Praying Effectively Leads to Praying Compassionately (1 John 5:13-17)

prayer

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

2. Praying

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

  1. Ask according to God’s Will
    1. 1 John 5:14-15, Matt 26:39, 2 Corinth 12:7-9
  2. Obeying His Word
    1. 1 John 3:22-23, 1 peter 3:12
  3. Abiding in Jesus
    1. 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.

  1. Sin not leading to death
    1. 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.
  2. Sin leading to death
    1. 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.

Knowing You Know God! (1 John 5:6-12)

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1 John 5:6-12

Knowing you Know God!

6. “This is the One who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only but with the water and with the blood. It is the Spirit who testifies because the spirit is truth.”

3 applications can be made

- Birth- Jesus was a man, and He came by water and blood. At birth- There is a whole lot of water…and a Whole lot of blood. This signifies that Jesus was a man.

- Baptism and The Cross- Gnosticism was around then, and John had addressed them earlier in 1 John 4:1-3. It was a common belief that Gnostics had that Christ came upon the man of Jesus at His baptism and left Him before death on the cross. This attacks Jesus’s Humanity which attacks His supreme role and sacrifice. This is a false teaching.

- The pierced side on the cross: John 19:34. Water and blood came from his side. There are many medical speculations to this. One that I hold to is that the physical death of Christ resulted from rupture of the heart, and that the cavities of the heart and the surrounding-vessels contained a watery fluid. When the lance broke the skin and hit the heart water and blood came out. The significance here is that the payment for our Sins was complete.  “IT IS FINISHED!”  John 19:30!

My view on this passage: The water signifies Jesus’ Baptism, and the Blood Signifies the Cross. All three points can be interpreted, and all of them can give the text a vibrant outlook on Jesus as Christ! But I feel John was addressing the importance of Jesus’ baptism and death.

The Spirit is the Holy Spirit that Testifies to Christ being a man, a God, and the Sacrifice for our sins.

7-8.”For there are three that Testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.”

There are three that testify The spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.

(His Baptism, the cross) and The Spirit are all in agreement concerning Jesus Christ.

9. “If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater; for the testimony of God is this, that He has testified concerning His son.”

Now we have a fourth testimony: God.  He testified concerning His son.

  1. Water
  2. Blood
  3. God- The Spirit
  4. God-The Father

10. “The one who believes in the Son of God has the Testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His son. “

Now we have a fifth testimony.

  1. The water
  2. The blood
  3. The Spirit
  4. The Father
  5. The one who believes in Jesus Christ

Whoever believes in Jesus has the Testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe in God has made Him a liar. It’s a choice given by God. I ask you right now believe! How can you know you believe? Do not be lead astray by the things of this world, by the logic of men, or by the horrible example American Christianity produces.

John 3:18-20.“18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.19 This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.

What is the testimony?

11-12 “The testimony is this- That God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life, he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.”

This whole passage of testimonies leads to this that God has given us eternal life through His Son, Jesus Christ. Believe in Christ and allow the testimony to dwell within you. And because all that testify are in agreement with each other, you will have eternal life because of who Christ is and what He did.

 

Let’s examine based on all of 1 John where we stand. Answering these questions can confirm whether or not we know God.

-Are you walking in the light, or in the darkness?

-Are you truly abiding in Christ?

- Are you deceived by false teaching?

- Do you Confess that Jesus is Lord?

- Do you love God?

- Do you love others?

- Do you keep His commandments?

-Do you rebuke the sin in your brother’s life?

- Do you abstain from Idols?

A word of warning while answering these questions.  Answering No to any of these questions could mean one of two things:

1. You do not know God. You can’t worship and believe in a God you don’t Know.

2. You are a true believer, and either through immaturity or lack of discipline there are some areas in your life that need much attention and prayer.

False Advertisement (1 John 5:1-5)

The Real Pomegranate Blueberry Juice!
The Real Pomegranate Blueberry Juice!

