1 John 5:1-5:5
Stephen Caswell © 2000
A Couple Getting Married
The prospective bridegroom was extremely nervous as he and his fiancée were discussing their wedding plans with their pastor. I’d like to see a copy of the wedding vows, the young man said; and the pastor handed him the service. He read it carefully, handed it back, and said, This won’t do! There’s nothing written in there about her obeying me! His fiancée smiled, took his hand, and said, Honey, the word obey doesn’t have to be written in a book. It’s already written in love on my heart.
Tonight I would like to look at the theme we saw this morning from a different angle. Because of the second birth Christians have a new nature. They can live victoriously over sin. However this isn't automatic and requires that we appropriate Christ's victory in our lives. 1 John 4 & 5 shows how faith, love and obedience all work together to produce the victorious Christian life. In doing this, John reveals how the Christian life is real and not a role that we play. Tonight we will look at:
I.Faith Begets New Life II.New Life Begets Love III. Faith & Love Beget Victory
Firstly Faith Begets New Life
1 John 5:1a Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God,
Born Again In Binumarien
When translator Des Oatridge, working in Papua New Guinea, came to the words born again in John's Gospel, he asked his native co-translator to think of a good way to express it. The man explained this custom: Sometimes a person goes wrong and will not listen to anybody. We all get together in the village and place that person in the midst of us. The elders talk to him for a long time. You have gone wrong! they say. All your thoughts, intentions, and values are wrong. Now you have to become a baby again and start to relearn everything right. It was the answer Des was looking for. Today the words of John 3:3 in Binumarien reads No one can see the Kingdom of God unless he becomes like a baby again and relearns everything from God's Word.
As we observed this morning the Christian life begins with faith. John says that anyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is the Son of God. Isn't that too simple? Yes and no! Firstly to believe is simple. In fact young children can come to saving faith. But what they must believe is not simple. Verse 5 says that to be saved we must believe that Jesus is the Son of God. But verse 1 says that we must believe Jesus is the Christ. Verse 5 emphasises Christ's deity whilst verse 1 highlights His role as the Messiah, or Savior.
The word Christ highlights His ministry as the sinless Son of Man. It is only when sinners believe that Jesus Christ came to die for them that they can be saved. Such repentant sinners are in fact trusting completely in Jesus to save them. The Word of God and Spirit of God bring about this new birth. They cause this new to happen in response to the sinners faith in Christ.
Jesus said that unless one is born again they cannot see the kingdom of God. As we have observed to be born again means to hear the Good News of Jesus' death and resurrection and believe in Him. Only those who receive Jesus as their Savior can be saved. Do you believe that Jesus died for your sins and rose again to give you life? Have you been born again?
Secondly New Life Begets Love
1 John 5:1b-3 And everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.
Everything in creation except man obeys the will of God. Fire and hail, snow, and vapor, stormy wind fulfilling His Word. In the Book of Jonah, you see the winds and waves, and even the fish, obeying God’s commands; but the prophet persisted in disobeying. Even a plant and a little worm did what God commanded. But the prophet stubbornly wanted his own way. Ever since the Garden of Eden man has disobeyed God. However Christ has made it possible for man to obey God. The new birth gives us the ability to obey God if we choose.
Because of the new birth Christians receive both a new life and a new nature. No longer are they removed from the life and love of God. As God's children they begin to love others. This starts with our love for God. Believers love the Father and the Son. This is the natural response for believers as we begin to comprehend God's great love for us. The wonderful love God has showered upon us causes us to love Him in return. 1 John 4:19 says it well: We love Him because He first loved us. As well as loving the Lord we also love our brethren. In fact to love the Lord and our brother is to fulfill the commandments. Jesus said this very thing in Matthew 22:37-39, Paul said it in Romans 13:8-10 and in Galatians 5:14. Then James said it in James 2:8. Therefore, if we are born again we ought to love one another.
If we don't love our brother then we don't love God either. God is love and He shares His nature with His children. 1 John 4:20-21 says: If someone says, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also. Believers that say they love God and yet hate their brother are only pretending. They are hypocrites and their life is not real.
Poetry & Love
A woman visited a newspaper editor’s office, hoping to sell him some poems she had written. What are your poems about? the editor asked. They’re about love! gushed the poetess. The editor settled back in his chair and said, Well, read me a poem. The world could certainly use a lot more love! The poem she read was filled with moons and Junes and other sticky sentiments, and it was more than the editor could take. I’m sorry, he said, but you just don’t know what love is all about! It’s not moonlight and roses. It’s sitting up all night at a sickbed, or working extra hours so the kids can have new shoes. The world doesn’t need your brand of poetical love. It needs some good old-fashioned practical love.
