Summary: SErmon 10 in First John series
The Truth about Jesus – The Benefits of Belief
The Truth about Jesus – The Benefits of Belief (v. 13-21)
Eternal life (v. 13)
Answered prayers (v.14-17)
God’s Protection (v.18-19)
Understanding minds (v. 20-21)
Being a Christian is hard sometimes.
When some people know you are a Christian, they will watch your life closer, so they can publicize it when you mess up.
“Look at you, you do that and you call yourself a Christian.”
There are many times that, in the short run, doing the right thing is harder than doing the wrong thing.
Telling a lie can get you out of trouble in the short run, even though it could come back to haunt you in the long run.
Being a Christian means sometimes forgoing short term pleasure for long term enjoyment.
Being a wise steward will sometimes mean saving up for something, versus a world that will tell you to just charge it and have it now.
Is being a Christian really worth the hardship that it can bring into life?
Well, the answer is yes.
Because even despite all of the hardships and difficult choices that being a Christian brings into your life when you believe, there are also benefits of belief.
We have been studying 1 John for the past 3 months, and we are going to be finishing it up today.
We have seen that John has been refuting some false teachers that are trying to lead people astray from Christianity.
Sometimes, when life is hard, it can seem attractive to us to follow the teaching of someone who may be telling us of
a way of life that won’t be as hard or
may bring some short term benefits such as wealth,
especially when this person telling us these things we believe to be a nice person and has perhaps even claimed to be a Christian.
The problem is that our society is redefining the term Christian to mean good person rather than being a follower of Jesus Christ by believing in
who He really is and
what He really did.
This is why John last week talked about the essential truth about Jesus that define Christianity so that we will be able to recognize and be cautious of those who teach something opposed to this Truth about Jesus
that Scripture declares,
that the evidence points to, and
that the eyewitnesses proclaim.
Those essential truths that are proclaimed are
Jesus is the Son of God.
The Son of God put on flesh and became Man
Jesus, the Son of God’s death on the cross is essential to our forgiveness
His bodily resurrection is essential to His Deity and proof of the eternal life that He came to give.
Real, life changing belief in these things puts you in the camp of Christianity.
Denial of any of these essentials makes you not a Christian.
This is not a statement of judgment. This is a statement of fact.
Turn with me to
Now John wants to encourage his readers that even when being a Christian can be hard, there are benefits of belief in our life.
These are things that we can know and be assured of and help us to stand strong when life is hard.
Let’s see what he says and talk about those benefits and the effects they can have in our own life.
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.
16 If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that he should pray about that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.
18 We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him. 19 We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. 20 We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true-even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.