The Purpose of Christ’s Appearing 1 John 3:4-10

Today, we are going to look at six verses. That is a significant block of Scripture. It all ties together, and it’s exceptionally difficult and pointed. I believe it will speak to us in a very direct way.

I John 3:4-10

Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

Truth is contained in the Bible, truth that can change lives. But this truth must be acted upon. May I encourage you to ask God to give you the ability to act upon this truth.

We will answer this question this morning: Why did God come as a baby, die as a man, and resurrect Himself from the dead? We will endeavor to answer this as we work our way through verses four through ten. So let’s look back at verse four.

Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: sin is the transgression of the law.

What is sin? The transgression of the law. This is not limited to the Mosaic Law. Don’t think of this in terms of the Mosaic Law because there was sin in the Garden of Eden, and the Mosaic Law had not been delivered yet. What was the sin in the Garden of Eden? God said, Eat of any tree you want, but not this one. It was really simple. This tree is off limits. Have as much as you want of any other tree. Enjoy it; take care of it, but don’t eat of this one. Why did God do that? He doesn’t tell us. He does not reveal to us what was so special about that tree other by calling it by a particular name. He doesn’t give us the reason behind it. Does He have to? No, He does not. He is able to communicate an expectation and then let it go at that, and it is our responsibility as mortal beings to obey Him. Just obey Him because He said it. You say, Pastor what about those people who do not have a law? God has a law and those who violate, ignore, or rebel against that law are living in a state of lawlessness.

Romans 2:14-15.
For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;

Right and wrong is embedded in their very conscience. So when they do what is right or they do what is wrong, they communicate that they know what is right because God put it there. Either your conscience is working to get you right with God or your conscience is being used to justify your sin. The Bible says the heart is deceitfully wicked, who can know it? We can easily be led astray and justified in our own sin, but the law brings us back on course. The law gets us straight.

God’s Law
The Bible says we need to hide God’s Word in our heart. Why? So that we do not sin. Let me ask you a very pointed question. Do you find yourself more victorious over sin on the days in which you find time to open the Word of God? When you start the day off in the Word of God, do you find that you do not sin as quickly? Do you find that you are more victorious in your walk with Christ when you take the law of God, open it up, and say “Speak to me, O God. Give me a truth to apply to my life. I want to be victorious today.” The Bible is teaching us that this law helps us and encourages us.

Psalm 119:97 O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.
Memorize this.

Psalm 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

Christ Appeared
1 John 3:5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin.

He came as a baby, was born of a Virgin, lived a sinless life, was crucified by the Romans under the petition of the Jews, was buried, and 3 days later rose from the grave. He spent the next 40 days appearing unto a multitude of people with the express purpose of demonstrating that He rose from the grave. Why did He do all that? What was His express purpose? What was His intent behind doing that? The Bible tells us in 1 John 3:6 that the answer is: to take away sins. God desired an end to sin, so much so, that He sent His only begotten Son to the earth to make it possible to be victorious over sin.

1 John 3:6a Whosoever abideth in him, sinneth not:

What does “sinneth not” mean?

What Christian does not sin? You might say, “I don’t understand this verse. How long can a Christian go without sinning? Certainly you are not suggesting that I have to receive a state of sinless perfection. That can’t be what that verse is communicating because I sin every day.” I do too. It’s a battle. So maybe this is talking to us about our attitude toward personal sin.

What should our attitude be about personal sin? Should we be defeated? Should we conclude that it’s just the way I am? Should we conclude that I am just addicted? I am just rude. I am just short-tempered. That is just the way I am. Should we just give up the victory over sin? Should I decide that it is just the way I am, and I’m never going to have victory, or are we able to be victorious? How should we see sin? We should see that our sin is a sin against God. Psalm 51 is the Psalm in which we have the tremendous privilege of eavesdropping on David’s time of confession with God. We go into David’s private prayer closet, and we listen to him journal before God. We get to see the fight within him. We get to go back in time 4,000 years, and we see how David responded to sin in his own life. See if you can relate to what David says:

Psalm 51:1-3
Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of they tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.

When was the last time you can recall going before God and saying something like “Wash me from top to bottom, God.” When was the last time you can recall going before God and saying, “My sin is right there. God, I am convicted to the core of my being, and I need to be cleansed.” Such misperception of God’s plan of sanctification is that we confess sin one time at the beginning of our Christian walk and then we are good to go. That is it. We pray a prayer of confession for our sin; we receive Jesus into our life, and now we are good to go. I am here to tell you that the Christian battles sin all the days of his life. Confession needs to be a regular part of your spiritual disciplines. I am here to tell you that the idea that you and I can achieve some state that we no longer need to confess sin is not theoretical. Notice verse number four please:

Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.

Do you see that your sin and my sin is first and foremost a sin against God? We are so quick to justify our sin. David did not attempt to justify his sin. He said God, I sinned against you, first and foremost. My rudeness, my inconsiderateness, my selfishness, and my self-righteous attitude, first and foremost God, are sins before You. My incessant profanity at work, my inability to get righteousness into my work life, my ability to have this “double life” in which I look this way on Sunday but Monday through Friday at Ft. Bragg I am a different person is a sin first and foremost before a Holy and Righteous God. The only way you and I are going to begin to get victory over sin is if we see that we have sinned first and foremost against God. And I am here to tell you that if you do not immerse yourself in a Bible believing church, you are never going to have the victory because the culture that we live in does not encourage you to see yourself as a sinner. The culture that we live in encourages you to see yourself as a morally decent person. And so there is not hope. Let’s continue in the text as we look at David as he calls out:

Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.

