“Faith that Overcomes” 1 John 5:1-5

“Faith that Overcomes” 1 John 5:1-5


“Faith that Overcomes”

1 John 5:1-5

Pastor Ryan J. McKeen




By faith, and that will be the focus of our text this evening, is our faith.

This past first Friday, which has been a couple weeks ago now, It was the month of June, beginning of the month of June. And it’s the first time in three years that we’ve been able to have First Friday in June, because the last two have been rained out for massive thunderstorms. So as we were downtown this last month, as we typically try to do, we try to have something themed to do with whatever’s going on, whether there’s a holiday close or whatever’s happening, we try to have something relevant to the time and something that will stir up some conversation. So, being Pride Month, as is celebrated in our town now, we had a sign that said, do you know the true meaning of the rainbow? And we wanted to stir up some conversation and ask people, do you really know what the rainbow was originally for?

Well, we had some various reactions. We had a lot of people that either gave us some encouragement on the way by that they were happy we were out there and that they agreed that we were taking the rainbow back, as they said. But we weren’t really trying to be argumentative or anything. It was just we were taking advantage to explain what the rainbow is really about. We had others that really did not know what the rainbow was originally for, where it came from. They were truly ignorant of what the Bible says about the rainbow. And then we had others who were offended that we would dare to mention the rainbow. Because it’s one, it’s Pride Month, and number two, as we have been for the last six or eight months, our tent is sitting right beside Polk Pride and their tent. And then on the other side of that is Cornerstone Baptist Church, so they’re kind of sandwiched in between two Baptist churches. But hey, we took our opportunity to share the truth, to stand for the truth. And we were not confronting them or in their face in any way. We were just there representing what the Bible says. And there were, again, those who did not find it appropriate that we would dare to stand by their tent during the month of June. and ask a question about the rainbow.

And in fact, there was one man who was as contentious as I’ve ever seen anybody at First Friday. And this man was a pastor. He was a church planter. He was a man who had been to seminary. And typically I allow the other men to do a lot of the the interactions and things, and I mean, it’s part of my job is to help equip the saints for the ministry, so I allow them to kind of step up and do a lot of the evangelism down there, and I’m there for support. But I saw this guy coming, because he marched straight up to our tent, and, excuse me, do you really think that you should be doing this? What’s that that we’re doing? Well, you have the rainbow on your sign, and you have a track on your table that says, you do you on the front, and it’s got the multicolored flag there, and it really challenges the idea of that, can you really determine who you are and what you are, and really, it’s a good gospel tract.

But anyways, he just thought it was so inappropriate, and he came to inform us as a church-planting pastor who actually cares about the gospel going out, what was appropriate for us to be doing or not. And throughout our interaction, which I’ll get into a little bit later after I explain our text this evening, but it became very apparent that this man, even though he called himself a pastor, even though he was apparent or supposedly concerned about the gospel and evangelism, even though he was seminary trained and even though he felt as though he had the authority on the Word of God and what the Word of God says, it became apparent very quickly that this man was not a believer at all. This man is not a believer, and in fact, this man hates the Word of God. This man hates the true gospel and what the Bible really says. And I’ll explain a little later what I mean by that, and I will show you from our text this evening why I can make such a statement regarding this man’s eternal destiny.

But as we’ll see in our text this evening, John again is bringing the assurance of our salvation to the forefront. And we have seen several different sources of our assurance as we’ve come through the book of 1 John. And this evening, John brings a new term to our text, really a new name for those who are in Christ, those who are children of God. And that is that believers are overcomers. And we’ll look at what that means to begin with this evening. And in the New Testament, we are known by many names, that is, Christians, believers.

First of all, we are called, most regularly nowadays, we are called Christians. And we see that term first used in the book of Acts in the church at Antioch. And those believers were called Christians as an insult. They were little Christs. And in that time, in the Roman culture, Christ was a derogatory term. He was that fool that got killed because of his refusal to bow to the Romans. And whatever other derogatory implications they could launch at believers then, they were called little Christ as an insult. Little did they know that that would become the most popular way to refer to believers here 2,000 years later. We are Christians. We are little Christs. We do take after Christ. But as we see throughout the rest of Scripture, throughout the New Testament really, we have a lot of different terms that are used to refer to those who believe, to refer to the children of God.