1 John 5:1-5

First let us discuss what a brand is and why it is important to understand this before discussing the claim of False Advertisement. A brand is not the same as a company or a product. Once you’ve reached brand status in the business world you have reached an entirely new level of business. Your company is trusted, used, consumed so much that it actually becomes a word or a verb. Don’t believe me? Google it! You can always skype me if you wanna talk more about it. I haven’t tweeted anything about this just yet…anyway you get the idea… No one says bing it, or yahoo it? Google is the Brand for search engines. The most important thing for a brand to uphold is it’s image. Brand image is the reason Michelin, Goodyear, and Bridgestone can charge you $150-$200 more for a tire than other people. It’s important to not that distorting a brand image can be catastrophic for a company.

This video will also give you insight on Branding.

Objective: Teach the importance of Believing in Christ, Loving People, and Obeying God’s Word in relation to being a Christian.

Introduction:

The supreme court has yet another advertisement law suit. The Brand Pom Wonder is in a legal battle with Coca Cola for their minute maid product called Pomegranate Blueberry for false advertising.

Why?

Pom Wonder is outraged, because their sales are being affected because of a cheaper option. After doing some research they found out how Coca Cola managed to get pure Pomegranate juice so cheap. Well it’s very simple. Out of all of the juice that’s in the bottle 0.3 % Pomegranate Juice and 0.2% Blueberry Juice. The rest is 99.5% Apple and Grape juice mix.

Pay attention in the store because this bottle will not be out for long…. Because it’s not Pomegranate Juice.

Pom Wonder is 100% Pomegranate juice and blueberry juice

Coca Cola’s is 0.3% Pomegranate juice and 0.2% Blueberry

Which has the right to call itself Pomegranate and blueberry juice? That answer is obvious.

Let’s Read 1 John 5:1-5

From the text, What can we say are the ingredients that make up a Christian?

1.-Believing and Confessing the Jesus Christ is Lord of your Life. 5:1a

2.-Loving God and other believers 5:1b

3.-Obeying His Word 5:2

If there is one of these ingredients lacking it is a sign that you are not a child of God.  So let’s look are we like Pom wonder or are we like Coca Cola.

Living a life claiming Jesus is our Lord with out love, or obeying his Word is an indication He is not the Lord. The foundation is Believing in Christ, through this Love and Obedience will soon follow.

  1. Believing In Jesus as the Christ and our Lord
    1. This takes internal examination because many say Jesus is Christ and Lord.
    2. Matthew 7:22-23 – They called Jesus Lord He said Depart because I never knew you. You who practice lawlessness.
    3. Use caution when you call yourself a Christian. Because men can do works for the Lord and look good, but still spend an eternity in Hell. This verse isn’t talking about the atheist. It’s talking about the people who claim to know Christ and don’t.
    4. So…How can we know we actually know Jesus? Through our Love and Obedience
  2. Loving God and Loving fellow believers.
    1. John talks about this in verse 1-3

i.    Those who confess Jesus as Christ is Born of God

ii.    Those born of God loves the father

iii.    Those who love the Father love His Children.

  1. A life not filled with Love for His Children or God signifies the view that person has on Jesus. That person may think Jesus is the Christ. But unless it’s followed by Love and Obedience it’s useless. They are merely serving an emblem of a Torture device, because they don’t know Christ.
  2. Love in itself is a commandment, but one of the easiest thing to tell if it’s genuine or not. You can tell when someone is a fake in this area. The other areas are not as evident as love.
  1. Obeying His Commandments
    1. John 14:15- “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”
    2. If you love God, you WILL keep his commandments. It’s not an option, it’s a direct result of Loving God.
    3. V.4- Being born of God overcomes the world. (Our faith)
    4. Some says they Love God without obeying His Commandments is like a Coca cola’s cheap juice claiming to be Pomegranate juice.

 

Conclusion:

V.5.- Who overcomes the world? The one that believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

John reinstates the importance of all 3 working together, Believing in Christ, Love, and Obedience.

