Faithlife Sermons

Godly Confidence

Pastor Randy Bradley
The Book of First John  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  24:27
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Confidence is a tricky thing, too much or misplaced confidence can get you in a lotta trouble. Christians are called to have measured confidence based on Christ's work on the cross and our walk with Him.

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1 ALABAMA FOOTBALL COACH BEAR BRYANT • WAS KNOWN FOR HIS GREAT CONFIDENCE • HE WAS OUT DUCK HUNTING WITH A FRIEND • BUT NO DUCKS WERE TO BE SEEN • FINALLY, AFTER ABOUT THREE HOURS, • HERE COMES ONE LONELY DUCK. THE BEAR FIRES. • AND THAT DUCK IS STILL FLYING TODAY. • BEAR WATCHED THE DUCK FLAP AWAY, • LOOKED AT HIS FRIEND AND SAID, ‘YOU ARE WITNESSING A GENUINE MIRACLE. • THERE FLIES A DEAD DUCK!’”….. • CONFIDENCE IS A REALLY WEIRD THING • IT CAN HELP GREATLY TO HAVE CONFIDENCE • BUT TO MUCH CONFIDENCE • OR CONFIDENCE IN THE WRONG THINGS • CAN DO UNBELIEVABLE DAMAGE • I SPENT MUCH OF MY LIFE VASTLY OVER-CONFIDENT • NOT JUST OVERLY CONFIDENT, THOROUGHLY MISS-PLACED CONFIDENCE • MY STAGGERING SELFCONFIDENCE CONTRIBUTED GREATLY • TO MANY OF THE TRIPS I MADE TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM • AND IT WAS CERTAINLY A FACTOR IN THE BANKRUPTCY I FILED • IN OUR WALK WITH CHRIST WE ARE CALLED TO HAVE CONFIDENCE • WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT THIS CONFIDENCE IS NOT IN OUR SELVES • AND THAT IT IS A MEASURED CONFIDENCE THAT IS BASED ON CHRIST • AND OUR FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD • TO PUT IT ANOTHER WAY • ANY CONFIDENCE WE HAVE AS CHRISTIANS NEEDS TO BE • BASED ON CHRIST’S WORK ON THE CROSS AND OUR WALK WITH HIM • I NEED TO CONSTANTLY KEEP MY SELF-CONFIDENCE IN CHECK • WE ALL NEED TO BE AWARE OF WHAT WE PLACE OUR CONFIDENCE IN • MAYBE YOU HAVE SOME ISSUE WITH CONFIDENCE, • TO MUCH, TO LITTLE, MISPLACED, MISSING ENTIRELY • TODAY WE ARE GOING TO LOOK AT A DISCUSSION OF THE • CONFIDENCE EVERY CHRISTIAN CAN HAVE IN THE DAY OF JUDGMENT • TURN TO 1 JOHN 4:17 • JOHN HAD JUST TOLD HIS READERS • HOW LOVING ONE ANOTHER • IS HOW WE ABIDE IN GOD’S LOVE • HE HAD TOLD THEM THAT GOD IS LOVE • AND WHEN WE ABIDE IN LOVE • WE ABIDE IN GOD • NOW JOHN WILL TELL HIS READERS • WHAT THE RESULT OF ABIDING IN GOD’S LOVE CAN BE 1 JOHN 4:17 BY THIS, LOVE IS PERFECTED WITH US, SO THAT WE MAY HAVE CONFIDENCE IN THE DAY OF JUDGMENT; BECAUSE AS HE IS, SO ALSO ARE WE IN THIS WORLD. LOVE PERFECTED • THIS VERSE BEGINS WITH THE WORDS BY THIS • THE WORD THIS REFERS TO ALL THE THINGS JOHN HAD JUST SAID • ABOUT LOVE AND ABIDING IN LOVE • ALL THESE THINGS ARE THE MEANS BY WHICH • LOVE IS PERFECTED WITH US • THIS DOES NOT