Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Test of Sonship (Part 3)


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SERMON            GM14-024

SERIES:              Christian Living in a World of Chaos & Contradiction

SETTING:          North Kelso Baptist Church

SERVICE:          Sunday AM

SUBTITLE:        The Test of Sonship     (Part 3)

SCRIPTURE:     1 John 3:4-8

SUBJ:                  The problems of Sonship (Theme/Topic)

SUMMARY:       I propose to you that as Sons of God believers do not                                       practice sin since it is incompatible with their Sonship

(Thesis)

SCHEME:           That Christians rely on God as they resist the temptation to consistently sin against God. (Objective)

CHRISTIAN LIVING IN A WORLD OF CHAOS

The Christian Life is Viewed as Son-ship

The Test of Sonship
1 John 3:4-8
(Part 3)

INTRODUCTION

A.   Passing the Test

          The world famous artist, Paul Gustave Dore (1821-1883) lost his   passport while traveling in Europe. When he came to a border   crossing, he explained his predicament to one of the guards. Giving his name to the official, Dore hoped he would be recognized and allowed to pass. The guard, however, said that many people attempted to cross the border by claiming to be persons they were not.

          Dore insisted that he was the man he claimed to be. "All right," said the official, "we'll give you a test, and if you pass it we'll allow you to go through." Handing him a pencil and a sheet of paper, he told the artist to sketch several peasants standing nearby. Dore did it so quickly and skillfully that the guard was convinced he was indeed who he claimed to be. His work confirmed his word! 

                                                          (Our Daily Bread, January 6, 1993.) 
         
B.   Many times various people claim to be Christians, they claim to be Sons of God. There is an undeniable and unrelenting truth that I think automatically attaches itself to any such claim. The claim of being a son of God can be and should be tested.

          Tested in order to pass the test. Tests to prove the claim. Just as Dore was able to proof he was who he said he was by being able to sketch, those who make the claim to being Sons of God should be able to  prove their claim.

Our theme is:  “Sonship affects daily living”

This is a good reminder for us all that Sonship affects our daily lifestyle by diminishing the practice of sin.

Proposition:  I propose to you that as Sons of God believers do not practice sin.

Interrogative SentenceSo, we have to ask ourselves, why do genuine Sons of God not practice sin in their daily life or as a lifestyle?

Transitional SentenceIn our text, John identifies three (3) reasons why genuine Sonship is incompatible with the regular practice of sin.

[But before we begin examining those three reasons, let’s take a minute and…]

REVIEW

We are reminded that our claim of being a Son or child of God is tested by practical and measureable means.

 [We began this section by seeing that …]

1A     SONSHIP IS TESTED BY PRACTICAL GROUNDS (2:29-3:24)

            In this section Sonship is being submitted to the test of behavior.   Whether a person has been born into the family of God can be known   by the presence of           family likeness in that person’s life.

            I guess you could say it like this, “Like God the Father, like Child of God.” If you are a child or son of God you will manifest God likeness.

            This brings us to our first practical test. That is…

            1B     Sonship demands the practice of righteousness (2:29-3:10)

                        This test begins in 2:29 and runs through 3:10. In this section                            John clearly demonstrates that the practice of righteousness is                            an identifying mark of the children of God.
[First thing John does is that…]

                        1C     He States the Principle of Sonship (2:29)

                             “If you know [since you know] that he is righteous, you may be                                         sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of                                       him.” 

[Second, thing John does…]

                        2C     He Suggests the Privileges of Sonship (3:1-3)   

                             “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. Beloved,                                            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. And everyone who thus                                         hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.”                                   
                                               
So, there are four beneficial privileges of Sonship. We are called the children of God, we are destined to be like Christ, we are being developed into the likeness of Christ in this life and we will one day see Christ.

Now, let’s move on to the third thing that John does as he talks about the fact that Sonship demands the practice of righteousness in our daily lives, and that is our…

TRUTH FOR TODAY

                   3C     He Supplies the Problem of Sonship (3:4-10)

                             From this portion of our passage we can see that John                                       supplies at least three (3) problems that prove that the                                       practice of righteousness is essential to pass the test of                                       Sonship.

