Scripture reading for December 3rd: 1st John 3:7-24
There is good and evil in the world we live in. John, writing to the churches under his oversight, warned the believers about being deceived by the false teachers who would try to get them to twist the concepts of what was good and what was evil. This practice is going on in the Church, even today!
“Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who has been born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning because he has been born of God.” (1st John 3:7-9) When a person has been truly ‘born again’, the desire to sin is replaced by a desire to live for God. The seed of God’s word has brought a ‘new creation’ into being. This is why Jesus came. He destroyed the devil’s work of sinning at it’s source, man’s heart.
When a person is really ‘born again’, actions and attitudes change. Instead of doing evil and choosing to sin and live in sin, that person now begins to choose to do what is righteous and pleasing to God. This change will not be loved or accepted by those still in the world and doing evil. John cites Cain and Abel as an example. Cain killed his brother because his brother’s actions were righteous while his own were evil. (1st John 3:11-15) We know Cain was of the Evil One because he murdered his brother. No murderer has eternal life in them. Actions must change when we are born of God by faith in Christ!.
“Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” (1st John 3:18) John’s exhortation to these believers is good for us today. We must not just give lip service to the truth. If we are really God’s children, we must show it by living a righteous life. We must take the truth of God’s word that we know and apply it in our daily living. If we are not doing this, we are under deception. Faith and deeds must match!