1JN.3:18-24 Cure for the condemning HeartV.doc
INTRO.: Becoming a Christian is really simple! Believe in Jesus (who He said He was - God in flesh ) - and what He did!
Only way a person can be saved - is by trusting in Him & His work at Calvary! - ask into heart
Living the Christian life can be really simple too - (actually meant to be) - Love God w/ all your heart & love others
Love God / love others
- That is Christianity in a nutshell - I think we really need to strive to keep it that way!
- Now in this letter - John has continually showed us that loving others is the by product of being in love w/ Lord
- Chap. 2 - person who walks in the light will be a person whose life is marked by love for others
That love is to be in action - deed & in truth - not in word!
- Here in chap. 3 we have learned that - the person who abides in Him will love others
Today - finish chap. 3 - John names 2 blessings that come to the believer who is practicing Christian love! 1st - ASSURANCE - v.19-20
Assurance = a confidence toward God or a confidence in God
- When John says By this we know the word know = to know experientially
- by this we know we are of the truth / know right w/ God - How know?
C) Experiencing love in our hearts toward others / true genuine agape love / unconditional / sacrifices / gives
- Love that seeks the best of others above ourselves! Love that loves the unlovable that is the gauge:
Is there genuine love in our hearts toward others? That is proof that we know God! / Not how much pray, give, attend Ö.Ö Love!
Romans 5 - "Love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the H.S."
That is the key: get this down - not a love that we produce or muster up in ourselves
- It is the result of experiencing His Love!/ A Love He supplies as we abide in Him / His H.S. abides in us !
- I cannot decide one day I am going to be more loving / more patience / I am just going to do it ! Make it happen
- I am going to start loving this person that I really canít stand ! Doesnít work
- In fact my experience has been when I say things like that - not only do I fail miserably - my attitude gets worse not better !
- When I was younger in the Lord freshman in college / dating a gal who had a best friend who was a guy ! ( They had a great relationship )
- Needless to say I couldnít stand this guy - every time I saw him I would get these horrible feelings / punch the guy !
- But I knew I was wrong in feeling that way / really condemned / So I determined I am going to like this guy ! Be nice
- Harder I tried worse it got ! I couldnít stand this guy / miserable made matters worse he was really nice to me
- One time working at Alpha Beta night crew 1:00 in the morning tap on the window / here this guy - On my way home just thought say Hi!
- I felt so horrible / teaching at Calvary C.M / co teaching w/ this guys younger brother ( whatís wrong )
- I was about to give up on being a Christian because I couldnít change those feelings / Finally cried out one day Lord Help me / I canít but you can
- Began to understand poor in spirit / Jn. 15 w/out me Ö nothing !
What I needed to get along w/ this guy and really love this guy was available to me in Christ & through His H.S. in me !
What was needed was though was my realization that there was nothing in me that was capable of loving that way / changing those feelings
Been rightfully said that when we come to the end of ourselves we come to the beginning of God !
- We come to that place of realizing He has given us all things that pertains to life & godliness is through the knowledge of Him !
C) That includes the empowering & the ability to love / even the unlovable !
1)And John says here that When that love is evident & working in us we have an assurance & a confidence toward God!
But The truth of the matter is we donít always love the way we should do we?
Guy - cuts off on fwy give him that look as you drive by not saying (love ya bro) when someone pulls in front 10 miles an hour - not tailgating - hear say - God bless you
Boss at work rails on you - first thought isnít send him neat card
kids at school mean to your son or daughter -the 1st response isnít I think Iíll make the class cupcakes for tomorrow / poison !
Face it - we daily have to deal w/ the weakness of our flesh!
- daily we fall short!/ In actions or in our attitudes !