And in his commentary on this, Dr. John MacArthur really lays out all the different terms that are used, at least many of them. So I’m going to use his work and kind of explain and list off the different ways that believers are mentioned in the Word of God. And we see, first and foremost, that we are the children of God. We are the children of God. We are called the children of light. We are children of the day. We are children of obedience. We are called believers or the faithful. We are friends of Jesus Christ. We are brothers and sisters in the Lord. We are called sheep. We are called saints or his holy ones. We are soldiers. We are witnesses. We are called stewards and fellow citizens. We are lights in the world. We are the elect of God. We are God’s chosen. We are ambassadors of Christ. We are ministers. We are servants. We are disciples. We are joint heirs with Christ. We are branches and Christ is the vine. We are called members of the body of Christ. We are called living stones by which the temple of God is built. As we saw a couple weeks ago, we are called epistles or living letters of Christ. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit. We are called the beloved. of Christ. We’re called followers, and there are many more, but that’s just a sampling of the different ways that we are referred to in the New Testament.

And each of those terms has a specific meaning, and they each describe some aspect of what it means to have life in Christ. And that same is true of John’s term tonight of overcomers. John says that what makes us overcomers is nothing within us. It’s our faith. Our faith is what overcomes. As we’ll see in verse four of our text this evening, he says, this is the overcoming that has overcome the world, our faith. It is our faith that makes us overcomers. And in this text, John will describe exactly what this faith looks like.

How do you know that you have overcoming faith? Well, we’ll see three characteristics of our overcoming faith this evening. We talked earlier, as we read from the canons of Dort, the different ones that seem to profess faith and then fall away. or those who actually have true faith and who remain faithful. We see that in the parable of the sower in Matthew 13. So how do we know that we have this genuine overcoming faith? Well, we’ll see the three characteristics that John mentions tonight. That overcoming faith is faith that believes the truth. It is faith that loves God and loves others. And it is faith that obeys. Faith that obeys God and obeys God’s word. And again, these are the very criteria by which we can know that this man that I encountered, that we encountered on first Friday, does in fact not have this overcoming type of faith. And again, these are the defining marks of a faith that overcomes.

So let me read our text this evening. This is 1 John chapter 5, verses 1 through 5. This is the word of the Lord. Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God. And everyone who loves the one who gives new birth loves also the one who has been born of him. By this we know that we love the children of God. When we love God and do His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For everything that has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the overcoming that has overcome the world, our faith.

True believers are overcomers. We have overcome the world. We are victors. We are winners. We are conquerors. That’s what this word means, the word overcome. It’s from the Greek word nikao, and it appears twice in verses four and five. And it’s one of John’s favorite terms to refer to believers. In fact, That word, overcomer, occurs 28 times in the New Testament, and 24 of them are in John’s writing. Again, the word means to conquer, or to gain the victory, or to defeat. And it was popular among the Greeks of that time. They believed that ultimate victory could not be achieved by mere mortals, but it was by the gods, the Greek gods.

In fact, they have a Greek goddess named Nike. And that comes from that word overcomer or victor. And so when you see the clothing or shoe brand Nike today, it is named after that Greek goddess of victory. And this again was the Greek goddess of that time that they found victory in. And John is explaining, no, we find our victory through our faith. We see this word used several times in other places in scripture, and Jesus himself used this word.

In John 16, 33, he says, these things I’ve spoken to you so that you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage. I have overcome the world. Christ has overcome the world. And in Romans, Paul uses the word as well.

And in Romans 8, 37, Paul says that we are overwhelming conquerors, that we are more than conquerors. Romans 8.37, he says, in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer, or we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. The idea here is that believers are absolutely and completely victorious. There is no doubt of our victory. And the way Paul uses that word there, it’s actually a compound, and the English Transliteration of it is really we are hyper-conquerors. We are super-conquerors in Christ. We are invincible and unconquerable because of Christ. Nothing will conquer us. Because as Paul goes on in verses 38 and 39, he says, for I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. That is why we are hyper-conquerors. We are more than conquerors. We are overcomers of Satan and his schemes in this world.

Earlier in this letter, back in chapter two, when he spoke of the different people within the church, verses 13 and 14 of chapter two, John says, I am writing to you fathers because you have known him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you young men because you have overcome the evil one.” So even there, we have overcome the evil one.

