BELIEF IS MORE THAN GOOD HISTORY
1 John 5:1-12
INTRODUCTION: Nearly everyone has made makes, or will make a claim to believe in God. There is a saying that says, “There are no atheists in foxholes.” People’s beliefs and ideas differ. Quickly think across the world at the different beliefs and ideas of God, the beliefs and ideas of the Muslims, the Buddhists, the Jews, the Hindus, the Christians and so on. In reality, there are just about as many ideas about God as there are people upon earth, for every person has his own mind, and within his mind his own ideas of God. This fact brings about a critical question: Who is right? Whose belief and idea of God is correct? One thing is sure: if God really exists. If someday we shall all stand before Him and give an account, then it is of utmost importance that we be correct in what we believe and think about Him.
In our time together this morning, I would like to look at this area of belief and trust. Belief is defined as, “a personal relationship established by trust.” When applied specifically to Christ, we are talking about that moment when Christ became more than a historical figure.
So is there anything we can see that lets us know that we have the right faith in Christ. The faith in Christ that is beyond historical accuracy, or fabled belief? Yes there is, and John points us to it in this passage…..
I FAITH IN CHRIST IS PROVED BY THE CONDUCT WE EXHIBIT – 1 John 5:1-5
A Belief is the key evidence of Salvation
1 Do we believe in Christ
a As Messiah
b As the Son of God
2 Have we experienced the new birth in Christ
a Correct belief is linked to regeneration
b We are not asking for historical accuracy
c We are demanding rational integrity – We have made that decision to trust Christ
B Love is the natural by-product of Salvation
1 Everyone born of God loves the father
2 Everyone born of God loves the Son
3 Everyone born of God cannot help but love the Father and the Son
C Knowledge is the inward conviction of our relationship
1 We know – knowing inwardly
2 Active demonstration of our love – verse 2
D Our proof of love is obedience
1 Obedience proves love
2 Obedience proves we are loving God RIGHT NOW
3 Obedience proves we possess love for God
IF WE LOVE GOD WE MUST OBEY GOD – AND IF WE OBEY GOD WE MUST LOVE HIM
There is no choice!
E Burdens and victory
1 There is no burden with Christ
a Christ provides rest for our souls
b Christ provides escape from the trials of this world
c Christ provides hope in the world
d Christ provides real fellowship with God
Deut. 30:11-14 Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. 12It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, "Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?" 13Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, "Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?" 14No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.
Matthew 23:23 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices--mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law--justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.
2 There are over-comers with Christ!
a Victory is the key illustration of our salvation
b Victory always involves conflict
1) Faced with opposition
2) God has given us the ability to “make a habit” of overcoming
c Victory is towards our greatest enemy – Satan Himself
Once again – how can we be sure we are believing correctly
§ If our salvation is the key evidence of our belief
§ If our victory over the world is the key illustration of our belief
These are the guys you want to look for – the men and women of strong faith who illustrate the victory we have in Christ!
II FAITH IN CHRIST IS PROVED BY THE CREDENTIALS WE EXHIBIT – 1 John 5:6-12
A Three credentials for truth
1 The credential of water
a Reference to birth – we are looking at the incarnation of Christ as an evidence
b Reference to Baptism – then we are looking at the beginning of His public ministry
2 The credential of Blood
a The nature of the death of Christ
b Salvation through the death of Christ
c Ransom of the blood of Christ
3 The credential of the Holy Spirit
a Internally – by his indwelling presence
b Externally – by the prophets –
2 Peter 1:20-21 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. 21For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
B The greater testimony for Truth
1 The testimony of man
a Possible to accept our own testimony regarding Christ
b Problem comes when our own testimony comes in conflict with our sin nature
2 The Greater testimony of God
a God’s witness is greater than the testimony of man
1) Men seek God on their terms
2) Men seek absolutes regarding God
b God witness is internal in the believers heart
1) Unaffected by outward circumstances
c God’s witness is rejected by the unbeliever
d God’s witness is clear
1) The issue is not the clarity of the truth, but the acceptance of the truth
The right belief is the belief that Jesus is more than a historical figure. Rather He is one who can be trusted. If he can be trusted then he must be obeyed, and with obedience comes the evidence of salvation