Faithlife Sermons

Coming to God with Confidence (Final)

Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  40:15
0 ratings
· 77 views
Files
Notes
Transcript
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →
Good Morning... I don’t know about you but I was thankful to see the rain this past week and also the blue sky on thanksgiving day.... After two weeks of smoke and bad air quality… it was such a reprieve… to go outside… Thankful that the fires are now contained.
• We are living in interesting times and we really at the beginning of the “Camp Fire” disaster… Over the next weeks and months and year we are going to have to continue to be aware of the great needs that are around us…This definitely is going to be a new season for the Church (capital C) - Season where we are to demonstrate compassion, live out generosity and love unconditionally…
• Over the past several weeks we together as a community have been in the Epistle of John the beloved disciple of Jesus… in this series entitled Radical community . I personally feel this is a timely message.... John encourages us to live out our Faith in deeds and truth… but this all comes from a deeper place.
• One of the main themes that runs through 1 John is the importance of having Assurance of our Faith, that is knowing with certainty that we are the Children of God…
• Throughout his letter John says things like we Know, you Know, that you may know..
• The reason John wanted them to have assurance of their faith, is that he was preparing the church for difficulties…that lay ahead…
We are living in a world that is becoming more and more uncertain....
The National Geographic just published and released a study this past Friday on Climate change… And they said that we are not waiting for the effects of global warming but we are already being impacted by it..
• The new report states that without "substantial and sustained reductions" in greenhouse gas emissions, climate change will hurt people, economies, and resources across the U.S.
• But the report also highlights how its worst impacts can be avoided, by adapting to our warmer world and by working to lessen future changes in Earth's climate.
More than ever we are aware of the changes in our world.. and that can cause some anxiety…
In his book Worry Less, Live More, Robert J. Morgan illustrates the fact that many in society are very conscious of anxiety
He tells of how Amazon keeps track of your highlights. When e-book owners mark sentences, the online retailer knows and notes it.
• Recently Amazon released a list of the most popular passages in some of its bestselling books, such as The Hunger Games, the Harry Potter series, and Pride and Prejudice.
• Also released, the most highlighted passages in the Bible. You would expect, America's favorite biblical portion to be John 3:16, Psalm 23, or the Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13. But, no, it was a less prominent text, but one that's striking a deep cord in today's worried world. It was
Philippians 4:6–7 ESV
6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
ESVdo not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Isn’t that a great verse… What a promise?
• Paul clearly outlines the answer to anxiety…Is to approach God with Prayers and supplication…When we do so the peace of God which passes ALL UNDERSTANDING will guard our hearts and minds...
• The very thing that we looking for peace of mind…. Is found in prayer!
On the surface we might think that prayer should be the most natural and uncomplicated part of Christian living. But in practice prayer can be confusing…
We might find ourselves asking - What is prayer?
• Does prayer change things or does prayer merely change the one who is praying?
• How should we pray?
• What should we pray for?
• Can we be sure that God always hears prayer?
• Can we be confident that he will answer it?
• T/s John tells us in Chapter 5, HOW TO APPROACH PRAYER… HOW TO COME TO GOD WITH CONFIDENCE.
• John starts off with a propositional statement --- Which is really the summary of the purpose of the book..
1 John 5:13 ESV
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.
T/s John’s Point for writing is that believers might have assurance of eternal life.. we are talking about full confidence and total trust in everything that God has said about himself.
T/S How do we Approach Prayer?

