INTRODUCTION: John says we are to live a life of obedience and love. We must walk as Jesus walked (1 John 2:6). John warns that we are living in the last days and that antichrists already live among us. But with the Holy Spirit’s power and the truth of God’s Word, we can repudiate the lies and deception of the antichrists. We can do this because we are children of God. Children of God can thrive in a hostile world. John reminds us of the characteristics and benefits of being a child of God in 1 John 2:28-3:10.
WE ARE BORN INTO GOD’S FAMILY AND ABIDE IN CHRIST.
*Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Children of God are spiritually regenerated and receive God’s nature within them. The Spirit leads them to do what is right. If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him (2:29).
*God’s children dwell in Christ. Like the branch connects to the vine, so a child of God receives nourishment and bears fruit in connection with Jesus. Children of God are ready for Christ’s return because they are in daily contact with him. And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming (2:28).
“You must be born again” (John 3:7) to become a child of God.
WE ARE LOVED BY GOD AND WILL BE WITH HIM FOREVER.
*The Father in heaven loves us and calls us his children. The world rejects us because we belong to the family of God. See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him (1 John 3:1).
*We have the hope that Christ will return, and we will be like him. We model our lives after Jesus and stay ready for his coming. Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall seehim as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure (1 John 3:2-3).
We live pure lives because he loves us and soon will come again.
WE DO WHAT IS RIGHT AND DO NOT PRACTICE SIN.
*We do what is right because of the work of Christ.
Jesus came to takeaway sins. Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him (3:4-6).
Sin is breaking God’s law. Jesus came to remove sin.
He could do that because he was sinless. Those who abide in him do not habitually sin.
Those who make a habit of sin do not know Christ or belong to him.
Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. Little children let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil (3:7-8).
Whoever does what is good is a child of the Righteous One.
Whoever lives a lifestyle of sin is a child of Satan.
*We do what is right because of the nature of the new birth.
Children of God have the spiritualnature of the Father in them and therefore cannot keep on sinning against God. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God (3:9).
Children of the devil refuse to do right and do not love others. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother (3:10).
Jesus has freed us from our sins, therefore, we can live for him.
INTRODUCTION: John says we are to live a life of obedience and love. We must walk as Jesus walked (1 John 2:6). We can walk as Jesus walked when we claim our resources in Christ and resist the world, the flesh, and the devil. We face enemies to our faith that want to distract us and deceive us. John calls these adversaries “antichrists.” We must recognize and withstand the antichrists in the power of the Spirit. John explains our situation and our protections in 1 John 2:18-27.
WE ARE LIVING IN THE LASTDAYS.
*John believed he was in the last hour of the end time. The last days were the time before Christ’s SecondComing. In that sense, we are living in the last days. Children, it is the last hour… (18).
*The appearance of “antichrists’ was John’s proof that we are living in the last days. The Scripture indicates that one day the Antichrist will come (Daniel 11:31; Mark 13:14; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; Revelation 13). John recognizes that forerunners to the Antichrist have already come. Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour (18).
ANTICHRISTS ARE LIVING AMONG US.
*Antichrist can mean “against Christ” or “in place of Christ.” The antichrists oppose and counterfeit Christ. They have some obvious characteristics that reveal their identity:
Antichrists cause division in the church. They leave the church because their teachings disrupt the fellowship. They reject the truth and try to lead people away from the fellowship. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us (18-19).
Antichrists deny that Jesus is the Messiah and that he is the Eternal Son of God. They deny the incarnation, that Jesus is God in the flesh. The antichrists lie about the relationship of the Father and the Son. John says that you cannot have a relationship with God the Father without confessing that Jesus is God’s Son. Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also (22-23).
Antichrists try to deceive followers of Christ. Their teachings and their actions are designed to mislead believers. I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you (26).
WE HAVE THE POWER TO BE FAITHFUL TO CHRIST.
*Christians can discern the lies of the antichrists and refuse their traps. Christians have two protections and one assurance that gives us the power to be faithful to Christ:
We have the anointing of the Holy Spirit to guard and guide us. The anointing (chrisma) with the Spirit is given at salvation and all Christians possess it. The Spirit lives in us, teaches us and guides us into truth (John 16:13). But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth (20-21).
But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him (27-28).
We have the Word of God to keep us grounded in the truth. We receive the Good News at conversion and we let the Good News continue to dwell in us and shape our thoughts and choices. We experience God as we internalize and live out his Word. Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father (24).
No matter what trials we face and antichrists we encounter, we have the promise of eternalsecurity in Christ. And this is the promise that he made to us—eternal life (25).
With the Holy Spirit’s power and the truth of God’s Word, we can repudiate the lies and deception of the antichrists.
INTRODUCTION: Obedience is the essence of fellowship with God. Love is the evidence of fellowship with God. John says we are to live a life of obedience and love. We must walk as Jesus walked (1 John 2:6). To do that, we need to attach ourselves to that which is eternal and lasting and avoid that which is earthly and fades away. John writes, “And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:17). How do we do the will of God and not get attached to the world? John reminds us of the basic truths of the Christian life and warns us of the dangers we face as we try to walk as Jesus walked.
REAFFIRM YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST.
