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Summary: Assurance & certainty of our faith. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: gcurley@gcurley.info)

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Reading: 1 John chapter 5 verses 13-21.

Ill:

• Mrs Fisher the primary school teacher was at home recovering from surgery;

• She heard the letter box bang,

• Her husband brought the post into her,

• One of the letters was a get well card from her class which 2nd year class which read;

“Dear Mrs Fisher, your class wishes you a speedy recovery by a vote of 15-14”.

The object of John’s letter:

• Is to make sure the Christians were in good spiritual health;

• And to expose and remove those people or doctrines that would cause them harm.

• In our section this morning;

• We are looking at the concluding remarks of this letter.

• The letter is finished.

• It only remains for John to sum up and conclude.

• John’s final summary actually turns into a postscript;

• As John adds new material to his summing up.

• In his postscript;

• John draws to our attention to 4 certainties that the Christian enjoys.

(1). THE CERTAINTY OF ETERNAL LIFE (vs 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 Message):

“My purpose in writing is simply this: that you who believe in God's Son will know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you have eternal life, the reality and not the illusion”.

The whole book of 1 John:

• Centres around the fact of life in the Son of God;

• And that whoever has the Son has life!

Ill:

• My foot has life because it is part of my body,

• It has no life apart from my body.

• But joined with my body,

• It has the life of the body.

• John reminds his readers that:

• Jesus Christ produces eternal life in us; and he also sustains this life for us.

• Because our ‘eternal life’ is sourced in Jesus Christ and is a gif of God:

• We cannot lose it; for it does not depend on us but on Him.

Ill:

The great Chinese leader Watchman Nee tells the story;

• Of how a new convert who came to see him in deep distress.

• He said to Watchman Nee:

“No matter how much I pray, no matter how hard I try, I simply cannot seem to be faithful to my Lord. I think I’m losing my salvation.”

Watchman Nee said,

• “Do you see this dog here? He is my dog. He is house-trained;

• He never makes a mess; he is obedient; he is a pure delight to me.

• Out in the kitchen I have a son, a baby son.

• He makes a mess, he throws his food around, he fouls his clothes, he is a total mess.

• But who is going to inherit my kingdom?

• Not my dog; but my son who is my heir.

• You are Jesus Christ’s heir because it is for you that He died.”

• We are Christ’s heirs, not through our perfection but by means of His grace.

• And what we have in Christ;

• No-one can take away.

(B). THE CERTAINTY OF ANSWERED PRAYER (vs 14-17):

“And if we know he is listening when we make our requests, we can be sure that he will give us what we ask for.

16If you see a Christian brother or sister[3] sinning in a way that does not lead to death, you should pray, and God will give that person life. But there is a sin that leads to death, and I am not saying you should pray for those who commit it. 17Every wrong is sin, but not all sin leads to death”.

• These verses repeat the words that John wrote earlier in this letter in;

• Chapter3 verses 21-22.

• Prayer of course is both essential and important to the Christian;

• No-one can do with out it!

Ill:

• In one region of Africa,

• The first converts to Christianity were very diligent about praying.

• In fact, the believers each had their own special place;

• Just outside the village where they went to pray in solitude.

• The villagers reached these “prayer spots”

• By using their own private footpaths through the brush.

• When grass began to grow over one of these trails,

• It was evident that the person to whom it belonged was not praying very much.

• Because these new Christians were concerned for each other’s spiritual welfare,

• A unique custom sprang up.

• When ever anyone noticed an overgrown “Prayer path,”

• He or she would go to the person and lovingly warn, “Friend, there’s grass on your path!”

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