Sunday, March 27, 2011

Mirror: Who Do You Look Like

Intro.: I have said it before, I am not an expert in how God will bring this world to an end.

  1. I believe he will – scripture leaves no doubt about that fact.

  2. I also think that those who claim to have it all figured out, are trying too hard to make sense of something that God intends to handle in His own way and in His own way.

  3. But the fact that God has plans underway cannot be denied.

  4. Today's passage will remind us that there is a plan – and it is underway.

  5. Listen to John ...

Read: 1 John 2:18-27


T.S. As we read 1 John 2:18-27, we will see two very different people described.

  1. The first, Antichrists, look like this:

    1. Important to realize that we are not immune.

    2. The word “Antichrist” is used in only one book of the Bible – 1 John

(Ill.) Though the word only appears in one book, the concept occurs throughout scripture. There is one coming that will oppose Christ – but John has another perspective. To John, anyone who stands in opposition to Christ is an Antichrist. And we are not immune.

    1. And because the Antichrists have started to appear, John is convinced that “we are in the last hour.” Let's remember, that we need to leave it in God's hands.

    2. It should not surprise us that Christ has enemies – we live in a world that, at the very list, denies the deity of Christ.

    3. But not only Christ, but God Himself.

(Appl.) But there is another danger – that of living as if Christ does not matter, living as if God does not exist. Dallas Willard has pointed out that “the sentence 'The lord is my shepherd' is written on more tombstones than on hearts.”

    1. Not only do they deny Christ, they also are liars in general. As we will see in a few minutes, we will learn that believers know the truth.

    2. Christ's enemies may know the truth, but they do not talk about it. Instead, they feed us lies – “more is better”, “price is important”, “prestige is more important than truth.” You see, the further we get from Christ the we buy into the lies that others present. Rather than listening to God's word, we let the world set our standards.

(Ill.) When I think of coloring the world, I usually think of green. However, Christo and Jeanne-Claude are artist and they think of orange and pink. They take huge rolls of cloth and line the ocean front, or bridges, or rivers, or lots of other things – with cloth. There purpose is not so much to change the world, but to change how we see the world. Though it takes hundreds of people – everything from engineers to seamstresses to common lay people – You may have seen examples of their work in an occasional TV commercial – they stream clothe everywhere. It is blowing in the wind, waving, colorful, eye-catching. And then at the end of the week, at the end of the month, they take their art all apart. In some way it all looks and works the same. The artists say that when they come back to visit a year or two later, something has changed., It just never looks the same – something is different. And it is not the earth, it is how they look at the spots where their art was hung. They now see the world differently. I suppose Jesus should work the same way for us – once we have allowed him into our lives, we will see the world as it really is. I guess it is a decision we each to make – will we let the world color us or will we let Jesus color how we see the world.1

    1. The Antichrists, the enemies of God, will do their best to let the world lead us astray

    2. Will we let it?

  1. But Christians look like this:

    1. John give's details about the Antichrists – he also details a number of characteristics of believers.

    2. A number of words stand out to me as John discusses believers. The first a clear statement by John, “But you are anointed.” He says it three times.

    3. Now there is a piece of me that says – yeah, I know it, after all I have been ordained. That anointing was very publicly pointed out in a worship service.

    4. But there is a problem – John is not writing to specifically to church leaders – he is writing to the church. He is writing those sitting in the pews (or in the case of the 1st century church, sitting on benches) - “you have been anointed.”

    5. What is this thing called anointing – The Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible says “was meant to endow the anointed one with the quality of the deity involved.”2 As believers we are being made into the image of Christ. It may take a lifetime for the process to be completed, but God is doing it. You are anointed.

    6. But as John describes the believers he is writing to, there is another word that catches my attention – abide.
    7. It seems to work two ways – we are to let what we have learned from our faith is to abide in us. But the today's passage concludes with a command for us to “abide in Him.”
    8. What does it mean to abide in Him?
    9. Jesus first used the term. It was the evening of His arrest – they have finished dinner and he is sharing some final thoughts. It will be a hectic night before much time passes Jesus will be arrested and tried. On Friday morning, He will be nailed to the cross. It will be an agonizing three days as the disciples relive the events of that night – until they begin to hear the news, “He's alive.” It was after dinner – Jesus was sharing some final thoughts and He encourages the disciples by telling them, “I am the vine and you are the branches.” But at the same time He tells them “abide in me.”
    1. John was there that night – and he echos Jesus, “Abide in Him.”

(Ill.) Oswald Chamber puts it this way in his classic devotional My Utmost For His Highest, “The Spirit of Jesus is put into me by the Atonement, then I have to construct with patience the way of thinking that is exactly in accordance with my Lord. God will not make me think like Jesus, I have to do it myself; I have to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. “Abide in Me”—in intellectual matters, in money matters, in every one of the matters that make human life what it is.” Abide in Him – how? In every single area of life. Abide in Him!3

Conclusion: These two words help us to understand our relationship to Jesus

  1. We are anointed.

  2. We are to abide in Him.


1 Larson, Craig Brian and Phyllis Ten Elshof. 1001 Illustrations That Connect. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 2008.

2 Elwell, Walter A. and Barry J. Beitzel. Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House, 1988.

3 Chambers, Oswald. My Utmost for His Highest : Selections for the Year. NIV edition. Westwood, NJ: Barbour and Co., 1993.

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