That Your Joy May Be Complete #10
1 John 5:4-13
That You May Know
Certainly, we live in a world of so much uncertainty … Gas prices, stock market, wars and rumors of wars. We don’t know what will happen day to day, though Benjamin Franklin said that the only certain things were death and taxes
But if we are Christians, we need not worry too much about the temporal things for we have things of which we can be sure
Last year we studied the book of Hebrews. Chapter 11 begins “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see”
In speaking of these verses, Thomas Aquinas says “One is rewarded for believing in what he does not see. There is no merit in believing what can be seen, since there is no faith involved.”
We find through the eyes of faith, a surety in hope and Aquinas says “faith brings with it a greater certitude that what can be known by reason”
In our faith we have a certainty in the unseen
2 Corinthians 5:7 says we live by faith and not by sight
But remember that while faith is in the unseen, it is not without evidence, reason, or logic
So, John, writing in his final chapter in this letter to the church, gives us some hooks upon which to place our faith …
Remember John has written to complete our joy …
one of the great paths then to joy is certainty
So John has given us a way to KNOW God’s Children
To Know that Jesus is truly God’s Son and
To Know that we, his followers HAVE, Possess, Eternal Life
Certainty … look for it with me as we read
1 John 5:4-13
Alright … look with me … This is how we know
1) we are God’s Children
2) Jesus is God’s Son and
3) we, His Children, have Eternal Life
This is how we know
1. God’s Children vv4-5
Do not be confused by this certainty.
Some say God’s children don’t sin … but John said “If we say we do not sin, we deceive ourselves”
Some say Christians don’t doubt … but if we never had doubt we wouldn’t be human but John says we can set our hearts at rest
Jude instructed us to be “merciful to those who doubt”
Some teach that Christians don’t get sick … but that doesn’t match with the lives of Christians in scripture, even Paul himself had a physical affliction that God would not take from him but gave him grace instead. Christian faithful throughout history have been faithful in spite of great sickness and affliction
So, Christians are not perfect in deed, they are not perfect in faith, not perfect in health … so how do we know God’s children … well with certainty … only God knows the heart but John says that those “born of God OVERCOME the world”
Everyone – pas = all, any, total, every kind of
Born – gennao (ghen-nah-o) = one begotten, birthed of God
Overcomes – nikao (nik-ah-o) = conquer, victorious …
The one who belongs to God, born from above, is marked by overcoming, or Victorious Living
Victory doesn’t come in never falling, never failing, never doubting, never struggling, but in always rising and ultimately finishing OVER the struggle
Proverbs 24:16 – though a righteous man falls seven times he rises again, but the wicked are brought down by calamity
Remember that the number 7 is a number of divine perfection or completeness
In Christ, I may be knocked down, I may fall down … but if I am his … I will rise
“And THIS is Victory” – nike = we know that word as a sports company, but it was also the Greek false goddess of victory …
But what IS Victory? Jordan, Woods, James? Is it superhuman ability? NO …
“What is Victory, Even Our Faith” –
Who is it that HAS Victory and is victoriously getting back up … rising each time they fall and doesn’t fall when others do?
It is he/she who believes that Jesus Is the Son of God.
You see these things are intertwined
That is why the great teaching on faith from Hebrews 11 is followed by the instruction of Hebrews 12 “Let us then fix our eyes on Jesus the author and finisher of our faith”
So if a child of God is proven by rising and then rising comes from the power of faith and faith is setting our eyes and belief on Jesus in that he IS who he claims to be …
How can I KNOW that he IS God’s Son?
Well, here it is … This is how we know
2. Jesus is God’s Son vv6-10
My faith is not some overinflated belief in myself
Not … it is confidence that Jesus IS who he claimed to be
If he is who he claims to be, then ALL of his Promises are true concerning me and the age to come
If He IS God’s son, then I have an inheritance and a home eternal
We have placed our hope in him … so he had better be who he says he is
Gal 2:20 says we are crucified with Christ … and yet alive
Romans 6:4 says we are buried with him so that we may be raised with him
Eph. 2:6 says that since he ascended we have ascended with him and are also seated or given rights in heavenly places
And Colossians 3:4 says when he comes again, we will be with him in glory
Warren Wiersbe tells the story about a Union Civil War Veteran who couldn’t work because of injuries suffered in war. So he would beg from town to town for a place to sleep and a bite to eat. He would say “I’m a friend of Mr. Lincoln” and show a piece of paper with Lincoln’s signature on it. Finally, one day a skeptic said “you don’t know Lincoln, prove it” … the man pulled an old piece of paper from his pocket warn from folding and unfolding. He said he received it from Lincoln himself but he couldn’t read, but he recognized Lincoln’s signature. The skeptic looked at it and said, “do you know what this is?” … “no” the man said “I can’t read” … “Friend” the skeptic continued, “this is a pension, for your service, this is a generous pension, you don’t have to bed, you are taken care of”
Believer, if Jesus is Who he says he is, and you walk in that faith, you have faith to overcome, we can be certain by his life
And it is proven by The Spirit, Water and Blood
There are many ways to look at the water, it can mean his physical life but also it means
Jesus was little known in the world. He was known only as a carpenter’s son from Nazareth.
He came to John the Baptist, at the Jordan river and John Baptized him.
