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Children of God

This week we will continue in our series on 1 John. In fact, we are up to chapter 5, so this is our final week of the series. I have been really encouraged by this series and revisiting this book. As I have, I realised just how much the writings of John have shaped my life and ministry.

Last week we saw three things in chapter 4…

  1. He wanted to warn us about false teachers who would try and lead us astray.
  2. He wanted to remind us of the importance of loving our brothers and sisters in Christ.
  3. He wanted us to remember that perfect love drives out fear.

This week we will look at five things that God wants me to draw out of this chapter.

Bible Reading

1 John 5:1-21 NLT

1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has become a child of God. And everyone who loves the Father loves His children, too.
2 We know we love God’s children if we love God and obey His commandments.
3 Loving God means keeping His commandments, and His commandments are not burdensome.
4 For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith.
5 And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.
6 And Jesus Christ was revealed as God’s Son by His baptism in water and by shedding His blood on the cross–not by water only, but by water and blood. And the Spirit, who is truth, confirms it with His testimony.
7 So we have these three witnesses [in heaven–the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one. And we have three witnesses on earth]–
8 the Spirit, the water, and the blood–and all three agree.
9 Since we believe human testimony, surely we can believe the greater testimony that comes from God. And God has testified about His Son.
10 All who believe in the Son of God know in their hearts that this testimony is true. Those who don’t believe this are actually calling God a liar because they don’t believe what God has testified about His Son.
11 And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.
12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life.
13 I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life.
14 And we are confident that He hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases Him.
15 And since we know He hears us when we make our requests, we also know that He will give us what we ask for.
16 If you see a Christian brother or sister sinning in a way that does not lead to death, you should pray, and God will give that person life. But there is a sin that leads to death, and I am not saying you should pray for those who commit it.
17 All wicked actions are sin, but not every sin leads to death.
18 We know that God’s children do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot touch them.
19 We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one.
20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and He has given us understanding so that we can know the true God. And now we live in fellowship with the true God because we live in fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only true God, and He is eternal life.
21 Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.

Message Points

As I mentioned earlier I have 5 points to bring out today.

1. Children of God love God and obey His commands

1 John 5:2-3 NLT – We know we love God’s children if we love God and obey His commandments.  3 Loving God means keeping His commandments, and His commandments are not burdensome.

We become children of God by putting our faith and trust in Jesus. This is when we are born again into God’s eternal family. This is when we receive His Holy Spirit and our lives are changed forever in an instant and they progressively change over time into the image of Christ.

One of the ways that John says we measure this change is by our love for God, our love for His other children, and our obedience to His commandments.

When we look at the 10 Commandments from the Old Testament, we see that the first four look to how we should relate to God and the next six look at how we should relate to each other. Likewise, in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount He spoke about relationship with our Father in Heaven and our relationship to each other.

As Jesus, Himself said in Mark 12:30-31 NLT “And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’  31 The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”

Children of God need to love God, love one another and obey His commands.

2. Children of God overcome the world

1 John 5:4-5 says, “For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith.  5 And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.”

Children of God overcome the world. How do we overcome the world? We overcome the world because of our faith in Christ. The world says we are hear by chance. Our faith in Christ says we are hear by God’s plan and purpose. The world says we are born, we live and we die and that is the end of us. Our faith in Christ says we are eternal beings with a future hope of spending eternity with Christ in His Kingdom. The world says we are measured by what we do and what we own. Our faith in Christ says we are measured by who we belong to and how much He paid to purchase our freedom. Jesus paid it all.

For us as children of God to overcome the world, we must keep standing firm when all seems against us. When we are tempted to follow the worlds systems of doing things, we overcome when we follow God’s principles. We overcome the world when we continue to set our hearts and minds on things above. We overcome the world when we stay strong in the Word and remember that “every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith”.

Faith brings victory over this world. Faith is how we overcome.

3. Children of God have assurance that Jesus is the promised Messiah

As regular readers of the Bible we know that after Adam and Eve sinned and were caste out of the garden and God promised to send a Saviour and Messiah. There are over 300 prophecies in the Old Testament about this and point to Jesus as the fulfillment of these prophecies. Not only do we have fulfilled prophecies, but we have testimony from the “water, the blood and the Spirit”.

