And everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself just as he is pure. Everyone who commits sin practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. (1 John 3:3-4)
Pastor John’s Notes:
People are living in one of two directions. Either we are living for God, or we are living for ourselves. There is no middle ground. We are children of God when we put our hope in Jesus Christ and seek after holiness. We are living for ourselves when we defy the law of God and practice lawlessness.
We often think of sin as the things we do, but here sin is defined as the desire for self-rule. Adam and Eve were tempted to eat of the “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil” or better said, “The Tree of Deciding for Yourself What is Good and Evil.” As descendants of Adam and Eve, our natural inclination is to decide for ourselves what is right and wrong. Because of this inclination, the world is in continual chaos. As a race, we are defying the patterns of life God has created for our blessing.
But now, through Jesus Christ, God has extended an offer for us to return to him and live again under his rule. He invites us to deny our impulse to self-rule and seek the patterns he originally designed for us. These patterns bring life and blessing. They move us into spiritual maturity and prepare us for spiritual work in God’s household. None of us are natural-born members of God’s family. All of us are adopted children. But by our agreement to live by God’s laws, we become permanent members of the household of God.
Heavenly Father, thank you for your invitation to return to your household. Forgive me for my impulse to live by my own laws. Be patient with me in this time of reorientation. Show me the wisdom of following your patterns. Prepare me for a permanent place in your eternal kingdom.