The inward part: You don’t ever see my inward part; I don’t ever see your inward part. Inside, I’m not talking about what you can see; I’m not talking about the white shirt; I’m talking about behind that. Your inside: God knows our hearts and David says, “I want truth in my inward parts.” You know we can play the part and fake it while we are at church, but God knows our heart. God knows our attitude. We cannot hide from Him. Look at verses number seven through nine.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou has broken may rejoice.
Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out mine iniquities.

David is concerned about the sin that is in his life. He wants that sin eradicated. It bothers him that God is seeing sin in his life. He wants to be holy. He wants to be righteous. He is not content with having a habit that he cannot get victory over. He is not content with saying, “Well, I just have a foul mouth.”, or “Well, I’m just addicted”, or you fill in the blank. He is saying, I want the victory in these areas! Please continue with verse ten through eleven.

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.

Are you able, as we look at this passage, to get a sense of what it must have been like when he penned these words? Do you get a sense of how broken he must have been? This is not something that you write out and have a nonchalant attitude about. When you are writing something like this, when you are saying “create in me a clean heart” you are down on your knees, and you are bawling. You want this sin removed from in front of you; you want the victory.

Please turn back to 1 John 3:6 as we continue in our text.
1 John 3:6a
Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not:

Other English Renderings
What did the Apostle John mean in vs. 6?
• Does not sin
• Sinneth not
• Keeps on sinning
• does not continue to sin
• does not sin
• not habitually sinning

When we are sinning, we are not abiding in Jesus! Let’s go back and let a dead man talk. Let’s listen to what Matthew Henry has to tell us.

Matthew Henry Commentary
“Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not:” v. 6. To sin here is the same as to commit sin (v. 8, 9), and to commit sin is to practice sin. He that abideth in Christ continues not in the practice of sin. As a vital union with the Lord Jesus broke the power of sin in the heart and nature, so continuance therein prevents the regency and prevalence thereof in the life and conduct.” And so Jesus Christ came to break the power and bond that sin has in your life. Why am I so passionate about this? I am so passionate about this because I am so tired of Gospel presentations revolving around eternal life, a box, and a Christmas gift. Jesus came and died the most miserable death on a bloody cross so that we can get victory over sin right now. This day. This minute. Right now. Not when I die and go to heaven. Right now. Christians are supposed to be living victorious lives over sin. When? Now. Present tense. Gospel presentations that make no mention of sin, talk all about what you get some day as if it’s a car salesman trying to convince you to buy an SUV.

1 John 3:6b
Whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.

If no check against habitual sin in your life exists, John’s pronouncement is absolutely clear: salvation never took place. (J.M. Study Bible) If you can sin and sin and sin, and there is nothing in you that says “Get it right. Get it right.” If you can go day after day and be rude; if you can go day after day and be selfish, or go or week after week without giving, or you can go week after week without serving; if there is nothing in your life saying “Get it right. Get it right,” then how do you know you are in Christ? If you can remain in that adulterous relationship and the Holy Spirit is not beating you up and saying “Get out of that sin.” If you can night after night creep into the family room while the entire house is asleep and turn on the computer ever so quietly. If you can do that night after night and the Holy Spirit is not beating you up over that, and you are not falling on your knees confessing that sin, John says, “Don’t kid yourself.” Your eternity might be in the balance. You say, Pastor, you have preached on this several times. Let me tell you why I have preached on this several times: Because the text has preached on it several times. Do you understand that we are not still in Chapter 1, we are in Chapter 3, and John has repeated himself. Why is he doing that? For emphasis. Because he knows God’s people do not get it right away. We need to hear it again and again. I need to hear it again and again.

“Sinneth.” Every Christian sins. Sinless perfection is a heretical doctrine invented by man. This must be the idea of “keeps on sinning.”

“God sent his Son to take away the sins of the world, NOT to allow “Christians” to remain in a state of lawlessness and then be granted eternal life, as though the continual presence of sin, without restraint, was of little or no concern to the Holiness of God. God delivers people OUT of sin.” Sean Harris

Look at verse number seven.
Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.

Pastors, we are living in a day and time where people want assurance of their salvation as they stay in sin. They want to be assured that they are going to heaven. And let me tell you something in no uncertain terms, God does not permit assurance of salvation if someone is in sin. You will not have assurance of your salvation if you live in sin. Consider Psalm 51. What was David saying? “Take not the holy spirit from me.” Why? Because he was concerned that the sin with Bathsheba and the subsequent murder was enough to end his relationship with God. And so he had no assurance at that point because his sin was ever before him. When our sin is ever before us and we are not making progress in holy living, we will not have assurance of our salvation. Who then has the assurance of salvation? Those who practice righteousness. When we leave this corporate body and we are kind, considerate, compassionate, worshipful, obedient, giving people demonstrating the fruit of the spirit, we then will have assurance. But the person who has abandoned God and is not participating in worship living in sin will not have assurance. They may be saved. They very well may be saved, but they will not experience assurance. Look back at verse number seven and I want to compare it with 1 John 2:29.

Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. (1 John 3:7)

If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him. (1 John 2:29)

So you see, it is not that Pastor Sean is repeating himself Sunday after Sunday. It’s that the Word of God is repeating itself. Verse number seven is very similar to verse number twenty-nine.
Look at 1 John 3:8a
He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning.

Please notice this second part of this verse. I would encourage you to underline it.
For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Don’t miss that sentence. That is a powerful sentence. Someone asks you, “Why did the Son of God come?” You need a purpose statement. Your purpose statement is: to destroy the works of the devil. That means when the work of the devil is in my life, I need Him to destroy it. Lying, cheating, adultery, rudeness—these are all works of the devil. So then what should my thoughts and reasoning be? I should take a hold of that verse, and say ‘You came to destroy the works of the devil.” I should be willing to fall down in my private prayer closet and I should get down on my knees and say, “God Almighty, destroy the works of the devil in my life. I don’t want the devil working in my life, God. God, examine every aspect of my life, look at every area in my life and I want you to God, to pierce into the depths of my inward parts and I want you do destroy that work. I’m selfish. Destroy my selfishness. I’m rude. Destroy my rudeness.” And let me tell you something, I am preaching to myself first and foremost because I do not have anything wrapped up. I can get foul so quickly it is unbelievable. I had to tell my best friend yesterday that we should stop talking because I was foul, and I was just going to sin if I kept talking. That is just me. I know myself. I am a sinner. I am not going to try to present myself as some self-righteous person, because I’m not. I can get foul that quick. And foulness is a sin. It is not a work of God. It is a work of the devil. So what then should the preacher’s attitude be? The preacher’s attitude should be “God cleanse me in my inward parts. You know me God, come and destroy my foul spirit.” Let’s forget about heaven for a few minutes and let’s concentrate on living righteous lives on this earth. Right here and right now. Sometimes the Bible is encouraging us to look for His coming. But sometimes the Bible is encouraging us to get to work and get focused on working. We have this paradoxical presentation sometimes. Sometimes we are supposed to be focused on thinking about Heaven all the time. Other times, it is telling us to get focused and get working and doing labor. And do you know what, when you are doing labor, you need to do it right.

1 John 3:8a
He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning.

This cannot be one sin; for all have sinned and Christians sin and receive forgiveness according to 1 John 1:9 and especially vs. 10. So this has to be talking about the habitual sin. It has to be talking about the inability to get victory.

1 John 1:10
If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Here’s John’s Point:
No Christian is without sin, but if a person’s life is characterized by an inability to be victorious over sin, their father is the devil. You say that is awfully harsh. These are not my words. I am not the one who inserted “devil” into the text. John did under the Divine influence of the Holy Spirit. We call it inspiration.

Look at 1 John 3:6 again
Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.

Look back at 1 John 1:6
If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not walk in the truth.

You say, Pastor, I have it right. I have been a Christian for 20 years. Don’t kid yourself. What is a major sin that we could battle with? Self-righteousness. Self-righteousness is a sin that Christ went after more than any other sin if you read your Gospels. Pharisee-tical vipers. You are not going to make any friends calling them vipers. Jesus went after self-righteousness with a passion and I need to constantly be keeping self-righteousness in check in my life.

Why did He Come?
For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
Vs. 6: to take away sins
Vs. 8: to destroy the works of the devil
Knowing Christ means becoming involved in an all-out war against the “works of the devil,” that is, the practice of sinning.

Is the American church still involved in a corporate battle against SIN? I don’t think so. I think we are assembling together on Sunday mornings to check the block most of the time. We feel good about ourselves. We tell ourselves that God loves us and we go out the door and keep on sinning. And the reason we can’t overturn Roe versus Wade is because the church is not in a corporate battle against sin. We are more concerned with the redistribution of wealth. Watch how the election goes on November 4th, and you’ll see what I mean.

Look at 1 John 3:9
Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

The “seed” represents that which cannot be seen, but is implanted by God into Christians, making them new creatures in Christ. As a Parent, have you ever told your child that they can’t do something that they were fully capable of doing, but you used the word “cannot” as a prohibition? Christians are prohibited from sinning! You say, but I do. Then confess it and get about not sinning again. We cannot give up the battle against sin, church. The very name “Jesus” reminds me why He came to this earth.

Why Did He Come?
Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

When is He going to save them from their sins? Right now. Jesus came to save (deliver or rescue) me from sin RIGHT NOW—present tense verb. Today. This very moment. Whatever the sin is. What is the first step in being rescued from SIN? Repentance. That is the very first step. How do I get rid of sin in my life, Pastor? Repent. Whatever the sin is? Yes. How do I know how serious repentance should be? What ever the sin is repent. For the momentary moment of rudeness, stop and confess that sin and get on. Falling into adultery? You might need to get down on your knees and fall before God and really get right with Him. But it is going to start with repentance. What is repentance? It is the turning away from sin as we turn towards God. Whatever the sin is. How does this work? I find myself in sin, “God you know I sinned again. You know I lost it, please, I confess my sin before You, cleanse me from all unrighteousness” and then I believe the Gospel. What is the Gospel? It’s the good news that Christ came to take away sins. And so I believe that He gives me the power to be victorious. Stop smoking for two hours. Stop smoking for one day. Stop smoking for three days. I’ll change the subject. Stop over eating for one day. Stop over eating for two days. Whatever your sin is. What happens when I fail? Repent and believe the Gospel. Stop being rude. Stop being lazy. Stop being inconsiderate. It does not matter what it is, church. The solution is always the same: Repent and believe the Gospel. What does that mean? Turn from your sin and turn toward the One that can give you the power to have victory. I can’t do that for you, only Christ has the power to do that because He is the One that came to take away the sins of the world and to destroy the works of the devil.

