This passage shows that when you grasp the love of Christ for you, it changes your identity, and compels you to live differently. Fundamentally when you become a child of God, your relationship and practice of sin changes! You now because of Jesus have the power over sin, and the ability to live a righteous life. What John is saying here is that if you are truly born of God, you will live a life that reflects true righteousness, the same righteousness you find in Jesus Christ. There will be an outward evidence in your actions of an inward transformation in your heart. It will be authentic, not counterfeit. I want to give you a few thoughts tonight on authentic Christianity:
I. Authentic Christianity is born of God V. 29, 9
- Mark the word, born in verses 29 of chapter 2, and verse 9 of chapter 3. In our fallen human nature, we have a bent toward self-righteousness. We have an attitude or belief embedded in us that if we do good, we will be accepted by God and others.
- Cain had the idea if he does and brings this sacrifice then God would accept Him.
- The righteousness mentioned here is born of God, not man. God’s righteousness and acceptance of you depends solely on Him, not you. He already loves and imputes righteousness into your life at Salvation.
- Romans 4:22 says “And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.”
- John is saying that it is impossible to produce born again righteousness in your nature. What you need is something or in this case someone outside of you to come into your life and fundamentally change you at the core of who you are so then you can be righteous.
- It is not, “I am going to do right, then I will be a child of God.” It is “If you become a child of God, you will do right.”
- It is impossible for you to produce this righteousness until you have been born again. If this was not true, Jesus would not have told the most religious man he spoke with, Nicodemus, to be born again.
II. Authentic Christianity is motivated by God’s love for mankind V. 1
Not only does authentic Christianity come from God, it is motivated by the love of God for us. It is embedded into you and I to have this “If you do this for me, I will do this for you” mentality. It is an idea of self-righteousness that comes with the fallen nature that we all are born with. This idea of self-righteousness has the idea of “Look at me” or “I am better than you.” This is self-righteousness. Born again righteousness is where we now look at our lives not based upon how good we think we are, but based on how good God is. It changes the perspective to be on God, and not on ourselves. Born again righteousness always looks at the cross where Christ demonstrated His great love for us Romans 5:8
I have a daughter named Lynlee. She is now 14 months old, and she is my sweetheart! I love her so much. Sometimes (if you have kids, you know what I mean), she has some really bad days. She fusses and is cranky. Now, if my love was conditional, I would love her based on how she acts and behaves. The problem is that my love is unconditional. I love her regardless of how she acts. This is how God looks at you and I. His love is already there. His love is not dependent on your actions. My desire is for my daughter not to perform to receive my love, but perform because of my love. I want her to be so in love with her daddy that she desires to do right because of that. You see, nothing can make God love you more or less. When you come in contact with that love, it moves you to righteousness.It is only through the love of Jesus that you can begin to live a righteous life.
III. Authentic Christianity looks radically different from the world
As you experience the righteousness of Jesus, your life will begin to look radically different from it was before Christ. Someone who is born of God will look different from someone who is not born of God. Why? Because of born again righteousness. This kind of righteousness is more than good living or morality. You remember when you were saved? Your life began to change. Look at the word, seed in verse 9. I want you to think of an actual seed. If I was to bring a bunch of different vegetable seeds into my office, and claimed that I would put them in a box and in 6 months expect vegetables, I would be crazy. The seed is still there, but there is no fruit. Why? Because in the seed lies the potential and power of the fruit. It is by the seed that we have our fruit. The seed is the Word of God. The seed is the Spirit of God. Inside of every one of you lies the seed of potential and power of Almighty God, but it has to be watered, it has to be planted, and it has to be cultivated. You say, what do you mean? Do you want to live out Christ’ righteousness? Get in the Word of God! Get in church where the Bible is preached. Get in a Bible fellowship program where the Bible is used. Get involved in service, act out the Christian principles and disciplines.
Is there evidence that there is the life of God in you?