[The first problem John supplies is that…]



                             1D     Its incompatibility with Sonship (3:4-8)

[Sonship is incompatible for at least three (3) reasons:]

[First Reason]                1E     …Sonship is incompatible with the nature                                               of sin (4)                                                                                                                                            pas o poiwn thn amartian kai thn anomian poiei, kai h amarti        a estiv h anomia

          “Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices     lawlessness; sin is           lawlessness.” (1 John 3:4, ESV)

Explanation: (What does this mean?)

[First of all…                           John clearly makes a significant contrast                                                    with this verse. Those who seek to cleanse                                                          themselves from all sin are set in contrast to                                                        those who continue to consistently sin                                                       which, by the way, continues to defile them                                                      and separate them from God.

                                                John uses the word “everyone” in 2:29; 3:3-                                                       4, 6, and 9.
                                               
                                                In verses 29 and verse 4 John uses a present                                                       tense participle for “practice.” This is used                                                          to show a contrast between those who are                                                  acts of righteousness with those who are                                                   practicing acts of sin or lawlessness.

                                                John has in mind the habitual or consistent,                                                        the continuing practice of righteousness or                                                          lawlessness. The fact that a believer is born                                                        of God shows itself and proves itself by the                                                         consistent practice of righteousness.

                                                He also has in mind to show that the practice                                            of sin is incompatible with regeneration, or                                                         being born of God, or with Sonship.                                       Sin is lawlessness. Sin by its very nature is                                                         lawlessness. Sin means to miss a mark, a                                                          failure to hit what one was aiming at.

                                                The word anomia is a much stronger word.                                                        It refers to the purposeful disregard of God’s                                             laws or standards.

                                                Sin is not just a mere failure to measure up                                                         to God’s standards or a weakness, or a flaw,                                                      but sin is an active and purposeful refusal to                                                      conform to the law or standards of God.

                                                The reason that Sonship is incompatible                                                    with sin is simply because it is incompatible                                                       with the very nature of sin, which is to                                                       willfully reject God’s standards. God’s                                                      children or sons of God will not consistently                                        reject God’s standards.

Argumentation: (Why should you believe this?)

 (Psalm 5:4). “For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; no evil dwells with You”

(Isaiah 6:3) “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts.

God hates sin because He is holy; holiness is the most exalted of all His attributes; His holiness totally saturates His being. His holiness epitomizes His moral perfection and His absolute freedom from blemish of any kind (Psalm 89:3592:15Romans 9:14)

Illustration:  (Let me show you what this looks like)

When a child throws a temper tantrum, what they are really doing is they are willfully and purposefully rejecting your directions or standards and their rejection as willful and purposeful is seen by several things:



·        Holding their breath
·        Clenching their teeth and jaws
·        Clenching their fists
·        Tightening of their little body
·        The closing of their eyes
·        Rolling & kicking on the floor
·        Screaming at the top of our voice

And so it is with us, when we practice sin, we are practicing lawlessness. We are holding our breath, clenching our fists, tightening our bodies, kicking and screaming against God’s standards because we want to practice our own standards.

Robert Law wrote:                 “In other words, to sin is to assert one’s own                                            will as the rule of action against the                                                            absolutely good will of God.” [1]

                                                The point John is trying to make is that the                                                        false teachers were first of all, indifferent                                                   toward acts of sin, and second, actually                                                     encouraging acts of sin. They were teaching                                                        that you could be involved in various acts of                                           sin and still be in fellowship with God.

                                                John said no way! John is saying a genuine                                                        child of God cannot be indifferent to sin nor                                                        can a true child of God determine to do what                                             they want to do rather than what is clearly                                                          revealed as God’s standards.

No one, no genuine child of God is relieved from the obligation and duty of obeying the revealed standards of God.

So, the nature of sin or lawlessness opposes the nature of God and His standards. Sonship is incompatible with the nature of sin.

Our theme is:  “Sonship affects daily living”
This is a good reminder for us all that Sonship affects our daily lifestyle by diminishing the practice and frequency of sin.

