Wednesday, March 31, 2010
1 John 5 The Sureness of God’s Testimony
5 And who is the one who conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
6 Jesus Christ—He is the One who came by water and blood; not by water only, but by water and by blood. And the Spirit is the One who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.
7 For there are three that testify:
8 the Spirit, the water, and the blood—and these three are in agreement.
9 If we accept the testimony of men, God’s testimony is greater, because it is God’s testimony that He has given about His Son.
10 (The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. The one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that 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 The one who has the Son has life. The one who doesn’t have the Son of God does not have life.
13 I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.
I read a humorous story from Tonight Show host Jay Leno about his immigrant mother. It seems that she lived in constant fear of deportation. On the citizenship test, you can miss up to four questions. She missed five. The question she missed was "What is the Constitution of the United States?" Her answer was "A boat." She wasn't entirely wrong. The USS Constitution was docked in Boston. However the judge instantly denied her citizenship. Leno’s father stormed up to the judge asking, "What is this? Let me see the test! She's not wrong. The Constitution is a boat!" The judge rolled his eyes and said, "No sir, the Constitution is our basic governing document" "It's also a boat in Boston," Leno’s father raved, "the Constitution! Same thing! Come on!" The judge finally relented, "Fine," he said, "she's a citizen. Now get out of here!" Proudly Leno’s dad said to his mom, "I fixed it. You passed." "No, I didn't pass," she whimpered. "They're going to come after me!" The famous comedian writes, "From then on, any time my mother was even in the proximity of a policeman, she quaked with fear. When I took her to Scotland in 1983, she asked me, ‘Will I be able to get back in?’ ‘Ma! Don't worry! That was 50 years ago!’ However her doubts never ended." Many Christians struggle with their salvation in the same way Jay Leno’s mother struggled with her citizenship: they never feel secure.
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 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.
Dr. Joseph Conrad amazed and startled the audience by saying something like this: "Dear friends, I want you to know at the very beginning of my ministry with you that I am not dogmatic about the virgin birth of Jesus Christ. I am not dogmatic about the bodily resurrection of Christ, nor am I at all dogmatic about the substitutionary atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ." Stedman comments that "At this point an unbelieving gasp went up from that conservative audience. But then, marshaling all his force, with great intensity, he said, ‘No, I am not dogmatic; I am bulldogmatic!’"
There are indeed some things about which we can be bulldogmatic. And the reason we can be so confident in our salvation is that God has given us sufficient evidence upon which we build that confidence.
One of the first things we need to understand about our Christian faith is this – faith rests on facts. God has given us certain facts concerning our faith. We call them evidences. As a matter of fact, there is an entire discipline in the area of Christian Theology that is based on making an argument for the faith based on Christian evidences.
How You Can Know The Testimony Is True
You might feel like the man who had been caught committing a crime and as he appeared before the judge he was told that if he could not afford a lawyer one who be appointed for him by the court. He leaned over to the judge and said, "I appreciate your offer, but I don't need a lawyer. What I could use is a few good witnesses!"
John in defense to the life of Jesus Christ brings in three good witnesses to testify to the truth of who Jesus Christ is. There were those who had come into the church and who were denying the truth about Jesus by saying He was not deity … He was not God in the flesh here on earth.
Come is a technical term for the Messiah as fulfilled in Jesus (see Matt. I 1: 3 1 23:39; John 3:31; 6:14; 11:27; 12:13). In verse 6 John declares that He has already come. "Came" may be seen as a synonym for "Christ."
What does he mean "by [dia, through) water and blood?" Various suggestions have been made. For instance, the ordinances of baptism and the Lord's Supper, or the phenomenon of blood mingled with water when the soldier pierced the side of Jesus' dead body on the cross. But neither of these seems likely.
We must remember the immediate context of this statement. John is writing to refute the Gnostic heresy. The Docetics denied the humanity of Christ, that is, that He did not have a real flesh and blood body, but only seemed (from doke5, I seem) to have. The Cerinthians denied the deity of Jesus. They held that the aeon Christ came upon Him at His baptism (Matt. 3:16) and left Him on the cross (Matt. 27:46); Christ neither was born nor did He die. According to the Cerinthians only the man Jesus was born by natural means, and died, which left their system devoid of God's redemptive purpose and work. It involved "water" (baptism) but not "blood."