But how can we demonstrate this God like love to others? We can't do it just with just words because talk is cheap. If we really love someone we will demonstrate it with action. The one another commandments in the New Testament tell us how to demonstrate our love!
1. Love John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. Christ set the standard of how we should love.
2. Service Galatians 5:13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
3. Greet 1 Corinthians 16:20 All the brethren greet you. Greet one another with a holy kiss.
4. Forbear Ephesians 4:2 With all lowliness and gentleness, with long suffering, bearing with one another in love, This means we patiently endure when we are wronged.
5 & 6. Kindness - Forgiveness Ephesians 4:32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you. David was kind to Mephibosheth.
7. Submission Ephesians 5:21 Submitting to one another in the fear of God.
8. Teaching & Admonishing Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. To teach God's Word to one another!
9 & 10. Comfort & Edify. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing. To comfort and build each other up in the faith!
11. Consider Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works. To think of how you can encourage others to love and do good works.
12. Exhort Hebrews 10:25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. To encourage the backsliders to come to Church. This isn't just the pastor's job!
13. Confession & Prayer Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed.The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Ja 5:16
15. Have Compassion 1 Peter 3:8 Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; To be soft & gentle to others.
16 & 17 Hospitality, Minister 1 Peter 4:9-10; Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Have people over for meals, to visit the sick! minister diakonew
D.L. Moody often said, Every Bible should be bound in shoe leather. We show our love to God, not by empty words but by willing works. We are not slaves obeying a master; we are children obeying a Father. How do you show others you love them with words or works?
To Obey Or Not To Obey - The Choice Is Ours!
Disobedience to God’s will is a tragedy; but so is reluctant, grudging obedience. God does not want us to disobey Him, but neither does He want us to obey out of fear or necessity. What Paul wrote about giving also applies to living: not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. What is the secret of joyful obedience? It is to recognize that obedience is a family matter. We are serving a loving Father and helping our brothers and sisters in Christ. We have been born of God, we love God, and we love God’s children. And we demonstrate this love by keeping God’s commandments. They are not a burden to us but a delight. When we choose to obey willingly we are blessed and so are brothers and sisters in Christ. Agape love is basically a choice to love someone. God loved us and He gave His Son. The good Samaritan loved when he helped the man who was robbed. Love is active!
Apostle John’s Farewell
Tradition tells us that the aged apostle John, in bidding farewell to his congregation, admonished them to love one another. But, we want something new, they said. Give us a new commandment. John replied, Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which you had from the beginning. that we should love one another! 1 Jo 2:7
At this point, we can review and understand the practical meaning of maturing love in our daily lives. As our love for the Father matures, we have confidence and are no longer afraid of His will. We also are honest toward others and lose our fear of being rejected. And we have a new attitude toward the Word of God: it is the expression of God’s love, and we enjoy obeying it. Confidence toward God, honesty toward others, and joyful obedience are the marks of perfecting love and the ingredients that make up a happy Christian life.
Because God's children receive a new nature through a second birth they have the ability to love. Christians should love God the Father and the Son. They should also love their fellowman. If believers don't love their fellowman they don't love God either! Do you love the Lord? Do you love your fellowman? How do you show it? Are you serving them in the Church? When was the last time you had someone over for a meal? Do you comfort and edify your brethren through the Word? Do you minister to the needy? Take a meal to sick folk? Mow the neighbors lawn when their on holidays? How do you show people you love them, through poetry or deeds? If you really believe that we should obey the one another commands, how will your life be different when you leave tonight?
The burden of religion is a grievous one; but the yoke that Christ puts on us is not burdensome at all. Love lightens burdens. Jacob had to work for seven years to win the woman he loved, but the Bible tells us that they seemed unto him a few days, for the love he had to her. Perfecting love produces joyful obedience. To love is to fulfill God's Law!!!
Thirdly Faith & Love Beget Victory
1 John 5:4-5 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
Christians live in a real world that involves great conflict. It's not easy to obey God. It is much easier to drift with the world, disobey Him, and do our own thing. But the Christian is born of God. This means that we have the divine nature within us, and it is impossible for this divine nature to disobey God. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. When the old nature is in control, we disobey God; but if the new nature is in control, we obey God. The world appeals to the old nature and tries to make God’s commandments seem a burden. Our victory is a result of faith, and we grow in faith as we grow in love. The more you love someone, the easier it is to trust him. The more our love for Christ is perfected, the more our faith in Christ is perfected too; because faith and love mature together.
