1 John 2:1-6, 12-17
I have noticed something about chicken restaurants. They make chicken. That is all they do. And they do make chicken quite well. When we think about chicken, we can think of a few restaurants that only do chicken.
Then we think about the hamburger joints. They cheeseburgers, fish, chicken, and they have yearly specials on pork. With so many choices, it is hard to figure out what you want. Sometimes, the quality of the food takes a hit with so many food options available!
It is like focusing on one type of food matters. The quality of the prepared food can be maintained. The reputation for good food gets to be known around town.
This sounds like our love life as Christians. Our love life matters. When we focus on one thing, like love, then we can love well. Besides loving well, we realize that we can start living a life without sin. Is that true? Can we get away from sin?
A. We can get away from sin! (2:1-6)
1. My little children
2. You may not sin!
3. Jesus is our advocate with the Father
4. Jesus is the atoning sacrifice for our sins (including the whole world!)
a. John Wesley: “Just as wide as sin extends, the propitiation extends also”
b. Expiation – sacrifice for atonement
c. Jesus helps to turn away our rebellion against God
5. We know Jesus by obeying his commandments
6. Otherwise, we are liars
7. Obey the truth, and see how the love of God reaches perfection!
8. We walk as Jesus walked
9. Our love life matters. For by loving Jesus, we gain life. We love the Father by obeying Jesus. We obey by loving other Christians. We love as Jesus loved, as Jesus lived. We walk as Jesus walked. For by obeying Jesus, we know that sin no longer rules us.
B. We know how to get away from sin (2:12-17)
1. Little children, your sins are forgiven! (You have conquered the evil one!)
2. Fathers, you know him who is from the beginning! (2x)
3. Young people, you have conquered the evil one (You are strong, the word of God abides in you, and you have conquered the evil one!
4. We pursue the love of the Father – including loving those whom he loves!
a. Hating other Christians causes others to stumble
b. Loving other Christians helps our maturity
5. The world would have us pursue whatever we want
6. For us to love life, we do the will of God
7. Our love life matters! It is by pleasing God that we live. What is the will of God for us? The will of God is for us to love God and to love other Christians. When our children and grandchildren are involved in sports, they have to be at their practices so they may play in the game. As Christians who are getting away from sin, we gather with other Christians. It is being with other Christians that help us to learn to love. All this happens because we know our sins are forgiven, we know the Father, and we have overcome sin.
Yes, our love life matters. As we the church focus on one thing, loving God and loving other Christians, we find it is possible to live a life without sin. We know that this can happen.
Yet, there may be another Christian we don’t like, we might even hate. This sin cannot remain among us. We turn to God, to please him. And we end up loving that other Christian who we once hated. Otherwise, how can we live a life without sin?