Yesterday we talked about us abiding in Christ and Him being in us. It is in abiding that we have freedom from the bondage of sin, and we have His power to live righteously. Let’s start off by reviewing the full passage from yesterday: “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.” (1 John 3:6-8)
Today’s Scripture gets a bit more blunt: “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 Jn 3:9-10) Since Christ came to destroy the works of the devil, can we really consider ourselves children of God if we are doing all we can to help the devil in his works?
Humanity is divided into two classes—not three, as we often fondly imagine. We would like to think there are the children of the devil, the children of God, and then a vast group in between who are morally neutral, neither devilish nor godly. But it’s not true. God’s Word is clear: we are either friends of the world (and therefore, enemies of God), or we are God’s children covered in Christ’s righteousness (James 4:4).
There are many today who would have us believe that all people everywhere are, by virtue of their natural birth, children of God. But the Bible never sustains that idea for even a moment. These words of John are the echo of the words of the Lord Jesus Himself when He said to certain Pharisees of His day, “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father” (John 8:44a).
This harmonizes well with the scriptural view of humanity. People, the Bible says, are vessels. They do not have power in themselves, nor do they have life in themselves. They are made to contain life, and express the life of another. In the original intention of God, that life was to be the life of God Himself. People were made for God. Pascal said there is in every person a God-shaped vacuum that only God can fill. We were made for God.
But because of humanity’s fall in the garden, people are no longer containing and expressing the life of God but instead the perverted, twisted life of the devil. Every one of us was born into the family of the devil. We were born children of the devil because we are part of the fallen race of Adam. The tendency and proclivity toward sin, that twisted perversion, is passed along to us from our forefathers, along with the color of our eyes and all other physical features. We are born with a bent toward evil and self-centeredness.
It is only by new birth that we become children of God. That’s is why Jesus said to that cultured, honored, respected leader of his own day, Nicodemus, who came to him by night, “No one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again” (John 3:3). All our knowledge, education, morality, or religion is of no value here. Unless we are born again, we are still part and parcel of the family and kingdom of Satan. The whole thrust of the gospel is always in this direction. It is to deliver people from the kingdom of Satan and to bring them into the kingdom of God. Here we are encouraged to view the fruit of our lives (Matt 7:20) to see whose child we are. If you aren’t certain, make sure that you Know Jesus!
Lord, grant that I may see my own life, see where I am heading, see the forces that are gripping me, mastering me, whether they are of God or of Satan. Lord, I yield to Your will. I am grateful for Your strength and love so that I am able to walk as You walked.
Source: One or the other by Ray Steadman