He Came: To Destroy the Works of the Devil - Radical

He Came: To Destroy the Works of the Devil

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Message Notes

Small Group Guide 

He Came: To Destroy the Devil

He Came Series 

If you have a Bible and I hope you do, I invite you to open with me to 1 John 3. 1 John 3:8 says, “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s works,” and there’s where we’re going to focus. Bart got us started with the previous sermon, looking at six different texts that are going to take us up to and through Christmas, where Scripture specifically says, “This is why Jesus came.” Six texts that we might not normally think of when we think of Christmas, this being one of these. 

Christmas Destruction…

What I want to pose to us is that until we realize that there is something in us, something in the world that needs to be destroyed, then we will miss the meaning of Christmas. And so I want us to talk about Christmas destruction. 

What we’re going to do is that phrase – and you might underline it in your Bible – it comes in the second half of 3:8 in 1 John, “The reason the Son of God appeared was to” – here’s the reason. So why Christmas? He appeared to destroy the devil’s work. And what I want us to do is I want us to take that verse and I want us to look at it and the verses that surround it in its context. And we’re going to read actually starting back in 1 John 2:28, go all the way to 3:10, and then kind of take that verse and work our way out from there. I want us to broaden a little bit, and then we’re actually going to end up at the very beginning of this passage right here, and hopefully get a glimpse of what it means for Jesus to come to destroy the devil’s works.

So let’s start in 1 John 2:28, John writes: 

And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.

If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him.

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure. 

Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.

Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. 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; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.

God, we pray that you would help us to understand what needs to be destroyed in us and this world. We pray that you would help us to understand why Christ came, and in the process, God, that you would help us to understand what this means for our lives. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

A little background here. We are jumping right into the middle of 1 John without much context, and we need to realize that John is writing this book, this letter, to address some false teachers who were claiming a variety of different things. Two main things: false teachers who were claiming that Jesus never really came in the flesh; that He did not have a physical body. They were denying the humanity of Jesus, that He never came in the flesh. And then second, on a more practical basis, these false teachers were saying that even if you believe in Christ, that doesn’t necessarily change the way that you live in the flesh. It doesn’t really affect your life on a day-by-day basis. 

And so John is addressing both of those. All throughout you see him talking about who Christ is, and you see him talking about how Christ radically changes our lives. He uses like cyclical arguments. He just keeps coming back to some of the same points over and over and over again. He even does this in this passage.

What I want us to do is I want us to start by focusing on verse 4-10. And what John does here is he develops one argument, and he actually does it twice. He does it in verse 4-7 and then he starts all over again in verse 8 and he repeats it again – just uses different words. And I want to show you the argument he develops around the reality of sin, the reason Christ came, and the result for Christians. In other words, what this means for our lives. 

The Reality of Sin…

So we’ll start with the reality of sin. John is showing us that sin’s scope is universal. Verse 4: “everyone who sins” (1 John 3:4)—everyone. This is one of six different times in this passage alone that John refers to either everyone or anyone, and the intent is to show us the universality of sin. That sin has permeated all of our lives. That sin has affected every single one of us. Every single one of us, from the youngest to the oldest. Every single person throughout history is affected by sin. Sin’s scope is universal.

Now to catch the gravity of this we need to see how John defines sin. Sin’s nature, he says, is lawlessness. “Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness” (1 John 3:4). Now this is not a term that we necessarily use very commonly today, so what does this mean—sin is lawlessness? And basically what John is saying in this definition of sin is he is telling us that sin is a direct violation of the law of God. It is to look – feel this – to sin is to look into the face of God and to say, “Your law does not apply to me. I live according to my laws and my ideas and my ways. I am outside of – or even above – your law, and I do not submit to it.” This is what happens whenever we sin. We are engaging in lawlessness; in rebellious, defiant violation of the law of God. 

And John said sin has its origin in the devil himself. Verse 8, “He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning” (1 John 3:4). And this is a reference here to before the Garden of Eden, when sin originated with the rebellion of the devil against God. And it led to the picture in the Garden of Eden. 