Children's Choir Director

In this week’s bulletin note, I am announcing our need for a children’s choir director. Our children from age four through 6th grade should be singing and learning wonderful, biblical, Christ-exalting songs on a weekly basis. We need a lady who can sing and knows music and LOVES children to lead this effort on a consistent basis.

Our Power Hour (children’s church) is a great time to practice with many of our children; the Sunday evening worship time is another great time to practice with the ones who don’t go to Power Hour.

Sunday school and the morning worship time is also a good time to practice with the four and five year olds.

Easter will be here very soon, and it’s time to begin preparing for this celebration of Christ’s Resurrection.

This will be a very part-time staff position with a small compensation package to help offset the extra time weekly that someone would put into preparing for Sundays.

I am asking for a one year commitment; candidates must be members of BBC and willing to adhere to the standards for employees in the church constitution and further clarified in an employee expectations statement. The children’s choir director will answer directly to the children’s ministry director and work with BBA’s music director for help, support and mentorship.

If you are interested in applying for this staff position, please call the church or send Mrs. Pidkaminy an email. Her email addresses is We will begin interviewing for the position after the New Year.

My goal is to hear from our children’s choirs about every eight weeks with special songs on Sunday mornings and then with mini-concerts and such for Easter and Christmas.

I hope God will provide an awesome person who can pull the very best out of our children as they hide God’s Word in their heart in song and glorify His most Holy Name.



At the turn of the twentieth century, those involved in the Protestant movement, later identified as Fundamentalism, were actively engaged in the defense of the inerrancy of the Word of God in the original manuscripts against liberal theologians who believed the Bible contained falsities. Liberal theologians believed the Bible contained truth but was not entirely without error. This was especially prevalent in Germany where liberals like Rudolf Karl Bultmann denied the supernatural and the truthfulness of Scripture in cases where it presents narratives that cannot be explained by science. Narratives like the creation of Adam from the dust of the earth or the virgin conception of the Son of God are examples of Scriptural accounts that liberals challenge as fictitious or mythological. Higher criticism, with origins also in Europe, attacked the credibility of Scripture with various theories denying the traditional orthodox understanding of authorship. One example was the JEPD theory or Documentary Hypothesis advanced by Julius Wellhausen which denied the traditional understanding that Moses authored the Pentateuch and the book of Joshua.

Fundamentalists, from various mainline denominations, like R.A. Torrey, C.I. Scofield, A.C. Dixon, W.B. Riley, J. Gresham Machen, J. Frank Norris, John R. Rice and countless other pastors and professors, fought against attacks on the authority and truthfulness of the Bible. According to Dr. David O. Beale, of Bob Jones University, these fundamentalists did not agree on every interpretation of the Bible, especially in the area of eschatology, but they did unite on the “Bible alone, without question, as the divinely and verbally inspired, inerrant, and authoritative Word of God.” Dr. P.D. Feinberg gives significant credit to “Princeton theologians Archibald Alexander, Charles Hodge, A.A. Hodge, and B.B. Warfield as modern formulators and defenders of the full inerrancy and infallibility of Scripture.”

It is nearly impossible to overemphasize the importance a fundamentalist places on the authority and reliability of the Bible. For over one hundred years fundamentalists have held the inerrancy of the Bible as a supremely important fundamental of the faith once delivered by the Lord Jesus and His Apostles. However, it appears that at the turn of the century, some fundamentalists have also begun to fight over the inerrancy of one particular translation—the King James Bible—with the same intensity and energy of their forefathers at the previous turn of the century. Dr. William W. Combs, of Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary, writes “today there are those who teach that one Bible, the KJV, has no errors. Certainly, no one is arguing, or has apparently every argued, that any other English translation is without error.” But today fundamentalist professors, preachers, and papers like the Sword of the Lord are more concerned with defending the preeminence of the KJV Bible than the inerrancy of the original manuscripts. Sword of the Lord Publishers, first online Article of Faith presents the KJV Bible as inerrant. The fight has changed and the preeminent fundamentalists of the twentieth century would not agree with some of the fundamentalists of the twenty-first century concerning what is and is not inerrrant. The purpose of this paper is to familiarize the reader with the original fight that began in the 1900s and the transition that has occurred in the some camps of the fundamentalist movement in the present age.

Hating Sin Like God Hates Sin

The psalmist said, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” I wonder to what degree each of us understands how much God cannot look upon SIN. According to Habakkuk 1:13: God’s pure eyes cannot even look upon sin.

We hear this and we know this, yet I am guilty of praying without confessing sin. This must be because I don’t have same hatred for sin that my God has for sin. It must be that I don’t understand how sin interferes with my fellowship with God.

God hates sin: God has a righteous, holy indignation toward all sin; He has a righteous anger that fully understands the degree to which sin has ruined all that He has created and is still creating.