We should be ready and willing to call people out in their hypocrisy. Why? Because it makes us look bad but more importantly it makes Christ look bad.

Pom Wonder took Coca Cola to court because it cheapens their product because it’s claiming to be the same thing. How often do we see this as Christians? People Claim to be Christians but you see their actions…at the end of the day that person makes all Christians look bad.
Ask anyone that doesn’t go to Church what they think of it and you will see what I mean exactly. This is the challenge God has placed before us.

False Advertisement.

 

Challenge:

  1. Look up what False Advertisement means in the dictionary and make a list of how many way it relates Christianity. Then think of the people you feel are false Christians, and pray for them.
  2. Read 1 John 5
  3. Pray for the people that you feel are false Christians, and examine your own life base on this sermon, and ask God , “Am I a false Christian?”

Identifying False Teaching (1 John 4:1-6)

 

wolf

Matthew 7:15 , “”Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

1 John 4:1-6

Objective: Looking at 1 John 4:1-6 we will see what false teaching is, how to identify it, and how to avoid the deceptive trap of it only through Jesus Christ.

Awareness

The Christians that do not have their awareness set on God and testing the spirits will be the first to be  deceived.

1)Do not believe every Spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have come out into the world.

 Here we see a problem and a solution.

  1. Problem: Truth is not being taught. Many false prophets have come into the world.
  2. Solution: Do not believe every Spirit, but test the spirits To see if they are from God.

John tells us to test the spirits. We cannot test the spirits unless we are focused on God and his Word. If our guard is down, then we make it easy for Satan to deceive us.

Biblical Awareness needs to be instinctual. Like muscle memory, it needs to be a reflex. If we hear someone speak, we need to constantly examine what they say to the Word of God. It will help out you and it will help out them.

No one is intentionally deceived. I would even say that a lot of false teachers have good intentions. But good intentions without a Godly delivery or application results in sin. 

It takes someone deceived to deceive someone else. The first form of deception was found in Genesis 3. Eve was deceived, and then Adam was deceived. Both of their Guards were down, and through them sin entered the world.

Deception was the first tactic we have documented in scripture that Satan uses. I would imagine it is something he is good at. So please be aware.

Another reason people are deceived is because man has a  need to be accepted.

Acceptance

2)By this you know the Sprit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God.

3)And every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God: this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.

John reveals how we are to test the spirits.

Beware of the subtle knocks. Giving a message that can be obeyed without relying on Christ is a false teaching. Deception is a slow and subtle mindset. We can not think that we are above deception. People will not come out and say, “Jesus is not from God.” People will not say, “Jesus is nothing in this life.” These are the obvious ones.

We have to be on guard. Test the motives, intentions, and end result of every message you hear. Then it will be clear.

Good motives are at the root of many false teaching, but man’s need to be accepted clouds the path and deception creeps in. Stand Guard!

Many false teachers avoid the teaching of God’s wrath and hell, because they don’t want to condemn people. That shows you the nature and depth of their deception. Condemning people to hell is never telling them the consequences of unrepentant sin. The irony is if you never teach anyone about hell, you are leading them their with your teaching. You can not teach the true nature of God with out revealing his feelings towards sin. How cruel is that! Now I ask, Who is the one condemning their neighbors? The one who never tells them of their eternal destination apart from God, or the one that strongly warns their neighbor of the realities of Hell, and God’s punishment for sin. 

Our hope in identifying and avoiding being deceived by false teaching is found in Jesus Christ. Verse 4.

4)You are from God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.

Our acceptance should be found in Christ. If we teach, preach, and live in such a way as to only need the acceptance of Jesus Christ We will not be deceived, nor shall we deceive anyone else. This is awesome! 

If we live a life that is not abiding in Christ, being deceived is very easy.

If we are truly from God, we will know His voice. This was what John was saying in verse 5 and 6.

Attention

If our attention is not set on Christ and the things of Christ, we will become deceived.

5) They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them.

6) We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us.

What has your attention? Boys, girls, intelligence, finance,  sports, media…..

