1 John 3: 5-8 “You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin. No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him. 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.”
This is the 24th session on 1 John Lecture Series. The following verse 5 says, “You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin.” Jesus came to this earth in a human body to forgive us of our sins. In order for somebody to forgive other people’s sins, that person must have no sin. For example, suppose a person went bankrupt and he was put in jail. In order for you to pay for his debt, you must have no debt yourself. If you have debt and are about to go to jail, you have no ability to pay back the debt of other people. In the same way to pay for the price of other people’s sins, one must not have any sin himself. But all descendants of Adam since his fall are all sinners. They are born with the original sin, and they commit so many sins in their lives. They cannot redeem other people from their sins not to mention their own sins. All were destined to receive the punishment of Hell. God knew this was going to happen. So, He made a plan of salvation. He prepared Jesus Christ before the ages. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the body of a virgin, so he is not a descendant of Adam. Thus he does not have original sin. He kept all the Law strictly since His birth, so He did not commit any sins. Jesus was sinless and the holy Son of God. But still the enemy devil and Satan instigated evil people to crucify Him. According to the law of the spiritual realm, ‘the wages of sin’ is death. Thus, if one has no sin, he should not have to suffer the punishment of death. But the enemy devil and Satan violated this law of the spiritual realm by killing Jesus. As a result, those souls who are united with Jesus Christ through faith in Him are set free from the authority of death. But just knowing the way of salvation as knowledge or just professing with lips does not mean they are united with the Lord. If they really believe in the Lord and are saved, they must show the evidence. If they really believe that Jesus died because of their sins, they must stop sinning. Let me give you a parable. There is a little son raised by a single mother. This son hung around with bad friends and began to steal snacks and toys. Finally he got caught in the act. The shop-owner had bad temper and he began to beat this child saying he was responsible for all the missing items in the shop. The mother heard this news and ran to the shop owner. She begged him but he wouldn’t stop. So she took the beatings instead, holding her son in her arms. The shop owner threatened to take her son to the police. The mother was finally able to take her son home after she promised she would pay for anything that was missing. She was bruised all over her body but she brought her son home without saying a word. The child was waiting for the scolding or punishment of his mother, but she just cooked him a warm dinner without saying anything. That night, the boy pretended to be sleeping, but he heard his mother’s suppressed weeping. Brothers and sisters, If this child loves his mother, he would never steal again. His mother always worked hard to raise him, and he saw her being cursed and beaten, and begging somebody on her knees on his behalf. He heard her weep all night because of him. So now, how could he ever do such a thing again? Could he say to her, “I am so sorry that I put you through all that. Thank you, I love you mom!” and turn back and steal again? Even after going through all that if this son keeps on stealing and put her in shame, this mother would have no hope to live. Even immature children wouldn’t do that. And there are some grown up adults who should know the duties of men but keep on committing sins. They shed tears and pray with thanks saying, “Jesus shed His water and blood and died on the cross because of my sins.” But then they go back to the world and they just live in sins as they did before. This means they don’t have faith. If they do have faith they have to depart from sins. At least they must stop sinning in action, the works of the flesh. Otherwise, where can we find the evidence that they love the Lord who died carrying their sins for them? It is disgracing the cross of the Lord rather than evidencing love. Of course, those in the 1st or the 2nd level of faith who do not know the truth and have weak faith will still have works of the flesh. Even though they struggle to cast them away, they might commit some sins. They haven’t cast away all sins yet. But, they certainly know that they have to cast them away and they are still in the process of casting them away, so God acknowledges their faith. But if you still remain in the 1st or the 2nd level of faith even after a long time, we cannot say you have faith. If you have gone into the 3rd level of faith after having experienced the grace of God and then willfully commit sins following your lust, you cannot receive salvation. The following verse 6 says so, too. It says, “No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him.” If you say you believe in the Lord and dwell in His grace, but commit sins, then it means you are lying. Matthew 7:21-24 says, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’ Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.” Even though you say you believe in the Lord and perform many duties in the church, you still have nothing to do with the Lord if you dwell in sins and practice lawlessness. If the Lord says, “I don’t know you,” at the Judgment, what a miserable thing it would be! And regretting it there at that time will be completely meaningless. I hope you will keep in your heart the grace of the Lord who suffered for us and always walk in the light. In doing so, I pray in the name of the Lord that you will stand at the judgment throne of God not with fear and trembling but with joy and confidence.