Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Jesus Alone

My Life Group's lesson for July 12 ...

Thank you for sticking with me Sunday morning, even though I didn't have a PowerPoint in your hands! It was actually kind of fun to be back on my feet - and scribbling illegibly - on the board while going over the lesson!

We finished looking at 1 John, which has been a great study in how to combat dangerous teachings through knowledge of our faith.

JESUS ALONE OFFERS VICTORY (1 John 5:1-5)

1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Messiah has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father also loves the one born of Him. 2 This is how we know that we love God’s children when we love God and obey His commands. 3 For this is what love for God is: to keep His commands. Now His commands are not a burden, 4 because whatever has been born of God conquers the world. This is the victory that has conquered the world: our faith. 5 And who is the one who conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

John offers several "tests" to help Christians know if they have saving faith in Christ:

*** The Belief Test.

--- 5:1 says that “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God."

--- So ask yourself: do I trust in Jesus Christ for salvation?

*** The Obedience Test.

--- Verses 2 and 3 stress that knowing we have been born again is whether we obey His commands.

--- Obedience is the result of a living relationship with God, not the cause. No one ever has been or can be saved because of his or her works. However, everyone who has been genuinely converted demonstrates that living relationship with God by obeying Him.

--- 1 John 1:6-7 says that “If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.”

--- Without the content of God’s commands, we really don’t know the best way to do the right thing for others. It's our moral center.

--- So ask yourself: does my life show a pattern of habitual, unrepentant sin, or of repenting of sin and striving to walk in the light?

*** The Love Test.

--- Acting out of love removes the burden of obedience. Acting out of duty or fear always becomes a burden.

--- “Whoever does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him” (1 John 3:14b-15).

--- So ask yourself: do I love other Christians in concrete ways that show the reality of my faith?

QUESTION - How has your relationship with Jesus affected your relationships with others?

JESUS ALONE IS THE SON OF GOD (1 John 5:6-10)

6 Jesus Christ—He is the One who came by water and blood, not by water only, but by water and by blood. And the Spirit is the One who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit, the water, and the blood—and these three are in agreement. 9 If we accept the testimony of men, God’s testimony is greater, because it is God’s testimony that He has given about His Son. 10 (The one who believes in the Son of God has this testimony within him. The one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony God has given about His Son.)

*** You have a testimony to share.

--- Through Jesus we have been given eternal life. It has been given to us by His testimony: Spirit, water, and blood. Then we receive it by faith and it becomes our testimony. What does this mean? If you are a child of God you have a story to share of God's grace. (Bro. Joseph)

*** The testimony of God is greater.

--- By appealing directly to God as witness, John overrules human dispute and false teaching.

JESUS ALONE OFFERS ETERNAL LIFE (1 John 5:11-12)

11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 The one who has the Son has life. The one who doesn’t have the Son of God does not have life.

*** Your eternal relationship with God has already begun.

--- As a believer you don't have to wait until your physical body dies to enjoy eternal life.

--- In his gospel, John quotes Jesus Himself on how to start this relationship:

“I assure you: Anyone who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not come under judgment but has passed from death to life” (John 5:24).

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

*** Be encouraged:

--- 1. Verses 11 and 12 give us assurance of salvation. We can be confident that if we have indeed trusted Christ, we have received the gift of eternal life.

--- 2. These verses encourage us regarding the security of salvation. If we have already started to enjoy eternal life as a gift from God that endures forever, how could we ever actually lose it?

TAKE-AWAY POINTS

*** Think of the people in your life who do not know Jesus as Savior. Pray for them.

*** Evaluate whether you are being obedient to God’s commands and loving Him and others.

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