1. With Assurance - We have Confidence in the Architect and His Design.

• John is very purposeful in his writing.... He tells us that he is writing to us with intention.... He desires these Christians to know what it means to be a Child of God. John says he wants them to know that those who believe in the name of the Son of God have Eternal life..
• John says that we have come to know eternal life through believing.
• Now the word belief means to place ones trust in another - quite often it means that we accept something as true… John uses this word as special expression when it comes to salvation “to believe into” - Jesus himself is equated with eternal life… and through believing into Christ we share in Eternal life… and therefore -whoever believes into Christ has eternal life….
• Now, I want us to notice John says something quite specific here.
He writes to those who believe into the NAME OF THE SON OF GOD…
• I will never forget years ago this African Pastor visited our Bible College. And He preached his whole sermon on Praying the Name of Jesus… He said that he noticed that many Christians don’t use the name of Jesus when they pray. He said that is why much praying lacked in power… There is power when we invoke the name of Jesus… When you examine scripture you see that this is what Jesus himself taught…
Jesus taught his disciples to Pray in His name. John records this in the Gospel of John
John 14:13–14 ESV
13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
• When Jesus sent out the 70 Disciples we are told that they returned with joy. They reported that “Even the demons are Subject to us in your name”
• The demonic world responds to the name of Jesus.. This news excited Jesus… here is the reason…
• It is one thing to have Jesus (singular) casting out demon — dealing with darkness..
• What happens when empower and unleash 70 Disciples into the world or how about 1 Billion Christians in the world who use the name of Jesus…
Jesus response is quite telling -- Jesus said I saw satan fall like lightening from Heaven…
• Jesus also cautioned them not to rejoice only because the demons listen to them but that their names are written in the book of life.
When the apostle Paul was confronted with a demon possessed girl who followed Paul for several days — Repeating the mantra that these men come proclaiming the words of eternal life. We told that she became a nuisance and finally Paul turned to the girl and said to the the spirit “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her.”
There is power in the name of Jesus…
Origen a theologian in 185AD noted that Early Christians drew courage and strength from the name of Jesus…
• “The name of Jesus heals the afflicted in mind, puts to flight the spirits of darkness, and to the sick is an ever present remedy.” Origen.
• There is a connection to believing in Jesus and eternal life..Those who have believed into Christ the Son of God share in His eternal life…
T/S We approach God with Confidence in his name... and we approach him because we have eternal life. John says that he writes that they MAY KNOW ETERNAL LIFE…
Now eternal life is written in the present tense - eternal life doesn’t begin at the end of your life… Eternal life begins at the moment of regeneration at the point that God spirit indwells a believer…
• Eternal life can be described as Abiding Fellowship with God.. Eternal life is a personal-encounter knowledge of God, leading on to a lifetime of fellowship with him.
John 17:3 ESV
And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
ESV3 And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
Eternal life is connected to our fellowship with Christ...
John talks about this relationship in terms of abiding in Christ. Knowing God means talking to God and listening to God..Confidence of Eternal life is Going to give us confidence in Prayer.
How Does this help us in Prayer?
Let’s take this stool as example… there obviously is a company somewhere that made this stool.. There was a designer who came up with this design.. there are plans are somewhere…maybe in a company computer.. Now, ever week I’m putting my weight on this stool… and I am assuming that it’s going to hold me.. I’m placing my faith in the designer and his design… .. DID I have any input in the design?… no…. God is the designer.. His plan is a big one… that includes eternal life…. I don’t understand everything that happens in life – … but I have confidence in the designer… and his design.. this is assurance..
John Stott shares this great quote - “Assurance gives a man poise in the midst of a troubled world, though it does not give him cut and dried solutions of life’s problems”
How do we approach God?
T/S First we have assurance in approaching God - Second come to God with our petitions...
1 John 5:14–17 ESV
14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. 16 If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life—to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death.
T/S How do we Approach Prayer?
1. With Assurance - We have Confidence in the Architect and His Design.

2. With Faith Believing - We have Confidence that God hears and Answers our Prayer.

This is an interesting text… Some people have interpreted this verse as God kind of giving us a blank Check… All we have to do is fill in the details and our prayers are guaranteed… There is the element of answered prayer that I want to get too… But I first one to make the point that … God anticipates our prayers..
What John is talking about here is really our approach to prayer…
John tells us that.. God anticipates his Children to come to him with their requests… When you look at the word
The word “Ask” means to petition…to request.. it speaks of persistence.,
This word comes up often in the teaching of Jesus.. one example is in
Matthew 7:7–9 ESV
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?
Jesus describes Petitions in three words.
1. Ask - Request - (verb - action) to ask with urgency - lou Nida says even to the point of demanding... Not sure if my prayers sound like that
2. Seek (verb)- to try and find something - by moving from one place to another place... When we loose something in our house -- we help each other out... We go through everywhere we've been... Petition means keep seeking for an answer... listening -- asking.
3. To knock -- this is also a verb- It means to rap with ones knuckles to signal ones presence.
Those who Ask – Receive Seek - Find
Knock – and the Door will be opened to you
The key to answered prayer is knowing how to approach God with Confidence… We can bring our requests to God…
But we need to know that PRAYING OR PETITIONING is not the condition for answered prayer….
14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.
… we need to be careful how we interpret the IF ...— The word phrase "IF" ---- is “expectational” rather than conditional..
• In other words - God is waiting and expecting His people to pray… But the condition for answered Prayer is found in praying according to God’s will.. it comes out of a relationship of know and abiding in Christ… when we pray according to God’s will we can anticipate that God hears us and that he will respond!
• Prayer is more about listening to God than changing God’s mind… One of God’s attributes is that he is omniscient so he knows your prayers before your petition.... We are not bringing God up to speed… God knows the details.. He know the need… Prayer is listening and alignment.
According to Smalley in his commentary,,
• “Prayer rightly considered is not a device for employing the resources of omnipotence to fulfill our own desires, but a means by which our desires may be redirected according to the mind of God, and made into channels for the forces of his will”
Prayer is about aligning our will with God’s will. Prayer not about control but about conforming our will to His.
• When we pray in accordance with the will God there can be a sense of expectation that God is going to answer the prayer. When you pray like this .... you can have Faith… that God will answer…because you are simply agreeing with what God has said.
• Faith anticipates the blessing even before the event.. In Greek the verb “have” is in the present tense. Consequently, the promise is not even that we will have them, but that we have them even as we pray.
Now John urges us to Pray for others..to practice intercessory prayer ---
He tells us that we should Pray for our brothers who are fallen into sin — not given specific sins.
1 John 5:16 ESV
16 If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life—to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that.
. 16 If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life—to those who commit sins that do not lead to death.
The big point here is that we need to be concerned about Eternity of those around us....we should be praying for people to come to know… Christ and eternal life…
faithful prayers of believers in the church can help restore the wayward or backslidden Christian. Their prayers can affect the conviction of the Holy Spirit in the person’s life, as well as restore such ones to a wholesome Christian life..
John says there is
… a sin that “leads to death”…
There are various interpretations here… some say its those who have walked away from Christ… other say its those who committed the unpardonable sin by blaspheming the HS.
John most like talking about those who have apostate false teachers who have walked away from the truth… It seems that there is a prayer that cannot be answered.
John’s teaching makes one point very clear to us, and that is that we cannot take too much responsibility upon ourselves and upon our prayer mandate.
There are tragic possibilities that are beyond our responsibility. This does not mean that these situations are beyond God’s responsibility, but John wants to set certain limits… our mandate is to simply pray..
This is such a good point…
John wants us to have eternal assurance…
T/s John closes the letter reminding us what it means to be a child of God .. prayer is one of our greatest resources..
1 John 5:18–21 ESV
18 We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him. 19 We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. 20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. 21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols.
T/S How do we Approach Prayer?
1. With Assurance - We have Confidence in the Architect and His Design.
2.With Faith Believing - We have Confidence that God hears and Answers our Prayer.