Who are you listening to?

What do you feel your mind with?

If you are a Christian you need to be very picky on what you expose yourself to. Music, Movies, friends, etc.. The things we expose ourselves to shape our worldview. Everything makes an impact. The question is who is getting your attention?

Things of the world attract those of the world, things of God attract those of God.

I’ve compiled 3 of the main false teachings I feel you will encounter. I listed the likely motive and the problem that occurred due to deception.

  1. Compromising Scripture

Motive: To teach people the bible.

Problem: When you compromise the bible you aren’t teaching them the Bible.

This is the most important thing to notice. You can’t notice it unless you actually know scripture and its meaning in its full context.

Compromising scripture can be avoided if you…

      A.Know the context of Scripture

If Context is not put into consideration, a verse can totally be used very deceptively.

 

Some one could easily lead some one astray by using this passage found in Luke 14:26.

“If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.”
A pastor could easily use that passage and try to biblically justify hatred they have for their parents, or worst. Lead someone else astray by telling them it’s ok to hate your mother or father.

            B. Know the meaning of Scripture.

When you know the meaning of scripture it makes it eliminates the possibility of being lead astray through misinterpretation.

 

Matthew 5:28, “but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

Someone could use this verse to tell you that if you look at a woman lustfully, you’ve already committed adultery. It is ok to go ahead with that temptation. It’s the same thing.

            C. Know the placement of Scripture

Knowing where to find particular verses is key to effectively countering false teaching.

A friend comes to you and tells you of a new church he’s going to, and says that his gay lifestyle actually lines up with the bible. If you didn’t know exactly where 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 was or Romans 1, etc, you could be deceived as well.

 

2. Consumerism- the belief that the free choice should dictate the economic structure of reality.

Pastors will water down scripture and disregard many biblical principles to attract more people.

Motive- To attract more people to Jesus.

Problem-  The means at which a church targeted a particular group of people dilutes Jesus that the Bible teaches and people are drawn to an Idea rather than the Christ himself.

 

3. Potential Preaching (Potentialism-not a real word) God is there to actualize your potential. He is there for your happiness. Also known as name it and claim it, prosperity gospel. Most of Christian TV is like this.

I have a lot of exposure to this. I come from a charismatic Pentecostal church. This is a teaching that is soaked in that culture.

A popular praise and worship song in the charismatic church goes like this, “I’m going to another level. Don’t stop reaching; keep believing we’re going to another level!”

Motive: You want to see people to mature in their walk with Christ and become more and more like Jesus Christ.

Problem: Sometimes when we talk potential, potential, potential…we take the emphasis of Jesus and shift it on ourselves. In most cases Christ is removed all together and it’s all on you! Once you are Abiding in Christ there is no other level to get to. You can mature in your walk with Christ, but to think that outside of maturing there is another level in Christianity is sin.

Theology of Glory – How can I experience all the benefits of heaven right now, and avoid suffering. THIS IS UNBIBLICAL!

Ways you can tell you are probably hearing a false teaching:

1. Oprah could’ve given the same message

2. When you can obey the message without depending on God

3. The message can be obeyed regardless of the payment Christ paid on the cross.

All views have a faulty view of God,and a faulty view of God leads to a faulty view of sin.

Have a biblical worldview. View God as God, not as a training coach.

This weeks Challenge:

-Read John 4:7-21

-Identify why the following statements are false teaching:

  1. Baptism is a necessity for Salvation.
  2. Hell is not an eternal place.
  3. Homosexuality is not a sin if it is in a married and monogamous relationship.

 

God’s Love and The Believer’s Response

mansresponse

God’s Love and The Believer’s Response

1 John 3

 

The only way we have the ability to love is if God gives us the ability to do so.

As we look at His Love and Our love, it is really His love and His Grace.

Only by God’s graceful and merciful nature does he allow us to love.

Man brings nothing to the table except filth.

However, God loves us. In 1 John we see that through out, but in this lesson we will look at what our response should be to his love!

