Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Test of Sonship Part 4

SERMON            GM14-025

SERIES:              The Christian Life Viewed as Sonship

SETTING:          North Kelso Baptist Church

SERVICE:          Sunday AM

SUBTITLE:        The Test of Sonship     (Part 4)

SCRIPTURE:     1 John 3:9-10a

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


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


The Christian Life is Viewed as Son-ship

The Test of Sonship
1 John 3:9-10a
(Part 4)


A.   I am Not What I Once Was

          John Newton once said, “I am not what I might be, I am not what I          ought to be, I am not what I wish to be, I am not what I hope to be.

          But I thank God I am not what I once was, and I can say with the great   apostle, "By the grace of God I am what I am.

B.   Is this Your Testimony?

          So it is with every genuine child of God! We may not be what we   could be, nor are we what we should be, we may not even be what we    want to be or hope to be. But we ought to be able to say with    confidence we are not what we use to be.

[Let me illustrate this statement with a story…]

          A young girl who had been converted applied for membership in a      local church.

          "Were you a sinner before you were saved by the Lord Jesus Christ?"   Asked a deacon. "Yes, sir," she replied. "Well, are you still a sinner?"

          "To tell you the truth, I feel I'm a greater sinner than ever." "Then what        real change have you experienced?" "I don't quite know how to explain      it," she said, "except I used to be a sinner running after sin, but now      that I am saved. I'm a sinner running from sin!" she was received       into the fellowship of the church, and she proved by her consistent life        that she was truly converted.

Our theme continues to be:  “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, once again, 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 identified three (3) reasons why genuine Sonship is incompatible with the regular practice of sin.

[But before we continue to look at the next two reasons, let’s take a minute and…]


We are again 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 …]


            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.

            We have said 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.

            That brought 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)                    

[Second, thing John does…]

                        2C     He Suggests the Privileges of Sonship (3:1-3)                 
 [The Third thing that John does, is that…]

                   3C     He Supplies the Problems 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.

We were able to look at the first problem last week.

[The first problem John supplied for us, is that…]

                             1D     The incompatibility of Sin with Sonship (3:4-8)

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

                                      1E     …Sonship is incompatible with the nature                                               of Sin (4)

                                                Sin is lawlessness – a willful rejection of                                                    God’s standards. Genuine son of God                                                                  does not reject God’s standards                
                                      2E     Sonship is incompatible with nature of                                                    the Savior (5-7)  

                                        The Savior came to seek and to save that                                                   which was lost. He came to redeem and then                                              to transform them into His own image. Sin                                                         is not the image of Christ.                

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

                                                Satan rejects the standards of God and                                                      willfully rebels against them. A genuine son                                                        of God would not do so.

[This now brings us to our…]


So, we move from the first problem that John supplied to a second problem that is supplied by John.

[The second problem that John supplies is…]

                             2D     …the impossibility of sin because of Sonship (9)       

                                      [Let’s look at…]

                                      1E     John’s Statement of Impossibility

                                                “Whoever has been born of God does not                                                  sin…”

                                                Our Greek sentence begins with the word                                                   “all.” The sentence reads, “All born from                                                    God do not sin.”

[Let’s stop right here for a minute and unpack what John means by this sentence.]

                                                First of all, John does not mean that it is                                                    now impossible for a genuine Christian to                                                  sin. We still sin.

                                                So what is John saying? John is saying that                                                        it is impossible for a genuine child of God to                                             continue to live in or to practice sin.

                                                John is not ruling out individual acts of sin.                                                        John does rule out the consistent living in                                                  sin.

[I want to at this same time point out to critical truths to you…]

                                                First – We, believers/Christians are not                                                      called Sons of God in John’s letter.

                                                Believers/Christians are called                                                                             tekna, children of God. Small difference                                                   but it is significant.

                                                Second thing I want to point out to you is                                                 that John is emphasizing the fact that we                                                   who are Christians enter the family of God                                                         by birth.

                                                tekna emphasizes “children by birth.” The                                                         child of God is “born of God.” So the child                                                          of God shares the character traits of his or                                                          her parents. And in this case our parent is                                                           God.

                                                As a child of God the believer is a recipient                                                         of the divine nature of God.

                                                The doctrine or the teaching of regeneration                                                        is a key theme in John’s letter. The nature of                                             the regenerated person now responds to                                                     positively to divine input from God.

                                                Even though depravity is still present the                                                  governing disposition of the soul is made                                                   holy. The power of sin no longer dominates                                                        the life of the child of God.

                                                This is what John meant when he wrote,                                                    “born of God.”
                                                For the person, the child, born of or from                                                  God the practice of sin on a continuing or                                                  consistent basis is impossible.

                                                The child of God states that the regenerated                                                        person does not continually engage in sin.

                                                The Child of God does not imitate or follow                                                       the example of the Devil.

[Why is this concept possible? Why does it matter so much?] The answer leads us into…]

John gives us to reasons to support his tremendous statement.

                                      1E     John’s Support of Impossibility

                                                “…for His [God’s] seed remains in him…”

                                                The reason why the regenerated or born                                                     again, born from above, person does not                                                    practice sin on an on-going basis is that                                                     God’s “seed” continues to be present in the                                                          child of God on an on-going basis.

                                                The “seed” carries the life principle as well                                                          as hereditary characteristics.