MEAN PERFECT AS IN WITHOUT ANY FLAW • IT MEANS PERFECTED AS IN BROUGHT TO COMPLETION • THIS IS THE EXACT SAME WORD JESUS USED ON THE CROSS • WHICH WE SEE TRANSLATED IT IS FINISHED (PAUSE) • WHEN WE ABIDE IN LOVE, UNCONDITIONALLY, SACRIFICIALLY SERVING OTHERS • WE ARE ABIDING IN GOD AND HE IS ABIDING IN US • AND THE GOAL OF LOVE IS COMPLETED WITH US • YOU SEE THE GOAL OF LOVE IS RELATIONSHIP AND FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD JOHN 3:16 “FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD, THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, THAT WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM SHALL NOT PERISH, BUT HAVE ETERNAL LIFE. • GOD LOVED US AND SENT CHRIST TO DIE FOR OUR SINS • WHEN WE RESPOND TO THIS BY TRUSTING IN CHRIST AS SAVOIR • WE ENTER INTO RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD • WHEN WE ABIDE IN LOVE, WE ENTER INTO FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD • AND THE GOAL OF GOD’S LOVE FOR US IS PERFECTED, COMPLETED. • AND BECAUSE THIS GOAL IS COMPLETED CONFIDENCE IS AVAILABLE TO US • WHEN JOHN SAYS • SO THAT WE MAY HAVE CONFIDENCE • HE MEANS THAT AS CHRISTIANS WE HAVE THE POSSIBILITY • OF TRUE CONFIDENCE (PAUSE) • THIS IS NOT FALSE CONFIDENCE BASED US • THIS IS TRUE CONFIDENCE BASED ON CHRIST • AND THIS IS POSSIBLE BECAUSE THE GOAL OF LOVE • HAS BEEN COMPLETED, PERFECTED • WHEN WE ABIDE IN LOVE (PAUSE) • WE CAN HAVE THIS CONFIDENCE • IN THE DAY OF JUDGMENT; • BUT WHICH JUDGMENT IS JOHN TALKING ABOUT? • IS THIS THE JUDGMENT FOR OUR ETERNAL DESTINY? (PAUSE) • JOHN IS TALKING TO BELIEVERS, HE IS SAYING • ABIDING IN LOVE RESULTS IN CONFIDENCE AT JUDGMENT • BUT THIS CANNOT BE TALKING ABOUT THE JUDGMENT FOR ETERNAL SALVATION • THOSE OF US WHO HAVE TRUSTED IN CHRIST WILL NOT FACE THAT JUDGMENT • OUR ETERNAL DESTINE IS ALREADY SECURE • HOWEVER, WE FACE ANOTHER JUDGMENT • WE FACE THE BEMA SEAT OF CHRIST • WE WILL STAND BEFORE CHRIST • AND GIVE AN ACCOUNT FOR HOW WE LIVE OUR LIVES AS CHRISTIANS • DID WE ABIDE IN LOVE, DID WE LOVE GOD AND LOVE OTHERS? • DID WE UNCONDITIONALLY, SACRIFICIALLY SERVE? • AND WHAT JOHN IS SAYING HERE • IS THAT AS WE LOOK FORWARD TO THIS JUDGMENT • THE BEMA SEAT OF CHRIST • WE CAN HAVE THIS CONFIDENCE NOW, WE CAN LOOK FORWARD TO IT • IF WE ABIDE IN LOVE, IF WE HAVE CONFORMED TO CHRIST • JOHN TELLS HIS READERS THEY CAN HAVE CONFIDENCE • BECAUSE AS HE IS, SO ALSO ARE WE IN THIS WORLD • WHEN WE ARE LIVING IN THIS WORLD • IN A MANNER THAT IS CONSISTENT WITH WHO CHRIST IS • THEN WE CAN BOLDLY LOOK FORWARD TO • THE DAY WE STAND BEFORE HIM AT THE BEMA SEAT • THIS LOOKING LIKE CHRIST • THIS CONFORMING TO HIS IMAGE • IS THE REASON • WE CAN HAVE CONFIDENCE IN THE DAY OF JUDGMENT (PAUSE) I AM NOT SURE