. But it is hard to change a life... AA can tell you that... The great power of God is manifested in that he says... "Arise ... and walk... IN newness of life." Many preachers today will claim to be able to heal people in their bodies, but neglect to show people that there is healing for their souls. The will say that you are to be saved from sin, but you can't help but to sin, and you must continue in the way that you are. They are selling people a bill of goods. This makes it increasingly difficult to tell people the good news. Salvation makes a change in the life of the penitent one. How sad that these are telling people that there is no change in the life... that sin is still there and cannot be avoided. The words of the songwriter come to mind... and it is a wonderful and great thing... that there is indeed...
Power in the blood to save from sin... to bring the peace of God... where guilt hath been... a new and happy life will then begin .. there is power in the blood of Jesus.
With the righteousness of God there... the divine nature in us... by the grace and blood of Jesus Christ... we don't HAVE to sin if we don't WANT to.