Christ came to earth to do a certain work

(Image from Snapshots of Joy)

The following short quote is from an essay entitled Christ, The Destroyer: A Christmas Meditation
Robert B. Strimple, Ph.D. In speaking of Christ as The Destroyer, the author is meditating upon 1John 3:8:

He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. (emphasis added)


Notice what John says in 1 John 3:10. “This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; neither is anyone who does not love his brother.” John is so simple and straightforward. Our Reformed fathers spoke of human history revealing “a great antithesis”—what I have called a great war. Well, talk about an antithesis—here it is! John says: all men and women are one or the other. They are either children of God or they are children of the devil. And you show which you are by the kind of person you are. Sin, lawlessness, is the work of the devil—which the Son of God came to destroy. How can one who lives a life of sin claim to have been saved from sin by Christ?

No, it is not that the child of God never sins. To imagine that would also be to be deceived. Look back to 1:8, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” But the characterizing quality of the one born of God, the direction, the dominant chord of his or her life, will be righteousness, not sin. We might well translate John’s verb in 3:7 as “practicing righteousness.” In 1:6 John speaks of “practicing truth,” “living by the truth,” and in v. 7 of “walking in the light.”

And as I say, this is a most sobering truth. This “doing what is right” is the consequence of our being God’s children, not its condition. You are not God’s because you obey his law. You obey his law because you are God’s child, born of him. But doing what is right is always the result of the new birth, and the absence of that righteousness of life points to the most eternally serious conclusion.

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