IF IT IS STILL THERE • BUT THERE USED TO BE A PORTRAIT • AT THE MAIN ENTRANCE OF THE ALAMO • WITH THE FOLLOWING INSCRIPTION • “JAMES BUTLER BONHAM—NO PICTURE OF HIM EXISTS. • THIS PORTRAIT IS OF HIS NEPHEW, MAJOR JAMES BONHAM, DECEASED, • WHO GREATLY RESEMBLED HIS UNCLE. • IT IS PLACED HERE BY THE FAMILY • THAT PEOPLE MAY KNOW THE APPEARANCE • OF THE MAN WHO DIED FOR FREEDOM.” • NO LITERAL PORTRAIT OF JESUS EXISTS EITHER. • BUT THE LIKENESS OF THE SON WHO MAKES US FREE • CAN BE SEEN IN THE LIVES OF HIS TRUE FOLLOWERS. • IF WE LIVE LIKE CHRIST LIVED • IF WE LOVE, SERVER, CARE FOR OTHERS • THEN “AS HE IS, SO ALSO ARE WE IN THIS WORLD” • THE MOTHER WHO LIVES IN ANXIETY ALL DAY LONG • WHO WORRIES ABOUT EVERYTHING IMAGINABLE • SHE CAN HAVE CONFIDENCE, BOLDNESS • AT THE THOUGHT OF STANDING BEFORE CHRIST • AT THE BEMA SEAT • THIS CONFIDENCE, THIS BOLDNESS CAN COMFORT HER • IN ALL HER DAILY ANXIETIES • BECAUSE YOU SEE FEAR, ANXIETIES, ARE CAST OUT • WHEN CONFIDENCE IN GOD IS PRODUCED BY LOVE 1 JOHN 4:18 THERE IS NO FEAR IN LOVE; BUT PERFECT LOVE CASTS OUT FEAR, BECAUSE FEAR INVOLVES PUNISHMENT, AND THE ONE WHO FEARS IS NOT PERFECTED IN LOVE. FEAR IS INCOMPATIBLE • WE MIGHT THINK JOHN HAS CHANGED THE SUBJECT WHEN HE SAYS • THERE IS NO FEAR IN LOVE; • BUT HE IS STILL TALKING ABOUT CONFIDENCE IN THE DAY OF JUDGMENT • FEAR, WORRY, ANXIETY ARE THE OPPOSITE OF CONFIDENCE • IF WE ARE LIVING IN FEAR AND WORRY • WE ARE NOT LIVING IN CHRISTIAN CONFIDENCE • IF WE ARE ABIDING IN LOVE, WALKING WITH CHRIST • WE WILL NOT LIVE IN FEAR BECAUSE LOVE CASTS OUT FEAR • JOHN TELLS HIS READERS • BUT PERFECT LOVE CASTS OUT FEAR, • JOHN IS NOT SAYING THAT JUST ANY LOVE CASTS OUT FEAR • YOU CAN LOVE YOUR DOG, YOU CAN LOVE PIZZA • AND THAT LOVE WILL NOT CAST OUT FEAR • JOHN IS TALKING GOD’S LOVE, • WHEN WE ABIDE IN THIS LOVE • WE CAN HAVE CONFIDENCE AND THIS LOVE • WILL CAST OUT FEAR OF THE COMING JUDGMENT • JOHN EXPLAINS THIS WHEN HE SAYS • BECAUSE FEAR INVOLVES PUNISHMENT, • IF WE ABIDE IN LOVE • WE ARE CONFIDENT THAT WE WILL NOT FACE PUNISHMENT • AND THEREFORE, WE WILL NOT FEAR • SO, WHEN JOHN SAYS • AND THE ONE WHO FEARS IS NOT PERFECTED IN LOVE. • THE WORD FEAR IS IN A FORM THAT MEANS ON-GOING CONSTANT FEAR • NOT FEARING EVERY NOW & THEN • HE IS SAYING THE ONE WHO IS CONSISTENTLY LIVING IN FEAR • IS NOT ABIDING IN , WALKING WITH GOD • THIS DOES NOT MEAN THEY ARE NOT SAVED AND GOING TO HEAVEN • IT DOES MEAN THEY ARE NOT LIVING • LIKE THEY ARE SAVED AND GOING TO HEAVEN • LIVING IN CONSTANT FEAR, ANXIETY AND WORRY • IS TOTALLY INCOMPATIBLE WITH LIVING IN GOD’S LOVE I USED TO LOVE TO PLAY WITH MAGNETS WHEN I WAS A KID. • IT WAS REALLY COOL HOW YOU COULD • MAKE THEM STICK TO METAL OR TO EACH OTHER. • BUT MY FAVORITE THING ABOUT