God does, must, and will pour out wrath against sin; God is the perfect Parent and cannot allow sin to go unpunished. He is never slack, and He is never tired. The world has experienced God’s holy wrath against sin, the world is experiencing God’s holy wrath toward sin; and God’s wrath toward sin is being stored up against the world even now as we speak.

And for every day that God is merciful and delays His judgment, that same judgment becomes more and more severe until such a time that the wrath being stored up is equal to what is described in the book of Revelation and then the world will experience judgment for its sin.


The Bible is full of examples of God’s wrath. All that was in the world, save Noah, his family, and a few animals, was destroyed by God’s wrath because the wickedness of man was so great and every plan and aspiration of man was evil. So God vowed to destroy all that He had created, and if Noah had not found favor in God’s eyes—we have no idea what the future would have held for humans.

One cannot count the number of times that all of Israel would have been consumed by God’s wrath if Moses, a righteous man, was not continually intervening on Israel’s behalf. In fact, the Bible records a time when God told Moses to get out of the way and let Him alone so that He could burn down upon all of Israel with a red-hot wrath that would consume them all except Moses.

God destroyed entire cities in the Old Testament and Israel was commanded to kill entire nations—men, women, children, and anything that had a pulse because of their sinful nature.


Today in the 21st century, man in general and Christians in particular have concocted a fairly tale of sorts that the God of the OT is a different God than the God of the NT, and now God does not have the same degree of wrath toward sin that He previously had.

We live in sin; we regard sin in our hearts and openly ignore God’s commandments; and still we pray, pray, and pray again believing that because we are NT Christians, God will give us a bye on our sin.


Question: Have we forgotten that the New Testament contains a far greater, perhaps the greatest, example of God is wrath being poured out on sin than example in the Old Testament?

Are you thinking? Are you running through ideas and Biblical references? Are you thinking about the book of Revelation? If you are thinking about that book, you’re cold.

The greatest example of God’s extreme hatred and in ability to even look upon sin has already occurred.

The book of Matthew records one cry, one utterance, one amazing question, that must have wrenched the very heart of God more than anything He has ever heard or will hear for all eternity.

This historical event reveals more than any other verse or passage of Scripture the degree to which God cannot look upon sin; the degree to which God hates sin; the degree to which I must strive to hate sin like God hates sin.

With a writing instrument that was probably shaking and tears that may have been ready to drop to the parchment under his pen, the Apostle Matthew records that is was about the ninth hour of the day when Jesus cried out with a loud voice saying, “Eli, Eli lama sabachthani?” And then Mathew translates this Hebrew/Aramaic phrase in which Jesus asked, His God, His Father why had He forsaken Him?

Jesus doesn’t ask because He doesn’t know the answer. Jesus is God, and as God He fully knows that the Father cannot look upon sin. He is God, and the Father is God; and as such He cries to His God “My God.” Who else do you address during your greatest moment of agony?

Matthew records that although the time was noon there is no sun shining down on Jerusalem; God supernaturally darkened no less than the city and probably the entire planet. This is a dark time. This was not a lunar eclipse; the Passover is celebrated with a full moon. This is God’s judgment against sin.

Never for all eternity past has anything separated the Father from the Son—they have always had a perfect relationship. There was never a cross word; never a hint of rebellion; never a moment of separation, and now after three agonizing hours on the cross at the height of the day, Jesus’ humanity is fully revealed as He lifts Himself up to catch a breath and express for all to hear that He has been forsaken.

At this very moment, He alone is experiencing wrath sufficient to save all of mankind, if they would repent and believe the Gospel.

At this very moment, Jesus and Jesus alone, is experiencing the greatest amount of wrath ever poured out in the history of mankind.

Experiencing the full brunt of His Father’s wrath, He cannot remain silent for even another moment, and so He cries out: “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

This is the essence of Hell: separation from God, and this is the Hell that I deserved. This is the punishment of sin sufficient that anyone who repents can be forgiven.

This is the moment that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that if God could look upon sin, He would not have abandoned His only begotten Son whom He loves beyond comprehension.

The holiness of God required that the perfect fellowship of the Godhead be temporarily severed so that sins could be forgiven without compromising the integrity of God’s holiness and justice.

This is the Lamb of God, and He must go alone into the Holy of Holies on Golgotha’s hill. He is the great High Priest who is worthy of all praise and adoration beyond measure, and the Father is well pleased when He is adored as such.

He is alone; the angels are ready to move at the command of the Father, but no command is given. The disciples are gone. Their cowardly behavior will haunt them for years as they regret abandoning the Son of God at the lowest point of His life. His mother is helpless to intervene, and the Roman Centurion has already confessed that an innocent man is being crucified.


This expression, “My God, My God why hast thou forsaken me?” communicates the agony of unmitigated sin that was piled upon He who knew no sin so that we who are sinners can have our prayers heard by a Holy and Righteous God.

This is what you cry out when you have had a perfect relationship with someone forever and suddenly it is severed because you are experiencing a hell that God alone cannot experience.

The miracle of the incarnation is an amazing thing. We cannot even remotely comprehend how God cannot even look upon sin, yet the Son of God can be made sin. We don’t understand that. We don’t understand How Jesus is God, yet He cries My God, My God; but we don’t have to fully understand it.

We simply must believe. We must understand that the secret things belong to God (Deut 29.29).

We must know that if God turned away from His only begotten Son when He was made sin, it is foolishness for us to consider for even a moment that God is ignoring our sin.