In Revelation, in John’s vision of the future, as Christ came to visit him on the Isle of Patmos, He’s explaining what will happen in the end times, and in chapter 12 of Revelation, speaking of the saints, he says, they overcame him, who is Satan, they overcame him because of the blood of the lamb, and because of the word of their witness, and they did not love their life even to death. This is a strange concept for the world, that those who are killed, those who are martyred for Christ, those who give their life are conquerors, even in their death they win because of the blood of the Lamb. They did not love their life even to death because they’re conquerors.

We’ve overcome Satan, we’ve overcome his servants. As in chapter four of this letter, John speaks of the false prophets and the false spirits that are in the world. And he says in verse four, you are from God, little children, and have overcome them. Because greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world. Believers are overcomers. And believers are overcomers not because of anything within us. Because if it was up to us, we would not overcome anything. If it was up to our own intelligence, our own strength, our own wisdom, We are not overcomers. But because of Christ who is in us, that is what makes us overcomers.

And John says in verse four here, this is the overcoming that has overcome the world, our faith. It’s our faith that makes us overcomers. However, as we all know, although our victory is assured, although we are definitely overcomers, we still lose some battles from day to day. We still fall in sin. We still give in to the devil’s temptations and the world’s enticements and the corruption of our own hearts.

So if believers are not always victorious in every single battle of every single day, how is it that we call ourselves conquerors? How is it that we know that we’re conquerors? Because those are the moments when we begin to doubt. When we begin to live like our old self, when we begin to live like the world, and we fall and we stumble again, how can we know that we’re overcomers? Where do we find our assurance that we are overcomers? Well, that’s exactly what our text addresses this evening.

We have these three characteristics of this overcoming faith that we can see in our own life that will reassure us that we do have the overcoming faith that John speaks of. And the first characteristic we see is that this overcoming faith is a faith that believes the truth. We see this in verse one and then again in verses four and five.

In verse one, John says, everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God. And then down in verse four, he says, for everything that has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the overcoming that has overcome the world, our faith. Who is the one who overcomes the world? But he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

First and foremost, this overcoming faith has Jesus Christ as its object. It is a belief that Jesus is the Christ, as verse one says. That he is the Christ. Christ is not Jesus’ last name. Christ is Jesus’ title. Jesus is the Christ. He is the one who was promised long ago in the Old Testament. He is the Messiah. And true overcoming believers believe that he is the Christ.

Jesus declared in John 14 6, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Jesus is the one, the one way. No one comes to the Father. He is the only one. He is the Christ.

Peter proclaims in Acts 4 that there is salvation in no one else. For there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. You will not find salvation anywhere else other than the fact that Jesus is the Christ. Our faith is in the truth. The truth of who Christ is and what Christ has done for us. And it is a continuous faith. It is a faith that does not fail. The verbs here for faith are perfect tense verbs, which means it’s an ongoing action. This is a faith that continues throughout our life.

It is a continual faith. And it is the result of being born again. And this is an important distinction here. It is not the means by which we are born again, this continual faith. The continuation of our faith is a result of our regeneration. What I mean by that is Christians don’t keep themselves born again because they’ve kept their faith. It’s the other way around. Because they’ve been born again, their faith continues. We cannot lose our salvation. Because when you’ve been truly born again, your faith will not fail. Your faith will continue.

The faith that God gives to us in regeneration is permanent, and it cannot be lost. Our faith cannot die because dead faith does not save. There is no such thing as an unbelieving believer. If someone is unbelieving, they were never a believer in the first place. In fact, if they were a believer in the first place, their belief was in the wrong thing. Their belief was not in Christ. There are many who claim to be believers, and they truly are convinced they are believers, but their belief is not in Christ as their salvation. Their belief may be in their church, or their tradition, or anything else, some sort of faith that they have built for themselves. But it is not in the truth that Jesus is the Christ. And that is why their faith dies and they walk away from the faith.

