Line in the Sand – Sermon Summary   Leave a comment

1 John 3:1-7.

Not the easiest text to tackle, but breaking it down one verse at a time helps.

V1.  In all of his writings, John wants the point made clear that the mission of Jesus Christ was to enable us to become children of God.  This is not something we can buy or earn as it is a free gift from God.  We base this upon His great love for us exemplified in sending Jesus to pay the price for our sins.  When we put our trust in Him is when we start this great adventure known as faith.  Faith is a belief, a spiritual condition that is unseen.

V2.  I accepted Jesus into my life when I was 9 years old.  My faith has been on a continual growth cycle ever since as I sense the leadership of the Lord in my daily life.  One day, Jesus is coming again and at that time I will be ‘made whole’ and begin spending eternity in God’s presence.  This is when my faith will be complete.  So I could say it this way; I was saved, I am being saved, and I shall be saved.

V3.  We live in hope while we wait.  This hope is supposed to cause Christians to strive to live sinless lives.  Here is where we run into trouble – what is the difference between being a Christian and living like a Christian?

James said that faith without works is dead.  Look up the word hypocrite and you’ll find a definition of falsehood, but the 2nd definition says “a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings.”

Paul said in Romans 12:2 basically that we are to be in this world but not of it.  We should not conform to the sinful world as we know it but allow God to transform us into His image so that we may strive to live in a way that is pleasing to Him.

V4.  John is getting blunt.  Sin is not a form of lawlessness, it IS lawlessness.  There is no gray area between right and wrong, sin and not-sin.  Sin is an offensive act against a just God.  There is a clear line in the sand and shows us why we need a Savior.

V5.  John understands that Jesus was sinless and came to take away sins.  The basic question is ‘How can we expect to be like Jesus if we continue to sin?’

V6.  Maybe this will help.  I believe that John is talking about habitual sin.  Nobody who is an authentic child of God is to continue in habitual sin.  While we still experience sin in our lives, it is imperative that we not sin habitually or as a lifestyle.  Those who are lifestyle sinners are not truly of God!  Habitual, lifestyle sinners, according to John, cannot have a true vision of God or true knowledge of God.

V7.  Christ himself is our example.  We do what is right because Christ is righteousness.

Living on God’s side of the line in the sand is admitting with John the Baptist that He must increase while I must decrease.

Upon which side of the line are you standing?

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