Sermon notes from 9/3/17 – “Do You Have Life?”

“DO YOU HAVE LIFE?”                  1 John 5:6-12

 INTRO – Title of sermon: “Do You Have Life?” Hate to start this sermon w/ some depressing information, but this shocked me to my core when I read it.

  • Iceland – recent news report revealed that nearly 100% of babies diagnosed w/ Down’s Syndrome were aborted once the mothers found out about the infant’s condition through prenatal genetic screening. Tragic! And the USA is not far behind w/ 67% of babies diagnosed w/ that same condition between 1995-2001.

We live in a world & in a nation where life is not valued, unless, of course, you are already born. Then, by golly, nobody better mess w/ YOUR life! Hear folks say, “This is MY life & I will live it anyway I want to live it, which includes killing my unborn child if I want to.” The only Baptist pastor in capital of Iceland had this to say in an article in Christianity Today: “Ultimately abortions are antithetical to the gospel message the church proclaims, as we marvel over the fact that Jesus says to undeserving sinners: ‘I will lay my life down for my sheep,’ and so he did, taking on our sin and shame, and the debt that stood against us and nailing it to the cross. Abortion instead demands of an innocent life, ‘You will lay your life down for me.’” (http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2017/august-web-only/icelands-only-baptist-pastor-down-syndrome-abortion.html?start=2)

 

Our God is a God of life! His promises to us are all about the life that we can have in His Son, Jesus Christ.

  • It is REAL life!
  • It is ABUNDANT life!
  • It is ETERNAL life!

 

As John begins to wrap up this letter, he returns to his ongoing battle against the confusion that the false teachers of his day were bringing into the church. These false teachers were promoting a secret knowledge of Jesus, which contradicted the apostolic truth of who Jesus truly is. John wanted his readers to know & experience the AUTHENTIC Christianity that comes only through knowing & trusting Christ alone. He didn’t want them to give in to some esoteric baloney that the Gnostic teachers were propagating.

Quick lesson on beliefs of Gnosticism: One of most dangerous heresies in the 1st century. In a nutshell, Gnostics believed that they had some mystical knowledge that was higher than the Scriptures, & that matter was inherently evil & spirit was good. B/c of this belief, they denied the full humanity of Jesus, even though they attributed some form of deity to Him (remember definition of a heresy: Every heresy is either the overemphasis or the perversion of some great biblical truth).

John MacArthur: “Such heretical views destroy not only the true humanity of Jesus, but also the atonement, for Jesus must not only have been truly God, but also the truly human (and physically real) man who actually suffered and died upon the cross in order to be the acceptable substitutionary sacrifice for sin… The biblical view of Jesus affirms His complete humanity as well as His full deity.” (https://www.gty.org/library/bible-introductions/MSB62/first-john)

The junk that the Gnostics were spreading was full of death, just like the junk that the abortion providers in Iceland are spreading. The Iceland lies destroy physical life, & the Gnostic lies destroy spiritual life. Both are dangerous – both are evil – & both must be resisted by standing on the truth of the life-changing Gospel of Jesus Christ!

 

Let’s look at the 3 testimonies found in this passage:

 

THE TESTIMONY THAT PROVES – v. 6-10 – In a court of law, the weight of the testimonies of the witnesses can make or break a case. The attorneys try to make sure that they are putting the most credible witnesses on the stand w/ the most convincing evidence that they can find.

John gives the most convincing evidence he can give to prove the credibility & authenticity of who Jesus is – that He was & is 100% man & 100% God. He establishes this proof using the ironclad testimony of 3 witnesses:

  • The water – Jesus “came by water & blood” (v. 6). The water refers to His baptism in the River Jordan, when the Father spoke from heaven & proclaimed, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17). At the same time that God the Father was making that proclamation, God the Spirit was descending on God the Son like a dove. What a powerful testimony as to the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ was provided by the “water” of Jesus’ baptism! Charles Spurgeon: “…with His other Self, His Only Begotten, in every condition and in every case, from every point of view, He is well pleased and perfectly satisfied—and well He may be, for Christ is worthy of His Father’s satisfaction and delight.” (http://www.spurgeongems.org/vols40-42/chs2409.pdf)
  • The blood – The 2nd witness that takes the stand to testify & prove who Jesus truly is is “the blood.” This is a reference to His sacrificial, substitutionary death on the cross in payment for our sins. Once again, in that pivotal moment in His life as He hung on that old rugged cross, His perfect, life-giving blood pouring from His body, the Father thundered His testimony forth from heaven, darkening the sky, shaking the earth, resurrecting dead people from their graves, & ripping the Temple veil in two from top to bottom (Matt. 27:45-54). The blood pouring from Jesus’ body on the cross gave further proof to His humanity & deity.
  • The Spirit – The Holy Spirit, the 3rd Person of the Trinity, was given to bear witness to Jesus Christ. Jesus said in John 15:26, “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.” Warren Wiersbe: “We can trust the Spirit’s witness because ‘the Spirit is truth.’ We were not present at the baptism of Christ or at His death, but the Holy Spirit was present. The Holy Spirit is the only Person active on earth today who was present when Christ was ministering here. The witness of the Father is past history, but the witness of the Spirit is present experience. The first is external, the second is internal—and both agree.[1]

