7455 - Purified Lives - 1 John 3:3

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Audio transcript

Friend, it’s great to have you with us today.

We are engaged in a verse by verse study through the book of 1 John. What a rich book this is. Today we are investigating 1 John 3:3. Listen as I read it:

“Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”

In this passage John has circled back to the basic doctrine regarding the Christian’s responsibility for living an obedient, pure life.

This was John’s thrust in 2:6 when he wrote: “whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.”

So here in 3:3 John is again speaking about living a life pleasing to the Lord. The New Testament is clear in the presentation that no person is capable of living a pure life in himself.

In John 15:5 Jesus declares: “...without me you can do nothing.” By this Jesus is not saying that you cannot speak or move or perform. What He is saying is that without His presence and power in our life we are not capable of accomplishing anything of value in eternity.

However, there is one function which God reserves for individuals and that is the exercise of our will to obey or accomplish that which God desires. The Bible declares (Phil. 2:13) that God even prompts our will, but He will never override our stubborn resistance. What God does do is to influence us to desire to obey His wishes and commands.

When we purpose to cooperate with the Triune God, then He lives in and through us with His resources and power to enable accomplishment to take place which has great eternal value.

So the key to the fulfillment of this passage –– 1 John 3:3 –– regarding purifying ourselves, is the purposing that we want to cooperate with Jesus, to trust Him with our lives, to yield to His work in and through us so He makes us pure, just as He is pure.

The words of 2 Thessalonians 1:11 bear on this as they say: “...that our God may count you worthy of His calling and that by His power He may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith.” Did you notice? It’s His power that brings it about, but it’s our purposing that permits it to be done.

Then the next verse goes on to explain that all of this is designed so that our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in us and that we may be glorified in Him.

On the issue of being pure, the Word of God (Ps. 103:12) tells us that God has already removed our sin from us as far as the east is from the west –– that’s an infinite distance. So no believer will ever face his sins again.

Colossians 1:22 is fantastic when we are told “...now [God] has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation.”

It is a bit awesome for a believer to consider that the sacrifice of Jesus, and our acceptance by faith of His work in our behalf has made each Christian perfect in Christ (Col. 1:29). This idea is stated in Hebrews 10:14: “...by one sacrifice [Jesus] has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.”

Put these two concepts together –– that’s the concept that when our will desires for Jesus to live His pure, holy, righteous life in and through each of us, then He is set free to accomplish that fantastic life in us for His glory & honor. And the second truth, that by Christ’s sacrifice, those who now abide in Him are viewed by God as perfect.

Those two truths together will produce the lifestyle in each believer about which John is talking. That’s my desire and I pray it’s yours too.