Over the last few months, we’ve been talking about the problem of sin in our lives. It is because of my sin and guilt that I listen to the Master, and obey His plan of salvation, that I may get rid of my sins of the past. Over the past month, we discussed the God-given tools of 2 Peter 1:3-11, so that I would not fail in my service to God, obeying His Will.
I know some religious groups teach that man has no choice but to sin. Some believe we are totally evil and corrupt. IF that is true, then who is responsible? God made us and said we were good! Genesis 1. Sin is what corrupts man. Temptation in the point in which we must make a choice. In Eve’s case she was good, then tempted, and made a choice which brought about sin and her corruption. The fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, taught us about sin and its guilt. God’s command established the consequence of a sin, DEATH! So, after men knew sin, the problem was the guilt and consequence. Man with guilt has the pain of death, and desires to overcome that guilt and pain of death. So, with that burden, I desire to overcome temptation and sin, through Christ’s teaching and sacrifice. I learn not to love being sinful, and to love God with All my heart.
The book of 1 John has a central theme: Stop Sinning! (1 John 2:1-2) The book is addressed to Christians, chapter 1:1-3, and the apostle John it writing them telling them to “stop sinning”. The book is given to instruct “How To...”, focusing on what to do if I sin, chapter 1:9, and carefully examining my life to make sure sin hasn’t ensnared me again. I must constantly survey my mind, and know where I am in my relationship with God, and my growth in God and our relationship. 1 John 5:13 says that I can KNOW that I have eternal life. In truth, as we grow in Christ, we are learning how to live that eternal life. Chapter 1:3 says our joy may be full. This is a fulfilling life when we live according to Christ’s example, fulfilling the purpose of our life, serving God.
Let’s briefly examine the book. Chapter 1 teaches we must “walk in the light, as He is in the light” vs. 7. Doing so, we are in fellowship with God and Christ. Chapter 2:1-11—we are to Know God, not the world. Verses 12-14 – Know how God sees me, the state I’m in. Verses 15-17 – We must turn from the world and its appetites. These make us enemies with God. Verses 18-23 – Know the anti-Christs and that doctrine. These may be Christians as well. The doctrine was that Christ came in the flesh and succeeded in pleasing God. So being of the flesh is not what condemns us. Too many times that is used as an excuse for our sinfulness. Verses 24-29 – Let truth abide in me, governing me, and be children of God. We learn to adapt to His nature.
Chapter 3 teaches what it is to remain/be a child of God. (vs. 1-3) HOW? Be mindful of the seed, God’s Word, vss. 4-9, and we can’t sin. His child loves, not hates, vss. 10-15. We work that love, vss. 16-23, keeping His commandments.
Vss. 24-chapter 4:6—we know the spirit of truth verses the spirit of error. Vss 7-19 – to know God is to love. We perfect God’s love by abiding in Him, vss. 12-16. Love replaces fear of God, vss. 17-19.
Lastly, chapter 5 gives us the proof of who we are. Do we have confirmation, vss. 6-13? If so, we have confidence before God, vss. 14-17.