Volume. XXIII, No. 38
Sunday, 15 March 2009


Purifying Oneself in the Glorious Hope (1 John 3:4-12): Part 2


Secondly, You Must Purify Yourself by Loving Righteousness and Abhorring Evil vv.7-10)

By Loving Righteousness (v.7)

How can a Christian purify himself by loving righteousness and abhorring evil? He or she must have a pure heart to love what is righteous. As Apostle John says in verse 7, “…let no man deceive you:” Be deceived of what? Apostle John wrote against a deception threatening the Christians of his day. What is that? John warns us not to separate judicial righteousness we have in Christ from a life of righteousness we ought to live out. In other words, if Christians are made righteous or justified judicially by God through our faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 3:22), it should also be seen by, or reflected in, our righteous lives. How does one live a life of righteousness? By loving what is righteous, and not only knowing what is righteous. James told us that we are to be ‘doers of the Word and not simply just hearers’, otherwise we would be hypocrites.

But what is the meaning of “he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous” in verse 7b? Does this teach that a man can be righteous by doing righteousness? Does this not seem to contradict what the rest of the Scriptures teach? No. We must know that John here is speaking to Christians, not to non-Christians. So the phrase “he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous” means “he that does righteousness continues to be held in right standing before God in life” having already being imputed with the righteousness of Christ by faith. In other words, this means that Christians can and should live lives characterised by righteousness, not sin, because we have been imputed with the righteousness of Jesus and given the power to do what is righteous. And when we love righteousness, we are slowly being made pure before God in the process of sanctification through the enablement of the Spirit of God.

By Abhorring Evil (vv.8,9)

We are not only to love righteousness in order to purify ourselves, but also to abhor evil. Apostle John in verse 8a says, “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning.” Again, the idea is of continuous sinning, a habitual sin or a lifestyle of sin without experiencing any sense of remorse or repentance throughout his life. And Apostle John says, such people who are settled in habitual sin are not the children of God. This also does not mean that when a Christian sins, he would fall from grace and become unsaved. Why? Verse 8b explains, “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” Apostle John already gave us one reason why Jesus came in 1 John 3:5 that is: “He was manifested to take away our sins”. In verse 8, Apostle John gives us another reason why Christ came: “that he might destroy the works of the devil.” So, the reason why it is not possible for Christians to fall from grace was because Christ has already “destroyed the works of the devil”. Christ did not simply neutralise them, nor did He just alleviate or limit them, but He has thoroughly destroyed the works of the devil, and has the complete victory over Satan who is totally and absolutely subdued by Him. This means, though Christians should not underestimate the devil, we should not be afraid of the devil, fearing what he could do against us when we abide in Christ. Because when a Christian walks in Jesus, he is on the side of the Victor who has already defeated his spiritual enemy Satan.

That is why Apostle John says in verse 9, “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.”  We who are born again are given a new nature, and are able or have the power not to sin. 2 Co 5:17 says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” Again, though it is possible for a Christian to sin again, because a Christian is born again in Jesus Christ, it is not possible for a Christian to live in a continued and permanent lifestyle of sin when he abides and purifies himself in Christ. Charles Spurgeon rightly said, "If you had a true faith in that precious blood, you would hate sin. If you dare to say you are trusting in the atonement while you live in sin, you lie, sir; you do not trust in the atonement; for where there is a real faith in the atoning sacrifice, it purifies the man, and makes him hate the sin which shed the Redeemer’s blood."  Thus, in order for one to purify himself, he must love righteousness and also abhor evil.

Thirdly, You Must Purify Yourself by Loving One Another in Righteousness and without Jealousy (vv.10-12)

By Loving One Another in Righteousness (v.10,11)

Apostle John in verse 10 says, “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.” Some might perceive Apostle John as far too harsh in saying some are children of the devil, supposing that John did not love people as Jesus did. But our LORD called people children of the devil also in John 8:41-45. This is said simply to highlight their spiritual condition derived from their spiritual lineage so that they would realise that they are sinful people who are in need of a new nature in order to be saved. Only when a person is born again in the Spirit, he then will have the power to love God and His brethren.

Yet, why is it that loving one another is important in purifying a Christian? Because the manifestation of the children of the devil do not do righteousness and neither would they love anyone. Apostle John said, “whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother (v.10).” This corresponds to Apostle John’s teaching in chapter 1 in his first epistle. 1John 2:9 says, “He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.” In other words, a Christian must love God and his brethren, because when a Christian loves, he is sanctified through the truth of God because love and truth always go hand in hand like a pair of twins. 1 John 2:5 says, “But whoso keepeth his word (that is God’s truth), in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him”. Did not John also love his brethren in truth in his third epistle? 3 John verse 1 says “The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth….

What does not doing righteousness mean in verse 10b? This means “omitting and disregarding the rights and dues of God.” In other words, no one can be a true Christian who is not in fact a righteous man who does righteousness. And he who does not the righteousness or omits and disregards the rights and dues of God totally, continually and permanently, he is not of God. And such person, naturally, cannot love his brethren, that is why John says, “neither he that loveth not his brother.” Therefore, both doing righteousness and loving his brethren are so vitally important in our efforts in purifying ourselves. Because doing righteousness emphasises what is due to God as a born again Christian, and loving our brethren emphasiess our duty and responsibility as a Christian brother or sister; we know this responsibility and command was clearly given in verse 11. John says in verse 11, “For (because) this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.” Christ commanded us in John 13:34: “A new commandment. I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” Therefore, let us be reminded that while it is important that we do what is right before God to please God, let us not neglect to love our brothers and sisters in action. And let us be reminded that if we do not love our brethren in truth, it would lead to jealousy.