We must appropriate the forgiveness that Christ made possible and rejoice in His righteousness.

We must strive to forsake sin at all cost as we follow Him and recognize that God cannot hear our prayers as we harbor iniquity in our hearts.

The prayers of a righteous man avail much. Let us confess our sin and seek His face. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. But the grace of God is sufficient to overcome sin.

My fallen mind will never be able to fully grasp what our Savior experienced when He was forsaken so that I don’t have to be forsaken.

But I must NOW understand that if God did not prevent sin from interfering with His relationship with His only begotten Son, He will NOT and He can NOT ignore my sin.

When was the last time I grieved over how sin interferes with the intimate fellowship God wishes to have with me?

Jesus expressed to His chosen people a divine desire to gather them to Himself, like a mother hen does with her little chicks, but they would NOT!

Only a few decades later, Jerusalem would be utterly destroyed because they would NOT.

Dear God, “May there never be a time in my life when I would NOT.”

The Purpose of Practicing Righteousness

1 John 2:28-29 through 3:3
And now, little children (You, if you are rescued), abide in him (Jesus); that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
If ye know that he (Jesus) is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him. Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man (or woman) that hath this hope in him (Jesus) purifieth himself (or herself), even as he (Jesus) is pure.

If you have your Bibles, looks especially at verse number 29.

If ye know that he [Jesus] is righteous. If you say Pastor, I know He is righteous; if you have discovered that He is the Righteous One and without a doubt He is sinless; if you understand in Hebrews 4:15 that we have a High Priest which has been tempted just like us, and yet He was without sin; if you know the Truth that Jesus went to the wilderness and in spite of all the temptations, He did not sin, if you understand that He, the One Who knew no sin, was made sin for us, if you have come to the realization that the Man, the Person who was crucified was without any sin; if you have come to that idea and you can relate to and understand that truth, then you are born again. You are a child of God. You are a son or daughter of God. If you by faith have believed that Jesus was born of a Virgin and kept all the Jewish laws perfectly; if you believe that there was never a single time in His life that He rolled His eyes at His parents. Not one time. I have to tell you that from a carnal perspective, it is hard to imagine. It is hard to imagine that a person could go their entire life and never be rude. And you say well, Jesus did not have to drive on the streets of Fayetteville. When our Savior walked and talked on this planet and dealt with rude people, He always responded in the right way. There was never a time that He was rude, and He ultimately lived a life without even one sin, not even the smallest sin. If you have not embraced that truth as your own, then you are probably not converted, because that truth is a truth that comes from God.

Hebrews 4:15
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

2 Corinthians 5:21
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (This is a Key Gospel-Presentation Verse!)

Proof Text: Matthew 16:15-17
He saith unto them, But whom say that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, by my Father which is in heaven.

The realization that Jesus is the Righteous One, the acknowledgement that Jesus is the Son of God, the Savior of the world, does not come from a human perspective. You do not muster that up inside of you. That is not something you realize because you earnestly studied it. According to Matthew 16, it is a gift from God. The truth that Jesus is the Righteous One comes from the Father. This reminds me first and foremost that when I am presenting the Gospel, I need to emphasize the person of Christ. I need to emphasize that He is Virgin born and that He lived a sinless life. I need to emphasize that. I am not going to assume that my neighbor or my cousin understand that. I am going to present Jesus as the Righteous One. Pastor, what happens if they do not believe that? I am going to pray. Why are you going to pray? Because I cannot convince them of that. I cannot prove to you a virgin birth. I can show you in Scripture, and I can tell you that we believe by faith. That is the extent of it. I cannot convince you. I cannot prove it to you like 2 + 2 = 4. I can explain that He had to be virgin born, that He had to be born of a virgin so that He would not have a sin nature. I can show you that He is fulfilling Old Testament prophecies, but in the end, you have to believe it by faith, and that faith comes from God. You cannot generate that in and of yourselves. That is why we emphasize here that we need to be praying for the salvation of lost souls. It is not an intellectual mind game in which we get into a debating match. I want you to see the parallel between the Apostle Paul and the Apostle John.

1 John 3:1
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

I am very concerned that the church is moving further away from the excitement over the Gospel. The centrality of Jesus leaving the glories of heaven and coming and dying on a bloody cross so that you and I could be called the sons of God. So that there is now no condemnation to them that are in Jesus Christ. I have got to tell you that if the glory of God and the incredible love that He displays isn’t something to you, then you may not be born of God. Because people who are born of God say “what manner of love!” and they pause for a minute and they are enamored by the love of God. It speaks to them. They think about it in their very soul and being, and they find themselves communicating to God in worship.

Notice what Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:14-15.
For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

This verse communicates to us that when you realize that Jesus died on a cross for the world and that He did it so we can live, that gets inside the fiber of your being and it stirs within you a desire to stop living for yourself and start living for Him. This is why John says in verse 29 that these people practice righteousness. Look in your Bibles at verse 29: If ye know that he (Jesus) is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.
• People who are born of Him are born-again and are children of God.
• God imputes the righteousness of His Son to the account of each person who knows that Jesus is Righteous—these are children of God.

