"Confidence" — A Year with Jesus for 11/25/2017
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Note from Jesus
John was a masterful writer. He used a simple vocabulary to share nuances of truth and depths of theological insight. His use of such simple language to communicate such depths still astounds scholars. His messages intrigue the most educated, speak to the heart of the weary, and give a clear, easily understandable message of truth. So when John says something very clearly and forcefully, you won't miss his message.
The verses today from 1 John emphasize how you can be confident of your salvation, how eternal life has already begun for My disciples, and how the Spirit of God in you is greater than the spirit at work in the world. John wanted his readers who faced doubts about their salvation to be confident about it!
I did not come to create religious doubt. I came to find and save lost people (Luke 19:10). I came because We — Father, Son, and Spirit — love the lost people of the world and want them saved (John 3:16-17). I don't want My disciples worried about whether they are inside of grace's grasp. I don't want you worried about your eternal destiny.
John also didn't want you to doubt. As he wrote 1 John, he had to deal with two opposite ends of a problem. Some of My disciples to whom he wrote were precious, good, sweet, kind people who believed in Me and were seeking to live as they should. Unfortunately, they were concerned about their salvation because they had been led to believe that they had to know enough or had to do enough to merit My salvation. They knew they had stumbled some and slipped into some sin. This ongoing struggle with sin made them feel worse and wrestle with doubt even more.
However, there were others who were religiously arrogant. They talked about knowing Me at a special spiritual level, so they thought they didn't have to be worried about the sinful things they did on a fleshly level. They were saying they were good, even though they persistently and intentionally indulged in sin. They insinuated that if the first group of My disciples had enough special knowledge, they wouldn't be hung up on sin and could be confident in their salvation.
John had the unenviable task of writing one simple letter to address both needs at the same time because both groups existed in the same churches. The Spirit did a masterful job of breathing truth through John and into the words that you read. John's writing addressed believing in Me, doing good and godly things, loving your brothers and sisters in Christ, and pursuing a relationship with Me instead of sinking into some religious system. These teachings allowed both groups of these believers to assess where they stood in their relationship with the Father. The doubters could see that they really were in fellowship with the Father. The arrogant could recognize that they needed to correct some things in their lives if they were to be in fellowship with the Father.
The focus today for you, however, is confidence in your relationship with the Father. I want you to be confident of your eternal life. Today's message is for you. It is for your encouragement. I want it to boost your confidence in being the Father's child!
Verses to Live
Today I want you to focus on the verses that talk about the confidence you can and should have as My disciple. You believe in Me. You believe that I am the Father's Son, God come in human flesh. You are living a life full of goodness and obedience and not living a life that "persists" in sin. You love your brothers and sisters. You long to do more than know about Us and participate in religious exercises. You want to know Us and to enter into a relationship with the Father as His child. You want to experience Me, not only as Savior but also as your older brother and example. You want to recognize the presence of the Holy Spirit, Who is your anointing from the Father and Who teaches you and guides you into all truth about Me. These verses are for you.
We want to tell you about the One Who was from the beginning. We have seen Him with our own eyes, heard Him with our own ears, and touched Him with our own hands. This One is the manifestation of the life-giving Voice, and He showed us real life, eternal life. We have seen it all, and we can't keep what we witnessed quiet — we have to share it with you. We are inviting you to experience eternal life through the One Who was with the Father and came down to us. What we saw and heard we pass on to you so that you, too, will be connected with us intimately and become family. Our family is united by our connection with the Father and His Son Jesus, the Anointed One; and we write all this because retelling this story fulfills our joy.
(1 John 1:1-4)
If we walk step by step in the light, where the Father is, then we are ultimately connected to each other through the sacrifice of Jesus His Son. His blood purifies us from all our sins. If we go around bragging, "We have no sin," then we are fooling ourselves and are strangers to the truth. But if we own up to our sins, God shows that He is faithful and just by forgiving us of our sins and purifying us from the pollution of all the bad things we have done.
(1 John 1:7-9)
I am writing to you, my children, because your sins have been forgiven by the authority of His name.
I am writing to you, fathers and mothers, because you have known Him as the Creator, as the One Who started everything.
I am writing to you, young people, because He has given you the power to conquer the evil one.
I have written to you, my children, because you have known the Father.
I have written to you, fathers and mothers, because you have known Him, the Creator.
I have written to you, young people, because the voice of God remains and is heard among you. Remember that you have conquered the evil one.
(1 John 2:12-14)
I also am writing to warn you about some who are attempting to deceive you. You have an anointing. You received it from Him, and His anointing remains on you. You do not need any other teacher. But as His anointing instructs you in all the essentials (all the truth uncontaminated by darkness and lies), it teaches you this: "Remain connected to Him."
So now, my little children, live in Him, so that whenever He is revealed, we will have confidence and not have to hang our heads in shame before Him when He comes. If you know that He is just and faithful, then you also know that everyone who lives faithfully and acts justly has been born into a new life through Him.
(1 John 2:26-29)
There is a sure way for us to know that we belong to the truth. Even though our inner thoughts may condemn us with storms of guilt and constant reminders of our failures, we can know in our hearts that in His presence God Himself is greater than any accusation. He knows all things. My loved ones, if our hearts cannot condemn us, then we can stand with confidence before God. Whatever we may ask, we receive it from Him because we follow His commands and take the path that pleases Him. His command is clear: believe in the name of His Son, Jesus the Anointed, and love one another as He commanded. The one who follows His teaching and walks this path lives in an intimate relationship with God. How do we know that He lives in us? By the gift of His Spirit.
(1 John 3:19-24)
My children, you have come from God and have conquered these spirits because the One Who lives within you is greater than the one in this world.
(1 John 4:4)
Everything that has been fathered by God overcomes the corrupt world. This is the victory that has conquered the world: our faith.
(1 John 5:4)
I am writing all of this to you who have entrusted your lives to the Son of God — so you will realize eternal life already is yours. We live in the bold confidence that God hears our voices when we ask for things that fit His plan. And if we have no doubt that He hears our voices, we can be assured that He moves in response to our call.
(1 John 5:13-15)
Response in Prayer
O Father, thank You for Your generous and overwhelming grace that not only has saved me but also has enabled me to have confidence that I am Your child and enjoy Your salvation in this earthly life and also will enjoy it in the life that is to come. Thank You for the Holy Spirit Who is Your presence within me to guide me, intercede for me, help me know truth from error, and transform me to be more and more like Jesus. Thank You for the Son, Who paid the penalty for my sin, showed me how to live and treat people, and is not only my Savior but also my older brother. Thank You for Your grace and His sacrifice that have made all of this possible. Thank You for my confidence in You! Amen.
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