Sermon Reflections from God and Evil | Alex Hardt | October 29, 2023
Pastor Alex exercised a bit of free speaker’s license in his sermon this week. He went through the scriptures of 1 John 5, and then added his own personal reflections. I will attempt to do the same with my reflections.
In 1 John 5:1-5, John speaks to us plainly about the results of believing in Jesus and loving God. Believing Jesus means we are born of God. That means we have His Holy Spirit indwelling us when we step out in faith. Loving God means we love Jesus. We can’t do one without the other as Jesus said in John 10:30 “I and the Father are one.” This knowing and believing empowers us to follow His commands and love others. That may sound like a burden, no one likes to follow rules constantly. But God promises His commands are not burdensome and will help us achieve victory in overcoming the world. John takes it a step further in verse 5 “ Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” He is saying that the only way to be an overcomer is through faith in Jesus. Jesus has the power and faith in Him links us to that power enabling us to face and overcome evil.
In verses 6-12, John speaks about testimonies. By Jewish law one must have 2 witnesses to be proven true and here John presents 3 witnesses. First he mentions the water and the blood. The water would refer to Jesus’ baptism which was seen by many and John the Baptist. John 1:32-34 “Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33 And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.” The blood referred to the crucifixion of Christ and his atoning blood. John saw him die on the cross, saw the risen Christ and was present at his ascension. The last witness John offers is the Spirit of God who convicts, reveals and affirms all truth about God. John is adamant that unbelief about Jesus and who He is, is like saying God is a liar. If one does not believe this truth, then John says you will be missing out on eternal life and will in essence have no life. John 5:11-12 “ And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.”
John concludes his letter with powerful reminders and affirmations. 1 John 5:13 “ I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” We can be assured of our eternal life in Jesus! Praise God!
14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” John reaffirms that God does indeed hear our prayers. He cautions us to pray according to God’s will not our own, then ask away. God hears!
16 If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that you should pray about that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.” John wants to clarify that sin is wrong but when you are a believer you need only ask forgiveness to be made right with God again. One does not need to feel despair but seek forgiveness. The sin that leads to death is rebellion against God, unbelief. Not believing in Jesus is a grievous error with eternal consequences.
18 We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them. 19 We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. 20 We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.” John wants us to know that knowing Jesus doesn’t mean we will never sin but we won’t sin habitually, on purpose, and willfully. We need to cling to Jesus as the world is ruled by evil desires and purposes that are in direct opposition to God the Father and God the Son. We are to always keep an eternal perspective on life.
21 Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.” John adds this little bit at the end to remind us that the world is full of enticing idols and we are to keep ourselves away from them. Idols can be subtle like entertainment, education, power, the love of money, or not so subtle like other religions seeking to draw us away from Jesus.
May our reflections cause you to read the scripture and do your own reflecting. There is much to ponder and consider. God’s Word is deep and requires we dive deeply with our minds into it.
Have a great week.
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