 

God’s love is seen by (v.1-8)

The gift and example of Christ (1)

We are in the Family (1,2)

We will have eternal life and Glorified bodies in perfect communion with Him (3)

He took away our sins (5)

He destroyed the Works of the Devil (8)

            The Gift of Christ:

1 John 3:1 (His love Bestowed)

How is this a sign of love?

John 3:16, 1 John 3:16, and 1 john 3:23

To pay for our sins- Rom. 6:23

To appease God’s Anger toward Sin- 1 John 2:2

So that we may have eternal life!

Through Christ we can become Children of God!

            We are in the Family

1 John 3:1-2

Through Christ we are children of God.

We have a Father in Heaven!

Because we are Children of God we have eternal life.

 

We will have eternal life

1 John 3:3

Only by confessing and believing that Christ is Lord do we have eternal life.

As Christians we need to get excited about the return of our Lord and eternal life.

 

This is the hope that if fixed on Jesus will purify us just as he is pure.

 

He took away our sins

1 John 3:5

By believing in Christ as Lord, our sins are removed. How?

Rom. 6:23 – The price of sin is death.

God paid the price with the life of His son Jesus.

 

He destroyed the works of the Devil

1 John 3:8

Why would the works of the devil need to be destroyed?

John 12:31

Because Christ is removing the king of this world- The devil.

It’s important to see that Christ came to remove sin, to renew the relationship man once had with God.

 

The believers Response to God’s love is love. This Love is seen by…(v.4-24)

What we practice. (4-10)

Love for others (11-16)

The condition of our hearts.(19-23)

Obeying His commandments.(22-23)

Abiding in Him.(24)

 

What we practice

1 John 3:4-10

sin or righteousness?

If we are children of God we do not practice sin.

If we are children of Satan we practice sin.

What we practice shows the children of God and the Children of the devil.

 

Love for others

1 John 3:11-18

Cain and Abel

Genesis 4:1-8

Why did Cain kill Abel?

Because His deeds were evil and His brothers were righteous.

When you do the right thing, it angers those that do wrong.

We are still to love, as He loved

 

The condition of our heart

1 John 3:19-21

 

The heart reveals the nature of our actions for the believer.

If our heart condemns us, how much more will we be condemned in front of the perfect God?

Obeying his Commandment

1 John 3:22-23

If we don’t obey His commandments we are not believers.

What does verse 23 say?

Believe in Christ Jesus

Love on another

Abide in Him

 

Abiding in Him

1 John 3:24

The one that keeps His commandments abides in Him.

And His Spirit is in him.

 

What verse can we look at to help us understand what it means to abide in him?

1 John 15:1-11

 

Challenge:

Look up the definition “Practice” and see how many times in the New Testament it is used using a concordance.

Read 1 John 4.

Pray for God to reveal His love to you and through you.

The World, The Deceived, The Liar, and a Promise (1 John 2:15-29)

earth

1 John 2:15-29

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

15 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

18 Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us. 20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know. 21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, butbecause you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth.22 Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. 23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also. 24 As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.

25 This is the promise which He Himself made to us: eternal life.

26 These things I have written to you concerning those who are trying to deceive you. 27 As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you,you abide in Him.

28 Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming. 29 If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him.

The World: 15-17

  1. The World (v. 15-17)
    1. John commands not to love the world.
    2. Reasons the Christian shouldn’t love the world?

i.       Love of father is not in him (15)

ii.      The Lust in the world – Flesh, eyes, and pride of life (16)

iii.      The world is passing away. (17)

    1. The Believer in the world.
  1. 1 John 3:13- Don’t be surprised if the world hates you.
  2. John 17:14-16- Jesus’ prayer for His disciples- The believer is not of the World
  3. Romans 12:2- Don’t try to be like the world

 

    1. As believers, we are going to be in the world. The word of God will sanctify us, but we must commit to reading it, meditating on it, and obeying it. This is our defense. But many are deceived….