This is what Jesus talked about in John’s Gospel. In John 8 – we don’t have time to go there – but John 8:44, Jesus is talking to some teachers of the law who were talking about how their father is Abraham. And Jesus looks at them and says, “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning [Jesus said], not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies [Jesus says], he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44).

Sin originates with the devil, and the point that John is making here – don’t miss this. This is huge. The point that John is making is that whenever we sin, we follow the devil. Whenever we sin, we choose to rebel against the law of God, which is the core of what originated with the devil, and what he is tempting people to do all across the pages of Scripture and in our lives. 

So here’s the picture: sin’s scope, universal. It affects all of us. We are guilty of lawlessness. We have all looked in the face of our Creator and said, “Your law does not apply to me.” And the origin of that is the devil himself, and we are following him in that. And John says this is why Christ came – to destroy his work.

The Reason Christ Came…

The reason He came – two-fold here that John focuses on. First, the essence of Christ. His essence: He is without sin. Now John develops this throughout this whole passage. In 2:29 he says Jesus is the righteous one – “he is righteous.” In 3:3 he says “he is pure,” and then in 3:5 he says, “…in him is no sin.” That’s not John just saying, “Well, He never sinned or He never committed a sin.” This is John saying that in His very essence, in His very nature, there is absolutely no sin. He is totally sinless. In His very nature, He abhors sin. He hates sin. He has nothing to do with sin. He is righteous, pure, totally without sin. And His mission when He came to the earth was to destroy sin. To destroy it. 

This is the verse – second half of verse 8: “The reason the Son of God appeared” (1 John 3:8). Why did Jesus come? Why Christmas? “To destroy the devil’s work” (1 John 3:8). What’s the devil’s work? Sin. Jesus came to destroy the lawlessness that originated with the devil and has affected every single one of us. How did He do it? How did Jesus destroy the devil’s work? Come back to the beginning of 1 John 2:1-2. 1 John 2:1 at the very end John says, “Jesus Christ, the righteous one.” Now catch this – the righteous one. The one who had no sin in him. The one whose very essence is to have nothing to do with sin. The righteous one “is the atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 2:2). The righteous one – the infinitely holy Son of God – took the guilt of your sin and my sin upon Himself. Not only ours, “but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2). Took our guilt from our sins upon Himself. 

This is really, really, really good news. It’s the gospel that John’s showing us here, that He came to destroy sin by taking the payment of our sin and the guilt of our sin and the shame of our sin upon Himself, so that we would not have to bear the wrath of God due our sin. That’s the gospel. What John is doing is saying, “Here’s the gospel. Now see how this affects your life.” 

The Result for Christians…

And this is the result for Christians, and John says it twice. Come back to 1 John 3, look at verse 6 and then verse 9. He basically says the exact same thing in two different verses. In verse 6 John says, “No one who lives in him”—“him” being Christ—“no one who lives in [Christ] keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him” (1 John 3:6). And you get down to verse 9: “No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God” (1 John 3:9). 

Here’s what John is saying here. First, our belief in Christ makes persistent sin inconceivable. Our belief in Christ—the righteous, holy, pure one—our belief in Christ makes persistent sin inconceivable. Now I want to clear up a potential misconception here from the start. When you read this passage, it talks about, “No one who lives in him keeps on sinningNo one who is born of God will continue to sin” (1 John 3:6, 9), you might walk away thinking, “Well, does this mean that a Christian can never sin at all?” 

And this is kind of a confusing part in the whole book of 1 John because there are points all throughout this book where John talks about how we sin and we struggle with sin and we confess sin. But then in other points he talks about how Christians don’t sin, so what does this mean? What I want us to see is this is not John saying that a Christian will never once sin. In fact, when you look in verse 6 and it says, “No one who lives in him keeps on sinning” (1 John 3:6)—no one who continues to sin. Same verbiage down in verse 9, “No one who is born of God will continue to sin” (1 John 3:9). He cannot go on sinning. These words are translated that way because there’s a present tense verb here that is talking about an active, continual, persistent walking in sin. 