Proposition:  I propose to you that as Sons of God believers do not practice sin.

[Sonship is incompatible for a second reason.]
                                     
[Second reason]            2E     Sonship is incompatible with nature of                                                    the Savior (5-7)
EXPLANATION
                                                kai oidate oti ekeinos efanerwqh ina tas amartias arh

                                        “And you know that He appeared in order                                                         to take away sins…”

                                                John again appeals to the universal                                                            knowledge that all Christians have because                                                         of the indwelling HS and apostolic teaching.                                              John says, “You know!”

                                                Christ was revealed in the incarnation for                                                  the express purpose of taking away sin. John                                            makes it clear that sins are removed or taken                                             away by Christ. John is making specific                                                         reference to the acts of sin that Christ came                                                       to remove. The reason that I make this                                                    statement is due to the reference of John in                                                          verses 4, 6, 8, & 9 that speak of “the practice                                            of sin.”

                                                John’s point is simple, Christ came to take                                                         away sins. Once again John makes it clear                                                           that the consistent or habitual practice of sin                                                      is incompatible with the nature of the                                                                  Savior. Jesus came to take away sin not to                                                          allow sin to remain.
                                                But look at what else John says:

                                                kai amartia en autw ouk estin

                                                …”and in Him there is no sin.”

For the record the word order is this – “and sin in him there is not.”
This is important. John is not simply saying that Jesus did not commit sin, John’s denial is much deeper and stringent. John is asserting that Jesus did not possess a sin nature.

So, the conclusion is this: if God’s son was altogether sinless, then the children of God, or, those who claim fellowship and Sonship should not have anything to do with sin and do not practice sin.

Sin is not compatible with Jesus’ nature; it is not compatible with the family – the father and the sons- of God.

John goes on to say in verse six: pas o en autw menwn ouc amartanei

ARGUMENTATION:

Luk 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost."

Joh 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order           that the world might be saved through him.

1Ti 1:15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus                came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.

Pe 3:18  For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he                     might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the                         spirit,

                                      “No one who abides in Him keeps on sinning…”

                                      This conclusion is the logical deduction from verse                                   5. Since Jesus came to remove sin and because no                                               sin is in him, then it is true that the one who lives                                               in, or remains in and dwells in him will not                                                     practice habitual sin.

                                      Keep in mind this is a contrast between those who                                              are saved and those who are not saved. This is not                                             a contrast between those who are “spiritual” and                                                 those who are not “spiritual.” John is not talking                                                about two levels of Christianity.

                                      John is showing you how you can tell if you are a                                               Christian or not. Here is the proof of salvation. Do                                            you practice sin regularly or do you not practice                                                 sin regularly. Do you ignore God’s standards in                                        order to do your own thing or do you submit to his                                                standards?

                                      For the record John is not talking about the non-                                      sense called “sinless perfection.” That would                                              contradict what John taught in chapter one and                                         verse 8. John is not teaching that Christians don’t                                        sin or perform individual acts of sin.

                                      John is saying that since sin is incompatible with                                                the nature of the Savior, Jesus Christ, those who                                                are his children do         not habitually or regularly                                             practice sin.

Look at this next phrase:  “…no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or know him.”
                                      Let that sink in. See how serious this is?

2Co 3:14 But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old                                     covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it                            taken away.

2Co 4:4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to                        keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the                            image of God.

Eph 4:18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God                      because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart
         
                             If you dwell in Christ, live in Christ, and abide in                                               Christ that is the same thing as seeing him and                                          knowing him.
                                      Relax – a single act of sin does not mean you do                                                 not know God or that you are not saved. But                                            continuing to sin, practicing sin, does mean that                                        you do not know God.

This means that you can “pray a prayer and ask Jesus in your heart” in 6th grade Sunday school class and then grow up to cheat on your wife, your taxes, do drugs, become an alcoholic, be proud, angry, and mean, die and expect those who might attend your funeral to say, “well at least he is in heaven.”

                                      Why? Because of the two verbs that John uses. He                                             uses has seen and has known. To see someone                                           means to view a person’s external likeness, but to                                               know someone is to be familiar with their                                                  characteristics and personality.

