Today we are praying for the country of Paraguay. Please help us lift up this nation to the Lord today. You can follow the two links below to learn more about the nation and its unreached people groups. You can watch the video below to help guide you in your prayers.
Please take time to meditate on the sermon or devotion for today as well.
Please pray for the nation of Paraguay by joining in prayer with the video below.
Watch the above video and pray for the requests listed at the end.
Today's Devotional Thought
We have been considering three key doctrines in 1 John 3:1-10 this week. We have seen the doctrine of adoption, the doctrine of glorification, and the doctrine of sanctification revealed to us in this text. Wayne Grudem defined sanctification as “a progressive work of God and man that makes us more and more free from sin and like Christ in our actual lives.” We have a role in sanctification. God has a role in sanctification. This process of being purified is a process in which we co-labor with God! Let us see first, our role in sanctification. Consider again verse 3: “And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” We have an active role to play in sanctification. We must take action! We must get to work at purifying ourselves. 2 Corinthians 7:1 says, “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” Romans 8:13 instructs us to take action and put to death the deeds of the flesh…our sin. It reads, “for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” Finally, Hebrews 12:14 instructs us to pursue sanctification, or holiness. Hebrews 12:14: “Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.”
Not only do we have a role in sanctification, but God has a role as well. Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” How does the God of peace sanctify us entirely? John gives a few of the many ways God works in us to produce purity. First, in verses 4-6 we see that He appeared to take away sins. “Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. 5 You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin. 6 No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him.” Jesus appeared to take away sins! In Matthew 1:21 we read, “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” It was made very clear before Christ was even born that He was appearing to deal with sin!
He not only appeared to take away sin, but also to destroy the works of the devil. We read in verses 7 and 8, “Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; 8 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.” Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. What are his works? They can be summarized in one word: death! The author of Hebrews wrote, “Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives” (Hebrews 2:14-15). Jesus, in His death, rendered powerless the one who had the power of death…the devil. In his rendering powerless Satan, He freed those who feared death! There is no reason to fear death any longer. We no longer face judgement. We face glorification. Those who have this hope, purify themselves! (v3)
Jesus appeared to take away sin, to destroy the works of Satan, and to provide us with new birth. John wrote in verse 9, “No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” We are sanctified by being provided a new nature at new birth. John wrote in his gospel, “He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:11-13). Please take time to read John 3:1-3 and consider the new birth. Nicodemus was a religious man (of the Pharisees). He was a successful man (a ruler of the Jews…a member of the Sanhedrin). He was a sincere man (who came to Jesus in private). And yet, Nicodemus was lost and without hope because He had never been born from above. Have you been born again? Have you been born from above? Have you experienced the new birth? God’s seed cannot make peace with a pattern of sinful behavior. The fact that we have been born of God begins the process of sanctification in our lives.
Jesus has done a mighty work for us, has He not? He accomplished the work in His past appearing as He adopts us into His family. He applies the work to us in His present appearing as He sanctifies us by giving us second birth, destroying the works of the devil, and by taking away sin. He completes the work in His future appearing when He glorifies us for all eternity. And if this is true it will make it very very clear who we belong to as we see in verse 10, “By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.” Are you a child of God? If you have questions about where you stand with him, please take some time to explore www.missionsurge.com/good-news You can be adopted into His family today!
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