What John is saying is that when you believe in Christ the righteous one, who came to take away sin – verse 5 – to destroy sin – verse 8. When you believe in that Christ, it would make absolutely no sense for you to live your life continuing in sin. Walking in sin; living in sin. It would make absolutely no sense. That would be inconceivable. It would make no sense whatsoever.

It’s not saying that a Christian will not here or there fall into sin. But John is saying that when a Christian falls into sin, he does not stay there and live there. He is convicted, and he confesses his sin, and he fights his sin, and he runs from that sin. And next time he is tempted toward that sin, he is all the more vigilant, because he hates that sin because his life is united with Christ the righteous one. It would make no sense for him to continue in sin. 

I pray that God would give us this kind of perspective of sin in the church today. We are so casual and so carefree and light, and we are good at minimizing and justifying sin at every turn. And we need a perspective on sin that sees it as unthinkable. “Why would I ever do that when I believe in Christ?” No matter how small it may seem, big it may seem our belief in Christ makes persistent sin inconceivable. You want to live like that? Like sin is so rare and unthinkable to you that the very thought of it makes you run? Don’t you want to live like that? 

And John takes it to another level in verse 9. Not just our belief in Christ makes persistent sin inconceivable, but our new birth in Christ makes persistent sin impossible. Now follow this in verse 9. He talks about new birth three different times in verse 9. “No one who is” – first time – “born of God will continue to sin, because” – second time – “God’s seed” (1 John 3:9)—that’s a picture of the reproduction of God, putting his life inside of us. “God’s seed remains in him.” Then look at this phrase: “…he cannot”—so it’s saying it’s impossible—“he cannot go on sinning” (1 John 3:9). Why? “Because” – third time – “he has been born of God” (1 John 3:9). And the picture is that once you are born of God, and God puts His seed, His life, His Word, His Spirit inside of you, then it is impossible for you to continue in sin.

Do we see how counter this is? How against the grain this is to the way we have thought about a propagated Christianity in our day? The very idea that someone can be saved from their sins and yet live just like the rest of the world, continuing in sin, is preposterous in Scripture. And yet it is Christianity today. And the reality that John is teaching – the reality that Scripture teaches – is no matter what prayer you prayed or aisle you walked or decision you made – whatever was involved in that decision – if you are continuing in sin and walking in sin and living in persistent sin, you are not born again. Not born again.

some of you are thinking, “What do you mean?” Well, this is what the Bible says. Second half of verse 6, “No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him” (1 John 3:6). In other words, if you continue to walk in sin, then clearly, you don’t know Christ. You’ve not seen Him, and you don’t know Him. Now the big question, then, is well, what classifies as continuing in sin? And John does not give us that answer specifically, but he does say this – he does tell us that being born again is about so much more than getting a ticket out of the line going to hell and into the line going to heaven. That’s not what it means to be born again. To be born again is to be given new life. You were dead in sin at one point, and now you have life. And so you live with the seed of God, the Spirit of God, the life of God dwelling in you, so that you desire what He desires, and you want what He wants, and you think like He thinks, and you live like He lives. And His life is coming out in you, and it’s evident. No one who is born of God can continue to live the same. Everyone who is born of God is living out the righteous life of Christ in person.

It’s impossible – absolutely impossible – for you to be born again and yet to continue in sin. So what’s the intent of this passage? The intent of this passage is to cause us to ask the question… The intent that John desires for us to ask in 1 John 3 is, “Have I been born of God?” Have you been born again? There’s no more important question than this at all. Have you been born again? 

Not have you gone through religious exercise. Not have you done this. Have you had your eyes opened to the horrible ugliness of your sin, and eyes opened to the infinitely precious gift of Christ on a cross? Where you have fallen before a holy God and cried out for Him to save you from your sin, and you have said, “Your authority is reigning over me, and I submit and surrender myself to you. No more lawlessness. I abandon myself to your authority. You are my Lord and King.” Have you been born again? Are His desires alive in you, so that you are living out righteousness? And if you cannot say, “yes” to that question, then the intent of 1 John 3 is to cause you to cry out for life. Not to say, “Well, what do I need to do?” To say, “I can’t do anything. I need you to give me life.” You’re dead in sin. Only He can give life. And by His grace and His sovereign mercy He has brought you to this place at this moment where He’s calling you to Himself. And the intent of 1 John 3 is to call you to be born again.

