1 John • Sermon • Submitted • 21:35
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Are you confident in God?
Just to start, I want you to think about something you are confident in. Maybe it is school or music or athletics or your job. Do you know that whatever you are confident in, if you were to get rid of it. It would affect how you do. An athlete who is not confident will not play as well, because they are afraid to make a mistake. A student who is not confident will be second guessing themselves. A lack of confidence hurts, but when you are confident it helps.
Last week we talked about love, and John is saying that by truly loving it assures your hearts before God. He spent the past few verses showing how the false teachers are false, and how they cannot be trusted, and they are even not saved. There probably were some Christians who began worrying about their own relationship with God, because maybe they were not living the best. Maybe some of you were worrying about your position before God. John is writing to the believers that they can experience confidence in God. They can have assurance that they know God. You as well can be confident in God and before God. The assurance also plays out that it helps you with your life. It is important that you are confident in your standing before God.
What does it mean to be confident in God?
The Certainty of Salvation
John is saying that loving others helps assures your hearts before God
One can only love like this if they are saved, and when you love like this, it helps your heart being assured
He also says that you keep God’s commands it shows you are abiding in Him or walking as Christ walked
2 Peter 1:8-10 “For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:”
Peter is saying that those who are not growing and not adding to their faith are not forgetful that they were saved, yet those who do add these things, will not be barren or unfruitul in their knowledge, they will know they are saved.
Sometimes people doubt is because they are not growing. If you work at a company and you think that you are making too many mistakes, you doubt that you can work there or you have what it takes, but when you start doing well, it helps gives you reassurance. Same thing with playing sports or learning an instrument
Now you do not always live in a way that will be perfect, which sometimes can hurt your confidence in God.
The reason we can be assured is it is the Holy Spirit doing the work in you. The Spirit lets you know that you are a child of God
Romans 8:14-16 “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:”
The Spirit is the earnest of our inheritance, meaning because we have Him, we know we belong to God. He is almost could be a legal paper, that says you are in God’s family.
The Comfort from God
John then says something interesting, that if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things
Many times your heart can condemn you and make you feel guilty, to the point of even doubting your salvation,
Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
There are two kinds of guilt: condemnation and conviction, a believer should experience conviction but should not feel condemnation. Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
One illustration that the Bible uses to describe someone who is fickle is the wind. The wind comes from all directions, and will causee leaves or even a small tree or whatever to blow t and be pulled that way. Our feelings are the same way and we are led every which way by them.
Feelings are fickle, they change all the time. John is saying that you might not feel saved but if you have trusted in Christ you are. But God knows all things and is greater meaning if you have trusted in the Lord Jesus, than you are saved and it does not matter what your heart says in matter of salvation.
Are you struggling with your heart condemning you?
The Confidence in Prayer
Our assurance before God should have an affect on our prayer life
Meaning when we are assured of our standing before God it should cause us to be confident in praying and recieving things from God
Look at 1 John 5:13-14 “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:”
So being a child of God, you should start getting the privileges of God being your father which is answered prayer
But it is not a genie prayer
Because we will be praying in the will of God and God will answer prayers that are in His will, and the prayers seek to please Him
Notice also the word because in v. 22, it is that our life will help us in the matter of answered prayer
Righteous living helps with answer prayer
1 Peter 3:7 “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.”
James 5:16 “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
There were things I could ask my parents for as a son, and I knew when I was better behaved, my parents would be more willing to say yes to. A child who is misbehaving is not likely to get things from their parents, but a child who is behaving will. Someone who is living right, will be more likely to be someone who is wanting to please God
Are you praying? Are you confident that God will answer your prayer? Are you praying in His will?
Conclusion: A Christian who is not confident will struggle with usefulness. God calls us to be confident in Him.