John declares that He "came by [through] water and blood, even Jesus Christ." Note both the human and divine names. Through His baptism Jesus consecrated Himself to His mission, and through His blood He consummated it. Then John adds "not by water only, but by water and blood." The apostle includes both by way of an emphatic statement. In the Greek text both "water" and "blood" have the definite article, making them separate events. The one came at the beginning of His ministry; the latter at its close. By these John offers proof that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Thus the aorist tense of "came" may be seen as inclusive of the entire public ministry of Jesus.
To understand John's meaning in "water" we must recall, as apparently he did, the words of John the Baptist: "And I knew him not, but he that sent me to baptize with [en, in] water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost [Spirit]. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God" (John 1:33-34).
McDowell (p. 222) says, "The water testifies to the fact that Jesus was a true historical being who joined hands with his forerunner John the Baptist in providing the historical event of his baptism, evidence that he was the Messiah of prophecy. The witness of the Spirit to the messiahship of Jesus was first given at the baptism, but it was a continuing witness in the work and words of Jesus and in the work and witness of all believers."
Notice that the Baptist did not say that He "will be" or "will become" the Son of God, but that "this is the Son of God." The verb "to be" expresses essential being. In the case of Jesus it is eternal essential being (see John 1:1,14). The apostle does not imply that Jesus was not God's Son prior to His baptism. He means that this fact was revealed to John the Baptist on this occasion, who, in turn, bore witness to his hearers. It is the responsibility of Jesus' followers to pass it on to those who have not heard.
1. Testimony by Water to the Son … baptism of Jesus
Mark 1:9-10 It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove.
1 John 5:6 This is He who came by water and blood; Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth.
John uses the water … baptism of Jesus and the blood … death of Jesus, as historical realities to testify to the truth of who Jesus is. These two are essential to the meaning of the gospel. John has been referring to Christ as our Messiah. His ministry as the Messiah began at His baptism. It would culminate with His death on the Cross. So when John says that Jesus did not come by water only, but by water and blood, he is referring to both the beginning and end of Christ’s ministry on earth as the sacrificial Lamb of God.
In Christ’s baptism we see the beginning of His ministry. And we also see something very significant about His life. We also see His sinless life. Remember that Jesus went down to be baptized in the Jordan River by John. Let’s pick up the account in Matthew 3:13Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. 14 But John tried to stop Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and yet You come to me?” 15 Jesus answered him, “Allow it for now, because this is the way for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him [to be baptized]. 16 After Jesus was baptized, He went up immediately from the water. The heavens suddenly opened for Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming down on Him. 17 And there came a voice from heaven: This is My beloved Son. I take delight in Him!
John was baptizing based upon repentance. When Jesus came to him, John immediately saw that Jesus did not need to be baptized because He had no sins to repent of! John even tried to make Jesus change His mind. But Jesus would not be deterred. I like the way the Good News Bible translates His reply to John in verse 15: But Jesus answered Him, ‘Let it be so for now. For in this way we shall do all that God requires.’ So John agreed." Jesus was perfectly righteous and He was committed to doing all that God required. So He was baptized even though He did not need to be. He was baptized to be an example to us that we should do all that God requires of us.
We see in Christ’s baptism the evidence of His sinless life. You see, the only way that Christ could make an atonement for us was to live a sinless life. Only a sinless sacrifice could make atonement. But merely a sinless life would not be enough in itself.
2. Testimony by Blood to the Son … death of Jesus
The second evidence is the blood. The blood obviously refers to Christ’s death on the Cross. His sinless life led Him to His sacrificial death. On the Cross, Christ became the sacrificial Lamb of God. On the Cross He paid the penalty for our sin debt. On the Cross He took upon Himself our sins and satisfied the divine judgement of God. On the Cross, He shed His blood. On the Cross He paid for our sins. The Cross stands as evidence of the love of God. The Cross stand as evidence that our sins are borne by Christ Himself. We should not be able to look at the Cross without seeing tremendous evidence to believe.
1 Pet.1:19 says we were redeemed "with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot."
John 19:30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.
Shed Blood on the Cross carried out and completed His redemptive mission. Shed Blood on the Cross established Him as Savior. Shed Blood on the Cross brought Life to man. poured out to God for man.
poured out to reconcile man to God. poured out to bring peace b/t man and God.
