I Jn 3:4-18
4 Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.
5 And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin.
6 Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him.
7 Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.
8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.
10 In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.
11 For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another,
12 not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother's righteous.
13 Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you.
14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.
15 Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
17 But whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?
18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. (NKJ)
This message was preached February 17, 2002 at FBC Toulon, by Albert Harmon. See it at toulonbaptist.com
In Matthew 13 Jesus tells an interesting parable. There was a certain farmer who sowed his field. But when the crop began to grow, the hired men noticed that along with the wheat there was also a weed growing that was very similar to the wheat. The first assumption was that the owner had mistakenly sown corrupted seed in his field. But after bringing the matter to the attention of the owner, he made them to understand that an enemy had sown the tares among the wheat. The labors then want to know if they would go out and root up the weeds from among the wheat. The master told them that that would not do. Instead they would allow the two to grow together until the harvest when they could gather the tares and burn them and gather the wheat into the barns.
24 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field;
25 "but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way.
26 "But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared.
27 "So the servants of the owner came and said to him, 'Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?'
28 "He said to them, 'An enemy has done this.' The servants said to him, 'Do you want us then to go and gather them up?'
29 "But he said, 'No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them.
30 'Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, "First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn."'" (NKJ)
How similar that story is to the one we have in John's first epistle today. There are those he says are the children of God, who purify themselves and practice righteousness and love their brethren while on the other hand there are those who practice unrighteousness, and behave like Cain who killed his brother because his own works were evil while Abel's were righteous.
But how do these stories relate to us today? What is John trying to tell us? How can we apply these teaching to our own day and life?
Where do you line up?