The Children of God and the Children of the Devil — 1 John 3:1-10
Passed From Death Unto Life
The Second Coming of Jesus Christ
The Bible goes on to say in verse 2, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” He is going to come again! John is speaking of the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I love this simple way that it is stated: “…but we know that, when he shall appear…” Often when people begin to study their Bible, they want to get so involved in every detail surrounding the Second Coming of Christ that they forget Who is coming. This reminds me of the way we do the Lord’s work. We become so consumed with the way everything sounds and looks that we forget why we are singing and why we are preaching.
For John it was a simple matter. He knew and simply stated that the Lord is coming again. It was not the Second Coming of Christ that John has his eyes on; it was the Christ of the Second Coming. He is going to appear!
The Bible says, “When he shall appear, we shall be like him.” How shall we be like Him? There is coming a day when we shall have no sin! Thank God for that! One of the differences between the children of God and the children of the devil is that when the children of God sin, immediately there is shame because of that sin. Oh, how we look forward to the moment when we awake in His likeness and our sin nature is gone! We shall be like Him!
1 John 3:3 says, “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” The truth of the Second Coming of Christ has a purifying effect. Why do so many professing Christians live such impure lives? If you are truly a believer and impurity is in your life, there is no doubt that you are not giving the thought and consideration to the return of Christ that you ought to be given.
1 John 3:4 says, “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” In other words, the law is defined here, and sin is defined by the law. If we transgress the law, we have sinned; we have broken what God says we are to keep. When we transgress the law, we are not living with the return of our Saviour in view.
The Bible is not a book of suggestions; it is a book of clear commands. From these clear commands we develop Bible principles for our lives. Out of these principles we develop standards for living. The standards may not be found in exactness in the Bible, but they grow out of a clear command and a Bible principle developed from that command. Those lines we draw become safety nets to keep us far removed from sin and the temptation that leads to sin.
The Saviour Who Takes Away Our Sins
1 John 3:5 says, “And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.” This beautiful verse reminds us that our precious Saviour came to take away our sins.
Isaiah 53:6 says, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Our sinful behaviour is choosing our own way, doing as we please. “Iniquity” is a word that God uses for sin, and here the Bible tells us that all our iniquity has been laid upon Him. What did He do with our iniquity?
On the day of atonement in the Old Testament, one animal was slain as a sacrifice. There was another animal on which, representatively, the sin of the people was laid. That animal was sent into the wilderness never to return.
The sins of the people were not removed because one animal was sacrificed and another animal was sent out into the wilderness; but it was a picture of something to come. It pictured when God’s Son would bleed and die on the cross for our sins, when the angered holiness of God over sin would be satisfied by the payment He made.
This payment was made in full. When Christ bled and died for our sins, He owed no sin debt. The Bible says that He had no sin; He paid our debt in full. God will never require sins to be paid for again like that, because the debt was paid in full when Jesus Christ bled and died for our sin. All our iniquity was laid on Him.
The Bible says in Jeremiah 31:3, “The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” There was never a time when God did not love us, and there will never be time when God does not love us. I have responded to His love by trusting His Son as my Saviour.
1 John 3:5 says, “And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.” He has taken our sins away. How did this happen? He died for us, He was buried, and He rose from the dead. He not only died for us; He died as us. We reckon ourselves to be dead with Him, to be buried with Him, and to be risen with Him.
“So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation” Hebrews 9:28