He Came to Destroy the Works of the Devil

David Bast

Read: 1 John 3:1-9

The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. (v. 8)

This statement bothers me: “No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him” (v. 6). The reason is obvious: I keep on sinning. Does that mean I don’t know Christ?

If continuing to sin disqualifies someone, then no one can be saved, because all of us sin. So what does John mean here? He’s talking about two different kinds of people. One kind pursues righteousness. They love God and seek to follow his Law. They hate the sin that still dogs them, and when they fall into it, they repent and turn back to the way. The other kind of people live without regard to God and without concern about sin. In fact, they often see nothing in themselves to confess. So it’s not sinning that disqualifies one from Christ; it’s sinning without repentance.

“You will recognize them by their fruits,” said Jesus (Matt. 7:20). Sin is the devil’s fruit. But Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. One of the best reasons I have for looking forward to Jesus’ return is that then I will finally be rid of all the devil’s fruit in my life, and be completely Christlike. “Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him” (v. 2). What a promise! —David Bast

As you pray, repent of your sins, and renounce the devil’s works.