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September 12, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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Continuing of our study through 1 John, this past weekend we were joined by special guest Alan Platt. In this message, we take a deep dive into the four big themes of 1 John 3, examining how the love of God manifests in the life of a believer.
Watch the video below to see a few highlights from the teaching and share it with your friends via social media. To watch the message in its entirety, click here.
Identity (John 8:31–32; 1 John 3:1): God the Father made a proclamation over Jesus, declaring to the listening world that He was indeed His Son, in whom He was well pleased (Matthew 3:17). Jesus had not yet done any miracles or taught any powerful sermons, yet the Father was pleased with Him. You see, it wasn’t about what Jesus did, but about who He was. That declaration became the source of Jesus’ identity . . . the Son in whom the Father was well pleased.
And just like this, the Father is well pleased with all those who have received the Son. To them, He has given the right and privilege to be called children of God (John 1:12). We don’t have to earn through performance what we have received by grace. We were created to receive the approval of the Father and to find our identity in Him. In Jesus, we are already fully accepted, significant, and secure. We do not function for acceptance, we function from acceptance.
Jesus found His identity and security in His relationship with the Father. Therefore, He did not need the affirmation of the crowd. It’s clear Jesus was driven by a deep intimacy with the Father, and we should be likewise. From this place of security, we can walk in absolute freedom in who we are because we have defined our lives by Christ and not by the things of this world.
Identity Leads to Intimacy (1 John 3:24): Sadly, too many Christians live with an orphan spirit. They have traded their sonship for an orphan lifestyle. Stress, fear, anger, performance, rejection . . . are all evidence of living without the conviction of being loved. The difference between a son or daughter and a spiritual orphan is simply the willingness to receive the love of the Father. And when we receive His love, we also get our name and identity, safety and protection, provision and security, and purpose and direction.
When we allow ourselves to fully embrace these things, the result is an amazing intimacy that can be experienced between us and God. We can have intimate communication, an abiding presence, and a deep connection, just like Jesus did! The relationship between Jesus and the Father provides a model for our own relationship with the Father. You see, the primary reward of Christianity is not heaven, it’s a restored intimacy with the Father.
Intimacy Leads to Integrity (1 John 3:9): This verse in 1 John tells us that those who have been born of God do not sin. The idea being put forth in the Greek here is not one-time sin, but that of a conscious, continual, habitual lifestyle of sin.
As believers who have knowingly been saved by grace through faith, we must recognize that we now reflect the God nature within us. His Spirit lives within us and our lives should reflect that. The key, though, to a life of true biblical integrity and living above reproach is an abiding intimacy.
Here is the sad truth, though: Many Christians miss the intimacy component and never live in victory. Don’t miss out on victory, freedom, and a life of meaning and purpose! Seek an intimate daily relationship with the Father.
Integrity Leads to Impact (1 John 3:18): The more time we spend with God, the more we will look like Him and the less we will look like the world. The more time we spend in a deep, intimate, abiding relationship with Him, the more we will be conformed to the image of His Son and the less we will reflect our old nature. When this happens, we become beacons of faith, hope, and love for all the world to see. When we embrace Jesus’ model of “As I . . . so you,” our lives have an impact on the people around us.
Quote to Remember: How do we impact the world? We love!—Alan Platt
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION
As you think about this weekend’s teaching, here are a few questions to reflect on and consider on your own, with your family, or in your group.
1. How do you identify yourself? Where does your identity lie? If someone were to ask you to describe yourself, what would you say?
2. When we find our identity in Christ, what do we experience?
3. What happens when we identify ourselves by anything other than being in Christ? What is the danger of defining ourselves by the acceptance of mankind as opposed to God?
4. How are you seeking intimacy with the Father in your life right now? What steps can you take to experience a deeper intimacy?
5. Why does intimacy with the Father lead to a life of integrity?
6. How is your life reflecting the heart and nature of God?
7. What impact are you having on the people around you currently?
8. How can you demonstrate a greater love for others?
Join us on Wednesday as CE Glover, Senior Pastor of Mount Bethel Ministries here in Fort Lauderdale, provides and in-depth examination of the themes and concepts of 1 John 3.
Then on the weekend, we’ll continue our study through 1 John as Pastor Doug shares a message from 1 John 4. In this message, we’ll discover the full power of love to change the entire world as well as each individual heart.
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.