MAGNETS • WAS WHEN YOU TURN THEM AROUND THE OTHER WAY • AND THEY REPULSED EACH OTHER • THERE WERE ALL KINDA NEAT TRICKS YOU COULD DO WITH THEM • IF THE MAGNETS ARE STRONG ENOUGH • YOU JUST ABOUT CAN’T MAKE THEM TOUCH • THIS IS KIND OF HOW FEAR AND GODLY LOVE WORK • IF WE’RE WALKING IN GODLY LOVE • IF WE’RE LIVING LIKE JESUS CHRIST, ABIDING IN HIM • THEN THAT FEAR, THAT DREAD, WHAT WORRY • CAN’T COME ANYWHERE NEAR US, IT’S PUSHED AWAY BY LOVE. • BUT WE CANNOT LOVE THE WAY GOD CALLS US TO LOVE • UNCONDITIONALLY, SACRIFICIALLY, ON OUR OWN 1 JOHN 4:19–20 WE LOVE, BECAUSE HE FIRST LOVED US. IF SOMEONE SAYS, “I LOVE GOD,” AND HATES HIS BROTHER, HE IS A LIAR; FOR THE ONE WHO DOES NOT LOVE HIS BROTHER WHOM HE HAS SEEN, CANNOT LOVE GOD WHOM HE HAS NOT SEEN. • I DON’T KNOW IF YOU NOTICED • BUT JOHN TALKS A LOT ABOUT LOVE • AS A MATTER OF FACT, JOHN MENTIONS LOVE 36 TIMES IN 105 VERSES • AND HERE, JOHN TELLS US THE REASON WHY WE LOVE • WE DO NOT LOVE BECAUSE WE ARE AWESOME • WE DO NOT LOVE BECAUSE WE ARE SO GOOD • WE DO NOT LOVE BECAUSE SOMEONE HAS EARNED OUR LOVE • WE LOVE, BECAUSE HE FIRST LOVED US. • HIS LOVE FOR US IS THE REASON WE LOVE OTHERS • HIS LOVE FOR US IS THE REASON WE SERVE, CARE FOR, HELP OTHERS • HE LOVED US SO MUCH HE CAME AND DIED TO PAY FOR OUR SINS • AND OUT OF THANKS, AND GRATITUDE FOR HIS LOVE • WE CAN UNCONDITIONALLY, SACRIFICIALLY LOVE OTHERS • BUT JUST SAYING YOU LOVE GOD • IS NOT THE SAME AS ACTUALLY LOVING GOD • JOHN EXPLAINS THIS WHEN HE WRITES • IF SOMEONE SAYS, “I LOVE GOD,” AND HATES HIS BROTHER, HE IS A LIAR; • CONSTANTLY HATING YOUR FELLOW CHRISTIANS IS • INCOMPATIBLE WITH LOVING GOD • WE HAVE SEEN PEOPLE ON THE NEWS CLAIMING TO LOVE GOD, TO BE CHRISTIANS • MARCHING AROUND WITH SIGNS SAYING HATEFUL THINGS • CLEARLY HATING THOSE WHO THEY DO NOT AGREE WITH • WE MIGHT WANT TO REMEMBER THAT JOHN CALLS THESE PEOPLE LIARS • IF WE LOVE GOD THEN WE WILL LOVE OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST • BECAUSE GOD FIRST LOVED US THE STORY IS TOLD OF A GIRL • WHO REGRETTED BREAKING HER ENGAGEMENT AND WROTE THIS LETTER: • “DEAREST TOMMY, NO WORDS COULD EVER EXPRESS • THE GREAT UNHAPPINESS I’VE FELT SINCE BREAKING OUR ENGAGEMENT. • PLEASE SAY YOU’LL TAKE ME BACK. • NO ONE COULD EVER TAKE YOUR PLACE IN MY HEART, • SO PLEASE FORGIVE ME. I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU, • YOURS FOREVER, MARIE • PS: AND CONGRATULATIONS ON WINNING THE LOTTERY. • WE THINK WE KNOW WHAT LOVE IS • WE THINK WE ARE CAPABLE OF LOVING OTHERS ON OUR OWN • WE THINK WE LOVE GOD BECAUSE WE ARE SO GOOD • WHEN WE UNDERSTAND WHAT JOHN MEANS BY LOVE • WE CAN SEE THAT WE DON’T LOVE GOD, WE DON’T LOVE OTHERS • ON OUR OWN, BY OUR OWN POWER, BECAUSE WE ARE SO GOOD • WE CAN ONLY LOVE