In verses 7 and 8 of today’s text it says, “So we have these three witnesses [in heaven–the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one. And we have three witnesses on earth]– 8 the Spirit, the water, and the blood–and all three agree.”

Over the centuries, Bible Scholars have held different opinions of what this means – water, blood and Spirit. If we read verse 6 it tells us plainly. “And Jesus Christ was revealed as God’s Son by His baptism in water and by shedding His blood on the cross–not by water only, but by water and blood. And the Spirit, who is truth, confirms it with His testimony.”

If we read the account of Jesus’ baptism in Matthew 3:16-17 we see that “After His baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on Him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is My dearly loved Son, who brings Me great joy.”

From this we see God’s confirmation of Jesus as His Son and Messiah. We also see God’s confirmation in the resurrection of Jesus. He was crucified, He died and He was buried. But Jesus didn’t stay in the grave. He rose to life by the power of the Holy Spirit. In His death, He defeated sin and its hold on us. In His resurrection, He defeated death and its hold on us too.

As Christians, we can have confidence that Jesus is the Messiah. From the fulfilled prophecies, from the testimony of water, blood and Spirit, and by His resurrection from the dead.

4. Children of God have assurance of salvation and relationship

1 John 5:13-15 –  I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life.  14 And we are confident that He hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases Him.  15 And since we know He hears us when we make our requests, we also know that He will give us what we ask for.

Two main points come out of these verses. One is that we have assurance of salvation because we believe in the name of the Son of God – we have put our hope and trust in Jesus. The second one is that we have relationship with God because He hears us when we pray.

God hasn’t saved us and left us to our own devices where we just get through this life and wait for death. He saved us and helps us through this life. One way is by hearing and answering our prayers. Now it would be easy to just read verse 15 and think that God will give us whatever we ask for. “Dear God I want a new Mercedes. Dear God I want a mansion to live in. Or in Larissa’s case – Dear God I want a really handsome husband!”.

Verse 14 gives us context – “And we are confident that He hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases Him.” A big part of prayer is asking according to His will.

When I pray, I am conscious of asking for what I need for our family and to do His will. I use the A.S.K. principle.

A – Acknowledge that God is sovereign and He can do all things

S – Seek His will in all situations and what He wants

K – Keep on praying and keeping it before the throne.

I know this seems like a simple principle, but it puts God in His rightful place – sovereign and all powerful, and me in my place – totally dependent on Him.

As children of God we can be assured of our salvation and relationship with God. I know because I am resting in Jesus for my salvation, that I am in relationship with God and He hears me.

5. Children of God need to look out for each other

In the last section of the text it reminds us that we are all in this together and we need to look out for each other.

1 John 5:16-17 says, “If you see a Christian brother or sister sinning in a way that does not lead to death, you should pray, and God will give that person life. But there is a sin that leads to death, and I am not saying you should pray for those who commit it.  17 All wicked actions are sin, but not every sin leads to death.”

It is just so vital for us to look out for each other. This life gets tough at times and temptations come at us all. That is why we need to stand together and help each other through. If we see someone caught up in sin, we need to help get them back on track.

Galatians 6:1 touches on this when it says, “Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.”

Before I finish I want to touch on this last idea of a sin that leads to death. The sin that leads to death is in the context of false teachers leading people astray. So, it a sin that distorts the Biblical reality of Jesus and downplays His Deity, His eternal existence or coming as Messiah in bodily form. One that we wrongly believe ourselves or we teach to others and they follow.

Because as we know, we need to have a right view of Jesus to be saved. We need to believe that He is the eternal Son of God. We need to believe He is the one who was born into this world and died on the cross for our sin. We need to believe that He was raised to life and now sits at the right hand of the Father in Heaven. We need to accept Him as our Lord and Saviour. A right view of Jesus brings salvation. A wrong view of Jesus is a sin that leads to death.

So children of God need to look out for each other and help each other stay on track with the Lord.

Closing Summary

As we finish this series and our look at the Book of 1 John I want to list the main points that God prompted me to bring out today.

  • Children of God love God and obey His commands
  • Children of God overcome the world
  • Children of God have assurance that Jesus is the promised Messiah
  • Children of God have assurance of salvation and relationship
  • Children of God need to look out for each other

Amen


By Dave Quinn
Founder of PASSIONAustralia.org

 

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