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.
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.
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.
Christian, God loves you. His love for you is shown in the fact that He gave his Son as a propitiation for your sins. And the Apostle John is telling us in this passage that, more than anything, we must know and believe the love that God has for us.
God’s love for his children is extravagant. In this second part of Pastor Nate Harlan’s sermon on 1 John 3:19-24, we focus on what the Apostle John tells us about this important topic. We are not to live in a state of insecurity about our relationship with God. We are to live trusting in the generosity of God to us, his children.
If you are struggling with the assurance of your salvation, if you lack confidence before God, you are more concerned about yourself than about others. This lack of confidence before God can actually make us selfish and keep us from obeying His command to love the brothers. Having biblical confidence equips us to love others rather than worry about ourselves.
No one wants to be hated, so the temptation for the Christian is to compromise with the world so the world won’t hate us. But as Pastor Nate Harlan says, simply by your example of following Jesus, you are exposing the wickedness of the unbelievers around you. We cannot cave in to the pressure to make peace with the world.
Are you a child of the devil or are you a child of God? Can you know for sure?
What the Apostle John tells us in this passage is that you can discover the answer. But the process is uncomfortable because it requires deep self-examination: Do you practice sin or do you practice righteousness? Hear Pastor Nate Harlan on this passage.
Hope has a central importance in the Christian’s life. Just like faith, hope by itself is useless. Hope must have an object. Moreover, you cannot follow Jesus faithfully without having hope. Pastor Nate Harlan digs into the purifying aspect of hope in the first of a series of sermons on this particular passage.