2012-07-01 - Being God's Children
The Epistles of John ~ Part 47 ~ 1 John 3
If we are His children, then we live a righteous life, a life typified by love and obedience. This is in contrast to the walk of the false teachers.
I want to summarize what we already examined and reiterate some of the issues that sprung from the lesson.
First, remember the issue here is, false teachers where holding a position that how one lived was not an issue when it came to the question of whether one was saved or not. They made the distinction between position and practice.
Now to some extent, there is a distinction, as we can see in this very section. One of the most important points we considered is the question, "can we tell by a snapshot of a life, whether the person is practicing sin, or is a slave to righteousness?"
"What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey - whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness." (Romans 6:15-18).
Clearly the answer to the above question is no. A snapshot doesn't tell the truth of a person's life. As we already considered with Lot, we wouldn't have seen him as righteous from the account in Genesis, but we read in 2 Peter.
" if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials" (2 Peter 2:7-9).
And we find this truth not just with Lot, but with Paul himself for he tells us:
"We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to dothis I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
So, what is vital to remember is, we are not called to judge whether a person who claims Christ is saved or not. We are called to judge his fruit and to come along side to encourage him to righteousness.
"Jesus told them another parable: "The kingdom of Heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. "The owner's servants came to him and said, `Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?' " `An enemy did this,' he replied. "The servants asked him, `Do you want us to go and pull them up?' "`No,' he answered, `because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time, I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds, and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat, and bring it into my barn.'" (Matthew 13:24-30).
"Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one anotherand all the more as you see the Day approaching." (Hebrews 10:25).
To be continued.