As the Apostle John wraps up his first epistle, he simply warns his audience, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” But how are we to guard ourselves in a world filled with idolatry and with hearts so eager to construct new ones? Pastor Nate Harlan leads us to this encouraging conclusion of our series on 1 John.
After a short review of Question 7 of the Heidelberg Catechism, Pastor Nate Harlan leads a discussion on Question 8: “Are we then so corrupt that we are wholly incapable of doing any good, and inclined to all wickedness? Answer: Indeed we are; except we are regenerated by the Spirit of God.”
Our salvation does not ultimately rest on our strength, our ability, our righteousness. Instead, perseverance is a gift that is granted to us by God’s unconditional love through our Lord Jesus Christ. He is a shepherd and we are his sheep. That is the basis for our assurance.
How did the resurrection of Christ influence worship by God’s people? Instead of being defined by separation, worship is now defined by communion. And instead of being in the shadows, worship is now in the light of heavenly realities.
(With apologies for the audio issues in this sermon.)
In this lesson, Pastor Nate Harlan and the attendees of this Trinity Evangelical Church family study look at the doctrine of federal headship, a doctrine spoken about in Romans 5, especialy verse 15: “For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many.“
The Apostle John wants us to have certainty about God’s intentions toward us. He wants to remove all doubts from our minds. How do we attain salvation? Only by faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ. And as Pastor Nate Harlan says, God’s generosity is the basis of our confidence in Him as our Father.
In this passage, the Apostle John is concerned with defending the basis of our faith. How do we know these promises are true and that the gospel isn’t just wishful thinking? The answer we receive here is the same answer the Bible always gives: We know the gospel is true because God said so and He cannot lie.
You must live by faith to overcome the world. But how do you know if your faith is strong enough? Pastor Nate Harlan gives the good news: Your faith in God is a gift from Him. So it does not depend on your strength. Instead, it depends on His perfect strength.