Sermon #1576                            Miscellaneous Sermons


     Title:           “As He Is, So Are We In This World”

     Text:           1 John 4:17

     Subject:      The Believer’s Conformity to Christ

     Date:          Sunday Morning — June 28, 2004

     Tape #        Y-25b

     Reading:    Psalm 108:1, 4-5 & 1 John 4:1-5:4



You will find my text and the title of my message in the last phrase of 1 John 4:17.


(1 John 4:17)  "Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world."


John has been telling us about God’s marvelous, infinite, eternal love for us in Christ. God’s love for us is revealed in the sin-atoning sacrifice of his dear Son for us as our Substitute (1 John 3:1-3; 4:9-10).


(1 John 3:1-3)  "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. (2) Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. (3) And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure."


(1 John 4:9-10)  "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. (10) Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins."


The apostle tells us that if we are born of God we love one another (vv. 7-16). This is an indisputable fact, plainly revealed throughout the Scriptures. God’s saints truly love one another. ― “He that loveth not, knoweth not God: for God is love.”―  “If we love one another God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.” That is to say, our love to one another is the reflection and fruit of God’s love to us; and our love to one another demonstrates the truthfulness of our professed love for God.


In other words, John is declaring that, if I do not love my brothers and sisters in Christ with the kind of love that is revealed in Christ and set forth in the Scriptures, then I do not know God, I am not born of God, and my profession of faith in Christ and my professed love for God is nothing but a vain show. However, if my love for you is sincere and genuine, then my professed faith in Christ and my professed love for God is also sincere and genuine. God’s love is made perfect in us; it is made known in us, when we love one another. That is John’s doctrine in verses 7-16.


When the love of God is known and experienced in the heart, love flows from the heart. But then, in verse 17, the Apostle shifts gears.


“Herein is our love made perfect” – If you have a marginal reference you will notice an alternative translation. The text might be better translated, “Herein is love with us made perfect.” The Syriac version translates these words, “Herein is his love with us made perfect.” The Latin Vulgate reads, “Herein is God’s love with us made perfect.” Look at Romans 5:1-5.


(Romans 5:1-5)  "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: (2) By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (3) And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; (4) And patience, experience; and experience, hope: (5) And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us."


God’s love toward us, which is shed abroad in our hearts by the knowledge of Christ, is made perfect in us when we are made to see the fullness, completion, and perfection of our salvation in Christ.


“Herein is God’s love made perfect in us, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment.” ― There is a day appointed when God shall judge the world in righteousness and strict justice. In that day, though the wicked and unbelieving tremble and fear, the saints of God will have confidence, joy, and boldness.


“Bold shall I stand in that great day,

For who ought to my charge shall lay,

While through Christ’s blood absolved I am

From sin’s tremendous guilt and blame?”


The wicked and unbelieving fear the day of judgment. Some of you have nightmares about it. But God’s saints love it, long for it, and anxiously await it, at least we ought to. In that great day, we shall stand fearless, without the least dread, while the rest of the world cries for the mountains to fall upon them and hide them from the wrath of God and the Lamb. In that great day, when God shall judge the world in righteousness, God’s elect will have boldness. In that day we will…


·       Speak to Him who sits upon the throne freely and without fear.

·       Ascribe all praise, honor, and glory to Christ alone as our Savior.

·       Express our love and adoration to our God forever.


Would you have this boldness in the day of judgment? What is the basis of it? Where can it be found? Read the next line. “Herein is God’s love with us made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because (Here is the cause of that boldness) as he is so are we in this world.” What an astounding statement! This is the thing I want us to think about this morning ― As he is so are we in this world.”


Are you a believer? Are you a child of God? Are you redeemed by the precious blood of Christ? If so, this text applies to you. If at this very moment you trust Christ, if you have just this moment been born of God, this text is talking about you. As Christ is so are you in this world! It is our union and identification with Christ that will give us boldness in the Day of Judgment.


Proposition: Everything that the Lord Jesus Christ is in his office capacity as our Mediator, Representative, and Substitute before God we are in him.


