What to watch for below: Today you will be brought into the presence of our awesome God through worship. Prepare your heart to meet the LORD Jesus as you sing the songs below, watch the video message and read His Word. Don’t forget to pray with me in the closing prayer and give thanks to God that soon we will be together in worship again!
Click the arrow below to hear the closing prayer
Sermon Manuscript: Everyone Who Believes Jesus is the Christ
Text: 1 John 5:1-5
Scriptures used in this manuscript are from New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
I have a grandson who is learning to speak more words as he makes the quick transition from being a baby into a little toddler. One of his favorite words is “moon.” I just love the way he drags out the word – “moooon” and then he looks up in the sky hoping to see it. “Mooon!”
In 2024 Nasa is hoping to put the next astronauts on the moon in preparation for a greater expedition to Mars. It is their hope to create a new space station that will orbit the moon from which they will then send astronauts to Mars. They are calling this new space station “Gateway.” Once the astronauts reach Gateway, they will then get into another space craft that will either take them to the moon or to Mars.
I don’t know about you, but there are days I would like to leave the pains and disappointments of this Earth and be transported to a new peaceful frontier. You may realize that we live in a broken, sinful world doomed to destruction. The root of the problem is “sin.” Sin separates us from God and from each other. Sin simply disobedience to God because the focus is on self and self-gratification.
Jesus came to save us from our sin and one day to deliver us from the presence of sin entirely. In other words, every believer in Jesus has the hope of leaving this Earth and living in God’s paradise where there will be no sin. Nasa can have the moon and Mars, but my sights are being in God’s presence a new Heaven and a new Earth as the apostle John saw in Revelation 21.
In my series of sermons, in the First Letter of John, the apostle John continually upholds the importance of faith, love and obedience as identity markers for the child of God. John does the same in today’s passage. Read this passage from 1 John 5:1-5, “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. 2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”
According to this passage there are four significant changes that occur to everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ. These changes point back to an authentic faith.
Four Changes for The Believer in Christ
1. New Identity
The first change for the believer is a change in “identity.” Every believer gets a new identity. John launches this truth in verse 1a, “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God…” Jesus told a Pharisee named Nicodemus as John records it in his Gospel in John 3:5,6, “Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.” This is a birth from above where the Holy Spirit, upon the believer’s confession of faith in Jesus, brings new life and forgiveness of sins.
If you have ever confessed Jesus as your Saviour from your sin and acknowledge Him as the Son of God, then you are born of God and becoming God’s new creation. Paul says this in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
Dr Neil Anderson from Freedom in Christ Ministries puts it this way, Suppose that you are a prostitute. One day you hear that the king has decreed that all prostitutes are forgiven. Since you’re a prostitute, that’s great news! But would it necessarily change your behavior or your self-perception? Probably not. You may dance in the streets for a while, but chances are you would continue in your same vocation. You would see yourself as nothing more than a forgiven prostitute.
Now suppose the king not only forgave you, but he made you his bride as well. You’re a queen. Would that change your behavior? Of course. Why would you want to live as a prostitute if you were a queen?
The church is the bride of Christ! You are far more likely to promote the kingdom if you are the queen rather than a forgiven prostitute.
As a one who is born of God, how well are you living out of your new identity? How grateful are you for being born of God?
2. New Family
The second change is a change in “family.” Every believer gets a new family. John observes this truth in verse 1b, “and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.” We are not saved from our sin to live in isolation. We are saved to live together as a family. The apostle Paul supports this truth in Romans 12:5, “so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”
If we neglect the fact that we need to love our brothers and sisters in the LORD, then we are not free from our selfishness. It is like saying, “God I want you as my Heavenly Father, but I don’t want to be associated with your kids.” I want you on my terms and not on yours.
C.S. Lewis, in his book The Four Loves wrote – To love at all is to be venerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin or your selfishness. But in that casket–safe, dark, motionless, airless–it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable…The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers…of love is Hell. C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves, Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., 1960, p.169.
How well you love God’s children is a reflection on how well you love God the Father. Is there anything preventing you from loving a brother or sister in the LORD? You may not like them. They may not be your closest friend, but you must love them because you are family and it pleases the Father to stay united as one body. Who do you need to love more in God’s family? Who do you need to forgive?
3. New House Rules
The third change is a change in “house rules.” Every believer gets new house rules that are not burdensome. John informs us of this in verses 2 and 3, “This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.”
It would be marvelous if upon our profession of faith in Jesus that we would be the perfect child and perfect lover of God’s family. The truth is we need a progressive transformation from our old habits into our new holy habits. This is called “sanctification.” God wants to mature us by giving us the power of His Holy Spirit to be more like His Son Jesus. This is done by obeying God’s commands which leads to His desired character for you.
Dr. B.J. Miller once said, “It is a great deal easier to do that which God gives us to do, no matter how hard it is, than to face the responsibilities of not doing it.” Today in The Word, November, 1989, p.11.
God’s house rules are well summed up in the “Greatest Commandments and the Golden Rule.” They are found in Mark 12:30, 31, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” And Matthew 7:12, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”
How well are you keeping God’s house rules? Is the world around you a better place because of it? Do people take notice?
4. New Freedom
Finally, the fourth change is a change in “freedom.” Every believer overcomes the world as they live in God’s kingdom both now and when Christ returns. John gives this breakthrough in verses 4 and 5, “for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”
This new freedom is like being free of this Earth’s gravity. As long as we live on this Earth this world’s secular humanistic philosophies and postmodern viewpoints war against our Biblical, Christ-centred worldview. It is by faith that we keep resisting temptation to fall under its influence and hold on us. Final sanctification will happen when we overcome the presence of sin. We have the victory in Jesus now, but every day we need to appropriate that victory. Every day we need to be overcomers by faith. Jesus has given us all we need to overcome by remaining focused on Him and His Word in the power of the Holy Spirit.
One of the most tragic events during the Reagan Presidency was the Sunday morning terrorist bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, in which hundreds of Americans were killed or wounded as they slept.
Marine Corps Commandant Paul X Kelly visited some of the wounded survivors then in a Frankfurt, Germany, hospital. Among them was Corporal Jeffrey Lee Nashton, severely wounded in the incident. Nashton had so many tubes running in and out of his body that a witness said he looked more like a machine than a man; yet he survived.
As Kelly neared him, Nashton, struggling to move and racked with pain, motioned for a piece of paper and a pen. He wrote a brief note and passed it back to the Commandant. On the slip of paper were but two words — “Semper Fi” the Latin motto of the Marines meaning “forever faithful.” With those two simple words Nashton spoke for the millions of Americans who have sacrificed body and limb and their lives for their country — those who have remained faithful. J. Dobson & Gary Bauer, Children at Risk, Word, 1990, pp. 187-188.
Are you inspired by the apostle John to remain forever faithful? Verse 5, “Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” This is the person who continually entrusts their spiritual wellbeing to Christ. Is that you? Entrust your life to Jesus right now and He will help you to overcome.
Do you need a break from the bad news this world offers? Do you feel like leaving it all behind? Put your faith thrusters on the truths that the apostle John gave us today and find yourself lifting off from the negativity of this world into God’s kingdom reality for you. Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has a new identity, a new family, new house rules and a new freedom both now and forevermore. This news is too good to keep to yourself share it with someone this week.