And then, for those who are born again, who would say, “Yes, I am born again,” the intent of 1 John 3 is to cause us to look at any sin in our life, no matter how small or big. Over the last week, month, or longer in our life. To see it, and to hate it. And to say, “No! This does not match up with the righteousness of Christ. I don’t want anything to do with that sin.” It’s inconceivable to you. It’s impossible with the heart of Christ in you and the desires of Christ in you for you to continue in that. And so for you to confess that to Him, and to ask Him for grace to live out His life in you. So that this week the intent of 1 John 3 is to cause us to look at every single moment when we are tempted to sin, and to see it and think, “No! No, I would never do that. My life is in Christ; why would I do that? My life is submitted to the authority of God. Why would I rebel against the authority of God?” This is what John has developed here. 2,000 years ago, Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. So why would those who believe in Him, who have been born of Him, continue in the works of the devil? It’s unthinkable and impossible.

Christmas Anticipation…

Jesus is not Finished Coming!

Now don’t miss it. This is why we’re not going to stop here. I want us to move back to the beginning of this passage now, and not just see Christmas destruction, but to see Christmas anticipation. And this is the reality I want to remind us of about Christmas. 

Brothers and sisters, 2,000 years ago Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. But ladies and gentleman, Jesus is not finished coming. He’s not finished coming. You go to the beginning of this passage and John is talking like Jesus is still yet to come. Look at verse 28, “…continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident”—when He appears (1 John 2:28). He’s not looking to the past, he’s looking to the future. You get over to 3:2, “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him” (1 John 3:2). The word “appears” here refers to – check this out – the coming of the king, ruler, or official with open splendor, dignity, and respect. 

Yes. Yes. He came once, 2,000 years ago, as a baby. But He is coming back as a King. Absolutely He came as a baby to destroy the works of the devil, but He is coming back in the future as a King who has absolutely destroyed the works of the devil. He is not finished coming.

When He Comes Back…

Look at what John says here. He says when He comes back here’s the deal: we will see Him. The emphasis here, the word “when He appears,” emphasis on the real, physical, literal, visible second coming of Christ. Just think of it! There is coming a day when we will be going about our stuff in this world, and suddenly, instantaneously, out of the blue, in an instant, we will see Him in all of His glory. We will see Him as He is. Look forward to that. 

Look forward to that more than you look forward to a national championship game, and look forward to that more than – if you’re engaged, look forward to that more than you look forward to your wedding. Look forward to that more than you look forward to graduation, or your next promotion, or your next vacation, or your next advancement, or your next whatever we’re going to get in this world. Look forward to the fact that one day we’re going to see Jesus in all of His glory. We will see Him.  And check this out—when we see Him, we will be like Him. Hah! “We know”—verse 2—“that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). I’m not making this stuff up. We’re going to be like Him. 

Now obviously not in the sense that we will be – like just as Christ is God, that we will be God. No. But the whole picture is that we are going to reign with Christ, co-heirs with Christ. This is what redemptive history has been talking about from the very beginning. It’s the whole purpose. Romans 8:28—God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. What’s His purpose? Verse 29, “Those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son” (Rom. 8:29). He’s working everything together to make us like Christ. We were created by God. Sin marred us as His creatures, and the image of God in us has been marred by sin. And yet there is coming a day when we will be recreated, totally. When we will be conformed to His image. Transformed into His likeness. Resurrected with Him. When our bodies will be like His, free of pain, and free of cancer, and free of hurt, and free of headaches, and free of sorrow, and free of sickness. We will be with Him and we will be like Him.