The text does not say, “As he was, so are we,” or “As he is, so we shall be.” The text reads, “As he is, so are we in this world.”


The whole purpose of God for us in election, predestination, redemption, regeneration, and resurrection glory is our perfect conformity to the image of his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:28-30).


(Romans 8:28-30)  "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (29) For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (30) Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified."


We know that God will accomplish his purpose, ultimately, in resurrection glory. But here the Apostle John, writing by divine inspiration, tells us that God’s great purpose of grace is, right now, presently, accomplished in every believer. May God the Holy Spirit, who directed John to write these words, enable me now to show you their meaning – “As He is so are we in this world.”


I.                  As He is the begotten Son of God, so are we!


Christ is the Son of God by nature, eternally begotten of the Father. In that sense, he is “the only begotten Son” of God. But we are the sons of God by adoption and grace. The man Christ Jesus, our Mediator, is the Firstborn among many brethren (Rom. 8:29). And we are his brethren, the sons of God. And he is not ashamed to call us his brethren, because we are truly the sons of God with him (Heb. 2:11).


A.   God loved us as his sons (1 John 3:1).

B.   God chose us to be his sons and adopted us (Eph. 1:5).

C.   God gave us the nature of his Son in regeneration. We were begotten of God in the new birth by the power and grace of his Spirit (Gal. 4:6; James 1:18; 1 Pet. 1:23; John 1:13).


(John 1:13)  "Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."


(Galatians 4:6)  "And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father."


(James 1:18)  "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures."


(1 Peter 1:23)  "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever."


This is a privilege that exceeds all others. It is better to be a son than a saint. Angels are saints, but not sons. They are servants. Adoption is something even more glorious than redemption, pardon, and justification. It is an act of great grace to redeem one from slavery, to pardon a criminal, or to justify the ungodly. But it is a far greater, higher, and more glorious act of grace to make the redeemed slave, the pardoned felon, or the justified sinner one’s own son! ― “Beloved, now are we the sons of God!


That is an infinitely higher honor than to be the sons and daughters of the greatest man on earth. I am talking about an honor that Adam never had in the garden, an honor greater than the angels in heaven can ever hope to attain. They are sons by creation. But we are the sons of God by adoption and grace! As Christ is the Son of God, so are we in this world!


II.   As Christ is loved of God with an everlasting love, so are we!


“Thou hast loved them as thou hast loved me…Thou lovedest me before the foundation of the world” (John 17:23-24). ― Try to grasp the meaning of those words, which fell from the lips of the Lord Jesus Christ as he spoke to God the Father for us. As he is loved of God from eternity, with an immutable love of complacency and delight, because of his pledged obedience to God as our Surety (John 10:16-18), even so we are loved of God.


A.  God loves us as he sees us in Christ.

B.  God loves us for Christ’s sake.

C.  God loves us as he loves the Lord Jesus Christ, to the same degree, for the same reason.


·       Eternal love!

·       Immutable love!

·       Everlasting love!

·       Perfect love!

·       Free Love ― Yet, Earned!

·       Totally Undeserved, ― Yet, Fully Deserved!


III.           As the Lord Jesus Christ is elect, chosen of God and precious, so are we.


(1 Peter 2:6)  "Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded."


(Isaiah 42:1-4)  "Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. (2) He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. (3) A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. (4) He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law."


(Isaiah 43:4)  "Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life."


Christ was chosen of God to be our Surety. We were chosen to be his people. He was chosen to be our Savior. We were chosen to be saved. He was chosen to be our Redeemer. We were chosen to be redeemed. He was chosen to be the Head of all things. We were chosen to be his body. He was chosen to be the Foundation Stone. We were chosen to be the temple and building of God.


“Christ be my first Elect he said,

Then chose our souls in Christ our Head,

Before He gave the mountains birth

Or laid foundations for the earth.


Thus did eternal love begin

To raise us up from death and sin;

Our characters were then decreed,

‘Blameless in love, a holy seed.”


Predestinated to be sons,

Born by degrees, but chose at once,

A new, regenerated race

To praise the glory of His grace!


With Christ our Lord we share a part

In the affections of His heart;

Nor shall our souls be thence removed

Till God forgets His first Beloved!’