                                      To know Christ comes by experiencing his                                                          presence. So John is saying that the habitual sinner                                   has never seen nor come to know Jesus.

Just as it is impossible to “loose” or forfeit salvation, it is impossible for someone to claim to be a son of God, a child of God and then continue to live sinfully.

                                      tekna mhdeis planatw umas

                                      “Little children, let no one deceive you…”

                                      At this point in John’s writing he is going to make                                              an application for his readers. John commands                                          them to not allow anyone, primarily these false                                         teachers to “lead them astray, to lead them away                                           from the truth into error.”

Mat 24:4 And Jesus answered them, "See that no one leads you astray.

Co 6:9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,
1Co 6:10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Eph 5:6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

Th 2:3 Let no one deceive you in any way.

                                      “Whoever practices righteousness is righteous as                                                 he is righteous.”

                                      This is the basis of John’s application. This is why                                             John does not want his readers to be led astray or                                              away from the truth.

                                      Just like verse 29, John is not dealing with a single                                             or particular act of sin, but with the continued                                           practice of righteousness, or conforming to the                                          standards of God.

                                      Because of the article in the original, John is                                              making a reference to the righteousness of Christ.                                               This is the birth mark of the family member of                                          God.

ILLUSTRATION:

So when the Mormons, or some church members, friends or acquaintances happen to do moral works – they may give of themselves selflessly, they may sing “Christian songs”, they may give money, they may serve the needy but it is not according to God’s standards in attitude or activity.

They are deceived and blinded and do not know God.

By the way, this is how you tell the practice of righteousness from the practice of morality. The works that the children of God do are according to the standard of God – both in attitude and action. The morality that the unsaved do is not according to God’s standards in either attitude or actions.

Also, by the way, it is not the practice of righteousness that makes someone righteous, someone who is righteous does the practice of righteousness.
Righteous conduct is the sign or the mark of righteous character. So God just expects His children to be and to do righteousness.

John probably made and emphasized this point because the false teachers were teaching that just having knowledge, their secret and special knowledge would make them “righteous.” But their life was marked by the practice of sin which showed that they were not righteous.

The one who is righteous will continue to perform righteous deeds. Righteousness is a way of life for the genuine children of God.

So, the first proof of Sonship is seen in the Son ship’s incompatibility with the nature of sin and seen in its incompatibility with the nature of the savior.
Our theme is:  “Sonship affects daily living”
This is a good reminder for us all that Sonship affects our daily lifestyle by diminishing the practice of sin.

Proposition:  I propose to you that as Sons of God believers do not practice sin.

Well, thirdly, and we will stop after this point, Sonship is also incompatible

Third reason                 3E     Sonship is incompatible with the nature                                                   of Satan (8)

Explanation: (What does this mean?)
                                                                    o poiwn poiwn thn amartian ek tou diabolou estin, oti apo
·        arcns o diabolos amartanei
                                     
                                      “Whoever makes a practiced of sinning is of                                             devil, for the devil has been sinning from the                                             beginning.

                                      The person whose whole course of action is the                                        expression of sin belongs to the Devil. You cannot                                              belong to God and practice sin consistently.

                                      Satan is the spiritual source of the person who                                          consistently practices sin. Don’t forget the practice                                   of sin was introduced to the human race by the                                              Devil.

                                      What is very sobering right here is the fact that                                         unsaved people are not merely children of the devil                                   because they imitate him by the practice of sin, but                                   because unsaved people are indwelt by the same                                           principle or nature of sin that the Devil has.

                                      This is what is so serious and sobering. Prior to                                        salvation we are born with sin nature. They only                                                 thing that we can do is sin, we cannot due any                                           works of righteousness because our nature is sin.

                                      For those who are the elect, those who are saved,                                                their old man, is crucified and put to death, and                                         they are created a new man. This new man then is                                               what causes us to be obedient, live for God, and to                                             be released from the bondage and slavery of sin.