Hebrews 9:22 And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.
1 John 5:7-8 For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.
The "water" represents the baptism, the sinless life of Christ. The "blood" represents the cross, the sacrificial death of Christ. The third testimony is "the Spirit who bears witness."
The water and the blood are historical, objective and intellectual evidences. However, the work of the Holy Spirit is experiential, subjective and extremely personal evidence.
3. Testimony by the Spirit to the Son
I spoke on the phone on Tuesday to the pastor of the East Maitland Church of Christ. He had rung up because a lady in his church had asked him some hard questions and he wanted to check his answers.
If someone says they have had an experience that contradicts scripture how do you know that it is not true. And what are you going to say? Billions of experiences.. only valid ones are those in Scripture.
People need to hear the Word of God so that the Spirit of God c an take the Word of God and bring it home to them. If you hear God’s Word and let it guide your belief system you are born of God., and the Spirit of truth will guide you into His truth.
No need for heavy apologetic arguments. If you start where they are you are conceding that their view of truth is true when it is not. God’s view of truth is the only truth there is.
Communist.. Nobody ever proved God to me? “What do you want Him to do? Do a headstand in front of you? Do you think Go the creator of the universe would submit Himself to your puny requests? He is God, you are not. He tells you what to do not you tell Him.
The third evidence which produces faith is the Spirit. The Spirit here refers to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives testimony to the reality of the Gospel message. When we hear the Gospel, the Holy Spirit speaks within our hearts that the Gospel message is true. He makes the message real to our hearts. He applies that truth to our lives. Through the Holy Spirit, God lets us know that Christ not only died for the world, but Christ died for me. The Spirit draws me to Christ. The Spirit enables me to trust Christ. The Spirit gives me the new birth. The Spirit makes me a part of the family of God. In the book of Romans, Paul writes: "His Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God."
The Holy Spirit was given to bear witness of the Son (Jesus). John 15:26 But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.
John 16:14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.
Spirit of truth … present at baptism and the Cross.
Spirit of Truth … can be trusted.
John 15:26b the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father,
John 16:13 "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
Testimony to the Believer The Spirit's witness is present today to bear witness to the believer.
Romans 8:16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
Spirit illumines the Word to believers to apply truth to heart and life.
1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
John says that "these three" … water, blood and Spirit agree … testify to the one central truth of the gospel … Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
Testimony of God
Testified at Jesus' Baptism.
Matthew 3:16-17 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
Testified at the Mount of Transfiguration
Matthew 17:5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!"
Testified at the Hour Jesus' Hour had come
John 12:28-29 "Father, glorify Your name." Then a voice came from heaven, saying, "I have both glorified it and will glorify it again." 29 Therefore the people who stood by and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, "An angel has spoken to Him."
Testified through Nature at the Crucifixion
Matthew 27:45 Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land.
Matthew 27:50-54 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. 51 Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, 52 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many. 54 So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, "Truly this was the Son of God!"
God has testified again and again that this one called Jesus is His beloved Son. Now who are we going to believe?
Isaiah 53:1 Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
Whose report will be received? The testimony of man … or God?
These three evidences are strong evidence indeed. And they point us in a specific direction. They do not point us to a religious system or a philosophy for living. They point us instead to a person. You see, being spiritually alive is totally dependent upon our relationship to a person.
Spiritual Life is Only Found in Christ.
It is not enough to know about Christ. In order to truly be spiritually alive, one must come to personally know Christ. We must enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ as our Savior. John goes on to say in 1 John 5:11-12: And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
It’s really rather simple. If you have Jesus, you have life. If you do not have Jesus, you do not have life. This means that our eternal life is dependent upon a personal relationship with a living Savior. Jesus Christ is alive today and He desires to live His life in us and through us. When you surrender to God, you yield to Christ for Him to come and live within. And by His Spirit, that is precisely what He does. He comes to live within each believer. His abiding life within us is what makes us spiritually alive.
And then John comes to what is one of the most important verses of Scripture in the Bible. In 1 John 5:13 we read these words: 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.
In My Confession, Leo Tolstoy, the Russian novelist and former atheist, confessed that it was faith in God that finally brought true meaning into the confused and crumbling structure of his life. A few years before faith had come to his aid, his life had started to seem meaningless and absurd to him, a feeling that was almost destroying him from the inside. He felt that he had no reason to either live or do the things he was doing.