Perhaps if you had a checking account, you were bouncing checks, and something was deposited into your account, maybe you would appreciate that more. Everyone needs to understand that if you are a child of God, you are spiritually bankrupt. You have nothing in your account. You are as broke as broke gets. And God imputed (credited) into your account a sum that causes you to stop bouncing checks. And what the Apostle John says is that when we grab hold of that concept, it should cause us to want to practice righteousness. This does not mean going to church, dressing a particular way, and wearing a tie. I am talking about practicing righteousness. Paul says it like this:

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Paul calls children of God “new creatures”. I do not know anything about salvation in which things do not change. I do not know anything about a salvation in which someone knows that Jesus is righteous but they do not start practicing righteousness. Do you see it in that verse? These people start doing righteousness. There is not a disconnect between knowing Jesus is righteous and but not doing righteousness. The two go together. So then let’s ask ourselves: What do those who know that Jesus is Righteous do as new creatures? They do righteousness. 1st John 2:29.

What does it mean to practice righteousness? The answer is in 1 John 2:3. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

Doing righteousness begins with striving to keep the commandments. We are characterized by practicing righteousness. Please note that “practicing righteousness” is NOT being a morally decent person. That is very important. There are going to be a lot of morally decent people in hell. It will be filled with morally decent people. People in hell are going to say “I never murdered anyone.” People in hell are going to say, “I was faithful to my wife.” People in hell are going to say, “I never perjured myself in court.” People in hell are going to try to articulate moral decency because they have a warped sense of righteousness according to God’s standard.

What does the Bible say the first commandment is? Not what does culture think? The most important commandment is to love God!? Not go to church on Sunday. Not giving a tithe. But do you love God? Do you get up in the morning thinking about God? Do you go to bed at night thinking about God? Can you go long periods of time throughout your day without thinking about God? For you is thinking about God a Sunday morning event? Or are you crazy about Him? Do you go on your back porch at night and look at the sun or the moon and say “God you made that! God you are awesome!” That is doing righteousness!

Commandment #1
Mark 12:28 And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is,
Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
• “Doing Righteousness” is NOT conforming to particular cultural customs.
• “Practicing Righteousness” is NOT a particular haircut, method of dress, or a fixed behavior unique to a generation.
• Christianity rises above and beyond a human culture; it rises above apple pie, baseball, and the American flag

Doing righteousness is loving God with all your heart, soul and mind. And let me tell you something, I do not always do that. Sometimes I find myself incredibly selfish. And I find myself warring within my very being to have the victory for even just a moment.

“Many American churches have actually embraced cultural conformity as a strategy for church growth. They do not see that surrendering to the culture means the disappearance of the church. The current culture is effacing its doctrines, ignoring its morality, and erasing its history.”
Gene Veith

“Practicing righteousness” is doing what is morally and ethically right without regard for the cultural norms of a particular society and without a historical anchor point in a certain decade or century when God was moving. God does not have a favorite culture, language or people group. Do you understand that God is working right now all over the planet and with all different ethnicities? Do you recognize that Korea is getting ready to take the lead in sending more missionaries out than America? Do you know that right now churches in Africa, South America, and Korea are sending missionaries to America? They see us as a pagan nation. They see our materialism as the idol that must be destroyed. They see us in love with the power of positive thinking as a superstition. And they are seeking to evangelize their own people by leaving their country to take the Gospel to America because the Gospel that is being preached is the perverted Gospel. So what was the number one commandment? Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and being.

Let me take you to what I believe is the number two commandment. It is the most difficult one: be kind. “Doing righteousness” means “being kind!”

Ephesians 4:32
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

You see, we are so wrapped up in the Ten Commandments that we say “Well, I’ve never perjured myself. I’m not really covetous because I have everything I ever wanted and more; I don’t commit adultery and I’ve never killed anyone so I’m probably a pretty good person.” But what about when we examine ourselves in light of this verse right here: “Be ye kind one to another.” Why don’t we take that commandment right there and say that is what doing righteousness means? Doing righteousness does not mean I wear my white shirt on Sundays, carry my big Bible, and make a show when I come into church. That is easy to do. I am going to preach to myself right here because this is Sean Harris’s biggest struggle right here. This is my greatest sin. I am not kind 24 hours a day, 7 days a week like my Savior is. I am not kind. We could say if you know that Jesus is righteous, then you will be kind. You’ll be tenderhearted. You will forgive other people. We could take that single verse where it says “doeth righteousness” and we could insert that right into the text. Does that help you get a better understanding? Our young people in the middle school have such a hard time being kind. Students are so rude to each other. They are mean and look for every way to elevate themselves and put down everyone one else. They are constantly looking for a way to mock someone else. The Apostle Paul says under the divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit “be ye kind!” What we need to do is kill them with our kindness. We need to be out on the highways or on Skibo Road by the mall and still be kind! We need to be able to drive through this city and be kind. See, we get such a warped perception of what Christianity is. We figure “I go to church on Sunday. I read my Bible three out of five days a week. I sing songs. I listen to Christian music. I check the block.” But we go through all our daily life being rude. I am going to use this analogy, and as long as they are open, I am going to keep on using it. We need to go to Wal*Mart and be kind. I mention it all the time. I see a lot of you at Wal*Mart, so it must be a pretty relevant thing. You see, we need to be able to be in line and still be kind when she says “I am sorry. I am closed”. That is what doing righteousness is.