Our faith does ebb and flow. It is stronger at some times than others. But ultimately, our faith will not fail because Christ will keep us. And when someone’s faith does die, again, and when they walk away from their faith, when they renounce their faith, as is a popular thing these days, to see these exvangelicals, as they call themselves, or those who have left the faith and deconstructed their faith, they’re showing that their faith was never genuine. Their faith was never alive. It was never true faith. It was never faith in Christ as the Christ. Saving faith involves a wholehearted, permanent commitment to Jesus as Lord. That is what our faith looks like. Jesus is our Lord. He is our Savior. He is the Messiah, the Christ, and He’s God incarnate. This is a faith in the truth of Scripture and what Scripture says about Christ.

People who are born of God believe the truth about Christ, and that’s what our text says. Everyone who believes Jesus is the Christ has been born of God. John says that this faith in Christ is what makes us overcomers. Who is the one who overcomes the world in verse five? But he who believes that Jesus is the son of God. We are victorious from the very moment of our salvation because of this faith. We are given a faith that will never fail to embrace the truth of the gospel.

We may feel at times like David felt in Psalm 13. How long, O Lord, will you hide your face from me? Will you forget me forever? We may have dark times. We may have times of doubt. But if you keep reading in Psalm 13, David still has his faith. David overcomes that time of darkness and doubt. And because of our conquering faith, we will cry out the same as Job did in Job 13, 15, though he slay me, I will hope in him. That is our overcoming faith.

So the first characteristic of this overcoming faith is it’s faith that believes the truth. And secondly, John explains that the second characteristic of this overcoming faith is it’s a faith that loves God and loves others.

He says in the end of verse one, and everyone who loves the one who gives new birth loves also the one who has been born of him. Everyone who loves the one who gives new birth, which is God, also loves those who have been born of him. An overcomer loves both the father and the father’s children.

This new birth brings people not only to a faith relationship in God, as we saw with number one, but also into a love relationship with God and with his children. This has been a consistent theme throughout this letter, that our love is what will reassure us of our salvation. I’m not going to belabor this point again here, but to summarize all that John has said about love so far as we’ve come through this letter, love is not just an emotion. It’s not just sentimentality. It is a desire to honor and please and obey God. And this love is directed at God’s children, at other people. It is a love that chooses to put others first. It is a love that sacrificially meets the needs of others. And John says, everyone who loves God will also love their brothers and sisters.

So as we’ve seen several times already in this letter, the second mark of overcoming faith is it’s a faith that loves God and loves others.

So we’ll go on now to the third mark of this overcoming faith, and that is that it’s faith that obeys. It’s faith that believes the truth, it’s faith that loves God and loves others, and it’s faith that obeys. In verses two and three, John says this, by this we know that we love the children of God when we love God and we do his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments, and His commandments are not burdensome.”

Another by this we know statement. We know that we love the children of God if we love God and keep His commandments. You see, loving God and keeping His commandments are inseparable. You cannot love God without keeping His commandments.

And again, this is a theme throughout scripture. Even in the Old Testament, Deuteronomy 13.4, you shall walk after Yahweh your God and fear him. You shall keep his commandments and listen to his voice and serve him and cling to him.

And Samuel told Saul in 1 Samuel 15.22, behold, it’s better to obey than to sacrifice. God wants our obedience. That is what it is to be God’s people. That is what it’s always been, to be God’s people. He is our Lord and our master. We obey him. And this did not change with the coming of Christ. Yes, Christ perfectly obeyed for us, and we are given his righteousness, but Christ himself, even in doing that, said we must obey God. If we are going to be his disciples, we must obey God.

Listen to these various references from Christ’s mouth of our obedience. Luke 11, 28. He said, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it. And then these various texts in the gospel of John. John 8, 31. Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed in him, if you abide in my word, Then you are my disciples. And in chapter 14, verse 15, if you love me, you will keep my commandments. A few verses later in 14, 21, he who has my commandments and keeps them is the one who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my father, and I will love him and disclose myself to him. In verses 23 and 24, Jesus answered and said to him, if anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him. He who does not love me does not keep my words, and the word which you hear is not mine, but the father’s who sent me.

And then in the next chapter, John 15, 10, if you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my father’s commandments and abide in his love. A few verses later, John 15, 14, you are my friends if you do what I command you. This is a consistent theme of Jesus himself. We have no option not to obey him. If we do not obey him, we show that we are not his people.

And the disciples, the apostles, continued this teaching. Acts 5.32, we are the witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God gave to those who obey him. And then Romans, we received grace and apostleship for the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for the sake of his name.

