Summary: John encourages the downtrodden church

1 John 2:12-17 October 15, 2006

The last time I preached from 1 John 2, I mentioned that John was writing to a church that was bruised and broken and possibly full of self doubt and doubt about their own faith and belief. He tries to encourage them by commending their faith and showing that the detractors’ faith is no faith at all.

He gave two proofs that the Christian had the true faith: 1 – they we doing what Jesus taught & 2 – they had love for each other.

He communicates this in both the positive – you know that you have faith because… you know that they do not have faith because…

I know that some of you listened to these proofs and saw them as tests, and you weren’t quite sure if you were passing the test. “Am I really doing what Jesus said?” “Am I really loving my Christian brothers and sisters?” “ Am I in, or am I out?”

It is like we will even get discouraged by a word of encouragement sometimes! Maybe it harkens back to a time when you didn’t

It appears that John knew this, so he writes an encouragement so blatant, that we could never confuse it with judgment!

Read verses 12-14

“What I’m saying is you are getting it right!”

John could have been speaking to physical children, parents, and young people, but many people read this passage thinking that John is writing to new Christians, those long in the faith, and those in the middle.

This is what he says…

Blessing for new believers 12,14a

Your sins have been forgiven on account of his name

The two things that new Christian know the most is that their sins have been forgiven, and that their relationship with God has been restored.

We are like pilgrim in pilgrims progress, walking through life with a great burden of guilt and shame on our back. Pilgrim gets to the cross and the burden falls off

– The Mission, Robert Deniro has his burden cut off at the top of the falls – the burden crashes over the falls and is gone forever.

The goodness of being forgiven Psalm 32 NLT

1 Oh, what joy for those

whose disobedience is forgiven,

whose sin is put out of sight!

2 Yes, what joy for those

whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt,

whose lives are lived in complete honesty!

3 When I refused to confess my sin,

my body wasted away,

and I groaned all day long.

4 Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me.

My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.

5 Finally, I confessed all my sins to you

and stopped trying to hide my guilt.

I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.”

And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.

6 Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time,

that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment.

7 For you are my hiding place;

you protect me from trouble.

You surround me with songs of victory.

How many people have known the goodness of forgiveness?

Some responses to forgiveness – no thanks, I’m just fine

“I’ve got it under control, I’ll deal with it, and then come to you.”

My experience of thinking I had had it under control – God getting right down into my face and saying, “no you don’t!” – harsh grace, but the grace was so much better than my attempts at control!

Forgiven on account of Jesus

– Phil 2:6-11

Though he was God,

he did not think of equality with God

as something to cling to.

7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;

he took the humble position of a slave

and was born as a human being.

When he appeared in human form,

8 he humbled himself in obedience to God

and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

9 Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor

and gave him the name above all other names,

10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,

in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.

– God looks us, then at Jesus, and says, “on account of what he has done, your sins are forgiven.”

The older versions “For the sake of his name” – our forgiveness brings glory to his name.

“He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

- Colossians 1:13-14

You know the Father

So, when we place our lives in Jesus’ hands, he forgives our sins, puts us back into right relationship with God the father, and he gives us his Holy Spirit who teaches our spirit to call God “Abba”

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