Time to Do an Inventory
September 26, 2021
Time to Do an Inventory
1 John 2:28-3:10
-John urges us to do a bit of a “Spiritual Inventory.” As he closes out ch. 2 and starts ch. 3, John gives 3 “imperatives” or “commanded actions” for us to do as we look at who we are as true believers in Christ.
-There are at least 2 questions you can ask as we approach this passage:
1. Am I a true believer in Christ? How do I know that?
2. As a believer / follower of Christ how does this passage help me to go forward worshipfully and wisely?
I. Stick with It! (1 John 2:28-29)
–And now, little children, abide in him;
-“abide” = “meno” = remain (pres. tense imp.) = keep on remaining
-As we “meno” / remain in Christ, we are soaking Him and His words in so that we are then useful for His glory.
- We are constantly remembering the hope that the Gospel gives us
- We are continually studying and thinking about His Word and being stabilized an supported by It.
- We are worshipping God because of all that He is and all that He gives us in Christ.
-John mentions 2 results of continuing to soak in Christ:
1. Shame is Eradicated (28) …little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
-“he shall appear” = ref. to Jesus’ 2nd coming, an event that is still to come and we are “keeping an eye on the sky” & WAITING in anticipation for this 2nd coming of our Savior.
-James 5:7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the LORD. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
-John says that when the 2nd coming happens, if you are abiding in Christ, you will embrace the coming of Christ with boldness and if you’re not abiding in Christ, shame is the only result.
-If we’re “abiding in Christ” (1. By salvation, 2. By continual fellowship w/ Him), His 2nd coming is something we’re stoked about!
2. Salvation is Assured (29) If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.
-Essentially, “right living is evidence that you are in right standing.”
-One cannot choose to live right on their own…Rom. 3:12, “there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”
-What’s in the heart of a person comes out in the life of a person.
-When a person is truly born again, the capacity and desire for obedient living comes with that change.
-This is not to say that a Christian will not still struggle in the battle with sin and temptation…straying may indeed happen, but for the true believer, repentance and return are indicators of a true inward transformation that has already taken place.
-Satan does not put desires in us to live for Christ!
-Desires to abide in Christ serve to assure us that we are indeed true believers in Christ.
II. Take a look! (1 John 3:1-6)
–Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us,
-“behold” = to take a look at/pay attention to
-“Pay attention with time, energy, and concentration to the kind of love God has sent your way!”
-5 things the love of God in our life helps us to inventory:
A. Adoption (1a) that we should be called the sons of God:
-Legally, an adopted child gains all the same rights and privileges of a natural-born child.
-When we accept Christ, we receive all the rights and privileges of a child of God.
B. Encouragement (1b) therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
-Everyone wants to be liked and accepted…For the believer, this desire to be liked by others is left very unfulfilled when the world finds out we are indeed followers of Christ.
-John is encouraging believers not to be disappointed with the rejection and disapproval of the world…the world’s approval is not our goal anyway…the love of our Heavenly Father is infinitely better than anything the world offers!
C. Transformation (2) Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
-John reminds us of God’s love for us with the word, “beloved” = esteemed, dear, favorite, worthy of love
-God sees us as worthy of His love and because He sees us that way, He is doing the most loving thing possible—restoring and transforming us from what sin has done to us to what He created us to be in the first place.
–Rom. 8:29, For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son…
-Through His love, God is changing us to be more like Jesus and at Jesus’ 2nd coming, that glorification will come to completion.
D. Application (3) And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
-Because of the certainty of this future complete transformation, we respond now by pursing a life that looks like Jesus’ life.
-Our future certainty changes our outlook and pursuit in life.
–Col. 3:1-4, If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
-Pursuing a life of holiness lived for God is totally worth it when we realize: 1. God empowers us to do it, 2. That’s what we’ll get to do for all of eternity anyway!
E. Differentiation (4-6) Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
-Very simply put: if one can continually sin (breaking God’s Law) and never sees any need to turn to Christ for forgiveness, that’s a mark of distinction between being a believer / unbeliever.
-Remaining in Christ brings a desire and pattern of living for Christ, but if one has no desire or pattern of obeying God, the differentiation is clear.
III. Be Careful! (1 John 3:7-10)
–Little children, let no man deceive you:
-There’s a possibility to get your thinking twisted and you need to be careful to keep aligning your thinking based on truth.
3 truth-aligned thoughts:
A. Right living flows from the life of a believer because his Father is God. (7, 9) …he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he (Jesus) is righteous…Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his (God’s) seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
B. Sinful living flows from the life of an unbeliever because his father is Satan. (8) He that committeth sin (has a life’s pattern of living in sin) is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
C. Love for other believers flows from the true believer. (10) In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.