July 10, 2016

Destroying the Works of the Devil

First announced in Eden, God in Christ has a cosmic program to destroy the works of the Devil; we are to take part in Christ's work to defeat all His enemies.

Scripture:  1 John 3:4-10

Sermon Notes:

  1. John counters errors in the early church by showing that habitual persistence in a lifestyle of sin is contrary to the purpose of Christ’s first appearing.
  2. Sin is universal; if we say that we’re sinless and that we have no need of redemption then we are liars.
  3. Sin is willful rebellion against God’s law. The law identifies sin and is integral to the gospel (1 Tim. 1:8-11).
  4. Lawlessness is a repeated theme in Scripture; there is an antithesis between the destiny of righteousness and lawlessness (2 Thes. 2:1-12).
  5. John, the apostle of love, speaks strongly against lawlessness and antinomianism.
  6. We see the total collapse of law and order in this week’s world news. Only Christ is the answer to this lawlessness.
  7. The world excuses sin as mere personality problems.
  8. As in the early church, likewise today many Christians reject the law of God and deny their own sinfulness.
  9. Jesus came not to destroy the law (Matt. 5:17-19) but to take away sin (1 Jn. 3:5).
  10. Christ was sinless that He might remove our sin (2 Cor. 5:21) and obtain victory over sin and death.
  11. If the purpose of Christ was to remove sin, then no one who lives in Him makes a practice of sinning.
  12. Despite attempts to endorse sin by some clergy, it is impossible to reconcile lawlessness and Christ.
  13. Today Christian leaders are leading Christians morally astray. Christ and sin are not compatible.
  14. It is absurd to claim to be righteous without practicing righteousness. It is impossible to be a Christian and live a lifestyle of rebellion. John says, let no one deceive you.
  15. In the Fall we find the origin of the enmity between God and sin; because of this enmity, sin, the Devil and all his works must be destroyed.
  16. God in Christ has a cosmic program to destroy the works of the Devil which was first announced in Eden (Gen. 3:15).
  17. The works of the Devil are all those things he has put in the world to destroy God’s creation: conflict, sickness, disease, intellectual error, temptation to sin, pornography, no-fault divorce, false prophecy, heresy, etc.
  18. Sin puts us at war with God and poisons our relationships.
  19. Christ came to destroy the works of the Devil. We are to take part in Christ’s work to put all His enemies under his footstool (Psalm 110).
  20. In the gospel, deliverance from the penalty of sin is coupled with deliverance from the power and corruption of sin.
  21. If we compromise regarding sin and Satan we put ourselves at enmity with God.
  22. The one born of God bears His name and therefore must reflect a life of deliverance from the power of sin.
  23. Christians do stumble and fall into occasional sin. What sets apart true believers is that we confess our sins and repent regularly.
  24. Sin which is of a settled character which we do not struggle against may indicate that we are not born of God.
  25. God is the creator of all mankind; but He is the Father only of those covenantally related to God in Christ.

Application Questions:

  1. What was Jesus’ mission with respect to the law? What was His mission with respect to sin?
  2. When does it become necessary to identify false teachers who try to reconcile Christian faith with lawlessness?
  3. What are the works of the Devil?
  4. What differentiates a sinner who is born of God from one who is not?
  5. How can we take part in Christ’s work to put all His enemies under His footstool?
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