Pastor James J. Barker

Text: I JOHN 3:1-10


  1. It is only less than a week till Christmas. I love to sing the old Christmas carols. Years ago in chapel Bro. Brown said that he remembers singing "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" as a boy in public school.
  2. He was not saved at the time and wondered what Charles Wesley meant by "Born to give them second birth."
  3. There is a lot of sound doctrine in these old Christmas carols. That is why the devil has tried to get them out of the public schools, and has replaced them with "Winter Wonderland" and "Santa Claus is Coming to Town."
  4. Today you are not allowed to talk about Jesus in the public schools but they are allowing Muslim students to pray in the school auditorium during the month of Ramadam.
  5. This wicked old world is very confused. Thatís because sinners will not heed Godís Word. And it seems that sinners love Christmas but they hate Jesus! Have you noticed that? Theyíll spend hours decorating their front yard with plastic snowmen and reindeer, and theyíll string up lights all over the place Ė but you try and give them a Gospel tract and they get angry.
  6. Well, Iím glad itís not that way in here today. Weíre going to preach Jesus this Christmas and every Christmas; this Lordís Day and every Lordís Day. We donít need more Santa, we need more of Jesus.
  7. One thing I like about Christmas, it makes some people stop and think about the birth of our Lord. Why was Jesus born 2,000 years ago? The Bible says, "And ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin" (I John 3:5). Jesus Christ came into this world to die on the cross for our sins.
  8. Today I would like for us to consider three reasons why our Lord was born?



  1. Back to Charles Wesleyís great hymn, "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing," Wesley wrote: "Born to raise the sons of earth; Born to give them second birth."
  2. John says, "Beloved, NOW are we the sons of GodÖ" (I John 3:2).
  3. It was the apostle John who recorded our Lordís statement to Nicodemus, "Ye must be born again" (John 3:7). And it is John who gives the characteristics of the true born-again child of God.
    • He "doeth (practices) righteousness" (I John 2:29).
    • He "doth not commit (practice) sin" (I John 3:9; 5:18).
    • He loves his fellow Christians (I John 4:7).
    • He believes that Jesus is the Christ (Messiah) (I John 5:1).
    • He "overcometh the world" (I John 5:4).
  1. We should not expect the world to understand any of this. The Bible says, "Therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not" (I John 3:1). The world "knew Him not." "He came unto His own, and His own received Him not" (John 1:12).
  2. When He laid there in the manger, the world knew Him not. When Herod tried to kill Him, the world knew Him not. There were a few humble shepherds in the field, and some wise men who traveled from the east to worship Him. But most people "knew Him not."
  3. The religious leaders knew Him not. And eventually they would succeed in having Him nailed to a cross on Mount Calvary, which brings me to my next point.



    1. We see this word "manifested" twice here in this chapter (3:5,8). It is an important doctrinal word and John uses it often in his writings.
    2. The idea of manifestation here assumes the fact of preexistence (cf. I Tim.3:16; Micah 5:2).
    3. When people think of the birth of Christ, they often overlook His preexistence Ė "God was manifest in the flesh" (I Tim.3:16).
    4. By the way, one of my favorite Christmas texts is found right here in Paulís first epistle to Timothy (1:15).
    5. Since Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, He had to take on Himself flesh and blood in order to become a man. This is what we mean by the incarnation of Christ. This is what the first Christmas was all about.
    6. I heard about two women who were walking around a downtown area and window-shopping. It was Christmas time and they were admiring all the glittery displays and decorations. They came to one store that had a big manger scene in the window. One woman turned to her friend and said: "Will you look at that! Now these church people are trying to take over Christmas!"
    7. For the Christian, Christmas is not about worldly parties and Santa Claus and ho-ho-ho, it is about the Lord Jesus Christ leaving the splendor of heaven and coming down to this wicked world to die on the cross for our sins (I John 3:5).
    8. One wise man said: "Donít get so wrapped up in what the world has to sell that you miss what God has to give."
    9. The word "manifested" means "revealed" or "appeared." John says, "And ye know that He was manifested (revealed)Ö" (I John 3:5). How was Christ manifested (revealed)? As a little baby born in a manger in Bethlehem (cf. I John 1:1,2).
    10. Why was Christ manifested (revealed)? "To take away our sins" (I John 3:5). "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).
    11. How did Christ take away our sins? By dying on the cross for our sins (I John 1:7). Let us never lose sight of that.
    12. When I think of where I was when God saved me, I am so thankful for the true meaning of Christmas (I John 3:5).



    1. We just saw that the only way we can have our sins forgiven is through Christís death on the cross. It is also on the basis of the cross that Christ has given us victory over the works of the devil (I John 3:8).
    2. We are not saved through our Lordís sinless life (cf. I John 3:5b). And no one was ever saved by His wonderful miracles. And we cannot be saved through His teaching. And not even through His resurrection from the dead. These are all very important, but the Bible teaches that it was through Christís substitutionary death on the cross that we are saved.
    3. "The works of the devil" (I John 3:8) is a descriptive term for sin. The Bible calls sin iniquity, transgressions, and here sin is called "the works of the devil" Ė "for the devil sinneth from the beginning" (3:8).
    4. Spurgeon said, "Sin is so abominable in the sight of God and of good men that its various forms are said to be Ďthe works of the devilíÖLet every man know that if he lives in sin his actions are called by the Holy Spirit Ďthe works of the devil.í"
    5. What are some of these works of the devil?
  • "All unrighteousness is sin" (I John 5:17). This covers everything that is displeasing to God.
  • Lawlessness is sin (I John 3:4). All lawlessness is from the devil.
  • Questioning Godís Word (Genesis 3:1).
  • Contradicting Godís Word (Genesis 3:2-4).
  • Murder (Genesis 4:8; cf. I John 3:11,12; John 8:44).
  • Lying (John 8:44).
  • The devil insinuates evil thoughts and ideas in peoplesí minds (John 13:2).
  • The devil deceives all unsaved people, especially through religion (Matt.4:8,9; I John 5:19; Rev.12:9).
  • When Anton La Vey started the Church of Satan on California Street in San Francisco, he said he built it upon "complete sexual permissiveness and unrestrained greed." When you consider how popular these two pillars of Satanism have become today you would have to agree that Satan has made great headway here in America. Immorality, fornication, adultery, homosexuality, pornography, etc. are all "works of the devil."
  • According to the Bible, all unsaved people are Satanís children (I John 3:10).
  • The devil captures their minds and ensnares them (II Tim.2:26).


  1. There is a story I heard long ago that I donít think Iíll ever forget. A young boy lost his right hand in a terrible accident. He felt so badly about it that he did not want to see anyone.
  2. His father said, "Iím going to bring a preacher to see you." The son said, "I donít want to see him." But his father brought him anyway.
  3. When the preacher arrived, the boy was surprised to see that he had no right arm; there was an empty sleeve.
  4. He came over to the boy and said, "I havenít any hand either. I lost mine when I was a boy, and I know how you feel." It was not hard for this boy to warm up to the preacher and get acquainted because this preacher knew how he felt.
  5. The Lord Jesus Christ knows how we feel. He came into this world and became a man. He was rejected; He was mistreated; He was betrayed; He was beaten; and He was crucified Ė for you and for me.

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