 

  1. The Deceived (v.18-21)
    1. The antichrists deny anything of Christ in hopes of deceiving God’s children. (2 John 7)
    2. There are two forms of deceptions:

1)      The believer that is deceived and get’s involved with the things of the world.

2)      The nonbelievers that think they are believers.

    1. The hope we have lies in the Word of Truth. God’s Word. This will not make sense to the one deceived. John 8:43-44

 

Story: There is a miniseries on TV called: Rosemary’s Baby. It’s a remake from an old movie. It is basically the story of this woman that is picked to have the child of Satan. Though the details aren’t the same, that’s exactly what happens when we disregard God’s Word.

 

  1. The Liar (v. 22-24)

a.Who is the liar John is referring?

-The one who denies Jesus as Christ.

b. How can we deny Jesus as Christ?

-the atheist perspective. Just flat out saying it.

-The Liar perspective. 1 John 2:3-4

c. To Confess in Jesus as Christ is to have the Father. The commandments of Jesus must be obeyed. If we disregard even the smallest detail of the word we are liars and deny Christ.

  1. The Promise (v.25-29)
    1. What is the promise? Eternal Life.
    2. From the text how can we tell we will inherit eternal life? If we abide in Him.
    3. Abiding in him is a topic we have talked about each week since we started 1 John. I’ve asked it 3 weeks in a row. What is a verse we can tell that we are abiding in Him? John 15:1-11
    4. From John 15:1-11 what are some ways we can identify as characteristics for those that abide in Christ?

1.We bear fruit – v.2

2. We are pruned v.3

3. We give God the glory for our fruit, and realize it is not on our efforts or merit. V.5

4. Our prayers are answered. V.7

5. We love one another v.9

6. We keep His commandments. V.10

7. We are joyful. V. 11

The Church and The View of God

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A problem we see in our church culture is having a low view of God and His authority on Scripture, countering the claim with a very high view on man. For the secular culture to place all of the emphasis on man and his glory is to be expected. However, when this sinful thought infects the church it is a much more serious problem. To fully understand the correct view on God and His authority on the Bible; it is imperative that the reader understands the importance of scripture and the supreme authority it holds over everything and how it affects the church. It is only through properly viewing scripture that the church can have a correct view on the supreme and sovereign God. The depth of the view a church places on God and His authority on scripture can be seen by a thorough examination of the heart in the church leadership, the congregation, and the focus of the church as a whole.

Before examining the heart of church leadership, the members of the church, and the focus of the church, it is important to understand why the heart is the foundation for our view of God and His authority on Scripture. “The word ‘heart’ is used 830 times in the Scriptures. It includes such non-material things as your thoughts, motives, and choices”(Peace 60). When I mention the heart I am not talking about the organ in the chest, but merely pointing to the center of a person’s emotional, intellectual, and moral being. It is through this study of the heart that the church’s view on God and scripture will become clear.

The most influential responsibility for how our Lord is viewed is found in the heart of church leadership. The term church leadership is used a lot, but the true leader of the church is God. “The Lord is the head of the church. Not the pastor and not the people; and he leads us by His word. If you don’t follow the authority of scripture everything else is off” (Touchet). When referring to church leadership it is important to make the disclaimer that I am referring to pastor, elders, deacons, teachers, or church staff. If the leaders of the church do not place a supreme view of God and His authority and do not repent, it would be better for them to leave the church altogether.

It is impossible to have a high view of God and not place a high view on His Word. They are one in the same. Looking at what the church leadership is investing time in teaching from the pulpit and their obedience to the Bible will play a vital role in determining the view they place on God and His word. In his book, Every Thought Captive, Richard Pratt writes, “As followers of Christ, we must remember always to build our faith on sure foundation of the Bible. If we do so, there will be no weight too great to be supported; no wind too strong to be resisted”(Pratt 4). If leaders do not place a high view on building their faith on the sure foundation of the Bible, they are building their house on a bad foundation. Jesus was very adamant when he was illustrating the destruction of a bad foundation. “Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and slammed against that house; and it fell- and great was its fall” (New American Standard Bible, Matt. 7.26-27). For leaders to have a high view of God and His word it must start with a disciplined life committed to obeying the Bible at all costs.

