A few Sundays ago we began looking at three reasons or motivations for living righteously. The Apostle John tells his congregation: First—Live Righteously Because of the Affection of the Father. According to the first two verses of 1 John 3, the Apostle reminds us that God’s adopting love lavishes grace upon the undeserving sinner who comes to Him by faith in His Son.
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.” (1 John 3:1–3, NIV84).
Just as earthly sons and daughters want to please a loving, doting father by obeying and honoring him, so spiritual sons and daughters want to obey and honor their Heavenly Father by living righteously in an unrighteous world.
The Apostle John tells his congregation: Second—Live Righteously Because of the Manifestation of the Son. Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, came into the world, born of the Virgin, to saves sinners from the eternal penalty and power of sin as well as breaking the dominion of Satan in their lives.
"But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin." (1 John 3:5, NIV84)
"Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work." (1 John 3:7–8, NIV84)
While Christians will continue to transgress God’s laws and commands, sin and Satan no longer have dominion over us as they do the lost person. The believer is capable of practicing righteousness. Our motivation for doing so is the love of God the Father shed abroad in our hearts and the presence of God the Son in the world to make atonement for sin.
This morning I want you to see a third reason for the Apostle John gives his congregation— Live Righteously Because of the Regeneration of the Holy Spirit. God had given us His Spirit, and it is this Holy Spirit who works the works of God in us, urging us on in our desire to live for Christ and like Christ.
This morning, I want us to take a few moments to examine this third motivation for holy living.
*“For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.” (1 Peter 1:23, NIV84)
The Apostle John writes to his congregation to assure them that there are certain identifying
marks that reveal the authenticity of a person’s faith.
We’ve already looked at several of these authenticating marks:
Over the last three Sundays, we’ve discovered that the Apostle lays out another authenticating mark—A Genuine Christian will live righteously in an unrighteous world. Our motivation for doing so is three-fold: