Bible Reading: 1 John 3.7-8
Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3.7-8
As a father speaks to his children, so God speaks to us in these two verses to keep us from danger, literally from the evil of all evils, which is sin. Sin is “the works of the devil”, which Jesus came to destroy. But, as we heard even in yesterday’s sermon, there are those who seek to deceive us and the enemy himself who seeks to cause us to be led astray from the truth.
As we heard yesterday there are false beliefs and teachings that others will promote that can deceive us into believing and living opposite of God’s truth. In Paul and Timothy’s day it was Gnosticism (the belief that physical matter is evil and that spiritual purity is gain through abstaining from that which is physical). The deception can come in many different ways and forms, but the goal of all deception is to knock us off course from abiding with Christ and walking in the manner that He walked. Deception is what Paul calls “doctrines of demons” (1 Timothy 4.1) that seeks to takes us down the path of sin which is “of the devil, who has sinned from the beginning”.
The “works of the devil” are the same today. He seeks to deceive us through false beliefs and teachings as well in our culture. The teaching of prosperity is one such falsehood that promotes the belief that one’s prosperity in monetary physical terms is attached to their faith. Such teaching is of the devil. Another is beliefs about sexuality. The church is being pressured into a corner on the issue of homosexuality today. Nowhere in scripture is this an accepted practice, yet some who call themselves part of the church accept such a practice. Same sex attraction is a real struggle and temptation just as any other enticing lust and we should minister and care for those who struggle with such, but we must never move on what is true about homosexuality being a sin. Another issue in our culture today is the loose view of sexuality. There are Christian’s today that are putting sexual immoral films and television shows in a grey area making it an acceptable option for them. Remember what John says, saying, the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil. This is black and white, really clear. That leads me to shortly address the film, Fifty Shades of Grey that came out this past weekend. Such a film should not even be a consideration for Christians.
Christ came “to destroy the works of the devil”, so we should not live for what Christ died for. Jesus appeared in the world for two reasons. He came that we might not go on sinning; and He came to die so that there would be a propitiation – a substitutionary sacrifice that takes away the wrath of God – for our sins, if we do sin.
Weekly Memory Verse: You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin. 1 John 3.5