- Peter "All betray me" - "Not I - die for your" - Peter 3 times deny me!/ He did
- did Peter love Jesus? You bet - very much - did Jesus know this? Yes - the look - okay/ after Resurrection - tell Peter
E) Jesus knew Peterís heart - He knew Peter succumbed to pressure - Peter experienced weakness of his flesh (needed to - pride)
- But Jesus also knew what Peter would become
Jer 17:9 - "Heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked - who can know it?" - Answer He does! V.20,21 -
But in order for us to come to that place of being poor in Spirit / of relying upon His strength we need to see what is in or Hearts !
A) Big gulp - spills - bump reveals what was in the glass
Go through things reveal what is in our hearts - can be very discouraging (broken)
- So when our hearts condemn us - accuse us - when our hearts reveal what is still inside us - needs work! What do we do?
1) We remember that God is greater than our hearts & we cry out to Him / we cry out for His grace & mercy !
D) We confess our sin & our in ability to change ourselves turning our attention from the greatness of our sin to the greatness of His love & mercy & forgiveness
See it is not our goodness that gives us an assurance / it is not our performance but it is the greatness of the grace of God !
E) Knowing that when I confess my sin He is faithful & just to forgive me of My sin & to cleanse me from all unrighteousness / forgives & forgets
So answer is in focusing not on the greatness of our sin & failure but on our great God of mercy!
Great illustration of this in O.T. Tabernacle - when Israel in wilderness - camp at various places - set up Tab
Tab was a big tent that set in the middle of camp made of skins - surrounded by fence 150 long - 75 feet wide
- fence 22.5 feet high - entrance 30 - couldnít see over
- Inside the fence was the Tab itself - place where shekinah glory God dwelt - Ark of Covenant
- entered gate - huge altar - fire always burning sacrifice for sins
- Beyond the altar was the Tab itself -tent that was 15 feet wide - 45 feet long - two compartments Holy place - Priest entered daily / Holy of Holies - once yr.
In the Holy of Holies sat the ark of God / Shekinah Glory
A)Ark - box made of wood - covered w/ gold - in the box was the 10 commandments - Law of God /
1) The Law condemned man - guilty - couldnít keep the law
B) But the Priest never saw the Law because on top of Ark covering the inside - Mercy seat! covered completely!
C) Made this way to illustrate that however great our sins are the grace & mercy of God are greater!
Ps 103:10-12 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
I can have assurance & confidence before God because I know His grace is greater than my sin/ Sin abounds grace abounds all the more !
Confessed / repented / forgiven & forgotten
- He is greater than my heart and knows all things
- Now thatís comforting or alarming - depending on where you are really at w/ the Lord!
- If you are Living under His grace / living w/ the realization that you are unworthy / incapable/ of doing or being what he wants / encouraging
- He said He would supply all we needed ! I can rest in that ! Comforting to know that even when my heart condemns me/ He knows & is working !
- But this can be very alarming if I am playing games w/ Him & are not really sincere about wanting to follow him & walk w/ Him !
- all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.
So the First blessing John mentions for the person walking w/ the Lord abiding in His Love / He has an assurance / confidence in God
- An Assurance of What ? Tells us several things in this passage
- V.1,2 Children of God Loved by the Father ! V.3 Hope that one day we will be like Him / see Him / going to Heaven !
- V. 14 That we have passed from death to life ! / So 1st we are blessed w/ an assurance
2nd - Blessing answered prayer v.22
If we are abiding in Christ we will be walking in Love results in a Confidence & assurance before God that affects our worship & prayer life!
Heb 4:14- Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
All of us who are married have experienced this w/ our inlaws ! I remember the 1st time that I went up to Oregon to meet my wives parents
- All those feelings go through inside / are they going to like me ! What think ?
- Deniseís parents lived in the country / her dad is this rugged carpenter type of Guy drives a big 4by4 truck / likes to shoot guns
- Now I was born & raised I n So. Cal / I was a city boy / grew up hanging out at the beach ! What will they think ? Will they like me ?
- They did but this is what I found out / A big reason why they lied me had nothing to do w/ me / but it was because Denise Liked me !
