The Confidence of Being Heard

1 John 5
13 I write this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.
14 And this is the confidence which we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.
15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have obtained the requests made
16 If any one sees his brother committing what is not a mortal sin, he will ask, and God will give him life for those whose sin is not mortal. There is sin which is mortal; I do not say that one is to pray for that.
17 All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin which is not mortal.
18 We know that any one born of God does not sin, but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.
19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world is in the power of the evil one.
20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, to know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.
21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. RSV

13 You may know that you have eternal life
you who believe in the name of the Son of God.
14 He hears us.
if we ask anything according to his will
And this is the confidence which we have in him
15 We have obtained the requests made 
if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask

16 Ask, 
If any one sees his brother committing what is not a mortal sin
God will give him life for those whose sin is not mortal
There is sin which is mortal; I do not say that one is to pray for that.
17 All wrongdoing is sin 
but there is sin which is not mortal

18 We know
any one born of God does not sin
He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him
19 We know that we are of God
the whole world is in the power of the evil one.
20 we know that the Son of God has come
and has given us understanding, to know him who is true;
we are in him who is true; his Son Jesus Christ
the true God and eternal life

21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols

The Structure of Life

1 John 5
5 Who is it that overcomes the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
6 This is he who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ, not with the water only but with the water and the blood.
7 And the Spirit is the witness, because the Spirit is the truth.
8 There are three witnesses, the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree.
9 If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater; for this is the testimony of God that he has borne witness to his Son.
10 He who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. He who does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne to his Son.
11 And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
12 He who has the Son has life; he who has not the Son of God has not life.  RSV


5 He who believes that Jesus is the Son of God
overcomes the world
6 Jesus Christ
who came by water and blood
not with the water only

7 Because the Spirit is the truth 
the Spirit is the witness
8 The Spirit, the water, and the blood 
are three witnesses
and these three agree
9 the testimony of God is greater;
for this is the testimony of God
he has borne witness to his Son

10 He who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself.
He who does not believe God has made him a liar;
because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne to his Son.
11 God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son
and this is the testimony,

12 He who has the Son has life

The Poetry of Love

1 John 4
16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.
17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus.
18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
19 We love because he first loved us. NIV

God is love
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us
Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them
In this world we are like Jesus
This is how love is made complete among us
so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment

The one who fears is not made perfect in love
because fear has to do with punishment
But perfect love drives out fear
There is no fear in love
We love, because he first loved us.

Beloved Little Children

1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God,
3 and every spirit which does not confess Jesus is not of God. This is the spirit of antichrist, of which you heard that it was coming, and now it is in the world already.
4 Little children, you are of God, and have overcome them; for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
5 They are of the world, therefore what they say is of the world, and the world listens to them.
6 We are of God. Whoever knows God listens to us, and he who is not of God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. RSV


Do not believe every spirit
Test the spirits
Many false prophets have gone out into the world


Every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God,
Every spirit which does not confess Jesus is not of God.
This is the spirit of antichrist,
you heard that it was coming
now it is in the world already.

You are of God, and have overcome them
They are of the world, therefore what they say is of the world
the world listens to them. 

for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
Whoever knows God listens to us,
he who is not of God does not listen to us.

 

By This

1 John 3:21 Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22 and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 24 All who keep his commandments abide in him, and he in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit which he has given us.

We have confidence before God
if our hearts do not condemn us
because we keep his commandments
and do what pleases Him.
All who keep His commandments abide in Him and He in them
and we receive from Him whatever we ask.
This is His commandment,
believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ
and love one another
by the Spirit He has given us.
By this we know that He abides in us.

Loving

I John 3
16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
17 But if any one has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?
18 Little children, let us not love in word or speech but in deed and in truth.
19 By this we shall know that we are of the truth, and reassure our hearts before him
20 whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.  RSV


He laid down his life for us.
By this we know love.
We ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
Loving in deed and in truth
reassures our hearts before Him,
we are of the truth.
God is greater than our hearts
whenever our hearts condemn us!

The Cure for Lawlessness

I John 3:4 Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. 5 You know that he [Jesus] appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. 

Excerpted from God’s Deliberate Sacrifice
first Posted on September 29, 2019

“…the Jew was always quite clear, when thinking at his highest, that the sins for which sacrifice could atone were sins of ignorance. The deliberate sin did not find its atonement in sacrifice.”  William Barclay

None of the diligent and and rigid rules of sacrifice had the power to deal with the full capacity of a broken human being to choose to sin on purpose.  Jesus was appointed by God to represent the people in matters related to God in place of those sacrifices.  He became God’s deliberate Sacrifice that could remove the deliberate guilt of all sin when He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.

Behold!

I John 3:1 Behold, what love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the sons of God! For this reason, this world does not know you: because it does not know Him.  2 Dearly beloved, we are now the sons of God. But what we shall be is yet to be revealed. And we know that when He shall be revealed, we shall be like Him. For we shall see Him as He is. RGT [Revised Geneva Translationa]

You may remember a simple chorus sung as a round based on these specific words of I John 3:1.  You may still mentally hear the music.  If it’s unfamiliar take a minute to listen here.  It’s a very basic two-sentence structure that repeats and overlaps as each side sings their part to complete the Word to the other.  

Behold what manner of love the Father has given unto us,
Behold what manner of love the Father has given unto us,
That we should be called the sons of God,
That we should be called the sons of God.

Reading those words triggered the memory of the music that goes with them. The testimony of truth is when music and the Word are combined, the two halves of the human brain are uniquely engaged in a lasting way.  Behold!  Reading Words on a page has the power to stimulate the music of our memory and remind our heart that the Father has given His love is to His children [of any age] for this purpose: our hope “that when He shall be revealed, we shall be like Him. For we shall see Him as He is.”

aThe Geneva Bible is specifically designed to be SPOKEN and HEARD, repeatedly, and is built on the premise that a crucial key to revival in the present can be found in one simple practice from the past—speaking God’s Word back to each other in community.

Consider Reality

Oh, dear children of mine (forgive the affection of an old man!), have you realized it? Here and now we are God’s children. We don’t know what we shall become in the future. We only know that, if reality were to break through, we should reflect his likeness, for we should see him as he really is!

Everyone who has at heart a hope like that keeps himself pure, for he knows how pure Christ is.  J.B. Phillips New Testament

Joy

I John 2:18 Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. 20 But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge.[Some manuscripts you know everything] 21 I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. 22 Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. 24 Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that he made to us[Some manuscripts you]—eternal life. ESV

Right from the beginning of this passage there are two hard truths  to think about and accept.  They are  the Apostle’s warning: “it is the last hour” and “many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour.”  There is a toxic residue in real life because of the truth of those two statements even though they were written so long ago.  It would all be so depressing if it weren’t for Verse 20 “But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge.[Some manuscripts you know everything]. That has become the catalyst for my thoughts this morning. 

We are exhorted to “Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father.”   We all know one “canned” answer of faith is “it’s not WHAT you know but WHO you know.”  This warning is for me [and you].  It’s dangerous to count on what I think I  know for my salvation even when I’m willing to acknowledge the many things I don’t know.

In the midst of the circumstances of life filled with that toxic residue of those first two hard statements WHAT I know about WHO I know is very important but even that will not save me.  I am surely saved by faith, but not my own. There is a reality that overcomes toxic circumstances to make joy possible in this physical life. It’s also the unbreakable thread of truth that ties me to eternity.

I am simply saved because of Christ’s faith…in me.