                                      Those who sin regularly sin regularly because they                                   are a slave to sin and are in bondage to sin and still                                   are controlled by the sin nature. They belong to                                              Satan.
ARGUMENTATION:

This is why it is so crucial to preach the gospel accurately and not to peddle the gospel as some “cure” for a bad or unhappy life.

Let me try to explain it this way. Let’s start at salvation and work backwards.

·        To be saved you must be saved from something.
·        To be saved – Romans 10:13 you must call out to God for salvation
·        To call out you must be convinced and be crushed under the weight of sin
·        To be crushed under sin and to be convinced or convicted you must under the nature of sin and that your sin has condemned you
·        To understand sin and the fact that it has condemned you, someone must explain it to you from the scripture
·        To explain it you must preach the gospel, the good news accurately.
·        To explain it accurately you must show the bad news which requires the good news

To many times the gospel is preached as something that will make you happy, a better person, a better dad/husband, a better wife/mother, provide you with heaven, prevent you from going to hell, and on and on it goes.

No doubt these things are ultimately true. But these things aren’t the reason or motivation to be saved or to go to heaven. These things can continue to condemn you to hell.

When we share the gospel we must tell people why it is good news. The reason Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and then rose again from the dead is that you are in absolute bondage or slavery to sin and God has condemned you to an eternal death in hell because he hates sin. The HS must produce conviction of this realization and once he does the natural response is to cry to God to save you from that awful conviction of condemnation.

This is why a number of people in the church can pray a prayer and go on sinning regularly or consistently – they never cried out to the God of the bible for mercy because they never felt the burden and weight of their sin. Someone just convinced them that they didn’t want to go to hell and that they should want to go to heaven and they asked for heaven without ever repenting of their sin.

This is why then people go on sinning, why they practice sin they are children of the devil. Praying the so-called “sinner’s prayer” is no guarantee of salvation.

John adds – “…for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.”

From the very beginning of his first act of rebellion against God, Satan has been “sinning” against God and continues to sin.

But John clearly details the purpose for the first coming of Jesus Christ. Jesus came to remove sin and destroy sin. Jesus came to destroy the sins that would have destroyed people.

John means to say that Jesus came to undo whatever the Devil had done and to destroy whatever he tried to do.

So, Sonship is incompatible with the nature of Satan. Satan’s nature is to sin, or to revel against God.
Our theme is:  “Sonship affects daily living”
This is a good reminder for us all that Sonship affects our daily lifestyle by diminishing the practice of sin.

Proposition:  I propose to you that as Sons of God believers do not practice sin.

Well, we are looking at the Test of Sonship. We are looking at the first test of Sonship which is Sonship requires the practice of righteousness.

We examined the principle that John laid out and we looked at the privileges afforded by Sonship. We have started looking at the problem with Sonship. The first problem is its incompatibility.

Sonship is incompatible with the nature of sin, the nature of the savior, and the nature of Satan.             

But for now, what do you say we wrap this up?











CONCLUSION
John Henry Jowett wrote in The Grace Awakening:
Sin is a blasting presence, and every fine power shrinks and withers in the destructive heat.

Every spiritual delicacy succumbs to its malignant touch...

Sin impairs the sight, and works toward blindness.
 
Sin benumbs the hearing and tends to make men deaf.
 
Sin perverts the taste, causing men to confound the sweet with the bitter, and the bitter with the sweet.
 

Sin hardens the touch, and eventually renders a man "past feeling."
 

All these are Scriptural analogies, and their common significance appears to be this--sin blocks and chokes the fine senses of the spirit; by sin we are desensitized, rendered imperceptive, and the range of our correspondence is diminished. Sin creates callosity. It hoofs the spirit, and so reduces the area of our exposure to pain.

Exhortation:  I exhort you to cry to God and beg God to show you the sinfulness of sin in order see how incompatible it is with your Sonship so that you might recoil from it in horror and awe.

Paul wrote in Romans 3:23; 6:23, 10:13 (ESV)


“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…for the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life…for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. (ESV)

Let’s pray! J




[1] Robert Law, The Tests of Life, p. 133

1 comment:

WiseRosy said...

I thought only myself had hiccups with post Gregg, It look fine to me and really enjoyed what you wrote.