4 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.
I'm going to borrow from Mark Driscoll's sermon again. He's talking about how some Christians hold themselves to the wrong standard, a standard of outward perfection. There is a big difference between loving God and wanting to be like him, the way a child looks up to his or her parent(s) and wants to be just like Dad or just like Mom, but messing up along the way, and having a heart of rebellion and purposefully doing the opposite of what you know you are supposed to do. Here is an excerpt:
God is a Dad who thinks you’re funny, especially when you take yourself seriously, and providing you don’t have a heart of lawlessness that just says, “Forget you. I disobey you. I defy you. I won’t listen.” Provided you have a heart that loves your Dad and says, “I want to be like my Dad. I want to obey my Dad. I want to be close to my Dad. I want to enjoy my Dad.” If you should make a mistake that’s not a sin, guys, calm down. It’s all right. Okay, God doesn’t want you to be, you know, perfect in that you never lose your car keys. You never spill your coffee.
He wants you to be holy, which means you obey him and love him. I’ll give you an example. My kids. They won’t go to bed. Why is that? When you’re an adult, if somebody came and said, “Go to bed,” you’d be like, “Okay.” Like if you were in your cubicle at work and your boss came and said, “You’re cranky. Go take a nap. Here’s some cookies and juice.” You’d be like, “Yes.” You know, you would never have the child – the child response is, “No, no.” You’re like, “Cookies and a juice and a nap. Praise God. This is the job I prayed for.”
You know, kids don’t want to go to bed. I don’t know why. There’s nothing going on. They’re not missing anything. So my kids the other night, I got four kids. Getting them to bed is like herding cats. They just – they won’t get in line. They won’t. They just stall and they, you know, they got to pee 75 times and, “Oh, I forgot something,” and I finally – we’re downstairs. I looked at them. I said, “That’s it. I’m done. I’m your Father. I’m gonna tell you to do something. You’re gonna do it, okay?” And I meant to say, “Brush your teeth and get your buns to bed.” What I said was, “Brush your buns and get your teeth to bed.”
So my five-year-old son literally falls on the ground, grabs his gut. He thinks this is the coolest thing. My two-year-old son gets his toothbrush, one of those electric toothbrushes and sticks it on his rear just to mock me. You know, I made a mistake. You know, you’re gonna make a mistake. What we’re talking about here is the person who ignores God, who disobeys God, who just rebels against God. We’re not talking about the person who loves God, pursues God, and is just not perfect.
Okay, I mean I’ll say this. Jesus was perfect. Does that mean he never lost his car keys? I don’t know, but if he did, would he have ceased to be God? I don’t know, but I think sometimes you get this picture of Jesus like, “My car keys are here, and it’s, oh, I got an appointment at 7:30 and” – like he never once ever like tripped like walking to school. “Oop, oh, I didn’t – oh, I tripped over a rock. Oh, I’m not God anymore.” You know, I – Jesus Christ was a perfect man. I don’t think that necessarily means that, you know, he never took a bite of his breakfast and it fell off his fork.
“Oh, now we lost God.” You know, because that is not the breaking of the law, and that’s not lawlessness. That’s humanity. You guys understand the point I’m trying to make here. Some of you are so intense. Go to bed. Take your nap. Get your juice. What God is looking for is that you would love your Dad. You would listen to your Dad. You’d obey your Dad. You’d trust your Dad. By grace, you would want to be like your Dad, and if you should cross the line by disobeying his Word, you would immediately purify yourself by bringing your sin to Jesus and getting back in relationship with your Dad.
Roxie talked last week about abiding. When we abide in Him, our heart's desire is to be more and more like Him. Our actions follow our attitudes and we actually become more and more like Him. When we abide in Him, even though we are not perfect all the time in all things, we obey. Or at least, we obey better more of the time. Isn't that great?
Happy Valentine's Day! ♥♥♥
Tomorrow's scripture focus: 1 John 3:7-8.