Sunday Sermon – May 17, 2014

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God’s Testimony 1 John 5:9-13

Audio:

 

Does the testimony of a celebrity make you want to buy a product? There is an ongoing discussion in the business world about the cost of celebrity endorsements vs the benefit. Sometimes the endorsement goes wrong …such as when a scandal erupts … or when people hate the commercial.  If God endorsed a product would you believe his testimony?

1 John 5:11 This is the testimony: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

God’s Testimony is that Christians have been given eternal life. This is affirmed throughout 1 John. The assurance of salvation is sometimes difficult for Christians to embrace.

Why Isn’t Assurance Always Assuring?
If you ask a room full of Christians if they know they are
saved, there will be a variety of responses. (Hope so, Depends on recent repentance, Yes!) Why do we struggle with being assured?

*We’ve been warned of ‘once saved always saved’.

*We know our own sins – even the ones no one else knows.

*We have felt judged by other Christians – maybe they are right?

*We fear the Judgment Day – God might reveal something we have not considered.

*We listen to the lies of the Enemy.

It is a Great Challenge to really believe God has saved us, is saving us, and will save us! 1 John offers the assurance of our eternal salvation. We do not question God’s ability save us but embrace it and believe it.

Some see Christian life like paddling in a canoe. We can tip it over, fall in and out, get back in, etc. We just hope that Jesus will not come while OUT!

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We need to see the Christian life as more secure… like a luxury liner with rails and structure!

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God’s Testimony of Assurance

It is a Greater Testimony than that of Men (1 John 5:9 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.).  It doesn’t suffer the weaknesses of human testimony (even your own!) It is a testimony about His Son.

It is a Gift to Those who Believe in the Son! (1 John 5:10 The one who believes in the Son of God has this testimony within him. The one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony God has given about His Son.)  No matter your journey, you have a testimony! If we do not believe God – we are calling him a liar! This testimony is not about you – it is about God! What God has done in you through Jesus – He gets all the credit!  God is the one who gives this testimony to us.

It is about the Granting of Eternal life (1 John 5:11-12 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. The one who has the Son has life. The one who doesn’t have the Son of God does not have life.) Among all of God’s gifts, this is the greatest. It cost Him the most. It is centered in the person of the risen Jesus. Notice this takes the focus away from you … from perfect law keeping … from fear of being lost at the last second … this gift is in His Son! The one who has the Son has life. It is God’s desire to forgive us of ALL our sin. (1 John 1:7,9)

1 John 2:12 I am writing to you, little children, because your sins have been forgiven because of Jesus’ name.

Jesus is the atoning sacrifice for our sin (1 John 4:10).

It Gladdens the Weary Heart with Knowledge from God
(1 John 5:13 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.) Those born of water and spirit can be assured as they walk in the light … following after Jesus Christ.  Are you walking toward God or away from Him?

Celebrities and Entertainers give testimonials all the time for products because they are paid to do so. They may or may not be believable. This passage presents God’s Testimony that through Christ. He has provided for your salvation.

If I am assured of my salvation…

I can worship freely and without inhibition.

I can share the gospel without reservation.

I can ease my conscience as I repent and confess Him.

I can face the reality of death without fear of judgment.

I can be a happier Christian when I receive His gift.

A man once told D. L. Moody that he was worried because he didn’t feel saved. Moody asked, “Was Noah safe in the ark?”  “Certainly he was,” the man replied.  “Well, what made him safe, his feeling or the ark?”  The point is, if you’re in Christ, it’s not your feelings that save you from God’s judgment. It’s Christ who saves! Being born of water and spirit puts you on the ark! Make sure you’re on board!

LifeGroup Discussion Questions

1.  Do you have any specific plans for the Summer? Why not share them with the group and pray for one another throughout the coming months as many people travel.

2. John said this morning if you ask a room full of Christians if they know they are saved, there will be a variety of responses. (Hope so, Depends on recent repentance, Yes!) Do you find it difficult to answer the question “Do you know you are saved?” … share with the group about your answer.

3. This morning we talked about our concept of salvation being either a canoe or a luxury liner. What other boating images can you think of and which one really expresses your view of your own salvation? (Ideas: Row boat, Tug boat, Windjammer)

4. How would you counsel a Christian who said that he doesn’t experience close fellowship with the Lord? Where would you start?

5. Where is the proper balance between accepting our human limitations, but not tolerating sin or spiritual immaturity?

6. How can we know whether feelings of guilt stem from Satan’s accusations or from the Holy Spirit’s conviction?

7. Sermon Series Review – Which Thought Resonates With you the Most?

What Do You Say About Sin? We emphasized expressing our need for God’s forgiveness for our sins and not just pretending they don’t exist. We are assured He wants to forgive us.

Abba’s Child is loved, grows to be like him and is therefore distinct from the world around us. We are assured He wants to transform us.

What Love Does … It serves others, it is more interested in action than words, and it strives to obey the One who loves most. We are assured that his love is changing us.

Victorious Faith conquer the world because it is faith in Jesus who is the ultimate victor. We are assured of the strength and ultimate victory of Christ.

God’s Testimony is that Jesus is sufficient to save us … He gave himself and that is enough! Put your faith in Him and then never let anything cause you to question your salvation! We are assured because our assurance is in Jesus.

Wednesday @ Forsythe

heroes

We are concluding a study of Hebrews 11 and the Heroes of Faith. Tonight we’ll try to gather up some final thoughts about what these heroes have taught us.

HIS AVENUE kids class will be in the Game Room for their lesson on the Beatitudes.

Teens will also meet in their space!

Everyone welcome! Next week we will enjoy our 3rd Wednesday meal together.

This coming Sunday we will conclude our series through 1 John.