The world of sports gives each of us an understanding of what it means to have opposition. Even today, across this nation, each NFL team will play an opponent. The the two teams line up facing opposite directions, they wear different colors of jerseys, and each team is trying to stop the other. During a game, it’s clear that each team opposes the other.
Speaking of opposition, in the book of 1 John, opposition is a major theme. In fact, we have already studied at least three areas of opposition:
- Darkness opposes light (1 John 1:5)
- Loving your brother opposes hating your brother (1 John 2:9-10)
- Loving the world opposes loving the Father (1 John 2:15)
Today, in our text of 1 John 3:4-10, we find at least three more areas of opposition:
- Sin opposes God’s Standards (1 John 3:4)
- Sin opposes the Life and Work of Jesus (1 John 3:5)
- Sin opposes Christian Character (1 John 3:6-10)
The oppositions are pretty easy to see: First of all, God’s ultimate standard is His law (Psalm 19:7-14), and John defines sin as lawlessness. Secondly, Jesus’ life was perfect…never once did he sin (Heb 4:15 and 1 John 3:5). So the third point then comes in the text by conclusion…since we believe sin is opposed to God’s law and the life work of Jesus, it makes no sense that habitual and continual sin would be part of the Christian character of believers. For Christians to fall into continual, habitual sin denies sanctification and the “new creation” of being in Christ (2 Cor 5:17).
But what is amazing is this… that “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him, we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor 5:21)! Yes, for our sake, Christ became the thing that the law and Christ opposed most vehemently. And in this is the love of God for you and me.
Rev. Adam Mumpower, Senior Pastor