Evidence of Abiding in Christ
2 June 2019 PM – 1 John 3:10-15 – 1Jn2019 – Scott Childs

Introduction: A teacher asked her student if he had done his homework. He said, “Yes”. Looking for evidence, she asked why his homework paper was still blank. He said he that when he did his homework his pencil just never touched the paper. He lacked evidence!

Transition: An evidence of abiding in Christ is doing right and loving fellow Christians. In our text, John gives us three reasons this is true.

Doing right and loving others evidences abiding in Christ because …

1.        Only God gives the ability to do right and love, v.10-11
a.         God and the devil produce opposite actions.
1)         The words “in this” (v.10) probably refer back to the entire section just discussed. All sin is breaking God’s law (v.4). Christ came to earth to take upon Himself our sin and carry it away (v.5). If we abide in Christ, we will not sin. Those sinning do not have that close walk with Christ (v.6). The Christian doing righteousness is yielding to his righteous nature that comes from our righteous God (v.7). The person doing sin is yielding to his sin nature that comes from the devil. That is what Christ came to destroy (v.8). The new nature in those born of God cannot sin because it is God’s nature (v.9). In this or based on these facts children of God are plainly recognised.
2)         God motivates good actions and the devil motivates bad actions (doing unrighteousness and not loving).
3)         Do Christians always do right and love each other? No! That is a fact we cannot deny. I do not believe the word “doeth” in this verse speaks of a continual habit because Christians often fail. I believe this verse is saying that those abiding in Christ will do right and love and those who do not abide in Christ follow the devil, do wrong, and lack love.
O  Abiding in a car, you can travel to Joondalup and back in a half hour. That is impossible if you are walking. A Christian abiding in Christ can do what is otherwise impossible.

a)         When a Christian is abiding in Christ, he is able to do righteousness and love fellow Christians.
b)         When a Christian is NOT abiding in Christ, he is not able to do righteousness and love fellow Christians.
b.         Christ commanded that we love one another.
1)         This is the message Christ taught from the beginning.
2)         He alone can enable us to love one another as He commanded. Love is NOT produced by our sinful nature.
Doing right and loving others evidences abiding in Christ because …

2.        Unbelievers hate those who do right, v.12-13
a.         Cain hated Abel because he did right
1)         Read Gen 4:1-7
2)         Abel had faith in God that made him righteous (Heb 11:4). His life pictures abiding in Christ.
3)         God tells us that Cain killed Abel for one reason, his works were evil and he hated that Abel’s were righteous.
b.         Unbelievers hate Christians because they do right
1)         We have already established that when a Christian is abiding in Christ, he is able to do righteousness and love fellow Christians.
2)         If we will abide in Christ so that we do right and love fellow Christians, the world around us will hate us. We make them look bad.
a)         The world does not hate carnal Christians that live and act like them.
b)         The world hates those who desire to stay in close fellowship with God and abide in Christ.
Doing right and loving others evidences abiding in Christ because …

3.        Hate and abiding in Christ cannot coexist, v.14-15
a.         Loving the brethren is evidence of two things.
1)         It is evidence that the person truly knows the Lord.
a)         We know (factually) that we have passed from death to life because of our love. Love does not make anyone a Christian, but love for fellow Christians is an evidence of salvation.
b)         Unbelievers cannot love Christians as Christ loves.
2)         Love is evidence that the Christian is abiding in Christ. A Christian who is not abiding in Christ cannot truly love fellow Christians as Christ loves. We need God’s help to love others as He loves.
a)         When we fail to love as Christ loves, we are not abiding in Christ. We are out of fellowship with God.
b)         When we fail to love our spouse, children or fellow Christian as Christ loves us, we are not abiding in Christ. We lack His help.
c)         Remember, God’s kind of love is not hugs and kisses; it is selflessly giving to meet needs. It is caring, sharing, being tender, understanding, forgiving, confessing when we fail, spending time, helping out, being open, peaceful, and loyal. It is treating others as we would want to be treated.
b.         Not loving the brethren is the opposite
1)         Some claim that abiding in death means the person is “still unsaved”. That interpretation has many problems. They must qualify love. They may make love part of salvation. They must claim that all true Christians always love their Christian brothers. They limit salvation’s assurance. However, we have established repeatedly, beginning in the Introduction, that abiding does not equal salvation. Rather abiding describes a sojourning or tarrying that is apt to change.
2)         Abiding in Christ describes that fellowship one has with God when he walks in God’s light. Because the person described here does not love his Christian brother, he must be a Christian himself. Thus, the one abiding in death is a Christian who is out of fellowship with God (1:6). He is not walking in God’s light. He is not walking in the Spirit. He is not abiding in Christ. He is living like those who have no life in Christ. Failure to love our Christian brother is clear evidence that we are abiding in death out of fellowship with God and not abiding in God’s light as we should be.
3)         Unbelievers and non-abiding Christians may be able to love somewhat, but not as Christ loves with a pure heart.
c.          Hating a Christian brother is sinful
1)         John calls one who hate a murder, v.15.
2)         God sees hate as murder because murder stems from hate within the heart, but it does not mean that the hateful person has actually taken the life of the hated person. God classifies the sin of hate on the same level as the sin of murder. Therefore, we know that for a Christian to hate his Christian brother is a very evil sin. Can a believer actually commit murder? The Bible says believers like Moses and David committed murder. Do Christians ever hate? Is that possible? I believe it is. To deny that a Christian may hate, you must modify the definition of hate so that it only includes the strongest feelings of bitter dislike. When a Christian does hate his Christian brother, he is living in sin. He is not abiding in Christ.
3)         There are those who claim that since no murderer has eternal life abiding in him and since God says that those who hate are murderers, then anyone who hates is not a true Christian and is on his way to hell. This interpretation makes hate and murder damning sins while other sins may be forgiven. I do not believe this interpretation is consistent with Scripture (Psa 86:5; Pro 28:13; 1Jn 1:9). This verse states that hate is murder in the heart.
4)         We learned in the opening verses that eternal life is a synonym for the Lord Jesus Christ (1Jn 1:2). I believe that a more consistent interpretation is that the Christian who may hate and commit murder in his heart cannot possibly be having Christ – the eternal life – abiding in him at the same time. He is truly out of fellowship with God.
Conclusion: Is there evidence in your life that you are abiding in Christ? Are you doing righteousness and loving fellow Christians as Christ loves you? We cannot do this without abiding in Christ. Without abiding in Christ we can do nothing! We need him more than a bird needs his feathers to fly. If your fellowship with God is struggling, re-read 1John 1.

Song: I Need Thee Every Hour, 318