Alexander And Alexander
We are told that a soldier in the army of Alexander the Great was not acting bravely in battle. When he should have been pressing ahead, he was lingering behind. The great general approached him and asked, What is your name, soldier? The man replied, My name, sir, is Alexander. The general looked him straight in the eye and said firmly: Soldier, get in there and fight; or change your name! What is our name? Children of God — the born-again ones of God. Alexander the Great wanted his name to be a symbol of courage; our name carries with it assurance of victory. To be born of God means to share God’s victory.
This is a victory of faith, but faith in what? Faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God! The person who overcomes the world is the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God . It is not faith in ourselves, but faith in Christ, that gives us the victory. In the world you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. Identification with Christ in His victory is the key to overcoming the world. Each believer must appropriate the victory of Jesus Christ in their own life by faith. The Scriptures tell us that when Jesus died that we died with Him to our old life. When He rose from the dead we rose with Him. When He ascended on high we ascended with Him into heavenly places. All of this has happened to Christians because they are in Christ by faith.
Colossians 3:1-4 Since then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. So with a child of God: his authority is determined by his position in Christ. His old life has been buried and he has been raised to a new life of glory. In Christ, he sits on the throne of the universe!
The Rich Beggar
A Civil War veteran used to wander from place to place, begging a bed and bite to eat and always talking about his friend Mr. Lincoln. Because of his injuries, he was unable to hold a steady job. But as long as he could keep going, he would chat about his beloved President. You say you knew Mr. Lincoln, a skeptical bystander retorted one day. I’m not so sure you did. Prove it! The old man replied, Why, sure, I can prove it. In fact, I have a piece of paper here that Mr. Lincoln himself signed and gave to me. From his old wallet, the man took out a much-folded piece of paper and showed it to the man. I’m not much for reading, he said, but I know that’s Mr. Lincoln’s signature. Man, do you know what you have here? one of the spectators asked. You have a generous federal pension authorized by President Lincoln. You don’t have to walk around like a poor beggar! Mr. Lincoln has made you rich!
To paraphrase what John wrote: You Christians do not have to walk around defeated, because Jesus Christ has made you victors! He has defeated every enemy and you share His victory. Now, by faith, claim His victory. The key, of course, is faith, but this has always been God’s key to victory. The great men and women named in Hebrews 11 all won their victories by faith. They simply took God at His word and acted on it, and He honored their faith and gave them victory. Faith is not simply saying that what God says is true; true faith is acting on what God says because it is true. Someone has said that faith is not so much believing in spite of evidence, but obeying in spite of consequence. Victorious faith is the result of maturing love. The better we come to know and love Jesus Christ, the easier it is to trust Him with the needs and battles of life. It is important that this maturing love become a regular and a practical thing in our daily lives.
How does a believer go about experiencing this kind of love and the blessings that flow from it? To begin with, this kind of love must be cultivated. It is not the result of a hit-or-miss friendship! We must cultivate friendship with Christ. Regular prayer and Bible study is essential. This friendship will begin to influence our lives. We must take Christ with us each day and share Him with others. Our friendship with Christ and our becoming like Him will lead to a deeper love for Christ. The more we know Him the better we love Him, and the better we love Him the more we become like Him; conformed to His image.
God wants His children to be victorious. The victory of His Son is available to all believers. Are you overcoming the world or is it overcoming you? Are you living each day by faith? Are you laying hold of Christ's victory? Jesus has overcome the world! Do you focus on the promises of God's Word and the exalted position that you have in Christ?
I. Faith Begets New Life
When a sinner believe that Jesus is the Christ, God's anointed Savior they are born of God. This new birth results in a new life and new nature. Have you been born again?
II. New Life Begets Love
The new nature believers receive enables them to obey God's commands. God's children love the Father and His Son. They also love their fellow man. Do you love the Lord? Do you love your brother also? How are you showing this love? Will you keep the one another commandments?
III. Faith & Love Beget Victory
God wants His children to overcome the world through faith and love. Are you living a victorious life over the world and sin? Are you appropriating Christ's victory in your life?
Benediction Ephesians 3:20-21