…five years ago, a strange state of mind began to grow upon me: I had moments of perplexity, of a stoppage, as it were, of life, as if I did not know how I was to live, what I was to do, and I began to wander, and was a victim to low spirits…. These stoppages of life always presented themselves to me with the same questions: "Why?" and "What after?" I was perfectly disconcerted, and knew not what to think. Another time, dwelling on the thought of how I should educate my children, I ask myself "Why?" Again, when considering by what means the well-being of the people might best be promoted, I suddenly exclaimed, "But what concern have I with it?" When I thought of the fame which my works were gaining me, I said to myself: "Well, what if I should be more famous than Gogol, Pushkin, Shakespeare, Molière – than all the writers of the world – well, and what then?"… I could find no reply. Such questions will not wait: they demand an immediate answer… but answer there was none. I felt that the ground on which I stood was crumbling, that there was nothing for me to stand on, that what I had been living for was nothing, that I had no reason for living….
Tolstoy described this sense of meaninglessness as "some irresistible force" that was dragging him onward "to escape from life." Many do try to escape this situation by indulging in materialistic pleasures or pursuits. Drugs, parties, shopping, television, games, etc provide easy means for escaping the seriousness of life. However, this indulgence is not without its boredom and vexation of spirit; while the flesh is being indulged in its passions, the spirit is suffocated. After much study of this problem, Tolstoy found that it was true faith in God alone that gave him meaning in life. He said,
I remembered that I had lived only when I believed in a God. As it was before, so it was now. I had only to know God, and I lived; I had only to forget Him, not to believe in Him, and I died…. To know God and to live are one. God is life.
Friday, March 26, 2010
1 John 5 The Power
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the • Messiah has been born of God, and everyone who loves the parent also loves his child.
2 This is how we know that we love God’s children when we love God and obey His commands.
3 For this is what love for God is: to keep His commands. Now His commands are not a burden,
4 because whatever has been born of God conquers the world. This is the victory that has conquered the world: our faith.
5 And who is the one who conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
WHAT IS A DEFEATED LIFE?
A life without fruit. We are commanded by the Lord to bear fruit. Jesus said, "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples" (John 15:8).
A life without power. If the power were present, the life would not be defeated. Jesus said, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me. . ." (Acts 1:8).
A life without a positive influence. The life of the victorious Christian points in one direction—toward the Lord. The defeated life has no positive influence.
A life dominated by the flesh. The Corinthians were defeated Christians. Paul called them "babes in Christ." They were carnal, not spiritual.
A life directed at times by Satan.
Are you saying that a Christian's life is never directed by the evil one? If so, you are speaking against the Word of God. Simon Peter said to Christians, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. "—I Peter 5:8,9.
James also said, "Submit yourselves therefore to God. "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you" (James 4:7). These and many other Scriptures show that the Devil is constantly after us. Some Christians succumb to his enticing words, and they are directed for a while by Satan.
A life dictated by the world. John tells us, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him" (I John 2:15). The apostle indicates the danger of loving the world; therefore, he warns the children of God against this love.
In a much stronger way, James said, "Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God" (James 4:4).
The Apostle Paul, knowing the great danger of a Christian s life dictated by the world, said, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?" (II Cor. 6:14). And again, "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you" (vs. 17).
The defeated life is dominated by the world, the flesh and the Devil— three enemies who work for the constant defeat of a Christian.
God wants you to be victorious! Satan wants you to be defeated! Your soul is beyond his reach, but you can still be touched through the world and his subtle suggestions.
What a dead drag the defeated Christian is to himself and to all around him! What a hindrance to the cause of Christ! He does not glorify God, and he constantly sheds a negative influence of defeatism on others.
But listen to John: "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith" (I John 5:4). Victory Overcomes = Nikao . . . to get the victory Victory = Nike . . . victory
Satan has a campaign in this world
John 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world. Now the ruler of this world will be cast out.
Ephesians 2:2 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Ephesians 6: Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Satan has control of this world
1 John 5:19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness. 19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world is under the sway of the evil one.