- And because she liked me I was accepted / I was welcomed into the family because I was w/ her . ( Fact nice guy didnít hurt )
E) So then I went from being timid ok if I sit here? Can I use this cup / to hey John can I use the Truck ! / Make my self at Home ! Soda from Frig .
The writer of Hebrews encourages us to come boldly before the throne of God / receive grace & mercy
A) Not on basis of who we are - but who He is! / Not who we are but who we are with ! If we are w/ Jesus access to come in boldly come in ! Welcome
B)When Iím abiding w/ Him I not only have access but I can also know His heart!
In Psalm 37:4 David declared: Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
C) Secret here: our desires become His desires/ His mind & heart!
D) We can Pray so powerfully when know praying according to His heart
Now in Vs 23 & 24 - John sums up what He has been saying in this whole book to this point - this is a Christian!
- 1st Christianity is summed up in these 2 commandments
- 1st - believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ / Understand believe
- Believe = cling to - trust in - rely upon
- Speaks of allegiance = a commitment - a love for Christ
- clinging to & trusting in Him that my sins have been dealt w/ & salvation in His name alone!
- 2nd - love one another - with His love! That simple ! Christianity is about
v.24 - result! He who keeps His commandments, abides in Him
He who is clinging to Him - trusting in Him - will abide in Him
- Abide = to continue with - walk together
- And when We abide in Him - our lives are marked by our allegiance to Jesus = fruit!
But notice what else it says - He abides in us! How
- through the H.S.
That is the key to this life all that we need is supplied to us by the H.S. in us
- That is Christianity in a nutshell - loving Jesus - being submitted to Jesus - whole life / whole heart
E) Allowing Jesus to mold & shape your life as you follow leading of Spirit & walk obedience to His Word
Dwight L. Moody once demonstrated the principle of How God works these things out in our lives like this:
"Tell me," he said to his audience, "how can I get the air out of the glass I have in my hand?" One man said, "Suck it out with a pump." But the evangelist replied, "That would create a vacuum and shatter it." Finally after many suggestions, moody picked up a pitcher and quietly filled the glass with water. "There," he said, "all the air is now removed."
He then explained that victory for the child of God does not come by working hard to eliminate sinful habits, but rather by allowing the Holy Spirit to take full possession.
In Closing every single one of us can leave this place today w/ great assurance a confidence in God / accepted / loved / hears prayers /answer
And even when our hearts condemn us we know He is greater than our hearts . Confess & Repent forgive cleanse & renew !
- So I can have assurance today a confidence in the Lord if I am trusting in His grace & mercy ! His Performance & faithfulness / not my own !
C) Where is your Heart at this morning confident or condemning ?
A beggar stopped a lawyer on the street in a large southern city and asked him for a quarter. Taking a long, hard look into the man's unshaven face, the attorney asked, "Don't I know you from somewhere?" "You should," came the reply.
"I'm your former classmate. Remember, second floor, old Main Hall?" "Why Sam, of course I know you!" Without further question the lawyer wrote a check for $4000. "Here, take this and get a new start. I don't care what's happened in the past, it's the future that counts." And with that he hurried on.
Tears welled up in the man's eyes as he walked to a bank nearby. Stopping at the door, he saw through the glass well-dressed tellers and the spotlessly clean interior. Then he looked at his filthy rags. he muttered as he turned away. "They won't take this from me. They'll swear that I forged it,"
The next day the two men met again. "Why Sam, what did you do with my check? Gamble it away? Drink it up?" No," said the beggar as he pulled it out of his dirty shirt pocket and told why he hadn't cashed it. " "Listen, friend," said the lawyer. "What makes that check good is not your clothes or appearance, but my signature. Go on, cash it!"
The Bible says, "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." That promise is a Check of infinite value. And as sinners, all we need to do is "exchange" it by faith for eternal life.
Don't let the "tattered clothes" of your past keep you from cashing God's "check" of salvation.