1 John 3: Living in God’s Righteousness

God loves us with an amazing love! He loves us as His children. While the world does not see us (believers in Jesus Christ) as His children, we have the assurance through His Word that we are indeed His, and that He wants the best for us. All that He requires of us is to listen to Him and be obedient to Him.

Because we have the choice to be obedient to God’s Word, there is the opportunity to be disobedient and to not follow Him. This is what John notes in 1 John 3:4…”Everyone who commits sin also breaks the law; sin is the breaking of law.” Sin is disobedience to God’s Word. Even believers in Jesus Christ commit sin (1 John 1:8-10). The sins that we commit show that, sometimes we love the desires of sins more than we love God. Thankfully, we have an opportunity to turn from our sin and recognize God’s love and graciousness to forgive our sin (1 John 2:1). In a believer, the seed is planted. With the Holy Spirit, there is a desire to sin less and less if we are focused on Christ. Sin is incompatible with the Christian life. Sin must not be a part of our lives. Jesus came into the world to remove our sin (1 John 3:5). Believers should know that Jesus has done this very thing for them personally. It is the Christ that lives in the believer that gives one the ability to resist sin, for in Him, there was no sin (John 1:29; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:22). “Everyone who remains in Him does not sin; everyone who sins has not seen Him or known Him” (1 John 3:6). In our desire to turn from sin, God will take it away if we let that sin and its pleasures go from our presence. God will deal with our sin if we are willing to allow Him to do so. Jesus will remove every sin that we confess to Him. As He removes the sin, our desire should be to sin less and less as we live as believers. Those who do not believe in Christ will continue to sin, and not even recognize it as sin because it becomes a part of their daily existence. Believers, in contrast, are those that recognize and admit their failures before God because they recognize the great love that God has for them.

God does not want any of His children to be led astray (1 John 3:7-10). Satan wants to continually deceive believers, but the character of God remains with us as believers. His character and practice of righteousness is inherent within a believer (1 John 2:29). Christ will not allow the sin in your life to be comfortable in any way. Your desire is to do what is right because of the One who now lives in you (Ephesians 4:22-24). He who does what is right is in righteousness, for to believe in Christ is to be born of God. In contrast, one that is sinful, without repentance, is of the devil (1 John 3:8), and the devil’s influence is ever-present (John 13:2). Satan tries to cause the believer to stumble (he does not need to spend such time with unbelievers…they already do his work for him). The devil has been sinning from the very beginning (John 8:44), but Jesus died for us as an eternal sacrifice for us, who defeated Satan and his work. No one who is born of God continues to sin (1 John 3:9-10). This is how we know God’s children from Satan’s children. Anyone who does not do what is right, and does not have the desire to do what is right, is not of God.

In loving us as His children, God shows us the example in loving us as to how we are to love others, and not just believers. He shows us the importance of loving others as an important part of our ministry in today’s world. We have the desire to reflect God’s love to others because of His seed of righteousness within us. We should always have the desire to do what is right in His sight, to live without sin, and make it our goal to remain in holiness and live in righteousness.

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