1. The Power Of Love
Mark 3:17 and to James the son of Zebedee, and to his brother John, He gave the name “Boanerges” (that is, “Sons of Thunder”);
Mark 9:38 John said to Him, “Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in Your name, and we tried to stop him because he wasn’t following us.” 39 “Don’t stop him,” said Jesus, “because there is no one who will perform a miracle in My name who can soon afterwards speak evil of Me.
Luke 9:54 He sent messengers ahead of Him, and on the way they entered a village of the • Samaritans to make preparations for Him. 53 But they did not welcome Him, because He determined to journey to Jerusalem. 54 When the disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?”55 But He turned and rebuked them, 56 and they went to another village.
But something happened to John
Something happened to Paul.
Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith,
The power of a seed pushing up paving stones.
1 Cor 13:7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
2. The Power Of Life
John 3:16 For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.
1 Cor 6:19 Do you not know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,
Believers demonstrate the supernatural power and presence of Christ in their lives by obedience to God's commandments (verse 4a). Grace operates within the believer and gives him the ability to keep God's commandments (Philippians 2:13 For it is God who is working in you, [enabling you]both to will and to act for His good purpose. ).
The change that Jesus brings to a believer is a living testimony to others of the power of God (II Corinthians 3:1-3 Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or like some, do we need letters of recommendation to you or from you? 2 You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, recognized and read by everyone,
3 since it is plain that you are Christ’s letter, produced by us, not written with ink but with the Spirit of the living God; not on stone tablets but on tablets that are hearts of flesh. and 5:17Therefore if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.
Such examples as Paul, the demoniac, the Samaritan woman, etc. are the greatest evidences of God's supernatural power!
The change that Jesus brings into a believer is a living testimony to the believer himself. In fact, an absence of obedience and growth will result in doubt and discouragement to the believer (II Peter 1:5-9 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, 6 knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, 7 godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 The person who lacks these things is blind and shortsighted, and has forgotten the cleansing from his past sins. This over-coming victory over the flesh, Satan, and the law is a universal reality to all who are truly born again (verse 4a). You will notice the word "whatsoever". This means anyone and anything and everything that is born of God will overcome the world. In 1 John 3:8-10 John has declared that God's seed enters and abides in all believers. The one who commits sin is of the Devil, for the Devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God was revealed for this purpose: to destroy the Devil’s works. 9 Everyone who has been born of God does not sin, because His seed remains in him; he is not able to sin, because he has been born of God. 10 This is how God’s children—and the Devil’s children—are made evident. Whoever does not do what is right is not of God, especially the one who does not love his brother.
In 1 John 4:4You are from God, little children, and you have conquered them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. he has declared that God's seed is greater than Satan's seed. Now, in I John 5:4, because whatever has been born of God conquers the world. This is the victory that has conquered the world: our faith. he declares that these facts will cause every born again believer to be a victorious Christian. Any believer who Is not experiencing this today needs to look into their lives for the causes and patiently persevere (Psalms 138:8 The Lord will fulfill [His purpose]for me. Lord, Your love is eternal; do not abandon the work of Your hands. and Philippians 1:6 6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: ).
The pressure of a river flowing down to the sea. I and my cousin were caught in a current at Shoalhaven Heads and we rowed against that current for hours. We were not gaining ground. What made it worse was when a local fisherman powered by in his fishing boat and told us to be careful, he had followed a 12 foot shark into the estuary. We got out on a sandbank near the beach just before were going to sucked out to sea, and pushed the boat the couple of miles back to his house. Filled in a whole day, rowing that boat and pushing that boat. Some years later I was in a small boat at Foster, and the girls were young and again we were caught in the massive current trying to haul us off out to sea. The situation was even more fearsome, but, no, because on that boat was a little engine, and it chugged away “I think I can I know I can”, and pushed us up river against that current. Remember the little red caboose.. going up the hill “I think I can I know I can, and chugged right over that hill!
You know, we need some power. And we have that power.
3. The Power Of A Living Faith
Vance Havner used to tell the story of an elderly lady who was greatly disturbed by her many troubles both real and imaginary. Finally she was told in a kindly way by her family, "Grandma, we’ve done all we can do for you. You’ll just have to trust God for the rest." A look of utter despair spread over her face as she replied, "Oh, dear, has it come to that?" Havner would say, "It always comes to that, so we might as well begin with that!"
