Summary: EASTER 5(B) - Live in the love of Jesus with confidence and with joyfulness.


1 JOHN 3:18-24 - April 24, 2005 - EASTER 5

INTRO: What are you looking for out of life? Many have big dreams of success for this life. Others merely just want to get by. In either case, to pin one’s hopes on this life leads to disappointment. For no matter how much the world offers it is never enough to satisfy. Sadly, all too many people are living their lives for all the wrong reasons. Today’s text reminds us of the importance of God’s love for us. Today’s text also reminds us to live lives of love for others. Today’s text recalls the words in Paul’s letter to the congregation at Corinth. "For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again"(2 CORINTHIANS 5:14,15). Today we are encouraged to


I. In Jesus’ love is confidence

II. In Jesus’ love is joyfulness.


A. We note first of all the blessed titles that John us to remind these believers of their closeness to God.

1. Verse 18a the believers are called dear children. They are God’s children, no longer orphans.

2. In verse 21a believers are called dear friends. Born as God’s enemies, they are now friends.

B. Just having these titles would provide these early, struggling Christian with much needed confidence.

1. There is more. Verse 19 states that the believers’ hearts are at rest, peace with God.

2. All around them there was no peace. The government sought their destruction and downfall.

C. With God and in God alone their hearts would have peace and rest. Verse 19b, 20.

1. Their sinfulness would condemn them. But God’s love is greater. With God is forgiveness.

2. Verse 21. These believers’ confidence came from the love of God by Jesus’ redemption.

3. The result of living in Jesus’ love is seen in verse 22. They could ask and would receive.

D. Where is your confidence today? At times our confidence can be misplaced. We may put our confi-dence or trust in the world around us. We may even trust in our own ability or decision-making above the advice of God. Again, our self-trust falls far, far short of living confidently in the love of Jesus. As be-lievers we realize that in us, in our sinful nature there is a birth defect. We have been born into sin. We have inherited a sinful nature from our first parents – Adam and Eve. Now all our thoughts, words, and actions are tainted by sin. "All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away"(ISAIAH 64:6). We have seen the powerful force of a strong wind. Isaiah says our sins are also a strong force on earth.

E. Look around and see how the world reacts to disappointment. People try to put their trust and confi-dence in what the world provides. The things of this world cannot and do not bring any eternal satisfac-tion. They lead many to despair, wondering if this is all there is in life. As believers, we gather around the word of God confidently confessing Christ as our Savior. Out of love Christ gave up his life so that we may live on this earth in the love of Jesus. Sure, we will experience disappointment from time to time. But we also have the guarantee that our Savior loves us and provides salvation. "But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream"(JEREMIAH 17:7,8a). By grace the water of life provides for all our needs.

F. As believers we live humble lives realizing that we are not worthy of all the mercies our Savior has showered upon us. At times we might not act boldly or confidently. Again, purely out of God’s unde-served love for us we have eternal salvation. God’s love seen in his son, our Savior Jesus Christ, provides every believer with boldness and confidence. "Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need"(HEBREWS 4:16).

TRANS: LIVE IN THE LOVE OF JESUS. In Jesus’ love is confidence because our sins are forgiven.


A. Joyfulness sometimes escaped these early Christians because of the intense persecution of the day.

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