The leader’s view of God and the authority of His word is found in the content that the leaders teach or allow from the pulpit. As a Church of the living God, the sermons taught should only point to Him. The world is perishing for lack of the knowledge of God, and the Church is famishing (Tozer 51). When the shift of content leads from the Bible, to popular music, or celebrities views on topics; a great blasphemy has taken place. The “Christian preacher must proclaim only the Word of God, and he must declare the whole Word of God” (Stonehouse 217). Neglecting the harsh reality of God’s wrath is becoming a popular trend in our church sanctuaries and pulpits. As awesome and pure as the blessings of God or the rewards of God are, only teaching on the “feel good” subjects in the bible is not the Lord’s will for the church. Francis Chan wrote this view in Erasing Hell, “Don’t believe something just because you want to, and don’t embrace an idea just because you’ve always believed it. Believe what is biblical. Test all your assumptions against the precious words God gave us in the Bible” (Chan 15). You will find that teaching on things that is comfortable is an eternal error, with eternal consequences. Ignoring the teachings on God’s wrath will lead people to directly encounter punishment they were never taught. It is important to have a high view on Scripture so the leadership can teach the full non-biased Word of God.

When church leadership fails to obey God and His Word, it is obvious they have a low view of both. That in itself is a heart breaking tragedy; an even bigger tragedy is the people they lead astray by not teaching sound doctrine. Take note of the perception the general public has on the Christian church, it’s embarrassing and it starts with the church leaders. Our churches in America are littered with leaders bored with Jesus and their attitudes infect and directly influence the congregation.

The basic task of the people of the church is to be filled with Spirit and as they learn the sound doctrine preached from the pulpit, they apply it to their lives (MacArthur 97). Bored leaders breed bored followers. If the church leadership holds a disrespectful view on God, for the most part the congregation will too. The leadership of the church determines the direction of the church, so it is very possible that a member of a church could be deceived by the leaders. This is why it is important to know your leaders on a personal level, not just on a pulpit level. A leader could be very energetic at the pulpit and preach a Biblical sermon and still have low view on God. A pastor shouting to the top of their lungs, “God is Awesome!” is just words. Although, it’s a true statement, it does not indicate the position of the church. This is why so much emphasis will be upon the church leadership fixing their view on God.

To see the overall view of God in a congregation is to become a candid observer and examine them in the church, work, and the home life. Asking how many people in the congregation attend regularly is a great place to start. The author of Hebrews instructs Christians not to deny fellowship with other believers (New American Standard Bible. Heb. 10.25). It is an obvious statement to make that a congregation that is inconsistent in attendance does not place a high view on God by directly disobeying His Word.

Two other realms of observation in the church when looking at the congregation would be examining their level of service and giving. It would be hard to be found guilty in a courtroom of having a high view of God if you had a five hundred member church and only fifteen to twenty volunteered out of the two hundred that actually attended on a regular basis. Having a high view of God is holding on to His Word. Serving is a fruit of salvation. If the congregation is not in a relationship with Christ, they will not see the importance of serving or giving their money to help further the Kingdom of God.

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (New American Standard. Luke 12.34). A congregation that is not giving their money to the Lord is a congregation that does not treasure the Lord. A congregation that has a high view of God will be a giving church and place more emphasis on it. Churches that overlook this area of Scripture are missing out on so many blessings from the Lord. This is not prosperity preaching. It is Biblical preaching. If the church does not give its treasure to the Lord, it can not receive His treasures. The Apostle Paul writes in his second letter to the church in Corinth, “God loves a cheerful giver” (New American Standard, 2 Corinthians 9.7b). The people of a church should give from a cheerful heart. If every member of a church in America gave in accordance to God’s Word, a nationwide revival would to take place. But when a congregation holds to a low view of God and His Word it makes it difficult for a church to raise the funds to do anything of temporal or eternal value.