Numerous witnesses that day saw it … but it was what happened AFTER
In Matthew 3:16-17 Jesus came up from the water, those witnesses that day heard God’s voice from Heaven say “This is my son, whom I love, with him I am well pleased”
I don’t know how many hundreds John baptized in his ministry, but there was no other that had the audible confirmation of God the Father saying “this Is My Son”
We know Jesus is the Son because of the Water … and because of
B. His Blood
Jesus was attested by the Father at his baptism. But more than 3 years later in John 12 … Shortly before his death, Jesus prayed “Father glorify your name” and God spoke again and said “I have … and will again”
Then a few days later, Jesus entered the garden on that Thursday night. He anguished in prayer and surrendered to the impending cross.
He was arrested and tried and condemned to die on the cross. While on the cross, God showed himself.
It became dark in the middle of the day for 3 hours.
In the Holy of Holies, the Veil was torn from top to bottom as the blood of Christ removed the separation between God and man
And The Earth Quaked
Remember, that the Gnostics said that The Christ just came upon Jesus at his Baptism and left him before the Cross.
John was saying NO … both the Baptism AND the Blood sacrificed for us prove he IS God’s Son
If Jesus were not LIKE us, born of flesh, then we have no one to be prepared to sacrifice fo us
If Jesus did not die for us, then our sins cannot be forgiven
Hebrews 9:22 “without shed blood there is no remission of sin”
And so we need to be washed clean of our outward actions and so he came with water
But the outward dirt is the result of the inward condition of sin so we need his blood to cleanse us within …
So Jesus is proved and we can have faith by Water and Blood
And also then it is proven by
C. The Spirit
Jesus didn’t stay dead, but he was made alive
1 Peter 3:18 – Jesus Christ died once for all, just for the unjust, put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit.
And Jesus gives us this same Spirit
Ephesians 1:19-20 his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20 which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,
Same Spirit, Same Power
And that Spirit placed in us empowers us in the battle
John 15:26 says the Spirit testifies about Jesus
John 16:24 says he teaches us about Jesus
Why? So we can have faith that Jesus IS who he says he is … he IS the son of God and because he won victory over death, then we are victorious TOO
Knowing we are God’s children
And knowing that Jesus is God’s Victorious Son …
Then we can know
3. We Have Eternal Life vv11-13
This comes down to a great purpose for john
V13 “that you may KNOW that you have eternal life
KNOW = oida =to see, perceive with eyes; notice, discern, discover
So how do we discern, perceive, notice that eternal life is ours?
A. God has Given Eternal Life
Every person born has life here on this earth and life is a precious gift which we should cherish and not take lightly … But there is a greater gift … that is Eternal Life
God has “GIVEN” = didomai = give, deposit … you cannot earn it through works, you cannot take it by force,
It can only be given
It cannot be awarded by the declaration of man … it comes from the Father
Eternal Life HAS been given it is in the indicative tense meaning it is ACTUAL so eternal life is real … so how do we attain it?
B. Life Is In the Son
Eternal life is not in the Baptist church or the Catholic, Methodist, Non-descript, Church by the way, or church on the way, or in the way … NO
Just THROUGH the Way, Truth, and the Life, Jesus Christ
Eternal Life is a Person … Jesus Christ
And it is a place as it comes IN the son
And THIS life v11 says is IN the Son … There are many things that call themselves life but THIS life is REAL life, Eternal Life
But How do I Know that I have it?
C. If You Have the Son, You Know you Have Life
He “who has” = echo = to have to hold in the hand, to have possession of mind, to hold fast, to own
If you have possession of the Son then you have possession of Life …
And then he strengthens it and says if we do NOT have the Son, we do not have life … they are inseparable realities
It is why Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the Life, no one comes to the Father except through me”
So then how do I know I have the Son and thus have life?
D. How Do I Have the Son?
I Believe On His Name
If I BELIEVE = pisteuo = to be persuaded of; place confidence in;
I have the Son when I am convinced that he IS the son of God, the one who provided for my forgiveness by his perfect life and sacrificial death, the one with all power and authority
And so, believing in Him, I am believing in his
NAME = onoma
That doesn’t just mean his given earthly name, Jesus, but all that his name affords
Onoma = everything which the name covers, the rank, authority, pleasure, command, excellences, deeds
If I believe that Jesus is who he says he is: The Son of God and Son of man, Perfect Sacrifice, and Sufficient Substitute for me. If I believe he can forgive me and transform me into righteousness, THEN
I am in Him and He is In me, and I HAVE Eternal Life
When we lived in Houston, we used to go to a lot of sporting events. We had friends who were athletes and coaches and they would leave us tickets at will call … We enjoyed the games not because of tickets that we had purchased, but because of the NAME, reputation, rank, and authority of the one who had promised them for us …
We would show up and give them our name and they would look in a book and find our name was written there and we enjoyed the blessing and inclusion in the event because of the name of the one who provided them for us
And so, it is … Revelation 21 describes a beautiful city of God that is to come
It is a place where every tear is wiped, and no more death, mourning, crying, pain.
It is a city that shines with the glory of God. It has walls like beautiful diamonds, and foundations of 12 precious stones. The gates are pearls and the city and the streets are like pure transparent gold.
There are streets with a river running through it lined by the tree of life leading to the throne of God in the center.
It needs no light because the glory of God is its light
It never ends, never closes, never passes away
It is the crown jewel of the New Heaven and New Earth
And Revelation 21:27 says that there is only one way we can enter it … our names must be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life
This is how we know we are God’s Children and how we know we have Eternal life
Because Jesus IS who he claims to be
He died for our sins and so John 1:12 says “to as many as receive him, those who believe on his name, he gave the right to be the children of God”
And so … with Revelation 22:19 we can say “Come! Whoever is Thirsty, come, whoever wishes, take of the free gift of the water of life!”
Will you Come?