Summary: John described the saved and who they are, how they love God and their fellow humans - there is no empty words, they act to bring others to a relationship with the one who matters most, the one they really do love!
Sermon 1 John 5:1-12
You most likely know I’ve just returned from holiday and have that post holiday fuzziness thing going on, I spent a great time with Terry the first week doing the whole father son catch up road trip up around Nelson and over Takaka way, we managed to walk to Harwood’s Hole and spent some time fishing, though no catching, and I got a bit of a tour of the skate parks in that part of the world. For the skaters out there don’t bother with the Murchison Park but the Neale Park, Nelson skate park was “the bomb”.
Rochelle and I then had a bit of a break away at Mount Somers the following week, once again fishing but no catching, It’s funny how these things work out, heavy rain and the fish can’t see the flies and the fishermen can’t see the fish. So everything sort of stays in a status quo. Though it was nice trying and I did manage to see a trout in the Buller River.
I was pleased to get away and those who know me, know that I get a bit of a kick out of nature, out of God’s creation. I’m the sort of person who will marvel at a view or some wee beastie that in my opinion just shows how special creation is and how the mind of God is vastly superior to my own.
The giant land snail or paraphanta is one of those things, here’s a photo I took of one! Now you may be wondering at my minds wondering and where this is all going?
This is where I will attempt to bring giant land snails, fishing and holidays into some sort of link in with a passage of scripture, and just to complicate the whole thing I saw this illustration by a bloke called Francis Chan about eternity that I found interesting, so we will try and include that in the mix as well.
Now the passage of scripture I want to tie in with this is from 1 John 5:1-12.
Just before we venture into the passage a bit about John is that he was John the son of Zebedee, he was a fisherman (who actually caught fish) and it’s thought he may have been the first cousin of Jesus, with his mum Salome being Mary’s sister. John also wrote the gospel by the same name and the book of Revelation, this letter was written around 85 AD.
So what is it that John has to say about giant land snails, fishing and holidays and Francis Chan’s illustration?
He says this! – Read Passage.
What John is pointing out is how we know we are saved and if we address the answers he gives us we find:
1) That the saved person believes Jesus is the Christ, other words for Christ are Messiah, or the chosen one of God! Verse One says it this way “everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.” (1 John 5:1)
What follows on from this is that those who believe overcome the world, not the planet earth. This might take a little explaining, “the world” is the stuff that would keep us from God, would keep us from living a life of fellowship with God, and binds us up in sin. So who overcomes the world, who is it that is free from the things, those sins that bind, verse five tells us, “Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
2) The reason that this occurs is that, the saved person loves and obeys God. Also that within this comes that commandment about love for one another, loving our neighbours as ourselves. As John says it, “This is how we know that we love the children of God by loving God and carrying out his commands. This is love for God: to obey his commands and his commands are not burdensome. (verses 2&3)
The truth is that God’s commands won’t weigh you down or hold you back; in fact they bring freedom. Some get caught up in the belief that God’s commands stop them from enjoying life, particularly when they set on “enjoying life”, getting to “have a bit of fun”. But as we know disobedience to what God wants leads us into traps, into ways of living that restrict our freedom, which then have us hooked into unhealthy ways of living the wages of which are death.
John also tells us that the saved person does not continue to live in the old ways of their sinful nature. I didn’t read this earlier but if we look at verses 18-21 we find, John saying, “We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him. We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true – even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.