The congregation consists of mostly working class people. In a secular work environment it is even more crucial for the believer to hold to a Godly lifestyle. The life believers live in the workplace is the only Bible most people will read. If the congregation does not place the correct view on scripture their coworkers will see they have a low view of God and the Bible.

Observing the individual members of the congregation in their home life would be the most revealing of the heart of that person. In the book of Joshua the sad story of Achan describes the effects one person’s sin can have on a large group of people. Because of one man’s sin an entire nation lost a battle. The story ends with Achan being caught in his transgression and the execution of him and his entire family (New American Standard. Josh.7.1-26). Few stories illustrate the importance and responsibility each believer has in accordance with obeying the Lord than the story of Achan’s sin.

It would be easy to tell a churches view of God and His Word by examining the church leadership and the congregation. It is still a slim possibility, only because of our human nature, to have Godly leaders and the congregation that gives God the credit He deserve, and still have a church with a low view of God. This leads us to our final examination of the heart of the church: the focus. There are many areas that make up the focus of a church but I will look at how its view of God effects evangelism and discipleship.

In the southeast I have personally seen the church lead hundreds of people to the Lord. Unfortunately, there is no follow up and intentional discipleship many fall away from church remaining an immature believer. A good illustration can be found through my kids. I have twins that are six months in age. I spent months preparing for them to arrive, I prayed countless hours for a safe delivery, and I made sure that when they arrived all of their needs would be met. That was the easy stuff. When they arrived I had to enter survival mode. It was sleepless nights of feeding them, changing them, and making sure they were growing healthy. I’m not a special parent that had to do anything different than anyone else. It is the start of parenthood. I am responsible for a two lives. That is a big deal. Somewhere along the way either through ignorance or sheer irresponsibility many churches have lost that urgency that you only feel when a new life has entered this world. If someone receives Christ as Lord of their lives, that person does well if they get a bible and a pat on the back. A focus of the church should be on evangelism and discipleship; not just evangelism.

A Healthy biblical church should have leaders that preach sound doctrine and obey scripture. The congregation should be able to follow the leader’s example and sound teaching and be applying it their lives. The church should be focused on evangelism and ensuring that the believers are growing in the Lord. The common ingredient in all these areas of the healthy church is a high view of God and the authority of scripture.

Unfortunately, the church in America as it is now is not healthy. In fact, it is very sick because it has such a low view of God and that is being nice. There needs to be a change. The church in America is sick. A call to action must take place starting with the leadership of the church and then the people of the church. For the American church to become healthy, change must take place. “Tragically, in most churches, the pain of change is greater than the pain of ineffectiveness” (Rainer 229). There is no special secret to being an effective church. The remedy is repenting and clinging to a high view of God and His authority on Scripture. I have listed the apostasy that indicates when a church lacks a high view of God and His Word, but the most important reason why the church should have a High view of God is because it pleases the Lord and brings Him glory!

 

 

Works Cited

 

 

Chan, Francis, and Preston M. Sprinkle. Erasing Hell: What God Said about Eternity and the Things We Made up. Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook, 2011. Print.

 

MacArthur, John. The Master’s Plan for the Church. Chicago: Moody, 1991. Print

 

New American Standard Bible. Ed.Lockman Foundation. Anaheim, CA: Foundation Publications, Inc. 1997. Print.

 

Peace, Martha. The Excellent Wife: A Biblical Perspective. Bemidji, MN: Focus Publishing Incorporated, 1999. Print

 

Pratt, Richard L. Every Thought Captive: A Study Manual for the Defense of Christian Truth. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Pub., 1979. Print.

 

Rainer, Thom S. Simple Church. Nashville, TN.:B&H Group, 2006. Print.

 

Stonehouse, Ned Bernard, and Paul Woolley. The Infallible Word: A Symposium. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1980. Print.

 

Tozer, A.W. The Pursuit of God: A 31-day Experience. Camp Hill, PA: Christian Publications, 1995. Print

 

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