Faithlife Sermons

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The SCARIEST passage in all of scripture
“I grew up in church, but I just got out of it.”
“I really need to get back into church.”
“They are a christian, but they just don’t go to church.”
These are common statement that you and I have heard and used.
In those statements there is an assumption that something you do, or did, in church had some kind of saving effect in your life.
“I go to church.”
“I believe in Jesus.”
“I try to do the right things.”
“I don’t do things that I am not supposed to.”
Some of us in this room today live with the assumption that the things we do or don’t do are our justification before God.
should be the scariest verses in all of scripture for someone who claims to be a Christian.
These are people who did good and powerful things in the name of Jesus, and yet Jesus says He doesn’t know them.
Article: Translation into our modern age:
Didn’t we say grace before dinner?
Didn’t we vote our values?
Didn’t we believe prayer should be allowed in school?
Didn’t we go to church?
Didn’t we believe in God?
Didn’t we get misty eyes when we heard “God Bless America” at a baseball game?
Didn’t we give money to the church?
Didn’t we own Bibles?
Didn’t we want America to return to its Christian roots?
Didn’t we stay married and faithful?
My prayer and desire through this series has not been to make you doubt your salvation, but to confront each of us with the reality of what it means to be a Christian.
John wrote this letter in order that you may “know that you have eternal life.”
That we might live in confidence that we are truly saved.
Our verses today are the beginning of John’s closing thoughts.
He wants to answer the question “How can I be sure I have eternal life?”
As he has done throughout the letter, he give us three tests of authentic faith in Christ.
That you may know...
This is not steps, where we pass one and then move on to the other.
They are interlinked, wholistic.
1) LOVE Test (vv 1-3a)
1 jn 51-3
John’s thought-process
If you believe in Jesus then you are born of God
Those born of God (begat by the Father) love the Father
And everyone else born of the Father.
The way we love God Children is through Loving God and OBEYING His commands.
John has said the same thing in two different ways:
This is opposite of how we learned it before.
If you love God then love will flow from you toward others, especially other believers.
How do you
Loving others was a part of obeying
If you love other believers then love for God will flow from you in obedience to God.
Love is the soil of our salvation as it is planted in the love God has for us in Christ.
Love is the root of our salvation as it is strengthened and nourished by the sustaining, everlasting love of God.
Love is the fruit of our salvation as we love others out of the overflow of the Love we have for God and the love He has given us.
We love God most clearly when we obey His commands, and our love for others is shown most plainly our love for God flowing our in obedience.
2) OBEDIENCE Test (vv 3b-5)
The love we have for God is the motivation for our obedience to God.
And it is not BURDENSOME!
When you follow one that Loves you, from a heart that overflows with Love for Him, it is not burdensome, but freeing.
If following Jesus is a burden for you then you are not following out of a freed heart.
Your understanding of God’s commands is wrong.
We think of obedience like going to work and having to listen to a mean, cold, and overbearing boss.
But obedience to God is rooted in a growing and strengthening FAITH IN GOD.
1 jn 5
John frames the idea of obedience with the opposing idea of the “way of this world”.
Worldliness is following the ethics, ideas, and motives of those outside of God’s family.
It is the lens we view the world through that decisions are made through and values are pursued by.
Sexual ethics, the pursuit of happiness in money, fame or power, the love of self, the desire to be accepted by our looks...
There a
John is saying that an indication of one’s faith in Jesus is if they have “overcome the world”
Is Jesus and His ways the motives of their decisions?
Are they more concerned with what Jesus thinks then what others think?
Are the Words of God authoritative in their lives?
And John points to faith as the way our hearts overcome the world.
When Jesus becomes more precious to us than stuff.
When the ways of Christ bring satisfaction more than the pursuits of pleasure.
When we find our identity in who He is reforming us into than how many compliments or likes we get.
We obey Jesus with joy and consistency when our faith in who He is is firm.
3) DOCTRINE Test (vv 6-10)
John understands how essential it is that we understand who Jesus really was, and is, and will be.
Theology can often seem a dry, academic exercise, but it is the fuel behind our love for God.
The more you get to know who Jesus is and how incredible His works were/are, the more love, appreciation, and joy will flow from our hearts.
The more we get to know someone the more we have the opportunity to love things about them.
If you know Jesus was born of water and blood then you understand that Jesus being both fully God and fully man is profoundly impactful for your life.
If you understand what it means that Jesus is the Son of God then the incredible truth that we are also children of God is astonishing.
We must LEAN in to the deep, life-altering truths of the person and work of Christ.
It will move us to loving obedience of our Lord and Savior.
HOPE in LIFE and DEATH is found only in JESUS.
(vv 11-13)
1 jn 5
What we believe about who Jesus was, and is, indicates the authenticity our salvation.
What we believe about who Jesus was, and is, indicates the authenticity our salvation.
How we live based on who Jesus was, and is, testifies to the authenticity of our salvation.
How we love others because of the love of God shown in Jesus exposes the authenticity of our salvation.
He who has the Son has this life.
He who is without the Son is without life.
It is not an idea nor a system of belief nor even a fact that is the ultimate object of faith; it is a Person.
That Person is Jesus Christ.
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