[SW303] 11/03/2017 message notes by
Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2017
What It Means To Be Purified
God’s love for us is very great, but by your deeds, you reveal whether your heart has been purified. If you are pure, you do not sin any longer!
Text: 1John 3:1-16
Oh, beloved, the great love of the Father, that He has made us His children! He has bestowed it on us, He has given it to us! It is worthy of a —
And NOW we are children of God. We do not know what we will be when we see Him, but we know this —
1Corinthians 2:9 but just as it is written,
“Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard,
And which have not entered the heart of man,
All that God has prepared for those who love Him.”
Time for another —
What we DO know is that we will be like Jesus because we will see Him just as He is. We will have an incorruptible, spiritual body, as He does (see 1Corinthians 15:42-44). When He prays for His Father to give us the same nature as the Father, and fill us with the same love the Father has for Him, he says —
John 17:24 “Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.”
And He continues to transform you from one degree of Christlikeness to the next, if the Holy Spirit has filled you (2 Corinthians 3:18)!
Therefore, far be it from any Christian, that they would walk differently than Jesus, or that they would blend in with the world!
When you are filled with His Spirit, you become His witness here, But many are not filled, and as a result, many Christians blend in with the world.
Do you know that the world does not know (understand, comprehend) you, if you belong to Jesus Christ? Why? Because it does not know Him.
AND because you know Him, you do not do what the world does. You have entered into life as God has it, through Jesus Christ!
You have purified your heart! What does that mean?
In Verse 3, John speaks of you purifying your heart! You have gone to your Father and asked Him to do it. You have purified your heart because of all the hope that Verses 1 and 2 give you! Your heart is pure, just as Jesus Christ’s heart is pure!!! That’s how you are able to walk as He walked, and do as He does, and not sin!
What? You may exclaim, “That’s not what I see my fellow Christian doing!” Or, “That’s not what my preacher preaches!” Or you may say to me, “I sin, but thanks be to God for the blood that covers me!” But what does the Word of God say? Hmmm —
Hebrews 10:26 For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries.
Oh, today is a great day to repent, if you are relying on something someone else said or did, instead of relying on and believing the Word of God!
In Verse 4, John is very blunt. If you DO (that is, commit) sin, then you also DO (commit) lawlessness (wickedness), and sin is lawlessness. You willfully disobey God. That is wickedness!
Jesus Christ appeared in order to take away sins, and in Him there is no sin. SO, if you abide in Him and Him in you, then you do not sin.
AND what if you sin? What if you willfully disobey God, O Christian? No one who sins has seen (experienced) Him or knows Him!
Oh, little children, infants in Christ, make sure no one deceives you! There are many deceivers, even in pulpits! And make sure that you are not deceiving yourself1
Here is the truth — the one who does righteousness is righteous, just as Jesus Christ is righteous. That is because Jesus Christ and the Father and the Spirit, and therefore their righteousness, has filled that one!
And what of the one who willfully disobeys God? That one is of the devil, says the Spirit-inspired John! If you willfully sin against God, you do as Satan now does, and as he has done from the beginning.
You will say, “What do you mean? Can’t I just sin and just repent and sin and repent and sin and repent?”
Beloved, I am just repeating what the Word of God says! Do you want to dispute His Word?
But here is the great thing — the Son of God, Jesus Christ, came to DESTROY the works of the devil (SIN)!!! That calls for a —
John is bold again — NO ONE who is born of God, begotten of Him, DOES sin, because God’s seed abides in that one. God’s seed is God’s Son, and He abides (permanently dwells) in you when you purify yourself!
But how can you purify yourself? Can you work at it and finally get there?
No! I can no more purify myself than I can save myself. But if you ask your Father in heaven to fill you with the Holy Spirit, He will purify your heart (Acts 15:9).
Those who are filled with God’s Holy Spirit do not sin, and CANNOT sin because they are born of God. This is beyond salvation, beloved. It is entire sanctification, a completely purging of and death to the sin nature, when He comes in and purifies your heart. Then you do not willfully disobey God any more.
So, how does John determine the children of God and the children of the devil?
— If you DO NOT DO righteousness, you are not of God, and
— if you DO NOT love with His actual love, you are not of Him.
