1 John 3 ESV
“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.”
Not everyone who professes faith in Jesus Christ is a true child of God. For, we read in 1 John 1 that if we say we have fellowship with God while we walk in darkness (sin), we lie and do not practice the truth. And in 1 John 2 we read that whoever says he knows Jesus but does not keep (obey) his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. And it also says that whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness.
Also in 1 John 2 we read that we are not to love (prefer, long for) the world or the things in the world, for if anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world – the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and the pride of life – is not from the Father but is from the world. And then it says that you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness (that is of God) has been born of God.
And then here in 1 John 3 it essentially says that if we are God’s legitimate children then the world should not be intimately acquainted with us. And why is that? It is because all that is in the world is not from the Father but is of the flesh and it is of the lusts of the flesh and of the pride of life. And we are to have no part in the desires of the flesh now that we are in Christ by faith in him, for everyone who hopes in Jesus purifies himself as God is pure.
Do you get what that is saying? You can’t walk in habitual and deliberate sin and be a legitimate child of God. If you choose to not obey our Lord’s commandments (New Covenant), you cannot be a legitimate child of God. And if hate towards others is what you practice, and deliberate and habitual sin against others is hate, then you are not in God and he is not in you. And if you prefer the lusts of the flesh and of the eyes and the pride of life to walking in moral purity and in holiness, your hope in Jesus is false.
1 John 3:4-10 ESV
“Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.”
Now, this applies to all sin. If sin is what we practice (deliberately and habitually), we are not of God but of the devil. We are not born of God for we are still of the flesh. We are not in fellowship with him. He is not listening to our prayers. We are just going through the motions of religious practice, but Christ has no place in our hearts, for our hearts are still given over to the lusts of the flesh and not to walks of obedience to our Lord.
And it isn’t just John who taught this. Paul taught the same thing. You just have to read all his words and not just cherry pick the ones you like taken out of context. For no one born of God makes a practice of sinning. You can’t be addicted to sin and be a child of God. And I am not saying this, the Scriptures are. And this is not saying you will never sin (see 1 Jn 2:1-2), but that you should no longer be living in slavery to sin.
Now you should be slaves of God and of his righteousness. Now righteousness should be what you practice, and if you do, then you are righteous in God’s sight. But if you don’t, you are not of God, nor is the one who does not love his fellow humans. For if you hate, in practice – and habitual and deliberate sin against others is hate – then you are not a child of God. So heaven is not your eternal destiny. Hell is.
The most prominent sin in the church today, and probably the most talked about sin in the Scriptures, for it shows up in most lists of sins and it is included in most chastisements against God’s people, is that of sexual immorality, which can take on many different forms. And that sin appears to be the one today that most people are addicted to, including most men claiming faith in Jesus Christ and nearly half of all pastors, according to porn statistics, yet this is not limited just to pornography addiction.
Jesus said that to lust after another to whom we are not married is adultery. And this can take place watching romantic movies or any movies with romantic and/or sexual situations in them. People can get caught up in the movies and identify with the characters, and they can easily end up lusting after an actor on the screen and wishing they had what he or she had. So, it doesn’t have to be pornography for it to be wrong. And this can take place listening to secular music, too, especially romantic songs.
But sexual immorality isn’t just about a person sinning against God. Usually it is about sinning against another human, and many spouses today are the ones being sinned against, and yet the church appears to pay not much attention to the wounded spouses. If they do anything at all about sexual addiction, they may have a support group for the men, not that all addicts are men, for some are women, too, but little to nothing is being done for the spouses. So if the sinned against decide to stay with their spouses, they end up with broken marriages and adulterous spouses who do not love them.
And this is what we need to understand here, in light of everything we have read in 1 John, but also in the writings of Paul and the other apostles, and in light of the teachings of Jesus. If you are addicted to sexual immorality and if you are married, what you are doing to your spouse is hate, not love. If you are fantasizing about other women (or men) sexually, and if you are watching movies or videos which stir your minds and emotions to lusting after someone else, that is hate, and it is cruel, and it is abuse.
And if you are self-gratifying, that is lusting after oneself and it is having sexual relations with oneself, and that is still sin, and it is still adultery, because you are choosing self over your mate. You are one with yourself, not with God, and not with your spouse. Yet, you do not sin to yourself alone. This is not just your little problem. This is adultery and it is hate and it is cruel and it is abuse, and if this is the course you choose, you do not love God or your spouse and you do not know God and salvation is not yours and heaven is not your eternal destiny.
For, you can’t play religion and put on an act of righteousness while you are deliberately and habitually sinning against God and against your spouse. And especially if your spouse knows and he or she has been asking you to stop and to change and to love him or her and to be faithful, but you continue in your addiction, you don’t love God or your spouse. And you are a hypocrite if you act like you are a good Christian in front of other people.
So, stop with the hypocrisy, and stop sinning against God and your spouse, and against other people, and obey the Lord, and forsake your sins, and love God, and love your fellow humans. And then you have eternal life with God.
He Lifted Our Burdens
An Original Work / February 15, 2014
Based off Isaiah 9:2-7
People walk in darkness.
They abide in their sin.
It has power o’er them.
True belief escapes them.
Jesus Christ came to save them.
He gave His life up for them;
Crucified; died for our sin,
So we might be forgiven,
And have life up in heaven.
Many come to know Him.
God’s love now o’erflows them.
They rejoice in vict’ry.
Their sin is but hist’ry.
We were once bound in slav’ry.
Jesus lifted our burdens;
Set us now free from Satan,
So we now walk in freedom.
Sin has no more dominion.
Praise be to our Savior!
He showed us His favor.
He took all our burdens;
Cast them all upon Him.
He is our mediator;
The Light which shines in darkness.
Counselor in our troubles;
He gives peace now in our hearts;
Joy which is everlasting.