IV.           As The Lord Jesus Christ, our Substitute, is well pleasing to God, so are we in this world.


When Peter, James, and John were in the mount of transfiguration with the Lord Jesus, Moses and Elijah appeared before them, talking with the Savior. Peter was so pleased that he wanted to build three tabernacles, one for Moses, one for Elijah, and one for Christ. He appeared to place the law of God and the prophets of God upon equal ground with the Son of God! But God stepped in and said – Never! “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased!” (Mat. 17:1-5).


God almighty is pleased with no one and nothing but his Son. After God spoke, “when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only!” (Matt. 7:8). ― Blessed blindness is that blindness caused by SON burnt eyes! Blessed is that man who sees no man, save Jesus only, as the object of God’s pleasure! Blessed are those people who sit under a preacher who sees nothing, but Jesus only as the theme of Holy Scripture. Be sure you learn these two things from the mount of transfiguration…


A.  God is pleased only with His Son.


·       His Person!

·       His Obedience!

·       His Blood!

·       His Intercession!


B.   But, blessed be His name, God is pleased with us because we are in his Son, robed with his righteousness, and washed in his blood! ― “He hath made us accepted in the Beloved” (Eph. 1:6).


·       Accepted From Eternity!

·       Accepted Right Now!

·       Accepted At All Times!

·       Accepted Immutability!

·       Accepted Forever!


Imagine that! As God is pleased with his Son, he is pleased with me! ― “As he is, so are we in this world!”


V.  As the Lord Jesus Christ is justified from all sin, so are we (Rom. 6:6-11).


(Romans 6:1-11)  "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? (2) God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? (3) Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? (4) Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (5) For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: (6) Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. (7) For he that is dead is freed from sin. (8) Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: (9) Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. (10) For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. (11) Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord."


·       “He was justified in the Spirit” (1 Tim. 3:16).

·       “In him is no sin” (1 John 3:5).


Illustration: Christ the Paschal Lamb was slain for our sins. ― Christ the Scapegoat carried our sins into the tomb. ― Christ the Fit Man returned from the grave without sin!


“With His spotless garments on

I am as holy as God’s Son!”


Children of God, behold the risen Christ and see that…


A.   The law has no more dominion over him, and “as he is so are we in this world” (Rom. 7:4).


(Romans 7:1-4)  "Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? (2) For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. (3) So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. (4) Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God."


B.   Sin has no more dominion over him, and “as he is so are we in this world” (Rom. 6:18; 1 Pet. 4:1).


(Romans 6:18)  "Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness."


(1 Peter 4:1)  "Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;"


C.   Death has no more dominion over him, and “as he is so are we in this world” (1 Cor. 15:55-57; Heb. 2:15).


(1 Corinthians 15:55-57)  "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (56) The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. (57) But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."


(Hebrews 2:15)  "And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage."


VI.           As the Son of God is a stranger to this world, so are we.


“The world knoweth us not, because it knew him not” (John 1:10-11; Isa. 53:1-3).


(Isaiah 53:1-3)  "Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? (2) For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. (3) He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not."


(John 1:10-11)  "He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. (11) He came unto his own, and his own received him not."


And as long as we are in this world, if we follow him, we will be strangers to it (John 15:17-20; 16:1-3).


(John 15:17-20)  "These things I command you, that ye love one another. (18) If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. (19) If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. (20) Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also."


(John 16:1-3)  "These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. (2) They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. (3) And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me."


“Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hat you” (1 John 3:13). The Lord Jesus places this badge of honor upon all his disciples, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world” (John 17:16).


·       Not Of The World’s Religion!

·       Not Of The World’s Philosophy!

·       Not Of The World’s Fashion!

·       Not Of The World’s Ambition!

·       Not Of The World’s Mind! (1 Cor. 2:14-16 – “We have the mind of Christ!”)


VII.       As the Lord Jesus Christ is the servant of God, so are we (Isa. 42:1-4).


(Isaiah 42:1-4)  "Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. (2) He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. (3) A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. (4) He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law."


The Son of God “took on him the form of a servant and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:7-8). He “came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:25-28).


