Summary: Through Jesus Christ we approach God with confidence, trusting 100% in His merits and righteousness and none of our own. Jesus reveals the Father heart of God to us, and we're called to pursue God in holiness and love.
August 26, 2018 Sermon - 1 John 5:13-21 - “Confident That We are His!”.
For much of my adolescence and young adulthood I struggled with how I felt about myself, with confidence. Or should I say a lack of confidence. I thought I just didn’t measure up, didn’t have much to offer, barely warranted the air I breathed.
I would compare myself unfavourably to other men my age, other people in general. In music school I felt like a fraud, that I didn’t really deserve to get in, because in my view the others there were just so much more capable than I was. I would in fact be comparing myself with the best of the best and not those who were really my peers in ability. And that comparing myself to others just further bashed away at my overall confidence.
I would look at confident people and flip between being envious of them and wishing I could be like them, and then thinking that they were just unaware of all the reasons to not have confidence. Once in a while I would meet someone who seemed to have nothing going for them but who had remarkable confidence; confidence seemingly completely undeserved. Those people blew my mind.
But shortly after I became a Christian and started for the first time ever reading Scripture and paying attention to the sermons I would hear at church, I began to see a pattern. It was a pattern that rocked my internal world. It was a pattern that suggested that I had been looking at everything in a way that was skewed. My line of sight was obscured and I wasn’t seeing very well at all.
Our passage today, the final in our series on the Epistle or the Letter of 1 John, really challenges our perspective, the way we see things. It also kind of challenges our eyesight. How well do we really see things? How accurate is our vision?
In this passage, as in all of Scripture, we are given God’s view. God’s view of life, God’s view of our walk with Him, God’s heart toward us in the midst of this very difficult and challenging thing that all of us were involuntarily tossed into called life.
Did you volunteer for this? I know I didn't. And yet here we are.
I thought it would be good to go through today’s passage a verse at a time in what’s called an expository journey.
We want a clear understanding and to get to the point quickly. That’s what expository means.
And we also want to hear and respond to the challenges that are in the text. There are many challenges, and it’s good to consider them rather than just glossing over the Scripture.
Here is verse 13
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.
The Apostle John is writing for a purpose. Who is he writing to? To those who believe in Jesus, to followers of Jesus, to followers of the Way, as the early Christians were called. This is for Christ-followers.
It is a reminder of good news that is at the heart of a Christian’s life. It is a reminder that this is not all there is.
This is life, this thing that you didn’t sign up for, and I didn’t sign up for: it’s life, but it is by no means all of life.
Now the thing about John, and the thing about all the writers of the New Testament, is that while they were writing to the church, to those who were already followers of Jesus, they knew, they knew that others were always, always listening in.
Others whose interest had been stirred by what they saw and experienced of those first Christ followers, in the marketplace, on the street, among their families.
Others were always listening in, wondering at the hope that believers in Jesus had, at the joy in the midst of suffering that their lives displayed. Christians stood out by their conduct and by their words.
Challenge # 1 How can we live in a way that sparks the interest of others to listen in, to lean in? How can I pray to ask God to help me live in a way that reflects the goodness of God?
A way that might inspire someone watching my life to wonder in a good way about Jesus.
How can I live such a life of blessing? How can I prepare myself to invite people who may enquire about my life to follow Jesus. That’s a challenge from this passage.
Here’s our next verse:
14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.