Where Would You Like To Go?

December 24, 2012

Three Christmas Gifts


Three Christmas Presents

Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one

who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is

righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the

devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of

God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of

the devil. —1 John 3:7–8

 

Ponder this remarkable situation with me. If the Son of God

came to help you stop sinning—to destroy the works of the

devil—and if he also came to die so that, when you do sin, there

is a propitiation, a removal of God’s wrath, then what does this

imply for living your life?

Three things.

And they are wonderful to have.

I give them to you briefly as Christmas presents.

 

1. A Clear Purpose for Living

It implies that you have a clear purpose for living. Negatively, it

is simply this: don’t sin. “I write these things to you so that you

may not sin” (1 John 2:1). “The Son of God appeared to destroy

the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8).

Notice the singular “commandment”—“This is His commandment,

that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love

one another, just as He commanded us.” These two things are

so closely connected for John he calls them one commandment:

believe Jesus and love others. That is your purpose. That

is the sum of the Christian life. Trusting Jesus, loving people.

Trust Jesus, love people. There’s the first gift: a purpose to live.

 

2. Hope That Our Failures Will Be Forgiven

Now consider the second implication of the twofold truth that

Christ came to destroy our sinning and to forgive our sins. It’s

this: We make progress in overcoming our sin when we have

hope that our failures will be forgiven. If you don’t have hope

that God will forgive your failures, when you start fighting sin,

you give up.

Most of you want to fight sinful patterns in your life. And what God is saying to you

is this: Let the freedom to fail give you hope to fight. I write

this to you that you might not sin, but if you sin you have an

advocate, Jesus Christ.

 

3. Christ Will Help Us

Finally, the third implication of the double truth that Christ

came to destroy our sinning and to forgive our sins, is this:

Christ will really help us in our fight. He really will help you.

He is on your side. He didn’t come to destroy sin because sin

is fun. He came to destroy sin because it is fatal. It is a deceptive

work of the devil and will destroy us if we don’t fight it. He

came to help us, not hurt us.

So here’s your third Christmas gift: Christ will help overcome

sin in you. 1 John 4:4 says, “He who is in you is greater

than he that is in the world.” Jesus is alive, Jesus is almighty,

Jesus lives in us by faith. And Jesus is for us, not against us. He

will help you. Trust him.
John Piper "Good News of Great Joy" December 25

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