Summary: This sermon explores five "we know" statements made in 1 John 5:13-21. Sermon points are alliterated and Power Point is available, just e-mail me.
WE KNOW! (OVERCOMING UNCERTAINTY)
Scott R. Bayles, preacher
First Christian Church, Rosiclare, Illinois
The famous preacher and founder of the Methodist church, John Wesley, once said, “When I was young I was sure of everything. But after a few years, having been mistaken a thousand times, I was not half so sure of most things as I was before. And at present, I am hardly sure of anything except what God has revealed to me” (Newland).
I think most of us can sympathize with Mr. Wesley. We just live in a world of uncertainty filled with unclear messages. Of course, the undisputed champion of muddled messages is Hall of Fame-er and former manager of the New York Yankees, Yogi Berra. Just a few of his better known “yogi-isms” include statements such as:
• Baseball is 90% mental. The other half is physical.
• Nobody goes there anymore; it’s too crowded.
• You gotta be careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.
• You should always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours.
• When you come to a fork in the road, take it!
Sometimes the things people say are rather confusing, aren’t they? On the other hand, our confusion doesn’t always stem from what others are saying; sometimes we become confused because we just don’t quite communicate clearly.
The story is told of a photographer for a national magazine who was assigned to get photos of a big forest fire. Wanting to take some aerial pictures, he asked his home office to hire a plane. They made the arrangements and told him to go 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 and yelled, “Let’s go! Let’s go!” The pilot swung the plane into the wind and they were soon in the air. “Fly over the north side of the fire,” yelled the photographer, “and make three or four low level passes.”
“Why?” asked the pilot.
“Because I’m going to take pictures,” cried the photographer. “I’m a photographer and that’s what photographers do!”
After a pause the pilot said, “You mean you’re not the flight instructor?”
Like I said, we live in a confusing world. At a time when TV screens are filled with competing political advertisements, disagreements about foreign policy, and all kinds of news reports based on false information, we wonder: “Just what do we know for sure?” Well, in a world of confusion and uncertainty, the Apostle John writes to us about some things that we can know for sure. Let me read 1 John 5:13-21 for you and, as I do, try to count how many times John says “we know.”
I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life. And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for… We know that God’s children do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot touch them. We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one. And we know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us understanding so that we can know the true God. And now we live in fellowship with the true God because we live in fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only true God, and he is eternal life. (1 John 5:13-21 NLT)
What a passage! In this world of confusion and false information—when scientists are constantly changing there theories and politicians change there stances—John assures us that there are some things that we can know for certain. There are some truths that cannot be denied and will never change; some things of which we can be sure. He mentions five certainties in these nine verses. First, we can be certain about our promise.
• OUR PROMISE
John begins by saying, “I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13 NLT).
As believer in Jesus Christ, we can know that we have the promise of eternal life. God has gone on record in His Word as offering eternal life to everyone who believes in Jesus Christ. This is God’s promise, and we can count on God’s promises. Listen to just a few of the verses in the Bible that assure us of eternal life: “He who believes in the Son has eternal life” (John 3:36); “Truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life” (John 5:24); “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:40); “Truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life” (John 6:47); and “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).