Living at a New Address Part 1
by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)
“This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:5-9)
“And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose, the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.” (1 John 3:5-10)
Note: All scripture is taken from the New King James Bible
Being a Christian is like living at a new address.
A Christian is someone who has moved from the house of sin and death into a new home with Christ.
When you live with Christ, you want to show Him your love by doing good works and resisting sin.
You will sin again, but you will never again live with sin because you have a new address; you are living with Jesus.
This new relationship to sin is made possible by Christ’s victory over death.
He died in your place so that you don’t have to die.
He was raised from the dead so you could be justified before God.
You not only have a new home, but you also have a new righteousness.
Your old righteousness was like “filthy rags,” but now you have been given the righteousness of Christ.
Sin is our subject today, and there are three claims which I would like to make:
First, the living Christ brings death to sin.
Second, there will be sin in a Christian’s life.
Third, we can have victory over sin.
When we are done today, I hope that we can all say that we are different from what we were before we believed.
And that we can say that we are free from the penalty and guilt of sin since we have moved to our new address.
Let’s begin with how THE LIVING CHRIST BRINGS DEATH TO SIN.
Humankind has always sought relief from the crushing weight of sin.
Sin brings guilt, death, and shame.
So, how can the sin problem be handled?
One approach is to place the blame on something or someone else.
Even Adam and Eve played this ancient game called “pass the buck.”
When God asked Adam, “Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from? Adam answered, “The woman You put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
Then God asked Eve, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
Adam and Eve didn’t accept the responsibility for their actions; Adam blamed Eve, and then Eve blamed the serpent.
They “passed the buck”, but God knew they had disobeyed Him; they had sinned so they would have to die.
Oh, they didn’t die until years later, but from that moment, their bodies began to die little by little.
Some people attempt to handle sin by doing good works in an attempt to balance the scale, but new sins keep upsetting the balance.
But, here’s the good news; Jesus brought a remedy for sin.
The apostle John wrote, “And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin.” (1 John3:5)
Manifested is one of John’s favorite words.
It means “to make known” or “to reveal.”
Jesus was manifested
or made known to us, so that He might reveal God to us, take away our sins, destroy the devil’s works, and disclose God’s love for sinners.
In Him, you also have an example, and you should “live just as He lived.”
Ask the indwelling Holy Spirit to make you more like Jesus Christ, and saturate yourself with His life as you read the Gospels.
The Son of God appeared in the body of a man; He came to take away our sins, and to take away the guilt of sin by sacrificing himself.
He came to take away our desire to sin by implanting a new nature in us.
He came to deter us from sin by the perfect example of the life He lived.
“And in him there is no sin;” and He takes our sin away, so that He may conform us to himself.
John declares the absolute remedy for sin: “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)
The birth of Jesus was different from every other birth: He was conceived by the Holy Spirit in Mary’s womb, and He was born with a sinless nature.
Since Jesus Christ is God, He existed before Mary; therefore, He could not have been conceived as other babies are.
He was not only born but He “came into the world” according to John 18:37.
And He came into the world to save sinners.
He is both God and man, the sinless Lamb of God.
What a wonderful Savior!
John the Baptist introduced Jesus as “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)
He came with grace and truth, not law and judgment.
He revealed the Father and gave the Holy Spirit to those who trusted Him.
He is the Lamb of God, and He is the only one who can take away sins.
The blood of thousands of sacrificed lambs covered the sins of the Jews, but the blood of Christ takes away the sins of the whole world.
“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Jesus’ critics were right: “Only God can forgive sin.”
His death and resurrection are the only adequate remedy for sin.
Jesus’ resurrection assures us of this.
Since death is the wages of sin, a dead Christ would be powerless over sin.
Paul wrote this to the Corinthians, “And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!” (1 Corinthians 15:17)
Paul argued that if Christ were not raised from the dead, all believers throughout history would have believed for nothing, lived for nothing, and died for nothing.
His resurrection means victory over sin and death.
The resurrection also means that Jesus has defeated the devil.
Sin is a work of the devil, “He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3:8)
Living in sin is the opposite of Christianity, for Christ came to take away sin.
Sin is a characteristic of the devil, and Christ came to destroy the works of the devil.
Jesus sent out seventy of His followers to preach to the people, and when they returned, “…He said to them, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”’ (Luke 10:18-19)
Christians have the power to resist and defeat the devil’s temptations.
Satan continues his work of deception, but King Jesus is more powerful than the prince of evil.
The second point is that there will be SIN IN A CHRISTIAN’S LIFE.
The assurance of victory over sin and Satan is quickly countered by the evidence of sin in the life of professing Christians.
How are we to reconcile this reality with the truth, “No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning?”
Power over sin does not mean sinless perfection, and the Christian who claims to have reached such a state is guilty of self-deception.
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” (1 John 1:8, 10)