Summary: Our Faith can bring the victory to overcome the world.
Faith is the Victory
November 18, 2007 Evening Service
Immanuel Baptist Church, Wagoner, OK
Message Point: Our Faith can bring the victory to overcome the world.
Focus Passage: I John 5:1-12
Supplemental Passage: Hebrews 11:1
Introduction: When Hudson Taylor went to China, he made the voyage on a sailing vessel. As it neared the channel between the southern Malay Peninsula and the island of Sumatra, the missionary heard an urgent knock on his stateroom door. He opened it, and there stood the captain of the ship. "Mr. Taylor," he said, "we have no wind. We are drifting toward an island where the people are heathen, and I fear they are cannibals." "What can I do?" asked Taylor. "I understand that you believe in God. I want you to pray for wind." "All right, Captain, I will, but you must set the sail." "Why that’s ridiculous! There’s not even the slightest breeze. Besides, the sailors will think I’m crazy." But finally, because of Taylor’s insistence, he agreed. Forty- five minutes later he returned and found the missionary still on his knees. "You can stop praying now," said the captain. "We’ve got more wind than we know what to do with!"
a. Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Messiah is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.
The first proof that John gives is that we believe in Jesus: We believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ: the divine Son of God.
b. But believing “in” is much more than believing “about.” You could believe that Jesus is God’s Son and do nothing about it. A poll said that 84% of Americans believe that Jesus is God’s Son, but no where near that number believes “in” him.
To believe in someone is to trust them. I understand that when they were translating the Bible for the Inuit they had a hard time finding a word for “believe.” One day, when the ice was just thick enough to walk on, the translator was going for a walk with one of the young men. The young man stepped out on the ice and bounced a little to see if it would hold him. The translator asked what he called walking on the ice, and he found his word – to place one whole weight on. This is what it means to believe in Jesus. It is not to just give metal assent to the truth about him. It is to place the whole weight of your life on him.
a. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God…
Once again John tells us that we cannot separate the love that we have for God with the love that we have for his people. He says “how can you say you love God whom you have not seen and hate your brother or sister who you can see?
b. The love for God and his people are so intertwined that he comes at it from the other angle in this passage – instead of saying that we love God by loving his people, he says that we love his people by loving him, and obeying him. The truth is that much of the things that God wants us to obey him in are about loving his people!
a. 1 John 2:3-6
We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Those who say, "I know him," but do not do what he commands are liars, and the truth is not in them. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.