This We Know: What Sin and Righteousness Reveal

The seeker sensitive movement in the American evangelical church has preached a water down gospel and produced a plethora of cultural Christians. This has both damaged the witness of Jesus Christ and also robbed many from finding true life in Christ. This week’s passage examines the problem and origin of sin, the work of Christ, and what sin and righteousness reveal about the true nature of a person. The application of the passage will lead some to recognize their need to respond to the true gospel and will spur on all true children of God to pursue progressive growth in righteousness.

1 John 3:4 – 3:10 Sermon Guide

Today’s seeker sensitive movement promotes a watered-down gospel, which marginalizes not only the problem and origin of sin but sin’s solution, Jesus Christ. As many continue to tragically fall prey to the trap of cultural Christianity, Tyler Briggs magnifies the person and work of Christ– the true Gospel which saves and sanctifies the true children of God.

Four Main Points

  1. All sin is rebellion and the devil is the original rebel.
  2. Jesus Christ delivers us from sin and destroys the works of the devil.
  3. Persistent unrepentant sin is incompatible with the true Christian.
  4. Your practice reveals more than your profession.

Key Takeaways

  • John presents three tests to confirm one’s justification:

    1) Righteousness and sin (3:4-10)
    2) Love and hate (3:11-18)
    3) Truth (4:1-6)

  • Tyler highlights four major reasons why John’s message is relevant today:

    1) The pervasiveness and problems of the watered-down gospel
    2) Spiritual warfare is real and occurring on a cosmic level
    3) Right understanding of sin and righteousness should lead to right practice
    4) The person and work of Christ is central to this section of Scripture

  • All people have a major problem, sin. All sin is rejection of the law and the Law-Giver.
  • All have tragically followed the lead of the original rebel Lucifer to attempt a revolt against God’s rule and kingdom.
  • This section presents two explicit purpose statements of Christ’s coming to Earth: “to take away sins (v. 5)” and “to destroy the works of the devil (v. 8).”
  • Christ’s Incarnation destroys the lie that God does not love you. His life destroys the lie that God’s way is not the best way. His crucifixion pays the penalty for sin we justly deserve.
  • A child of God will reflect His Father. It is inevitable that the redeemed will bear righteous fruit.
  • Your practice reveals more than your profession.
  • True children grieve sin against God. False children grieve sin’s consequences and hate getting caught. True children desire to grow, live a godly life.

Discussion Questions / Application

Discuss with your community group:

  • How have you “watered down” the seriousness of sin and the presence of spiritual warfare in your life? What does this passage and Tyler’s message teach about both realities?
  • Tyler described a personal struggle with seeking significance through the approval of man. What sin struggle(s) are you drawing you away from fellowship with God? What lies beneath these struggles hold you captive? What biblical truths and promises offer freedom to you?
  • When you sin, do you grieve your sin or do you merely grieve sin’s consequences and “getting caught”?

Passages Referenced

For additional study: Genesis 3:1-6, Romans 3:23, Leviticus 16, 2 Timothy 2:26, 2 Corinthians 7:10, Hebrews 4:12.

Read before next Sunday: 1 John 3:11-18.