These 3 – the water, the blood, & the Spirit – are in complete, perfect agreement w/ one another in proving who Jesus is. Why is their testimony complete & perfect? B/c it is “the testimony of God” (v. 9). Just as He is complete & perfect, so is His testimony about His only begotten Son complete & perfect. His is the testimony that proves!

 

THE TESTIMONY THAT GIVES – v. 11 – We move to the testimony in v. 11 that clearly establishes the life-giving truth that God gave us eternal life, & this life is in His Son. What an incredible truth to rejoice in today!

God GIVES us eternal life! Did you hear that? He GIVES it to us! It’s FREE! We don’t earn it. We don’t deserve it. We can’t buy it. We can’t work out way up to it. He gives it to us! It’s a free gift! Charles Stanley – “The salvation that has been given to us is His loving, sacrificial gift to us – we can do nothing to earn it.” Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

John Piper preaching on Rom. 6:23 – “…consider how these two masters pay their slaves. ‘The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ The slave master, sin, pays wages, and the slave master, God, gives gifts. One master pays. The other master gives.

What’s the difference between a wage and a gift? A wage is something you earn. A gift is something you don’t earn, and can’t earn. A wage is a matter of debt and justice. A free gift is a matter of beneficence and grace. You can take somebody to court for not paying you your wages; but you can’t take anyone to court for not giving you a free gift. You deserve your wages. You don’t deserve a free gift. Otherwise it wouldn’t be free.” (http://www.desiringgod.org/messages/the-free-gift-of-god-is-eternal-life-part-1)

During the Spanish War, Teddy Roosevelt, then a colonel, commanded a regiment of rough-riders in Cuba. He became much attached to his men and was greatly concerned when a number of them fell sick. Yellow fever was decimating the troops.

Clara Barton (was a nurse who started American Red Cross) had received supplies & food for the sick soldiers under her care. Roosevelt asked her to see some of them to him for his sick men. She refused. The Colonel was very troubled; he cared for his men and was willing to pay for supplies out of his own pocket.

`How can I get these things?’ he asked. ‘I must have proper food for my sick men.’

`Just ask for them, Colonel.’

`Oh!’ said Roosevelt, his face breaking into a smile, ‘that’s the way, is it? Then I do ask for them.’ And he got them at once.

All we have to do is ASK to receive the free gift of eternal life!

The testimony that gives is the testimony that God GIVES the free gift of eternal life to anyone who places their faith & trust in Christ alone.

THE TESTIMONY THAT MATTERS – v. 12 – John puts it plainly & succinctly, probably as a final exclamation point in his case against the false teachers: If you have Jesus, you have life. If you don’t have Jesus, you don’t have life. You’re either saved or lost, alive or dead, headed to heaven or headed to hell.

So, friends, this is what truly matters. Do you have Jesus?

  • Doesn’t matter if you have a lot of money
  • …a lot of friends
  • …a lot of influence
  • …a lot of success
  • …a lot of intelligence

The testimony that truly matters is that you have Jesus. Everything else pales in comparison to this.

CONCLUSION: TV commercial: “What’s in YOUR wallet?”

So, what’s in YOUR testimony?

  • “I have Jesus.”
  • “I don’t have Jesus.”

If your testimony is that you DO have Jesus, then:

  • Rejoice
  • Renew & Recommit
  • Reach out

If your testimony is that you DON’T have Jesus, then:

  • Turn away from your sin
  • Turn to Jesus
  • Trust Him alone

[1] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 527). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

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About Jon Daniels

Senior Pastor - Country Woods Baptist Church, Byram, MS
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