Last week, we looked at the first of two reasons that Jesus had to come. First, he came to die for our sins. That our behavior and lives are sinful, and that Jesus came to replace that nature with His nature so that we can live in righteousness.
So as we find ourselves grounded in that truth, the enemy will try to distract or distort that truth. But Paul warns, do let anyone lead you astray! Our behavior is a reflection of our relationship. The world and sometimes the church will tell you that being a child of God is by your behavior. So what does it look like to be God’s child? Was it by faith or by works that lead us initially to be God’s child? By faith! So why would we think that it changes to then be dependent on works after that?
The one who does what is sinful is of the devil. Think about that for a moment. For sure the Bible does not live in any “gray areas” when it comes to truth. No conditions. No if’s and maybe’s. Sin is a compromise on our part against for what God would have for us. The devil has been sinning against God from the beginning. And this leads us to the second reason Jesus had to come. To destroy the work of the devil!
Because God’s seed remains in us when we accept his gift of salvation even as we continue to sin. And we all know that we will continue to sin. But we have to look at this passage in context. When it says that someone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, it is in the context of that person who no longer believes it is sin. In our human existence, this would be rebellion, and the same rebellion happens between us and God if we define our own righteousness apart from God.
Unbelievers are perishing because they cannot yet see God’s light. Satan has blinded unbelievers from the light of God’s salvation. Satan infects the view of Jesus because he can then infect the view of God as a by-product. He does not have to go after both, but he has only had to go after Jesus.
Have you ever thought about the fact that of all the religions of the world there is only one religious leader whose name is used as profanity? No one in a moment of exacerbation says, “Oh Budda!” But the name “Jesus Christ” has become profanity to so many. We really cannot say where the origin might be for this usage, but we are probably safe to say that we live in a time where the largest number of people know “Jesus Christ” only as profanity.
When lions hunt, they don’t look at the strongest prey and decide that taking down the strongest would be the best choice. No, the lion looks for the weakest prey in the herd and will hunt, kill, and devour the weakest. We cannot allow ourselves to become weakened by holding onto sin. We must resist Satan. How do we do that? We stand firm in the faith. It will be hard. When we stand firm, we also stand with a family of believers who stand with us. Satan attacks God’s family and will attempt to break down the family from within. ()
The Father wants us to be like Him. Stand on the Biblical truth and realize that Satan will work against you. But remember that when we live in God’s righteousness, Satan will flee from us. At the momemt you accept Jesus as your savior and allow God to live in your heart, at that moment you shut the door on Satan’s influence and open the door to God’s righteousness.
7 Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. (ESV)
8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. (ESV)
9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. 10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. (ESV)
4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. (ESV)
13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. (ESV)