IN THIS WAY BECAUSE GOD FIRST LOVED US • HE LOVED US SO MUCH HE CAME AND LIVED A SINLESS LIFE • DIED ON THE CROSS TO PAY FOR OUR SINS ROSE AGAIN AFTER THREE DAYS • ASCENDED TO HEAVEN AND HE IS COMING BACK. • AND THIS GOD WHO LOVES US THIS MUCH • HAS COMMANDED US TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER 1 JOHN 4:21 AND THIS COMMANDMENT WE HAVE FROM HIM, THAT THE ONE WHO LOVES GOD SHOULD LOVE HIS BROTHER ALSO. • JOHN IS REMINDING THEM THAT • THE SAME GOD WHO COMMAND THAT WE LOVE HIM • ALSO COMMANDED THAT WE LOVE ONE ANOTHER MATTHEW 22:36–40 “TEACHER, WHICH IS THE GREAT COMMANDMENT IN THE LAW?” AND HE SAID TO HIM, “ ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ “THIS IS THE GREAT AND FOREMOST COMMANDMENT. “THE SECOND IS LIKE IT, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ “ON THESE TWO COMMANDMENTS DEPEND THE WHOLE LAW AND THE PROPHETS.” • THIS COMMAND TO LOVE OUR NEIGHBOR • APPLIES TO MORE THAN JUST OUR FELLOW CHRISTIANS • BUT IT CERTAINLY DOES APPLY TO OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST • AND WE ARE ABLE TO HAVE THIS LOVE BECAUSE GOD FIRST LOVED US • AND WHEN WE HAVE THIS LOVE FEAR IS CAST OUT FROM US • AND WE WILL HAVE CONFIDENCE, WE WILL NOT FEAR AND DREAD CHRIST’S RETURN • BECAUSE WE ARE LIVING, WALKING, ABIDING IN CHRIST • IN THAT MOMENT WHEN WE UNCONDITIONALLY, SACRIFICIALLY • SERVE, HELP, CARE FOR SOMEONE • IN THAT MOMENT…. WE ARE WALKING WITH CHRIST • IN THAT MOMENT…. WE ARE WITHOUT FEAR • IN THAT MOMENT…. LOVE HAS CAST OUR FEAR FROM US • DOES THIS HAPPEN ALL DAY EVERY DAY FOR ANY OF US? • NO, AND THAT IS OK, NONE OF US WILL DO THIS PERFECTLY THIS SIDE OF THE GRAVE • BUT, WHEN WE LEAN ON GOD’S WISDOM • WHEN WE YIELD TO THE HOLY SPIRIT • WHEN WE CONFESS OUR SINS • WE CAN DO IT A LITTLE BETTER, A LITTLE MORE EACH DAY • SO WHAT HAS THIS GOT TO DO WITH FALSE TEACHERS • JOHN IS WRITING TO REFUTE • IF WE HAVE FALSE CONFIDENCE • IF WE HAVE PROPER CONFIDENCE CONFIDENCE IS A TRICKY THING • TO MUCH CONFIDENCE PUTS YOU IN THE EMERGENCY ROOM • NOT ENOUGH AND YOU CAN BE IMMOBILIZED BY FEAR • I THINK THE KEY TO CONFIDENCE • IS WHAT WE PLACE OUR CONFIDENCE IN • IF OUR CONFIDENCE IS STRICTLY SELF-CONFIDENCE • CENTERED ON OUR ABILITIES, TALENTS, SKILLS • IT WILL FAIL US AT SOME POINT • WHEN OUR CONFIDENCE IS THE RESULT OF ABIDING IN GOD’S LOVE • WHEN OUR CONFIDENCE IS IN CHRIST AND NOT OUR SELVES • WE CAN BOLDLY WALK IN THIS MESSED UP WORLD • NOT FEAR, NOT DREADING, NOT WORRYING • BUT LIVING A LIFE OF SERVING AND LOVING GOD AND OTHERS • THIS FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD IS THE GOAL OF GOD’S LOVE FOR US • THIS IS WHY HE CAME IN THE FORM OF A MAN, LIVED A SINLESS LIFE…. 84
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