While We Wait…

Now don’t miss the correlation here. This is key to understanding your sanctification. This is the key to unlocking sanctification in our lives. What John is saying here is that there is a direct correlation between seeing Christ and becoming like Christ. Do you see it? “When he appears, we shall be like him” (1 John 3:2). How? John says, “For we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). We will be like Him when we see Him clearly. Our seeing Him for who He is, is correlated to then our becoming like Him. And this is the whole picture. 

Now this is where John is not just saying, “Okay, look forward to this, and just kind of sit back and do what some of the Thessalonians were doing. Just kind of quitting their jobs and saying, ‘Well, Jesus is coming back.’” No, this transforms the way we live while we wait. John says while we wait we fix our eyes on Him. We look to Christ. 

What he said in verse 28, we “continue in him”—we abide in Him; we listen to Him; we worship Him; we exalt Him; we adore Him—and as our eyes, the eyes of our hearts, are fixed on Christ, we purify our lives before Him. Verse 3, “Everyone who has this hope in him (this hope of His coming) purifies himself, just as he is pure” (1 John 3:3). 

Now some might have a little problem with that language; we purify our lives before Him. What do you mean, we purify our lives? Well, it’s what the Bible says. Like he will purify himself. And here’s the picture. As we fix our gaze on Christ – this is sanctification. This is sanctification in John; this is sanctification in Paul. 2 Corinthians 3, as we behold Him in His glory, we are transformed from glory to glory. Here’s the reality. How do you grow in Christ? How do you become more and more like Christ? How do you become like Christ more tomorrow than you are today, and more next week than you are today? Here’s how: you fix your gaze on Christ, and you adore Him, and you live for Him. You continue in Him and you abide in Him. You abide in His Word. You worship Him. And as you do these things, you become like what you behold. But if you fix your eyes, your mind, and your heart, and your affections on the stuff in this world, the pursuits of this world, and pleasures of this world, then you will not grow in becoming like Christ. 

Fix your eyes on Him. Purify your life before Him “so that,” he says, “when He appears we may be confident and unashamed” (1 John 2:28). Who of us wants to be found, when Christ comes back, living and groveling in sin? Oh, God forbid! This is what John’s saying. He’s saying you want to be confident when the righteous one comes, and the pure one comes, that you are living in passionate pursuit of purity, holiness, and righteousness. This is what I pray for my life. It’s what I pray for your lives. It’s what I pray for us as a church. I pray that when – not if – when Christ comes, that He will find me, that He will find you – that He will find us radically pursuing Him, beholding Him with all of our hearts, and longing for Him with all of our beings, and living in purity for Him. I pray that when He comes we will not be found being casual with sin, and playing around with sin. Toying with temptation. That we will be confident when He comes. 

So this is what John has built. He has said Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. His first coming and our belief in Him makes a life in sin inconceivable and impossible. Praise God we are free! But we are surrounded by sin in this world, and we are tempted at every turn, and we still fall here and there. So how do we live? And John says lift your gaze. Put your eyes on the horizon and see Christ in all of his glory, and long for his coming so that you will be ready when He does.

Christmas Option…

Christmas destruction, Christmas anticipation. All that leads to the very last verse that I want us to look at – Christmas option. And it’s verse 10 in 1 John 3. What I want us to see in these verses is that John outlines two options – two classes of people, so to speak. Not three. No middle or third option here. Verse 10 says, “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; nor is anyone who does not love his brother” (1 John 3:10). Two options. 

We are Either Children of the Devil

If you have at any point tuned out during our time together, I want to urge you to tune back in at this point, because there are two classes of people in this world. There are two options here. We are either – first, we are either children of the devil – just feel how un-politically correct this is. To say that anyone who is not in Christ is a child of the devil. Try going public with that one. But it’s what Scripture says. 

The origin of sin is the devil, and he has led sinful hearts in rebellion against God. And the Bible teaches – Jesus Himself taught in John 8:44 – that all who live in sin are children of the devil. Could be on the outward appearance, the nicest person you could ever imagine, and yet if they are living in lawlessness and rebellion against the authority of God, they are a child of the devil. 

