REAL CHRISTIANITY

 

1 JOHN 3:19-24

CONFIDENCE - PM 1/30/05

#13, Real Christianity (1 John)

 

We have a tendency toward insecurities and uncertainties. And most of us need more confidence than we have.  We don't need more confidence in ourselves. We need more confidence in God.

Jeremiah 17:9, Romans 7:18-19,

Because we are human

Because we are sinners

Because we have such great capacity to fail, we need a greater confidence than in ourselves.

 

We need a confidence not based on what we feel.

We need a confidence base on what God says.

This passage tells us how to have the right kind of confidence, the confidence that God is behind. It is confidence that God produces and sponsors.

 

CONFIDENCE OF HEART - Vss. 19-20

 

1 John 3:19 - And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.

 

 To be of the truth is to be of Jesus Christ. John 14:6

 

In Vs. 19 John tells us how to tell if we are of the truth, that is, how to tell if we've been born again.   

 

He says "hereby we know we are of the truth". He is referring to the preceding verses.

 

The one is of the truth practices agape love.

 

Vs. 16 - It is a love that lays down its life for the brethren.

 

Vs. 17 - It is a love which sees a need and does something about it.

 

Vs. 18 - It is a love that is in deed and truth and not all mouth.

 

So John is saying that we have assured hearts when we actually demonstrate our salvation through the actions of Christian love. 

Our actions of love build confidence of heart.

They assure our hearts that we are of Christ.

 

The fact that we practice Christian love gives assurance of salvation.

 

1 John 3:20 - For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.

 

Another term for a condemning heart might be an accusing conscience.

Many times our conscience will accuse us rightly of sinfulness.

Then we are to confess our sins, and, as 1 John 1:9 says, we are forgiven and cleansed from all unrighteousness.

 

Sometimes, however, we have an over-active conscience. We do something wrong, confess it, and still live in guilt.

God is greater than our heart.

God knows when we have truly confessed and forsaken sin.

We need to leave what we have confessed behind.

 

There are other times, when we have been loving by way of action and striving to help others.  And yet it seems that we cannot get enough done to satisfy ourselves. Again, God is greater than our hearts, and knows when we have done our best.

 

CONFIDENCE WITH GOD - Vs. 21

 

1 John 3:21 - Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.

 

A confident heart produces confidence with God.

When our heart is right, there is confidence toward God.

When our sin has been dealt with

When we know that we have been forgiven.

When we know that we have been loving by action and trying to do our best, so that God is speaking peace.

 

When we have confidence toward God we have freedom in His presence.  By freedom I do not mean that we are free to show disrespect in His presence.

 

Disrespect is shown when we rush into God's presence when it isn't necessary to rush.

Disrespect does not address God properly. I have a personal problem when the only way we know how to address our Lord is by His first name. He is our Lord. He is our Master. He is our Savior and we should address Him that way.

 

Freedom in the presence of God is not disrespect.

 

The confident Christian comes to God reverently.

The confident Christian comes to God in love.

The confident Christian comes to God respecting the entire Trinity.

 

There is reverence in God's presence but not a shaking in the boots type of fear.

There is no doubt that God will listen.

There is no hesitancy to be honest with God, even when we are hurting.

 

This word confidence actually carries the idea of “freedom of speech”.

 

It's a freedom of knowing that whatever you say, God will sort it out, correct us, ignore what's worth ignoring, and love us anyway.

 

CONFIDENCE IN PRAYER - Vss. 22-23

 

1 John 3:22 - And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

 

We sometimes think that what we can safely ask God for is limited.  And yet the spectrum of prayers that God answers is very broad. Matthew 7:7-8, John 14:13-14, Philippians 4:6

 

Why does God give us such a broad spectrum for prayer? 

 

Why does God tell us to pray about so much?  "Everything" is so much!

 

It is because God, Himself, has a broad spectrum of concerns.

He is more concerned about missions than you are.

He is more concerned that you live a godly life than you are.

He is more concerned that Christians have fellowship than you are.

He is more concerned about lost souls than you are.

He is more concerned that you learn the Word of God than you are.

He is more concerned that your interpersonal relationships are right than you are.

He is more concerned that people are sick and hurting than you are.

 

Here is this caring, loving, compassionate, and yet just and righteous God who says that we can have confidence in prayer.

 

There are conditions to our praying.

When our heart is right with God we will not ask for those things which are ridiculous, or against God's prescribed will. James 4:3

 

And the one who asks in prayer, as it states here, should be walking with the Lord in obedience. We are to be keeping His commandments and doing things to please Him.

 

God does not answer prayer based on our works.

God, however, does not hear with a view of answering prayer when there is unconfessed sin in our lives. Psalm 66:18

 

Obedience is a condition for answered prayer.

 

Vs. 23 sums up when keeping His commandments means.

And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.

 

First part of the summary is to believe on Christ.

1.     For salvation

2.     Praying in His name -  Believing that He approves in what we are praying for, and believing that it is because of His righteousness that God will answer prayer. John 14:13-14

 

The second part of the summary is to "love one another as he gave commandment." John 15:12

 

Don't expect God to answer prayer unless you pray in faith in the name of Christ and unless you are willing to act in love yourself.

 

CONFIDENCE BY THE SPIRIT - Vs. 24

 

1 John 3:24 - And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

   

John gives us a principle here that has to do with obedience.  

When we obey the Lord Jesus is in communion with us. 1 John 1:6

 

When we obey, we are in communion with the Lord Jesus. 1 John 2:6, John 15:4-5

And how do we know that Christ abides in us?

It is through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:14-17, John 14:16-18

 

My friend, God wants us to have confidence.

He will give us this confidence as we do as He says.

 

CONFIDENCE OF HEART - Vss. 19-20

CONFIDENCE WITH GOD - Vs. 21

CONFIDENCE IN PRAYER - Vss. 22-23

CONFIDENCE BY THE SPIRIT - Vs. 24

 

Elaboration on a previously shared outline