First before we begin let us look at the overview in which John has written in first thirteen stating his purpose for this entire letter.
13” These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may KNOW that you have eternal life. “
Having complete confidence in your salvation does not mean you are saved, just like doubting you are saved means that you are not saved. Because we are of the fallen man, first Adam, we live in broken depraved bodies. Every aspect of us is fallen, even our emotion that gives us assurance.
Ever thought something was right for so long, now looking back you see the error of it. Take slavery for instance. Slavery was a culturally acceptable term and practice in our nations history. I’m sure there were many Christians that owned slaves. But now looking back, we see the evil that it was. The sheer thought that you can own someone else seems outrageous. But in that time period it was not viewed as wrong. We will always have that problem in whatever generation we live. I feel strongly and pray that abortion will be that thing that our children’s children look back and ask, “How could they have murdered all of those babies?” Regardless, of our flawed nature it is important that our lives are always under self examination. We must never reach a place in our Christian walk where we have felt that we have arrived at our destination. By reading 1 John we can learn characteristics and qualities Christian’s should have. Through God’s Grace our lives should line up with this letter John has written.
How can you know you have eternal life based on what we’ve learned so far? John started chapter 5 by answering that. You know you have eternal life if you have a love for God and other Christians, confess that Jesus is Lord, and obey His commandments.
Christianity is a relationship. You can’t have a relationship of any value if communication isn’t part of it. There are two ways this communication happens.
1. Reading God’s Word
Let’s examine prayer for the remainder of this session.
14 “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.”
Why is prayer an important instruction when writing people with the hopes of giving them guidance on whether or not they have eternal life?
- If God isn’t answering your prayers, it could be because you aren’t a believer.
Prayer 101: Praying Effectively
- Ask according to God’s Will
- 1 John 5:14-15, Matt 26:39, 2 Corinth 12:7-9
- Obeying His Word
- 1 John 3:22-23, 1 peter 3:12
- Abiding in Jesus
- John 15:7, John 14:13-14, 1 John 3:24
16 “If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask and God will for him give life to those who commit sin not leading to death. There is a sin leading to death; I do not say that he should make request for this. 17 All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not leading to death.”
Prayer 102: Praying Compassionately
NOTE: You cannot pray compassionately until you learn to pray effectively.
- Sin not leading to death
- God does not punish every believer that sins through death. You see the story of the man in 1 Corinthians 5:1-13. That man is told to leave the church. God doesn’t kill him for the sin he committed.
- Sin leading to death
- Acts 5:1-11. Both Ananias and Sapphira are killed instantly by the Lord. They both lied and were both killed. The lied about the money, and then lied to God about the money.
We can all think of people who claim to be righteous, or Christian, and are living in habitual sin. Our responsibility is to pray for these people. It isn’t our job to pray for death, it’s our job to pray that the Lord’s will be done in their life whether it be through being exiled from the church, being killed, or being revealed on the day of judgment. God will have His way in their life- Romans 2:5.