Summary: Sermon Series on 1 john

Series: 1 John

Week: 15

Passage: 1 John 3:19-24

Title: Confidence in the Truth

Focus: Confidence

1 JOHN 3:19-24

19 By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; 20 for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. 21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22 and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 24 Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.

Illustration: Cross-country State Championships my senior year of high school

T: …I knew the truth, I knew without a doubt that I was in the right spot and that truth brought intense confidence in what lay ahead. This is what John is talking about in this passage…


By this – “this” points back to v18, “let us not love in words or talk but in deed and truth” – fruit of the truth – we are in the truth because we love as Christ loved us (v16)

Reassure - also translated “convince” or “persuade”

Heart – cardia – one of most common words in NT, 156x (916x in LXX)

- inner self, conscience, seat of moral and intellectual life, emotions and passions

- whole of the inner being of a man in contrast from his physical or external side

This is Christ’s entire point in the “Sermon on the Mount”


T: This morning we’re going to look at 3 areas in which we can gain confidence…

MP#1: We Have Confidence Against Condemnation (v20)

1) Explanation: God is greater than our faulty hearts

i) Our Heart Condemns

(a) whenever – lit. “since” – notice that John does not say, “if” – but he assures us that our inner self WILL condemn us for our mortal actions, it’s only a matter of when

(b) condemn – this means to convict of wrongdoing, to see accurately – it occurs only 3 times in the NT, twice here and once in Galatians

1. Galatians 2:11 – “But when Cephas [Peter] came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned.”

Paul confronts Peter for hypocrisy. It is evident in this case that Peter is wrong, his actions are seen accurately in Biblical light by Paul.

ii) God is Greater than our Heart

(a) our hearts know our lies, God knows the truth – our hearts know the darkest part of ourselves, God knows the beauty of his creation - our hearts know us well, but God knows all things well

Psalm 77:13-14 – “Your way, O God is holy. What god is great like our God? You are the God who works wonders; You have made known Your might among the peoples”

Psalm 89:6-7 – “For who in the skies can be compared to the Lord? Who among the heavenly beings is like the Lord, a God greatly to be feared in the council of the holy ones, and awesome above all who are around him?”

Psalm 149:4 – “For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; he adorns the humble with salvation”

(b) Turn to Isaiah 6:4-8 – Isaiah sees his frailty, but has his lips touched, his guilt taken away and his sins atoned for, in the next verse God calls him and he jumps into action – When God cleanses us he no longer sees who we were, but who we are – Jesus takes our guilt and atones for our sin and now God sees the beauty of his saint

(c) Adam was a sinner, Noah was a Drunk, Abraham was a liar, Moses a murderer, David battled depression, Jonah was a coward, Peter denied his savior, Paul murdered those who confessed Jesus Christ as Lord – Titus 3:3-5, “For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. 4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit”

2) Illustration: Martin Luther before the Imperial Diet of Worms in April of 1521

i) Luther's appearance at the Imperial Diet was described as objective, clever and well thought out. He had to appear before the Emperor twice; each time he was clearly told to take back his teachings. Luther didn't see any proof against his theses or views which would move him to recant: "Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason - I do not accept the authority of the popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other - my conscience is captive to the Word of God."

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