In Romans 15, 18, I will not be bold to speak of anything except what Christ has brought about through me, leading to the obedience of the Gentiles by word and deed. And then at the end of the book of Romans, Paul closes with this, now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ. according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, but is now manifested by the scriptures of the prophets according to the commandment of the eternal God, and has been made known to all the Gentiles, leading to the obedience of faith.” Faith and obedience are not contrary. Faith is obedience. And the writer of Hebrews, having been made perfect, he became, to all those who obey him, a source of eternal salvation.

And the last two I’ll mention here are from Peter. Peter, in the opening of his first letter, writing to those who he says are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God by the sanctifying work of the Spirit to the obedience of Jesus Christ. And later in verse 21 he says, since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for love of the brothers. So are we getting it? It’s a consistent theme throughout scripture that if we have faith we will obey.

Obedience characterizes the children of God. True children of God obey him. And true children of God do not find his commandments burdensome. His commandments are not burdensome. Those who love God and keep His word, they obey because they want to. They want to honor Him. They don’t obey out of dread. They obey out of loving adoration.

Jesus said in Matthew 11, come to me. all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Not rest in the sense that we don’t have to do anything anymore, but rest in the sense that his commandments are not burdensome. He continues by saying, take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light. It’s not as though there is no yoke, His yoke is easy and his burden is light. It is a burden that we want. God’s commandments are not hard and they’re not a burden.

The reason why the law shows us that we don’t live up to it is not because the law was impossible and it’s too hard and it’s unable for us to complete, it’s because of our own sinful hearts. It’s because of our own depravity.

In Moses’ giving of the law, he explains in Deuteronomy 30.11, this commandment which I’m commanding you today is not too difficult for you. And it’s not far from you. Moses is explaining it’s possible. You can do this. That’s why in Psalm 119 we read, oh how I love your law. It is my meditation. all the day. God’s commandments are not a burden and they are a delight to his people. The more you fill your life with the word of God and God’s law, you will delight in it. And those who hate God’s commandments reveal that they are not of God. Those who find God’s law to be a burden show that they are not God’s people.

This man that we encountered at First Friday. He came up to us to confront us about what we were doing in our efforts to share the gospel and our efforts to stir up some conversations with people. He accused us of not being loving or kind. And he tried to teach us how the Bible actually doesn’t teach that homosexuality is wrong, or any of the other abominations that come along with Pride Month.” He said, actually, no, that’s not what the Bible says. And so, well, first of all, he said, well, I can tell by your approach here that you don’t want to talk about these passages of Scripture. I said, actually, no, I’d love to talk about these passages of Scripture. Let’s talk about it.

So, he said, okay, well, and so I brought him to what John says. and what Paul says, and what Peter says. And he told me that John, Paul, and Peter are not Jesus, and they’re actually wrong in what they said about homosexuality, because Jesus never said anything. And they were stepping outside the bounds of what Jesus taught when they said those things, so therefore they were wrong. And what they wrote in Scripture is wrong. In fact, he said that Jesus came to remove the law because the law was bad. And what the law says about homosexuality, that needed to be thrown out of the way. So Jesus came to remove the law.

And I was being as gracious as I could muster. And I was interacting with him and talking with these texts and it got to a point where We really had to challenge him, and I said, I was like, you have a very disrespectful view of the word of God. He said, no, I just understand it. I was like, no, I don’t think you do. And in fact, I think you need to reexamine your relationship with Christ. Because the Bible tells us that those who are of Christ, those who are truly Christians, who truly believe, they love God’s law. They don’t think it’s bad. They don’t think it’s wrong. They love God’s law.

So he tries to take me to, well, what these words really mean. And he began to tell me that the Greek word, which is the Greek word porneia, he says, well, it’s a really vague word and nobody really knows what it means. I said, well, actually, let me tell you what it means. And it’s a word that refers to all sexual sin, all sin that goes against God’s design for men and women. So it’s all sorts of perversions of God’s intention for marriage between a man and a woman. That’s exactly what that word means.