By Loving One Another Without Jealousy (v.12)

Apostle John in verse 12 says, “Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother\'s righteous.” Why did Cain kill his brother Abel? It was because of Jealousy. Why was he jealous? Because His brother’s gift was accepted but his was not and the love of God was not in him. Cain could not accept the fact that his brother gained the favour of God, but he did not. So his jealousy turned into anger and his unresolved prolonged anger turned into bitterness which motivated him to kill his brother. Let us be reminded that when a person is filled with jealousy, it naturally develops anger and hatred or even bitterness within him. When a person is bitter over someone, he cannot sincerely love anybody because the truth is not in him. And when a person has no truth in him, God’s Spirit cannot sanctify nor purify him. Do you see the chain reaction? It all started with jealousy. When one is jealous over someone, he is drawn into the downward spiral of sin and bitterness and eventually leads him further and further away from God and His truth. Thus, let us LOVE righteousness and do away with our jealousy so that we can purify ourselves by the grace of God.

CONCLUSION:

May we resolve to purity ourselves by keeping His laws and by abiding in His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by His laws and live in newness of life. May we also strive to purity ourselves by loving righteousness and abhorring what is evil by loving what God loves and hating what God hates to please Him in this life until the day of His return. Finally, may we also be challenged to love one another in righteousness sincerely without jealousy to allow God’s truth to sanctify us unto Holiness.

Pastor Weng


More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

Announcements

Kitchen Rosters - Team Leader: Bro Yick Ho Lam

Service Roster for the next quarter is being prepared. Please let Dn Edwin D’Mello know if you can serve the LORD. 

Basic Bible Knowledge Class about to begin. If interested, please see Elder Michael D Lee.

Congratulations to Bro Barry & Sis Juanita Palm on the Blessing of their Wedding yesterday.

Anyone who can help to provide transport to and from Church on The Lord’s Day, please see Dn Tony Law

Deepest Sympathy to Auntie Oei & Sis Giok Yeo on the home going of Sis Jenny Hananto

Joy Group will leave The Stone Mansion at 5.15 pm on Sat.

 

Looking Ahead

Family Bible Conference at Easter, 10-13 April 2009.

 

Praise & Thanksgiving

Journey mercies: Bro Laurie Brown (Perth); Sisters Sarah Carpenter, Purdee Yeo (Adl) & Michelle Lee (Arno Bay); Invited guests of Bro Barry Palm & Sis Juanita Tong from interstate & overseas; & all others who are travelling

Church activities: E-Ministry; Ladies’ Fellowship Share & Prayer; Senior Citizens’ Fellowship Meeting; Shorter Catechism Class; Wed Prayer Meeting & Bible Study; YAF Outing.

Blessing of the Wedding of Bro Barry & Sis Juanita Palm yesterday.

 

Prayer Items

Health & God’s healing - Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren; Rev John & Mrs Christine McKenzie; Rev Peter Clements,  Rev Stephen Khoo, Rev Timothy Tow, Dr S H Tow, Preacher Zhang, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros Tommy Brooks, Yew Shing Chan, Colin Creaser, S Dhamarlingam, Makoto Kobayashi, Raphael Ng’s father, Richard Pearson, Winston Selvanayagam, & Hans Ziegelmann; Mr Yeom. Grandpa Ki; Auntie Oei; Sisters Mabella Booth, Lai Kheng Cheong, Nita Chong, Annie D’Mello, Myung Ki, Alice Lee’s father, Fiona Paauwe; Margaret, Dianne, & Sarah Pearson; Aranka Rejtoe, Susan Veradi, Irena Kurek-Braden, Piah Buey Yeo & others in affliction.

Missions - Cambodia: (Pr Zhang & ministry in Kampot), Pastors & believers in Laos, Pakistan & India; Kuching Ministry (Teo family).

Sketch n’ Tell Ministry - Pr H S Lim

Pastor Ki: his family & future ministry in New Life BPC (London); trip & preaching ministry in USA (April– May)

Journey Mercies: Ps & Sis Ki (USA); Bro Barry & Sis Juanita Palm, and their guests returning to Perth, Melbourne, S’pore & Malaysia; Sis Michelle Lee (Adl)

Pastor Weng: ministry & family in Hope BPC. Message preparations for Ebenezer BPC’s Family Bible Camp at Easter.

Outreach to Mandarin speakers in Adelaide.

Job - Bro Cong Pham; Sisters Marion Chan, Tabitha Heah & Judy Li.

BPCWA (Perth) - God’s guidance & wisdom.

Rev Edward & Sis Lehia Paauwe (Perth) -  Wisdom and guidance.

God’s comfort to Auntie Oei, Dn David & Sis Giok Yeo & family on the home going of Sis Jenny Hananto. (Sis Jenny was daughter-in-law of Auntie Oei)

Drought in Australia to end.

Family Camp Conference at Easter - Rev & Mrs Patrick Tan, organisers & participants.

New Life BPC, London: Stedfast in the faith

 

 

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PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063