From Death To Life

I Jn 3:10-15

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. (NKJ)

This message was preached March 17, 2002 at FBC Toulon, by Albert Harmon. See it at http://toulonbaptist.com  

 Death and life are the two greatest issues we face. Life is so precious and we will do just about anything to maintain it.

But even life has its varying degrees. Some people that we see are hardly living. Their lives are filled with disease and hunger, homelessness.

But there is even a greater disparity in life between spiritual life and spiritual death.

In our passage this morning it says that we have passed from death to life. What does that mean, how did it happen, and what are the effects.

  1. There are two types of life and death
    1. We all understand the tragedy of death.
      1. Not to be morbid but we are all dying.
      2. Some a little faster than others.
      3. In the children's story this morning Lazarus was raised from the dead.
        1. The man died in the presence of his two sisters who cared for him very much.
        2. They went through the sorrow and stress of the funeral.
        3. But Jesus raised him from the dead.
        4. But one day Lazarus would die all over again.
      4. But there is another death that is much more tragic than physical death.
        1. Jesus said we would not fear those who can only kill the body.
        2. Matt 10:28 "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (NKJ)
    2. In our responsive reading from Eph. 2 Paul says that we were all once dead, spiritually dead in sin.
      1. We were all dead v-3
        1. In sin v-1
          1. Walking after the world v-2
          2. Walking after Satan v-2
          3. Fulfilling the desires of the flesh v-3
        2. Children of wrath v-3
      2. But God v-4
        1. Rich in mercy v-4
        2. Because of His love v-4
      3. Made us alive with Christ
        1. Although we did not know Him, He revealed Himself to us.
        2. Although we did not love Him, He gave His only begotten Son for us.
        3. Although our minds were pervaded with the darkness of sin, God sent the light of His word to set us free.
        4. Although the chains of sin bound us fast and Satan had blinded our eyes God broke the bound of sin off and made us see.
        5. Where once there was not a spark of God now we have been given His very nature.
      4. Raised us up to sit in heavenly places v-5
        1. Although we are still of the earth, our minds are set on heaven.
        2. Although we dwell here below we know that heaven is our home.
        3. He has made us to long for such lofty things, to know God and enjoy Him forever.
    3. But he also says that in Jesus Christ we have been made alive.
      1. It is only through the work of Jesus that we have been changed.
      2. We have been translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God's dear Son.
      3. Just as Lazarus heard to call of Jesus and came forth from the tomb so we have heard the voice of Jesus say come unto me and we came.
      4. It is only because He died for us that we can live.
      5. It is only because He took our punishment that we have life instead of death.
  2. What is spiritual death
    1. To not know God
      1. John 17:3 "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. (NKJ)
      2. If you do not know God, then you are dead, that is what Jesus is saying.
    2. To be unconcerned with the things of God.
      1. If you are alive with the Spirit of God you are concerned with the things of God.
      2. Bible reading and prayer have become a normal part of your life.
  3. What is spiritual life
    1. Jer 9:23-24 Thus says the LORD: "Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; But let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight," says the LORD. (NKJ)
      1. Not simply to know about God, but to know Him personally.
  4. There is certainty, We Know v-14
  5. The reason we know, We Love v-14

At this Easter season it is so great to know that all this is not just a nice story but it is our very life. That the death burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ is an intricate part of what we are. Does Easter mean that much to you? Do you know you have life, eternal life?