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Child, Love your heavenly Father | April 27th Sermon | 1 John 3:1-6

Read 1 John 3:1-6


The Point:  Children of God, love your heavenly Father, put Him first in your life and you will practice righteousness.  When you commit habitual sin you are unloving to your father and become reckless.   Child, love your Heavenly Father. 

What does it mean to love according to scripture?  When the bible says “…love your neighbor as yourself,” or “For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only son…” what does this world truly mean?  We say it often as Christians: “God loves you.”  Or “I love God.”  We may even say it about a family member, spouse or our children: “I love my children” or “I love you sweetie.” 


We say this word, Love, often.  But we do actually know what it means? Do we know what love looks like, what it means to be in love, what does our life look like when we love someone?  How do we act? How do we talk about and to that person?  Or do we just spout words to feel a certain way without our lives backing up what love is?


When reading this passage, it is easy to quickly pass verse 1.


“See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. 


John is calling the churches he is writing to children of God—he repeats this language throughout his letter.


“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin… 1 John 2:1

“I have written to you, children, because you know the Father.”  1 John 2:13

“Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming…” 1 John 2:18

“Beloved, now we are children of God…” 1 John 3:2


The Greek Word an Definition of Children in 1 John 1-3:

τεκνίοντεκνιουτό (diminutive of τέκνον,)

a little child; in the N. T. used as a term of kindly address by teachers to their disciples

an infant, i.e. (plural figuratively) darlings (Christian converts) -- little children.



This language is being heavily used during the first part of this letter whereas the word beloved continues to be used.  John is deliberate in using this word.  He is writing striking warnings, warnings of false teachers, warning of the antichrist, warning that those who do not practice righteousness and say they are Christians are liars and not to be believed, warning that practicing sin is lawlessness, it is anarchy and reckless yet during all of these warnings he is repeating one phrase over and over and over again. 


You are children of God and your Father is God Himself the creator of the universe and saviour of our sins. 


1. Your heavenly Father loves you.


Vs. 1 


“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.”


--1 John 3:1


When you have faith in Christ and Christ alone, when you confess that He was born, died, and came back to life, lived a perfect life so that we can be born new again in Him forever, then you are in God’s family—when you are in God’s family the heavenly Father loves you!


He even loves those who aren’t in His family, He has given us truth, He did many miracles on earth as Jesus to show people who God is, the glory of God and to show them how much God loves them.  Yet, a lot of people aren’t willing to love their father back, they aren’t willing to accept the gospel and they aren’t willing to confess. 


I am here to remind you today that God does love you!  This cross behind is a sign of hope instead of sign of fear and torture because of How much God loves us!  When I look at the cross I am reminded of my sin, of how much I don’t deserve God because of my sin nature but it also shows me that God sees me of worth even in the midst of my sin nature—God died and resurrected so that I can live resurrected with Him in heaven forever.  THIS IS THE GOSPEL!  THIS IS GOOD NEWS!


How much does God love His family?


“…among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace, you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”


--Ephesians 2:3-10


God’s salvation is a gift of grace in which He has given to us.  He then makes us into a new creation, a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17) His work of newness begins once we are saved.  This newness is a true identity in God’s family, we are then adopted into God’s family, and we start changing because of God’s love and grace.  We respond to that and begin to listen to God’s commands knowing that God has grace when those commands can no longer be followed (we will slip up).


Your spot in God’s family is not conditioned on your performance in how holy you; rather God loves you, holds your spot in His family because He saved you and allows you to grow into His Holiness/ likeness while correcting your sin and heart to ultimately reach that.


2. God teaches His children about Holiness, He allows His children to grow and His children become more like Him in a slow process filled with His grace. 


Vs. 2-5


“Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is.  And everyone who thus hopes in Him purifies himself as He is pure.  Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.  You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin.” 


--1 John 3:2-5


What John is writing about here is not about GENERAL SIN or our SIN NATURE rather he is describing habitual sin, continuing sin, sin that we deliberately choose to do in patterns and practices.  “Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.”


Definition of Lawlessness:

ἀνομίαἀνομίας (ἄνομος)


properly, the condition of one without law — either because ignorant of it, or because violating it.


 contempt and violation of law, iniquity, wickedness,  iniquity, transgression, unrighteousness.



To be practicing sin is to outright violate God’s law.  It is to be the opposite of righteous.  We are no longer in right standing with God when we practice habitual sin.  It creates a reckless lawlessness—our sin knows no bounds, it is reckless, we do not know what the consequences of implications of our sins will be both for us and our communities around us.  Practicing habitual sin will hurt us, it will erode the trust we have with our friends, spouses and children, it will destroy families and lead to addiction and complete destruction.  John is warning the church about how powerful sin is; it is weight, it has power, it will overtake our lives if we let it.


What is the solution to this practice of sin, this lawlessness in Humanity?


3. Child, Love Your Father.  Be present with Him, listen to Him, worship Him, glorify Him and you will become like Him.


The solution is simple:  The Cross, The death, the resurrection, the perfect life lived to give us a perfect example of how our lives should look,  give that habitual sin to Christ, run back to Him, repent, He will forgive you.  The Cross is proof of that.


Vs 6


“No one who abides in Him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen Him or known Him.”


--1 John 3:6


Have you ever practiced presence?  Have you literally given a time slot to God?  DO you pray without ceasing?


“It is possible for us to live in the very sense of the Lord's presence, under even the most difficult circumstances. If you and I are going to enjoy the peace of paradise during this life we must become accustomed to a familiar, humble, and very affectionate conversation with the Lord Jesus.


“Prayer is nothing else but a sense of God’s presence.”


--Brother Lawrence



“Remember my affliction and my wanderings, the wormwood and the gall!  My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me.  But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:  The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; ‘His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  The LORD is my portion’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in Him.’”


--Lamentations 3:19-24


Jeremiah is a weary prophet when he writes this in lamentations.  God’s people have been given over to Babylonian (their enemies) captivity, Jeremiah is the prophet who announced the invasion, Jerusalem is destroyed, the year is 586 BCE, Jeremiah is in anguish because of what he must do for God.  He is troubled, God’s people are being corrected, judged and even in the midst of this Jeremiah calls out to God, “The LORD is my portion says my soul, therefore I will hope in Him.”   Jeremiah is abiding with God, while he practices the presence with God he finds hope in God.  Jeremiah lives hopeful amid a hopeless situation because HE SPENDS TIME WITH GOD.  Jeremiah loves His Heavenly Father. 


You cannot build a relationship if you are not present to be in that relationship. So be present.  Pray without ceasing.  Communicate with God.  Child, Love your heavenly Father.


The Point:  Children of God, love your heavenly Father, put Him first in your life and you will practice righteousness.  When you commit habitual sin you are unloving to your father and become reckless.   Child, love your Heavenly Father. 



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