April 10, 2015
I John 3:8
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
A mission statement is a “…one-sentence statement describing the reason an organization, program or ministry exists. It is used to help guide decisions about priorities, actions, and responsibilities….Good mission statements should be clear, memorable and concise.” (Paraphrased from 50 Example Mission Statements, http://topnonprofits. com/ examples/nonprofit-mission-statements/). Some examples of well-known non-profits and their mission statements are:
• Smithsonian – “The increase and diffusion of knowledge.”
• The Humane Society – “Celebrating Animals, Confronting Cruelty.”
• March of Dimes – “We help moms have full-term pregnancies and research the problems that threaten the health of babies.”
• American Red Cross – “…prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.”
What is Jesus’ mission statement? He has more than one, but perhaps the best is found in I John 3:8: “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” I summarize this mission statement as Destroying The Destroyer! Let’s analyze the various phrases of this scripture.
• “…the Son of God was manifested….” He was hidden for thousands of years! What do I mean by that? The idea of the Triune God is hinted at in the Old Testament, but it was God, the Father who was the focus during those first millennia. For instance, when the Israelites responded with an abundance of gifts for the building of the future temple, David opened his prayer of thanksgiving this way in I Chronicles 29:10: “Blessed are you, LORD God of Israel, our Father, forever and ever.” God, the Spirit is revealed early on, but He was often seen as the active force of God, not a Person of the Trinity. In Genesis 1:2 it is recorded, “And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” There are also veiled references to God, the Son, as in Proverbs 30:4:
Who has ascended into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind
in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established
all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son’s name, if
But in the New Testament, “…the Son of God was manifested…”! Jesus told Philip in John 14:9, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father….” And Paul wrote in Colossians 1:15 and 2:9, “He is the image of the invisible God…the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” The apostle John opens his first epistle – verses 1 through 3 – by expanding on this theme:
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have
seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have hand-
led, concerning the Word of life — the life was manifested, and we have
seen it, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life, which was
with the Father, and was manifested to us — that which we have seen and
heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and
truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.
Indeed, “…the Son of God was manifested…”! But why was He manifested?
• “…that He might destroy the works of the devil.” This is where the blog’s title comes in – Destroying The Destroyer! In John 10:10 Jesus described in the negative Satan’s purpose: “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” You can say that “to destroy” is kind of a summary of the other two things for which “the thief ” comes. For in stealing, the devil destroys possessions, health, relationships, etc. In killing, he destroys life itself – physical only if that one from whom he takes life is a Christian. For Jesus said in Luke 12:4, “And I say to you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.” And Paul emphasized for the believer in II Corinthians 5:8, “…to be absent from the body [is] to be present with the Lord.” But for the unbeliever, if the devil succeeds in taking a physical life, he has also destroyed the chance for eternal life! I know that life and death are in the hands of God, not Satan (see Job 7:1; 14:5; Psalm 139:16; Revelation 1:18; Luke 12:20). But the devil will do his best to kill both body and soul!
To complete the study of what Jesus came to destroy, reread the blog from September 8, 2014, called Destroying Destruction! I featured the same scripture, I John 3:8, and discussed the various aspects of Satan’s work Jesus destroys.