Slaves to sin, living in lawlessness – continuously, persistently. Active rebellion against God; your own ways, apart from the sovereignty of God. Men, husbands, dads – are you living according to the law of God? Are you living according to your own laws? Are you living under the authority of God? Ladies, women, wives, moms – are you living according to your own ways? You living according to your own ideas? If so, you’re living as a child of the devil.

Students, teenagers – in your life, are you submitting to the authority of God, or are you rebelling against the authority of God? Know that when we live as slaves to sin, it not only affects us now, but it affects us for all of eternity. Slaves to sin – and the result of following the devil in this way is that we are deserving of death

God help us to feel the weight of this! There is a devil, an adversary, an accuser, a slanderer. These are the names the Bible uses to describe him. A devil who desires that every person in this world would burn in hell. And he is intent on making the path there as smooth and as comfortable – maybe even as religious – as possible. And Jesus came to destroy him, and to destroy his work, so that you might be a child of God. 

Or we are Children of God

Second option: do you feel the wonder of 1 John 3:1? Oh, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1). Think of this – the infinitely holy God of the universe has looked upon you and me as children of the devil, rebels against Him, dead in sin, wanting nothing to do with Him.

And He has not just sent His Son to die for your sins, to atone for your sins. He has not just sacrificed for you. He has not just loved you. He has not just forgiven you. All of these things are great, but think of it – He has brought you into His divine family as His child! 

It was two years ago today that I had the experience of – first for me – delivering a baby. And our second son, Joshua, was born, and I pulled him out and saw his face. And so we had a 2-year-old animal birthday party. Joshua is totally into animals right now especially dogs and lions and other things, so an animal birthday party.

When I come home at the end of the day, the first words I hear are, “Hey, Daddy!” Soon to be followed by, “Let’s wrestle.” And so I put down my stuff, and we’ll get there in the middle of the floor, and it’s important to them for them to have wrestling names before the wrestling match begins. I’ve figured out that it’s actually far more important to get the name right than it is to even wrestle. We’ll get the name right for ten minutes, and then we’ll wrestle for like two, and they’ll move on to something else. So we do the name, and they like animal names. And so for a while, Joshua was Little Lion and Caleb was Crouching Tiger, and so that was their names. They came to me this last week and they decided they wanted new names, and so I christened them both. Joshua – this is a name he came up with – Joshua is now Barking Doggie, Caleb – the 3 ½-year-old – is Running Rhino which is appropriate. And I look at these two little guys – my sons – and I think – I’ve known Joshua for two years. Two short years. Caleb for just a little longer than that.

And then I think that the Father – capital “F” Father – before the foundation of the world… Just think about this. Before the world was even formed, the Father in heaven set His affections on you. Ephesians 1:5, “He predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ.” The Father set His love on you before the foundation of the world, that you might be called a child of God. Free from sin

Feel the force here of what John is saying. How can a child of God – why would a child of God – ever want to live like a child of the devil? No way! We’re His children. And not only are we His children, but – we don’t have time to turn here, but write this down—Hebrews 2:14-15. Verse 14 in Hebrews 2, talking about how Jesus shared in our humanity. Look at this, He shared in our “humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death” (Heb. 2:14-15). He shared in our humanity so that by His death – check this out… In His death He would destroy him who holds the power of death – that is the devil – so that we would be free from slavery to the fear of death.”

Here is the reality, brothers and sisters – children of God. Once the seed of God is in you, once His life is in you, His seed is in you forever. So that no matter what this life brings, no matter how malignant the tumor is, no matter how little odds the cancer doctors are giving you. No matter how unexpected the tragedy is, in the end, we are no longer deserving death. Now we are defeating death, and we have no need to fear. And we can celebrate – celebrate two funerals in the faith family this last week – two funerals because we know that children of God defeat death.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

LESS THAN 1% OF ALL MONEY GIVEN TO MISSIONS GOES TO UNREACHED PEOPLE AND PLACES.

That means that the people with the most urgent spiritual and physical needs on the planet are receiving the least amount of support. Together we can change that!