The initial step of salvation is done in faith (verse 4b-5). The only way that any person can be born again is through faith in the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Salvation is where a person acknowledges that they are a sinner by nature, a sinner by choice, a sinner by habit, and a sinner who cannot save themselves. Salvation is where a sinner acknowledges that if they received what they deserved, it would be eternal separation from God in hell. Salvation is where a person who acknowledges their sin also acknowledges their faith in the biblical record of Jesus Christ. This believe is more than just head knowledge. This belief is more than just verbal ascent. This faith, which saves, confesses that Jesus Christ was the sinless Son of God, who alone is worthy to be our sin substitute. This faith which saves acknowledges that He was born without original sin (through the virgin birth), that He was in all ways tempted as we are, and yet never sinned; that He died upon the cross, not for His sins, but for ours, and that His substitutionary death was accepted by God the Father. Believing faith is where a sinner places all his sin and all his hope of forgiveness under the blood of Jesus Christ, which was shed upon the cross. Believing faith is where a person accepts God's record that they are pardoned, forgiven, and justified in the sight of God through Jesus' redemptive work alone.
That is why Ephesians 2:8 declares that even "the faith" to believe and be saved is "a gift from God". Hebrews 11:6 declares "that without (this kind of) faith, it is impossible to please God".
F.B. Meyer said, "Unbelief puts our circumstance between us and God, but faith puts God between us and our circumstances." Whatever the circumstances, choose to believe God. And sometimes that means you’ll have to take a risk.
Miss Jones, an elderly spinster, lived in a small mid-western community. She had the notoriety of being the oldest resident of the town. One day she died and the editor of the local newspaper wanted to print a little caption commemorating Miss Jones’ death. However, the more he thought about it, the more he became aware that while Miss Jones had never done anything terribly wrong, she had actually never done anything of note. In despair, the editor decided to assign the task to the first reporter he came across. The only fellow around was the sports editor, so he gave him the assignment. This is the result:
Here lie the bones of Nancy Jones, Her life held no terrors.
She lived an old maid. She died an old maid. No hits, no runs, no errors.
Someone who works in the field of Chemistry pointed out that if you mix hydrogen and oxygen, the well-known components of water, you get no reaction — and no water! But if you add a small amount of platinum to this stable mixture, things begin to happen rather rapidly. The hydrogen and oxygen unite and a chemical change occurs which produces H2O. Just as platinum is needed as a catalyst to achieve the desired result so faith must be present in our walk with the Lord to pull together everything else we do. Our church attendance, Bible reading, prayer, and faithful deeds bring us to a place of victorious overcoming only as they are mixed with faith. We need to understand the "chemistry" of faith. It is explosive!
Charles Haddon Spurgeon once wrote, Men usually swim with the stream like a dead fish; it is only the living fish that goes against it. It is only the Christian who despises customs, who does not care for conventionalisms, who only asks himself the question, "Is it right or is it wrong? If it is right, I will be singular. If there is not another man in this world who will do it, I will do it; should a universal hiss go up to heaven, I will do it still; should the very stories of earth fly up, arid stone me to death, I will do it still; though they bind me to the stake, yet I must do it; I will be singularly right; if the multitude will not follow me, I will go without them, I will be glad if they will all go and do right as well, but if not, I will despise their customs; I care not what others do; I shall not be weighed by other men; to my own Master I stand or fall. Thus I conquer and overcome the customs of the world."
It is strange we trust each other, And only doubt our Lord;
We take the word of mortals, And yet distrust His Word.
But, oh, what light and glory, Would shine for all our days,
If we always would remember, God means just what He says.
When Cardinal Manning was experiencing great depression of soul and a darkening of his faith, he went into the shop of a well-known book concern. There he saw one of his own books entitled, Faith in God. As he waited for a copy of his book to be sent up from the storeroom, he heard a clerk calling up from the elevator shaft, "Manning s Faith in God is all gone!" He took the words to heart.—w. B. Knight
Sunday, March 14, 2010
TOUR ISRAEL INFORMATION NIGHT!
Friday night March 19th at 7:00 pm
Come along to the Newcastle Baptist Tabernacle for an information meeting for anyone who might like to travel to Israel In October this year on a tour.
To whet your appetite, view Chuck Swindoll’s video blog of their tour to Israel right now.