Loving Jesus the Righteous One and being kind one to another is a sure way to know that you know Him. If you are able to forgive someone, chances are you are born again. Because you know what the natural born mind says? I’m not forgiving you. The natural mind says “I’m not forgiving. Are you kidding? You shouldn’t have done that, and you are not going to get my forgiveness.” The natural mind is not kind. The natural person believes that their life is the most important life. If that person would drive 5 miles faster, I would get there 30 seconds earlier. Don’t they know that 30 seconds is important in my life? What are you talking about today, Pastor? I am trying to take our Christianity out into the world! That is what I am trying to do. We go to the doctor’s office and we see that the doctor is running behind schedule. We step in there and are just as rude as can be. Why? Because we think we are the most important person in the world. And that doctor needs to be on time all morning long so that when we get there, we will get seen on time. We are not concerned that maybe the person before us had a greater problem and needed 5 more minutes of their attention. That happened twice, and therefore they are running 15 minutes behind schedule. That is not our concern. Do you know what we need to do in this church? We need to forgive each other. We need to be tenderhearted and forgiving of each other. Why? Because Christ forgave us. There are husbands and wives in this church that are still holding grudges. You are just not letting it go. You keep bringing it up over and over. You are dredging it up from the bottom. It’s been talked about. It’s been forgiven and dealt with; it’s under the blood, but you keep bringing that thing up. You have to bring it up one more time. That is not doing righteousness. You need to let it go.

The Ultimate Standard
James 4:17: Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
A true believer can’t just say, “O well I’m just not a kind ….”

Six Biblical Reasons Why Christians Should “Practice Righteousness”
There isn’t anyone here that does not need this advice. I struggled for 15 years in the United States Army with this. I had a hard time being kind to soldiers I was chaptering out of the Army. Every day the Holy Spirit would work on me about that. I know what it is like to have a pill for a boss. I know that I need to be kind. I need to be kind at home. I need to be kind to my wife, my son, my co-workers, and my neighbors.

#1. We are new creatures!
2 Corinthians 5:17: Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
If you have stuff from your former life, let that stuff go. Let it go. You are able to forgive.

#2. We love God.
1 John 3:1: Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God:

How many would say, “I sure am glad that God doesn’t hold a grudge against me.” I love the idea that God always forgives me. I love that every time I go to God and confess my faults He is faithful and just to forgive me and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. According to 1st John 3:1, that should motivate us to be kind! God does not throw it in our face that we are short. God does not throw it in our face that we are overweight. God does not throw it in our face that we are not as smart as others. God does not throw it in our face that we are not athletic. And yet our middle school students will be just as rude to each other, and it’s unbelievable. It seems to be an age where it comes natural to them. Seeing the love that God demonstrated should be enough.

#3. God is pure and Holy and He commands us to be pure.
1 John 3:3: And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

God could come in our city and drive on our streets, and He would never ever for even a moment lose it. God could go to Wal*Mart or your place of business every single day; and He could show you how to be kind, considerate, loving, compassionate, and forgiving; and He could do it incredibly well. He did it 2000 years ago and He could come back today and do it again. It would be no problem for Him to do that. And the Bible says that I can look at God and say, “you are pure God, so You show me where I am impure or where I am harboring bitterness. You show me where I am not being kind, compassionate, and forgiving. You show it to me, and I will confess it as sin and work on changing it by the grace of God.”

#4. We don’t want to be ashamed when He returns.
1 John 2:28: And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may hve confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.

You only get one life to live. You only get one life to be kind. You get one life to be tenderhearted. You get one life to be forgiving. You only have one life, folks. You cannot do it over. Monday is going to come tomorrow, and you get one day. After that, it’s over. Some of you work at customer service events. You work with people all day long. The medical field is a tough area in which to be kind. All day long you are dealing with people and their problems. It is hard, and that is why you need God. It is why you need the grace of God to do that job. You need the grace of God to work with difficult people. And that is why I go back to number one “loving God.” Doctors, how about every single time you go from patient to patient, you stop and say “Jesus, I love you, and I need some of Your grace to make it to the next patient.” Teachers how about every time you change classes, get a break, or move from subject to subject, you stop and worship God for just a moment. You say, “God, I love you. I know what You did on that bloody cross. I know how You suffered for me. It’s the least I can do to receive this pill one more time.”

#5. It shows that we are born of Him.
1 John 2:29: ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.

Kindness shows that we are born of Him. Being kind at school, work, or in the home shows we are born of God. If you are the one student in the classroom that can stay kind when everyone else is mocking that one individual, it is an indication that you are probably born again. Because it is hard to be kind. It does not come natural to us. Just the opposite comes natural.
#6. Someday, I will stand before my Lord at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
1 Corinthians 3:14: If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

You know, we have such misperceptions about what the Judgment Seat of Christ is going to be like. We think that all the preachers are going to line up and be rewarded. I tell you we are going to be shocked when we see who gets some of the greatest rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ. We are going to be shocked. Kind, compassionate, forgiving people who love Jesus seven days a week are going to be rewarded beyond our comprehension. That wife that has been living with a miserable husband for years and years and yet she stayed faithful is going to be rewarded beyond comprehension.

When we go out those doors and tackle the world that we live in, we need to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul, and body. We need to be kind, tenderhearted, forgiving people. We need to assume that the person in front of us is having a bad day, and we are going to understand their problems. We are going to forgive each other when we ask for it. We are going to love each other. Why are we doing all this? Because the Bible calls this “doing righteousness.”