Summary: Nothing says "I Love You" like Obedience. Nothing replaces Obedience.
Authentic Christianity - #7 of 7
* The former fisherman turned disciples who morph into a divine writer of Holy Scripture, John, gave us the reason for his writings. In 1 John 5:13 he offers, “I am writing these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you might KNOW that you have eternal life.” That you might KNOW is his reason. Candidly, I have a deep connection with John’s words because my heartbeat is for every person here to KNOW that you are saved so that you may GROW in your salvation & walk with Christ that you naturally SHOW Jesus to everyone you meet.
* In thinking back over the last 40 years things have greatly changed inside the local church. It seems that today, few concern themselves with their eternal destiny. How long has it been since someone has spoken to you (or me) about struggling with their ‘assurance of Salvation?’ There was a time when people gave this a lot of thought because the truth of Matthew 7 was real. How many times have you seen someone come to altar, receive counseling, & praying to be assured they were saved; AND you were surprised at their coming because they exhibited all the attributes of a believer? At the same time, how often have we observed people who were “so confident” of their salvation but their life gave no evidence of Christ, they were mean as snakes, and a prideful as Satan himself?
* I say all of this to hopefully get our spiritual attention that we might check out our lives, our walk with Christ, and even our salvation to make sure we have eternal life and are living like our Lord expects and demands us to.
* Over the past 7 weeks we have walked through a plethora of Characteristics which are found in the life of an authentic believer. THERE IS NO AUTHENTICITY FOUND IN THE LIFE OF A COUNTERFEIT.
* The starting place is ‘followship.’ The call from Jesus is to FOLLOW ME. This is that point in your life where God speaks to you about your sin, the penalty for sin, & the ultimate place you’ll go if you die in that sin. Followship is about a choice you make.
* If you choose Jesus, you must choose to repent of your sin and believe on Him. The repentance you begin when you choose Jesus is the start of a life-long lifestyle of repentance from the ‘sin’ which, the Bible says, so easily besets us.
* When you trust Christ, your life becomes a life on Mission, His mission. He has now called you for a mission with eternity in view.
* What results are some attributes begin to appear in your life. You’ll discover a new way to love both God and people, you’ll discover that your life will begin to bear fruit of an eternal nature (I.E. friendships, new believers, etc), and ultimately you will take on the nature of Christ and want to give (I.E. money, time, energy, life).
* Being His, in an authentic way is a journey, a process, & a lifestyle which changes you forever. Today is about one final characteristic which encompasses all you are.
* Let’s get our minds around what kind of impact obedience has. It is 3 things:
1. Obedience is a Sign of Conversion – Verse 3 gives us a clear picture of life after the experience of coming to faith in Jesus – you obey His commands. John says, “You can be sure you are His, IF you keep His command.” This echoes the words of Jesus in the upper room which we read in John 14. Scripture repeatedly tell us that one of the characteristics of following Jesus is obedience. And just to be clear, scripture also repeatedly tells us that a sign of NOT BEING A BELIEVER is DISOBEDIENCE! Are you catching what the word of God is throwing? There is no Biblical status for a person to be consistently disobedient and be a believer, a person of faith, or one who is walking with Christ. Jesus says it is the one who doesn’t love me who will not keep my words while John says, “If you say that you love Him and you don’t obey Him, you are a liar.” Not my words, theirs. These are stinging words & revealing words. From the scripture, you cannot serve two Gods!!
* Our text takes this a step further by saying ‘Whoever keeps His word, truly IN HIM the love of God is perfected.” The word perfected means completed, finished, or accomplished. In the Greek this word is from the same root word which Jesus spoke on the cross when He said, “IT is FINISHED.” That is, it is completed, accomplished, or is done! God’s love is perfected and completed accomplished in a changed life.