Paul called himself “the servant (bondslave) of Jesus Christ.” As Christ was the Servant of God, and as he is now even in heaven, the Servant of God, “so are we in this world.” If we are born of God, we are the servants of God. I am sometimes asked, “What does it take for a person to be a Christian?” I know the answer to that question — “Nothing from me, but all of me” (Luke 14:25-33).


(Luke 14:25-33)  "And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, (26) If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. (27) And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. (28) For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? (29) Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, (30) Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. (31) Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? (32) Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. (33) So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple."


Illustrations: Chief give himself to Jesus.”


When Pete Rose was in his prime with the Cincinnati Reds, one of the sports announcers watching him said, “The man only knows one way to play this game — 100%!” That is the only way to serve God — 100%!


The Bible tells us, by picture and by precept what a servant is. Let me give you this and I will send you home.


·       A servant is one who, having counted the cost, willingly has his ear bored (Ex. 21:1-6).


(Exodus 21:1-6)  "Now these are the judgments which thou shalt set before them. (2) If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing. (3) If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him. (4) If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out by himself. (5) And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free: (6) Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him for ever."


IllustrationsMoses (Heb. 11:24).

                                  Believer’s Baptism (Rom. 6:4-6).


C.  The servant has only one object in lifeThe glory, honor, and will of his master!


He submits his life’s ambitions and blueprints to his master, desiring not his will, but his master’s will, desiring not his way, but his master’s way. He says, “I love my master, I will not go out free.” Are we the servants of God? Then…


·       Whatsoever we do in word or in deed, let us do all for the glory of God!

·       Let us resolve that no flesh glory in his presence.

·       Let us say with Paul, “God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”


Illustration: If two angels were sent by God to the earth, one to rule a nation and the other to sweep the streets for the glory of God, they would not care which they did.


(1 Corinthians 3:5-9)  "Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? (6) I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. (7) So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. (8) Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. (9) For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building."


D.  The servant of God has only one message to declareHis Master’s message – “The Doctrine of Christ(2 John 7-9).


(2 John 1:7-9)  "For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. (8) Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. (9) Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son."


1.    What is the doctrine of Christ?


·       His Eternal Diety!

·       His Suretyship!

·       His Incarnation!

·       His Righteousness!

·       His Effectual Atonement!

·       His Resurrection And Exaltation!

·       His Intercession!

·       His Glorious Second Advent! ― “Christ is all!”


2.    What should our attitude be toward those who do not preach the doctrine of Christ?


(2 John 1:10-11)  "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: (11) For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."


(Deuteronomy 13:6-10)  "If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; (7) Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth; (8) Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: (9) But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. (10) And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage."


E.   The servant of God calls nothing his own (Acts 4:32).


Illustration: The Pearl Merchant and the Great Pearl.


“So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:3). Let me put this into plain English…


·       One man and his wife can build a house for their family, but a preacher and twelve men cannot erect a house of worship for the glory of God. ― Give me twelve disciples, anywhere in the world, and I will!


·       One man can send three children through college, but twelve men cannot send a missionary out to preach the gospel. ― Give me twelve disciples, and I will!


·       One man can open a produce stand and faithfully sit by the road peddling produce until 25 years later he has a chain of grocery stores. ― Where is the disciple who is so determined, so committed, so faithful to the glory of God?


F.   The servant wants nothing, but to hear his Master say, “Well done!”


Illustration: The preacher and his airline companion. I’m in business with my father – So am I. Our business is jewels – Ours, too! We only deal in the best of jewels — Us too! I’m on my way home now to meet my father — So am I! I sure hope he will be pleased with what I’ve done — So do I!


Conclusion: “As he is, so are we in this world.”


·       The Begotten Son of God!

·       Loved of God!

·       Chosen of God!

·       Well-pleasing to God!

·       Justified – Freed from sin!

·       A Stranger in This World!

·       The Servant of God!


One more thing I must tell you before I send you home — As Christ is now, so shall we be in the world to come!


(John 17:5)  "And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was."


(John 17:22)  "And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:"


(1 John 3:1-2)  "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. (2) Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is."