3. With Understanding : Confidence in God’s Plan

John reminds these Christians of something he dealt with earlier and that is the problem of sin.. What about our imperfections… John wants us to know that sin shouldn’t be a Barrier to to or prayers… When we fall short that we have an advocate with the Father… But the spirit of God that dwells in us helps us overcome… therefore we are in this process of being made perfect… the breaks applied to sin… therefore it opens up this relationship with God...
one of the reasons for praylessness is simply guilt or we are not good enough.
In reality God is expecting us to pray…and God is protecting us from the influence.
Stott says “The devil does not touch the Christian because the son keeps him,and because the Son keeps him, the Christian does not persist in sin”
Vrs 19 know that there is a spiritual battle.. as children of God we are of God… and the whole whole (system) lies in the power of the evil one. The whole world is influenced by the Evil one…
I was reading a reflection written by Mat Dabbs… entitled He hears..and it’s is excellent heart felt reflection on these verses on prayer… Matt has and his his wife had a miscarriage….they believed that it was God’s will to save their baby..
Matt says when God didn’t answer his prayers His faith was shaken… When one of the most pure and legitimate prayers of my life seemed to go unanswered, I felt like God came up short. I had never had my faith shaken so badly…
But how can we believe when horrible things happen, like losing a child? John hints at the answer: “We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19). We may be connected to God, but the world is not.
Matt concludes by saying when we don’t understand maybe its not that God has failed or that we don’t understand the entire picture - the picture that God sees. Since we ultimately belong to God, it’s not our feelings or understanding that matter most --- but rather our belief.
What we hold onto is this belief and understending that we belong to him
.John says. Vrs 20 “We know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life
Conclusion – Johns Final word’s
21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols
v 21 may appear to be something of an anticlimax. But in fact it establishes a very strong contrast to the positive truth which has been outlined through the letter.. Avoid the sham, John warns, and keep to the genuine
keep yourselves from idols. The fact that the Church in the first century a.d. existed in the environment of the Roman Empire meant that Christians were surrounded by pagan idols as such, and needed to be warned against the dangers of idol worship…the temptation for John’s non-Jewish audience to succumb to idolatry would have been real and constant.. we might not be tempted by idols.l. But there are other things that occupies the place due to God.. there are things that we replace God with.. these become idols….John says don’t settle for anything less than big. ..
Conclusion
I was thinking about how easy it is to forget how many times God has answers prayers.. How many times God has come through for us… We have seen God do numerous miracles…. Times when we got desperate… Pam reminded me of a time when we students and budget was right and ran out of money and our neighbor had gone to a sale where it was buy one get one free… and gave us a chicken and can foods .. If we just took this week there were many prayers answered… in the midst of an uncertain would we see God pouring out grace..
Related Media
Related Sermons