Summary: True Christians must pass the test of believing, obeying, and conquering.
Passing the Test
Text: 1 Jn. 5:1-5
1. Illustration: There is a story is a guy taking a class in ornithology, the study of birds. The teacher has a reputation for being extremely difficult, so this guy studies his brains out for the final. He comes the classroom feeling prepared, but instead of having normal test, there are 25 pictures on the wall of Bird’s feet. He is supposed to identify the birds by their feet----- this kid goes nuts, and he says to the teacher, “This is crazy. Nobody could take this test. The teacher says, “ nevertheless, you have to take it. " The kid says,” I am not going to take it.” And the teacher says, “You have to take it, or you fail. "The kid says go ahead and fail me. I am not going to take this test. Teacher says, all right. That’s it. You have failed. Tell me your name.? The Kid roll his pants up to his knees and says, “You tell me.”
2. You don’t have to be in school to take tests. We take them all the time. People are always putting us to the test.
3. As Christians, we take tests too.
a. Test of believing
b. Test of obeying
c. Test of conquering
4. It’s these test which show if we are truly living a Christian life.
5. Read 1 Jn. 5:1-5
Proposition: True Christians must pass the test of believing, obeying, and conquering.
I. Test # 1: Believing (1)
A. Whoever Believes
1. The most important test that any Christian must pass is the test of believing.
2. John says, "Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God..."
a. In John believing is "always connected with an object" (Bultmann, p. 59).
b. Faith requires not only that something is held true, but that someone has entered into one’s life (Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Pradis CD-Rom).
c. Faith is not believing in a concept, but in a person - Jesus Christ.
3. Many people say, "Oh, I believe in Jesus," but by the way they live their lives they prove that they do not have the essential ingredient for faith - a personal relationship with Jesus.
a. They show by how they act.
b. They show it by how they speak.
c. They show it by where their priorities lie.
4. You cannot say, "I love Jesus," and never
a. Go to church
b. Read your Bible
c. And the only time you pray is when you want something or you’re in trouble.
5. Another part of the test of faith is how we treat one another. John tells us this when he says, "and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him."
a. A person who loves God will love other believers as well.
b. Note why: because God has given other believers a spiritual birth as well.
c. They are our brothers and sisters in Christ. They too have been born of God and made into new creatures.
6. Under most circumstances we feel differently about our family than we do other people.
a. Someone can say something about you and you pass it off like it never happened.
b. However, let they say something about your brother or sister and "them’s fighing words!"
7. The point is that if we truly have faith, we not only love God, but we also love the family of God.
a. Nothing keeps us from loving one another if we have truly been born of God.
b. The person who is born of God loves God, and he loves all those who love God too.
B. Living By Faith
1. Illustration: These are the signs, these are the signs of life, The love that proves there is a living faith inside..." -Steven Curtis Chapman
2. 2 Cor. 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.
3. If we are truly born again then we trust God to:
a. Never leave us or forsake us.
b. Supply all our needs according to His riches in glory.
c. Heal all our diseases, because by His stripes we are healed.
4. If we truly have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ we will:
a. Love the Lord with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength
b. Love others because Christ first loved us.
c. Love our brothers and sisters because they are a part of the family of God.
5. If we truly have a relationship with Jesus we will:
a. Have compassion on the lost because Jesus did.
b. Witness to the lost not just so that they won’t go to hell, but because we want them to know the joy we have in knowing Christ.
Transition: If we believe our actions will show it.