“Love of God that does not result in obedience to the Word of God cannot be the love that is God’s gift in Jesus Christ (Source: Expositor’s Bible Commentary).”
God’s gift! His divine love with which He fills us, not human love!
As in 1John 2:7-8, the message is this — you must love one another with God’s actual love! It is a selfless, self-giving, outwardly focused love that humans are not born with. It is God who gives you the gift of His divine nature and His love, by the Holy Spirit, when you are filled with Him!
John says, do not be like Cain, who hated Abel and murdered him because Abel was righteous and Cain was not righteous — His heart was full of hate.
Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer. Hate is the same as murder in God’s eyes. And hate is not confined to hate groups — it is in every human heart, before God purifies your heart.
The world will hate you. It will want to murder you. That’s because you are like Christ (John 15:18-19).
But here is how you know you have passed out of death and into life — you love the brethren (our fellow Christians) with God’s actual love! But if you hate rather than love, you remain dead.
How often have I seen extreme fighting in the church? It should never be!
Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and no murderer has Christ’s life in them. just as Jesus says —
Matthew 5:20 “For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. (It must be HIS righteousness, in you!!!)
Matthew 5:21 “You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not commit murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ 22 “But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court (of murder); and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.”
And how do you know what God’s actual love looks like?
You lay down your life for the brethren.
It is more than taking a bullet for your buddy, though that is noble. It is to die to your sin nature so His divine nature lives in you. It is to do Romans 12:1, because you have realized what God has done for you —
Romans 12:1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed (metamorphoo, a complete transformation) by the renewing (renovation) of your mind (the root of this word is ginosko, intimate knowledge and experience of God’s work in your heart), so that you may prove (be the proof of) what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Then you are fully empowered to walk as Jesus walked, with your fellow Christians, and to shine out into the darkness of this world, so peoples and nations and kings come to the Light that is in you!
If you see one of your brethren in need and do not help him, you reveal that God’s love has not filled your heart. Those with God’s actual love in their hearts do not just say they love our brothers and sisters — they show it by compassion toward their brothers and sisters!
Such actions reveal that you are of the truth — you live the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In Verse 19, John says you will know by this that you are of the truth, and will assure your heart before Him. Why will you need to assure our heart?
When your heart condemns you, not because of sin (you do not do that any more) but because of the unrelenting attacks of those who come against the truth.
I have this in my own walk, many times — someone comes against me because of my teaching, and I go to the Lord, asking, “Is what they are saying true? Is there something you need to change in me?”
God is greater than my heart and knows all things. He knows what is in my heart.
And God assures me that regardless of someone’s objections, I am right before Him and His love has filled my heart. I have assurance because even when I am attacked, I love with His love, and my motive for what I do is love. I have assurance when I am compassionate toward brethren who are in need.
And best of all, beloved, if His love has filled your heart and you have his assurance, whatever you ask from Him, you receive from Him, because you obey Him and do the things that are pleasing in His sight! Glory to God, for it is His gift, not anything you or I can work!
John reminds you again God’s commandments that you believe in Jesus Christ, and that you love each other with His love — that is, you love God with all your heart, mind, and strength, and your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:30-31).
How do you know you abide in God the Father and God the Father abides in you? You keep His commandments, because the Holy Spirit has purified your heart. You know that He abides in you by the Holy Spirit whom He has given you.
So, how is it with you? Do you have hate in your heart toward someone?
Do you love the world and its things? Are you friends with the world? Or do they wonder why you don’t join in their “fun?”
1Peter 4:4 In all this, they are surprised that you do not run with them into the same excesses of dissipation (unsavedness), and they malign you;
Does the world not know you because you are fully Christ’s and are filled with His Holy Spirit?
Do you sin? Then you do not intimately know Jesus Christ, and you are doing what Satan does and has done from the beginning.
While it is still Today, do not harden your heart Hebrews 3:14-15)! Pray to truly receive Jesus as Lord! It is much more than repeating some words at an altar, or raising your hand while you sit in your seat, after all eyes are closed so no one can see you. Oh, my — heavens no! You will know by a sudden cry in your heart, “Abba! Father!”
Then, ask your Father in heaven to change your heart and fill it with His love! If you are listening to me today, He has called you. And He who called you is faithful, and He will do it, just as Paul prays for the church at Thessalonica —
1Thessalonians 5:23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.