connecting people to the gospel
Sermons from Leesburg Grace Brethren
Leesburg Grace Brethren
Subscribe via RSS
Total Sermons: 49
Total Amens: 1
John provides no middle ground. We are either born-again children of God, or bastard children of the devil. Those fathered by the latter live in rebellion. Sin is default. Those who are fathered by God practice righteousness and break the bonds of sin. John's language is stronger: They don't sin (3:6, 9). This sermon deals with sin, the devil, and Jesus' atonement. He saved us from our sins, and then some. We owe Him our allegiance.
While the metaphor has been marred by poor example, God loves us like a father loves his children. He gives Christ-followers a new identity. Those born of Him are righteous (1 John 2:29) and purified (3:3). This intimate reality goes against a culture where fathers abandon their children and personal worth grows out of impersonal labels. John wants his beloved readers to fix their eyes on the Father's affection. It will change them, if not now, then at Jesus' return.
The end times have stretched on, producing generations of speculation about the coming antichrist. From Caligula to Oprah, Christians have tried to identify the great, earthly enemy of God. Unfortunately, predictions have proven wanting. When John warned of antichrist, however, he spoke of a type of person, rather than a particular person. Antichrist denied Jesus and left the church. His congregation suffered the scars of antichrist, and wrote to his readers about orthodox faith and the ministry of the Holy Spirit. He encourages his readers to remain teachable in critical times, a lesson as relevant today as it was in his age.
Christians are called to live like Jesus. Christians who truly embody an ethic of engagement are the best fix to our broken, isolated, sin-filled society. John's challenge to his readers, who had begun to practice escapism, rather than engagement, remains relevant to modern readers. Its an old command (and song): What the world needs know is love. Like Jesus, we are called to see, sympathize, and serve others.
We get to the second major question in John's epistle: Is our Christianity real? John uses a variety of tests to tease out whether or not someone who claims to have fellowship with God gives evidence of it. The first of these is a matter of walking in the light. God's very nature is light, and John expects people to bask in God's luminous nature. Their obedience to Him radiates His light to the dark world surrounding them. Worship fuels witness. And when the believer basks in God's nature, the problems of the world have a way of growing smaller.