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For This Purpose. 1 John 3:4-10


For this Purpose
Text: 1 John 3:4-10
The key to understanding this passage is to grasp the meaning of two verses, verse five and verse eight. And those verses are specifically about PURPOSE. But when John talks about purpose here, he doesn’t talk about himself, or me or you, he talks about Jesus! What was HIS purpose? So, let us see…

1. Christ was MANIFESTED. V5 and verse 8.
The first thing we will observe is that both these verses tell us that ‘Christ was manifested’ in the AV. Now we need to be careful with this, for John is certainly concerned to protect the church’s doctrinal fidelity. The ESV reads, 5 You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.    The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. He appeared. He was incarnate among us, God, in the person of Christ, the blessed second person of the Trinity, took upon himself the veil of human flesh and dwelt among men. John explains this clearly in his gospel. John 1:1-14. John has no doubt about who and what Jesus was. His manifestation was the coming of that second person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ, into this world. He makes the same point in chapter one of this letter. Ok, then we can now ask, WHY was Christ manifested?

2. Christ was MANIFESTED to Take Away Our Sins. 5And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.
John says, 4Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. Now, none of us can keep the law, but keep the law we must if we are to be in God’s presence. Because we are sinners we can’t perfectly keep the law! And because we are sinners, we cannot enter God’s presence. We are lost, our situation is hopeless. We will perish in our sins. But wait there is hope! We cannot keep the law, but Christ could! For he is SINLESS. Now, have you noticed the clear difference between us and Christ here. We have SIN but in him there IS NO SIN.

No sin in his birth. We are not born innocent. Jesus birth was different. His mother was a young virgin, into whose womb God himself placed His only Son. When he came forth into this world he was a wee baby like all others, but without Adam’s sinful nature.
No sin in his life, teaching and miracles. All through his earthy life he displayed the attributes of divinity. Without sin in his temptation, he had compassion on sinner and forgave them, he taught without sin, he healed the sick.
No sin in his death! At Calvary he had no sin. He died a sinners death, but he didn’t die a sinner. He took my sins, but he didn’t become a sinner. He died as the spotless Lamb of God, taking away the sins of the world, praying that those who had driven in the nails would be forgiving, and extending forgiveness to a repentant sinner, a thief.


So we are taught in the Scriptures, that because he is sinless, all the law is FULFILLED IN HIM. Matthew 5:17 -18 Romans 8:3: He took away our sins and made us righteous in the sight of God.

3. Christ was MANIFESTED to Take Away Our Sins and to Defeat the Works of the Devil. 8He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
There is a devil, John certainly believes that here, and he is waging a war; a war against God, against his church and against everything that is good. He has been since Eden. The ‘protoevangelion’ first mention of a what Christ would do, is found in Genesis 3:15: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. John tells us a little bit more here:-

* Unforgiven sinners are part of the devil’s family. How often do we hear unconverted people rationalising their rejection of the Gospel by saying that ‘we are all God’s children’. Jesus told some very religious people, in John 8:44: Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.
* The Devil is the archetypal sinner. Every sin in this world, in all of history, in every nation, can be traced back to him. He is the source of all human sin and wickedness and sickness and misery

* The Devil is WORKING. ο υιος του θεου ινα λυση τα εργα του διαβολο. He is not by any means idle, or impassive, he is actively engaged in a campaign of evil. What are his ‘works?’
* The Devil’s works are already defeated. Christ was MANIFESTED for this very purpose. Hebrews 2:14: Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; The Greek word used for ‘destroyed’ is λυση It simply means ‘to loose.’ How did Jesus destroy the works of the devil? By breaking the bondage that the Devil was holding us in. The devil and his works haven’t gone away, but for the Christian, the chains that bound him to the devil and his works have been severed, and he is set free. The devil still tempts us, he pesters us, he surrounds us hoping to trip us up and make us fall, but we are no longer in bondage to him. Christ has set us free, and one day, in heaven we shall be freed from sins presence for ever. .


So, John is laying out some very basic teaching about sin and redemption. John says that sin is so serious that God sent forth his only son to die on the cross, to take away our son, and to free us from bondage by destroying the works of the devil.

© Bob McEvoy.

From → 1st John

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