And I said, actually, I think the word that you’re trying to weasel around is the word arsenokoites, which Paul uses for the word homosexual. And I explained that word and its morphology too. Because we are called to make a defense for our faith. We are called to tear down any ideas raised against the word of God. And so all those who try to twist scripture and deceive and lead men and women into the gates of hell, we are called to make a defense for the hope that is in us. And eventually he realized that he could not deceive us with his twisting of scripture, no matter how much he threw out his credentials of having gone to seminary, and he learned from men who know Greek. He just told us we were wrong and he walked away. His heart was hardened.

But again, we had the opportunity to share the truth. to challenge his view of scripture, to tell him he is disrespecting the word of God by twisting it into his own means and his own desires, and that he needs to reexamine his relationship with Christ because he’s showing us that he does not know Christ.

Because the fact of the matter is, as John says here, we can know. Because someone might say, well, you can’t say that he’s not a Christian. You can’t know that. You don’t know his heart. Yes, I do. He showed me his heart. He showed me his heart. In his hatred for what God’s word plainly says, he showed me what’s in his heart. Because what overflows your heart comes out your mouth.

This man had a disdain for God’s word. And as we’ve seen in this text, true Christians have overcoming faith that believes the truth. It doesn’t excuse the truth. It doesn’t manipulate the truth. It doesn’t twist the truth. It doesn’t try to make the truth say what I want it to say. It believes the truth. And overcoming faith is a faith that loves God and it loves others. It loves God in the way that he’s revealed himself to us and his desires for us, even in our personal lives and in our own desires, what he wants for us. And it’s a faith that loves others by telling them the truth, not by excusing the truth and making room for what they want to do.

At one point, this man challenged us that, well, you just look at them for what you see as the worst in them. You need to look for what’s the best in them. And our response was, well, without Christ, there is no good in any of us. And we all are in need of salvation. And their sin is no worse than mine, but it’s still sin. And without salvation, We all are destined for hell because of the selfishness and wickedness of our own hearts. And it would not be loving for me to sit here and watch people go to hell because they love their sin.

Truly loving others is bringing them the truth, warning them of their sin and where they’re headed. True conquering faith loves God and it loves others. And it’s truth that obeys. It obeys the truth. It obeys God’s word. It doesn’t make excuses that say, well, that’s not what Jesus said, and well, that’s just that man’s opinion, and we make all these different excuses and twist things to, well, we don’t like those verses, so we’re gonna make them say what we wanted to say. That’s not obedience. That is not obedience.

So as we see these three criteria of true conquering faith, overcoming faith, it breaks my heart to have interactions with men like that. Because they are so deceived and hard-hearted. This man did not believe the truth, he hated the truth. In fact, he got visibly angry when we told him exactly the words of scripture. This man didn’t love others or love God because he refused to tell the truth to them. And he did not obey God’s word. He did not meet any of the three criteria here in this passage of true overcoming faith. That’s why I can confidently say with a heavy heart This man was not a believer. This man was an unbeliever.

And that’s the very purpose of texts like this. How do we know if we are the children of God? How do we know if someone who claims to be a child of God, a preacher, a teacher, a church planter, who claims all these things, how do we know if they’re truly a child of God? By this we know. That’s why John keeps repeating that phrase. You can know.

Well, you don’t know their heart. By this, we know their heart. By this, we know if we are the children of God. So if you do not know, if you are a child of God, if you do not know Christ, if you do not trust Christ, you need to trust him today. You need to know him. You need to know for sure where you are going. And you can know for sure that you are His child and you have an overcoming faith and that you will spend eternity with Him.

Let’s stand and close in a word of prayer this evening. Our God and Father, we are so thankful for passages of Scripture like this. that we can lean on when we face challenging times, when we face challenging circumstances, when we are challenged about our faith, about the truth, about our love, that we can know what it is to have conquering faith, what it is to be children of God, that we will love the truth, that we will love God and others, and that we will obey Him. We thank you for the reassurance you give us in your word of how it is we know what’s in our own hearts and what people reveal to us about their own hearts. And we thank you for the confidence you give us in the reliability of your word and in the sufficiency of your word. We don’t need anything else to know what’s in our own hearts, but your word, because your word reveals us. It lays us bare before you. Your word is truth. I pray that from this study in the book of 1 John that we will come to love the truth even more, that the truth would characterize our life, that we would live not only obedient for the truth, but that we would give our lives to the truth. We thank you for who you are and for the way that you’ve revealed yourself clearly and plainly to us. We pray this in Christ’s name, amen.

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