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One of the greatest tragedies of life is the inability or the neglect of a father to pass on to his children the benefits of his experience.

Fathers must instruct, warn, and encourage their children.

For the next while Wednesday evenings messages will be from John’s first epistle and are titled “The Counsel of a Spiritual Father to His Children.”

Today we are discussing Family Traits.

Text

1 John 3:2 (AMP)

2 Beloved, we are [even here and] now children of God, and it is not yet made clear what we will be [after His coming]. We know that when He comes and is revealed, we will [as His children] be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is [in all His glory].

Scripture Reading

1 John 3:1-10 (AMP)

Children of God Love One Another

3 See what an incredible quality of love the Father has shown to us, that we would [be permitted to] be named and called and counted the children of God! And so we are! For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 

2 Beloved, we are [even here and] now children of God, and it is not yet made clear what we will be [after His coming]. We know that when He comes and is revealed, we will [as His children] be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is [in all His glory]. 

3 And everyone who has this hope [confidently placed] in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure (holy, undefiled, guiltless).

4 Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness [ignoring God’s law by action or neglect or by tolerating wrongdoing—being unrestrained by His commands and His will]. 

5 You know that He appeared [in visible form as a man] in order to take away sins; and in Him there is [absolutely] no sin [for He has neither the sin nature nor has He committed sin or acts worthy of blame]. 

6 No one who abides in Him [who remains united in fellowship with Him—deliberately, knowingly, and habitually] practices sin. No one who habitually sins has seen Him or known Him. 

7 Little children (believers, dear ones), do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who practices righteousness [the one who strives to live a consistently honorable life—in private as well as in public—and to conform to God’s precepts] is righteous, just as He is righteous. 

8 The one who practices sin [separating himself from God, and offending Him by acts of disobedience, indifference, or rebellion] is of the devil [and takes his inner character and moral values from him, not God]; for the devil has sinned and violated God’s law from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. 

9 No one who is born of God [deliberately, knowingly, and habitually] practices sin, because God’s seed [His principle of life, the essence of His righteous character] remains [permanently] in him [who is born again—who is reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, and set apart for His purpose]; and he [who is born again] cannot habitually [live a life characterized by] sin, because he is born of God and longs to please Him. 

10 By this the children of God and the children of the devil are clearly identified: anyone who does not practice righteousness [who does not seek God’s will in thought, action, and purpose] is not of God, nor is the one who does not [unselfishly] love his [believing] brother.

Introduction

In our text, John was talking about spiritual family traits.

When we are born again, we receive a new life, not a biological life, but a spiritual life.

And just as your biological life is “programmed” into our genes, so our spiritual life is predetermined by God to produce certain characteristics.

For example, Paul said in Romans 8:29 (AMP)

29 For those whom He foreknew [and loved and chose beforehand], He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son [and ultimately share in His complete sanctification], so that He would be the firstborn [the most beloved and honored] among many believers. 

However, just as in the physical growth process certain things such as illness or injury can change one’s hereditary development, so in the spiritual realm disobedience and sin can cause us to slow down or even abort the spiritual growth that God desires us to experience.

Throughout the New Testament, we find many passages that remind us of the spiritual family traits we should develop in our lives.

John revealed four things about these spiritual family traits that God programmed into us when we were born again.

  1. First, John told us what we are. 1 John 3:1.
  1. John was amazed by what God had done for sinful humanity.

“What great love the Father has lavished on us”.

In other words, John was saying that nothing else in human life even faintly resembles the love that God has shown to humankind.

B. What is it about this love that so astounded John?

“That we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”

The word “called” here literally means “styled”.

When we are born again because of God’s great love, The Holy Spirit begins to style us so that day by day we come to resemble children of God and cease to look like children of the world.

2. Next, John told us what we will become. 1 John 3:2-3.

  1. John used a hint of caution in these verses.

It is almost as if John were saying, “Now Christians, a wonderful thing has happened as a result of God’s amazing love.

But we have not arrived yet!

Many rough places need to be smoothed out, many attitudes and ideas need to be altered.”

B. A Christian’s spiritual mirror is God’s word.

We are never flattered when we see ourselves in relationship to God’s Word.

But the positive note in this experience is that we are becoming more like our Lord every day.

We have no idea what the finished product is going to be, but we do know that we will be closer to Jesus.

C. John said that we are continually cleansed when we have this hope.

As the hope within us purifies our hearts, we are brought closer and closer to that state of purity required to stand in God’s presence.

3. Then John told us what we should avoid. 1 John 3:4-9.

  1. John outlined four things about sin in these verses.

He explained what sin is, what sin does, why sin is, and where sin originates.

Unless we properly understand what John was saying about sin, this can be the most frightening passage in the Bible.

We must remember that the difference between a believer who sins and an unbeliever who sins is that the unbeliever can sin without remorse.

Unbelievers continue to sin because that is their unredeemed nature.

Christians, however, cannot sin without feeling convicted by the Holy Spirit.

B. John broke through the dark cloud with a word of triumph.

1 John 3:8 (AMP)

8 The one who practices sin [separating himself from God, and offending Him by acts of disobedience, indifference, or rebellion] is of the devil [and takes his inner character and moral values from him, not God]; for the devil has sinned and violated God’s law from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. 

We are not strong enough to fight against sin by ourselves, but in Christ, Romans 8:37 says “we are more than conquerors”.

4. Last, John told us what we must reflect. 1 John 3:10.

  1. How do we truly reflect our kinship to God?

First, we do what is right.

We reflect joyful, spontaneous relationship with Christ demonstrated by the “good works” we perform in Christ’s name.

B. Second, we reflect our kinship to God by loving one another.

This is not just affection for others, it is loving them in spite of who they are or what they have done.

This kind of love has a redeeming quality, it seeks to lift others up and heal their heartache and pain. 

Conclusion.

Are the marks of Jesus Christ and the family of God on you?

Are you daily reflecting Jesus by your good works and by your love for others?

Until next time

Stay in the Blessings

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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.

Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at www.refinerylife.org

When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.

So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us

2020 IS A YEAR OF CLARITY

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