6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: Sermon #12 and the last one in the series Letters from John. In a world of muddled messages, it can be confusing what is certain. John desperately wants his readers TO KNOW three things! (John uses the phrase TO KNOW 5 times in 1 John 5)

TEXT: 1st John 5:1-15

TITLE: I write these things…THAT YOU MAY KNOW!

SERIES: Letters from John

TOPIC: Assurance

OCCASION: Burnside Christian Church, March 6, 2011

PROP.: #12 in the series of Letters from John, John writes to us THAT WE MAY KNOW and be certain of three things: 1. That we are overcomers….2. That our prayers are hears….3. That we have salvation!

INTRODUCTION: Good morning! Our text this morning is 1st John 5. This is the LAST message in our series - Letters from John. This makes #12!


So now we come to John’s conclusion. Let’s read our text this morning…

1 John 5

Faith in the Son of God

1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. 2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

6 This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the[a] Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. 9 We accept man’s testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. 10 Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. 11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

Concluding Remarks

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. 14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.

ILLUSTRATION: yogi berra. We live in a world filled with unclear messages. And the undisputed champion of muddled messages if Yogi Berra. Hall of Famer and former manager of the NY Yankees. Here are a few of his better known yogi-isms:

““Baseball is 90% mental. The other half is physical.”

"Nobody goes there anymore; it’s too crowded."

“You got to be careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.”

"When you come to a fork in the road, take it!"

"You should always go to other people’s funerals; otherwise, they won’t come to yours."

And there’s the time that a lady said to him, “Good afternoon, Mr. Berra. My, you look mighty cool today.” “Thank you, ma’am,” Yogi replied. “You don’t look so hot yourself.” (Bits & Pieces, February 4, 1993, p. 14)

Sometimes things are rather confusing, aren’t they? But our confusion doesn’t always stem from what others are saying. Sometimes we become confused simply because of our busy schedules & inadequate communication.

ILLUSTRATION: The story is told of a photographer for a national magazine who was assigned to get photos of a great forest fire. Wanting to take some aerial pictures, he asked his home office to hire a plane. They made the arrangements & told him to go at once to a nearby airport, where the plane would be waiting for him.

When he arrived at the airport, there was a plane warming up by the runway. He jumped in with his equipment & yelled, “Let’s go! Let’s go!” The pilot swung the plane into the wind & they were soon in the air.

“Fly over the north side of the fire,” yelled the photographer, “& make 3 or 4 low level passes.” “Why?” asked the pilot. “Because I’m going to take pictures,” cried the photographer. “I’m a photographer & that’s what photographers do!”

After a pause the pilot said, “You mean you’re not the flight instructor?”

WHAT DO WE KNOW FOR SURE? In a world filled with compromise and changing values - it can be confusing and difficult to know what is certain. But surely, there are some things that you and I can know what is true and certain. Do you remember 12 weeks ago when we started this sermon series, that I told you that John is a fairly direct guy?

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