                                                In the same manner, the “thing” that God                                                   uses to impart spiritual life and spiritual                                                    characteristics of God remains in, abides, in,                                             lives in a consistent and on-going manner.


Joh 1:13         who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of                              man, but of God.

2Co 5:17          Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed                                away; behold, the new has come.

1Pe 1:23           since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of                                   imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;

2Pe 1:4          Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious                                        promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine                              nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world                             through lust.


[So, first all, believers do not sin because they are born of God. Now John supports his statement with this truth…]

                                                “…and he cannot keep on sinning because                                                        he has been born of God.”     

                                                John is pretty bold! He goes even further                                                   than his last sentence.

                                                First, John makes it clear that a believer                                                     does not consistently commit or live in sin,                                                         John says that a believer cannot consistently                                                       sin.   

                                                John is not saying that a Christian cannot                                              commit a single act of sin or even engage                                                          in a sinful behavior for a short period of                                                           time.

                                                The believer is unable to continually engage                                                        in a practice of on-going sin. Sin cannot                                                     become the pattern of his life.

                                                And once again the reason is simple!

The Christian is born of God! It is the new life principle implanted in the child of God by regeneration that keeps the believer from continually engaging in sin.

Why is this? Because that new life principle, that seed of God provides motivation toward righteousness. The believer practices righteousness because the seed of God motivates him to do so.

[So, John makes a very bold and confident statement when he supplies us with the second problem inherent with Sonship…]

That second problem is the impossibility of sin because of Sonship (9) 

“Whoever has been born of God does not sin…”

Our theme continues to be:  “Sonship affects daily living”

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

[Finally, John supplies a third problem and that is…]

                             3D     …the inconceivability of sin because of Sonship                                               (3:10a)
                                      John is giving a distinguishing test that anyone can                                   see who the children of God are and who the                                             children of the devil are.

                                      This is the test of true and genuine character.

                                      It is inconceivable to John that genuine children of                                              God practice sin because those who practice sin                                        belong to the devil.

                                      “In this is the children of God and the children of                                    the devil are manifest…”

                                      Our word for “manifest” is the Greek word that                                        means to make known, to make evident, and to                                         reveal.

                                      The identity of the children of God and the                                                          children of the devil are made known by what they                                    practice.

Acts 13:10 tells us – “…O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord?” (Acts 13:10, NKJV)

We read in John 8:

Joh 8:33  They answered him, "We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, 'You will become free'?"

Joh 8:34  Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin.

Joh 8:35  The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever.

Joh 8:36  So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

Joh 8:37  I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you.

Joh 8:38  I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father."

Joh 8:39  They answered him, "Abraham is our father." Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would be doing the works Abraham did,

Joh 8:40  but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did.

Joh 8:41  You are doing the works your father did." They said to him, "We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God."

Joh 8:42  Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me.

Joh 8:43  Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word.

Joh 8:44  You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

A life of sin, a life of bondage to sin is proof that one is a child of the devil and not a child of God.
                                      That is pretty sobering. I guess it is sobering if you                                   are claiming to be a Christian and you want people                                   to think you are a Christian but you consistently                                           reject God’s standards and live pretty much                                                         according to sin.
To John, it is inconceivable that a genuine child        of God would live in the same manner as someone who belongs to Satan.

So, the family member of God practices righteousness and the family member of the devil practices unrighteousness.

What do we learn from this? I think we learn seven (7) important principles:

1)    Divine qualities and characteristics, or divine likeness proves that one is a genuine child of God.

2)    John establishes the principle that sin cannot be taken lightly

3)    The tolerance of sin contradicts the purpose of the incarnation

4)    There is no sin in Christ and those in Christ are not in bondage to sin

5)    Righteousness and righteousness behavior is consistent with genuine salvation

6)    Sin and unrighteousness is of the devil

7)    Genuine child of God shares the divine nature which enables the genuine child of God to be motivated towards the practice of righteousness.

Well, it is inconceivable to John that anyone can claim to be a believer and make a consistent practice of sin. As a matter of fact that it what John has shown us in this section of verses 4-10.

Our theme continues to be:  “Sonship affects daily living”

This is a good reminder for us all that Sonship affects our daily lifestyle by diminishing the practice of sin.
But for now, what do you say we wrap this up?


This brings us to an end of this first part of The Christian Life Viewed as Sonship. This section dealt with the fact that Sonship can be tested on practical grounds. As a matter of fact, there are three practical tests proving genuine Sonship. This first test dealt with the fact that:

Sonship demands the practice of righteousness. The reason that Sonship demands the practice of righteousness is:

·        Righteousness is incompatible with sin
·        Righteousness is impossible to practice sin
·        Righteousness makes it inconceivable to sin

Lord willing, next we will look at the second practical test of the claim of Sonship and that is Sonship demands the practice of love. We will see that in 3:10b-24.

Exhortation:  I exhort you to examine your claim of being a Son or child of God in order to make certain that you are not practicing a life of consistent sin showing you the incompatibility with Sonship so that you might recoil from it in horror and awe.

John wrote in 1 John 3:7 (ESV)

“Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteousness, just as He is righteous. (NKJV)

Let’s pray! J

1 comment:

EnglishRose said...

Most thought provoking post Gregg, I always return later in the evening to your post like this one so I can give extra thought to what you have written.