Summary: Sermon series on 1 John
Series: 1 John
Passage: 1 John 5:10-12
Title: The Three Testimonies of Biblical Assurance
INTRODUCTION: “Sometime when you're in an airport, observe the difference between passengers who hold confirmed tickets and those who are on standby. The ones with confirmed tickets read newspapers, chat with their friends or sleep. The ones on standby hang around the ticket counter, pace and smoke, smoke and pace. The difference is caused by the confidence factor. If you knew that in fifteen minutes you would have to stand in judgment before the Holy God and learn your eternal destiny, what would your reaction be? Would you smoke and pace? Would you say to yourself, "I don't know what God's going to say--will it be 'Welcome home, child,' or will it be 'Depart from me; I never knew you'?” Bill Hybels, Too Busy Not To Pray (113)
We’re coming toward the close on 1 John. As we finish, one closing message from John 14–17 is assurance. How do we know that we are children of God? How can we be sure we belong to Jesus?
People struggle with these questions and are often ashamed to ask them. We need to understand that we, after trusting Christ, are saved in faith. However, the sad reality is that we may never take off spiritually until we have grasped the assurance of God’s love. For some of us, the reason we are so weak in our ability to say no to sin is because we are so unsure of the presence and love of God. It’s time we assure you of what we know.
SCRIPTURE: “Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony. Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” 1 John 5:10-12
TITLE: The Three Testimonies of Biblical Assurance
Assurance #1: The Testimony Within Ourselves (1 John 15:10)
o Explanation: John uses the term “testimony” as a foundation for our study at hand. When using that word we can identify two things about testimonies from his exhortation.
1. Testimonies are first hand knowledge along with the content that a witness tells (John’s usage).
i. First hand knowledge: “He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him.” John 1:7
ii. Content from witnesses: “Now the chief priests and the whole council were seeking testimony against Jesus to put him to death, but they found none.” Mark 14:55
2. Testimonies are in the Bible which is a revelation of God’s will.
i. Psalms 19:7 “The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.”
ii. Psalm 119:88 “that I may keep the testimonies of your mouth.”
iii. Isaiah 8:16 “Bind up the testimony; seal the teaching among my disciples…”
1. John has already given his own testimony of first hand knowledge about Jesus being the Son of God and the impact it made on his life. He writes to declare that we also know the testimony of God because it is within ourselves (we have experienced the Son through the Holy Spirit).
4. Illustration: Q: How do we “feel/experience” God? A: General and special revelation: Truth is like light. General revelation is like our ability to feel warmth. Special revelation is like our ability to use sight. In a limited sense we can feel the effect of the light and if we are sensitive can say a lot about light by just feeling and not seeing. When our eyes are opened we have a much more dramatic sense of the light. 2 Quotes.
1. General Revelation: “Nature never taught me that there exists a God of glory and of infinite majesty. I had to learn that in other ways. But nature gave the word glory a meaning for me.” C.S. Lewis - The Four Loves.
2. Special Revelation: Paul states in Romans 1:19-20 that everyone knows about God because nature proclaims God’s existence and power. But while nature points to His existence, the Bible tells us about salvation. God needs us to explain His love, mercy and grace.
• Application: God himself has given testimony that Jesus is the Messiah and allowed us to know that testimony in ourselves is true because the testimony is “in him”. Each believer has God’s truth in his heart and can be assured that God is constantly revealing himself (giving testimony) to us through not only His general and special revelation but also through our deeds. This is everyday assurance within us.