*There are ages and stages in the Christian’s walk with Christ. All Christians go through stages of progress and development in their spirituality. Maturity and immaturity do not depend on your age. John uses poetic form to address all Christians at different levels of growth: “I am writing to you, little children…I am writing to you, fathers… I am writing to you, young men… I write to you, children… I write to you, fathers… I write to you, young men…” (1 John 2:12-14).
*At all ages and stages of their Christian walk, Christians need to remember the possessions they have in Christ. Christians can walk as Jesus walked when they claim the resources they have in Christ.
We have forgiveness of sins in Christ. I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name's sake (12).
We are children of God because we know the Father through his Son Jesus Christ. “I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning…I write to you, children because you know the Father” (13).
We have overcomeSatan through the Word of God. “I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one” (14).
All Christians have the resources to walk as Jesus walked and to…
RESIST THE WORLD, THE FLESH, AND THE DEVIL.
*The Christian is to avoid all compromises with the world. Our devotion is to be first and foremost to Christ. Nothing else is to take the place of our love for God. “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (15).
*What is the world? Here it is the kosmos, society arranged on the principles and morals of men at different points of time in history. It is the spirit of the age that is opposed to God. It is a system of false values, false standards, and false gods. It is the world that humans have made that is sinful and godless. It does not mean the world God has made. It is very good (Gen. 1:31). It does not mean humanrelations. God loves the world, meaning people (John 3:16). John is talking about a love for the world that is in rebellion to God and under the control of the evil one. “For all that is in the world…is not from the Father but is from the world” (16).
*What are the things of the world that we are to avoid and reject? They are the same temptations that Eve faced in the garden (Genesis 3) and Jesus faced in the wilderness (Luke 4). Satan continues to tempt us to follow him.
Craving for physicalpleasure. “For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh…” (16).
Desire for everything we see. “For all that is in the world…the desires of the eyes…” (15).
Pride in our achievements and possessions. “For all that is in the world…and pride of life”
*The life invested in Christ will last forever. The life devoted to the world will passaway. “And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever” (17).
We can walk as Jesus walked when we claim our resources in Christ and resist the world, the flesh, and the devil.
Are you devoted to the world or to Christ? Have you invested your life in Jesus? Are you preparing for eternity?
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
INTRODUCTION: Christian fellowship and authentic relationships are possible in Christ. But sin blocks fellowship with God and others. John writes, “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin” (1 John 2:1). We can deny sin, excuse sin, or confess sin. We can find forgiveness of sin through Jesus Christ. Jesus is our Advocate and our Atonement. He secures our fellowship with God and he maintains our fellowship with God (1 John 2:1-2). Jesus is the foundation of our fellowship with God. But how can we be sure that we are walking in fellowship and resisting sin? Are there indications that our fellowship with God is on the right track? John says yes and gives us two clear indicators that we know God and are maintaining fellowship with him.
OBEDIENCE IS THE ESSENCE OF FELLOWSHIP.
*Obedience overcomes sin. “And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:3-4).
*Obedience proves our love for God. God fills his obedient children with increasing love. “but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected” (1 John 2:5).
*Obedience assures us of our salvation. The ultimate evidence of fellowship is when we walk as Jesus walked. “By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked” (1 John 2:5-6).
The person who obeys God’s Word experiences God’s love.
LOVE IS THE EVIDENCE OF FELLOWSHIP.
*Jesus commanded us to love oneanother. Love for one another indicates that we are followers of Jesus. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (1 John 13:34-35).
*Love overcomes sin. Obedience puts Jesus’ command into action and darkness flees. “Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard. At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining” (1 John 2:7-8).
*Love of neighborconfirms our love for God. To love is to walk in the light. To hate is to walk in the darkness. How we treat one another shows whether we are in the light or in the darkness. “Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes” (1 John 2:9-11).
The mark of the Christian is love for God and for others.
INTRODUCTION: The Apostle John writes his letter 1 John so that we may experience joy (1 John 1:4). We also are invited to participate in genuine fellowship with God and each other. Christian fellowship and authentic relationships are possible in Christ. But sin blocks fellowship with God and others. How do we deal with sin? What do we do with the guilt of sin? How do we restore fellowship with God and others? John gives us important guidelines to follow as we struggle with sin.
HOW DO WE DEAL WITH SIN?
We can deny it. We reject the principle of sin (our sin nature). If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us (1 John 1:8).
We can excuse it. We refuse to acknowledge our practice of sin. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us (1 John 1:10).
We can confess it. We agree with God that we are sinners by nature and by choice. God forgives our practice of sin and cleanses our character. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
Confession, not denial, is God’s answer to our sin problem.
But what if we mess up? What if we continue to struggle and fall?
HOW DO WE RESTOREFELLOWSHIP WITH GOD?
*Jesus is our Advocate and our Atonement. He secures our fellowship with God and he maintains our fellowship with God.
Jesus’ blood cleanses us from our sin nature. His finished work on the Cross secures our salvation. Sin has been defeated and we have been redeemed. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7).
Our confession of sins restores us into fellowship. “Our union with God is eternal while our communion is conditional” (Roy Laurin). The basis of this fellowship is Jesus’ faithfulness to forgive our sins. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
Jesus assures us of our fellowship with God. Jesus is our Advocate with God and our Atonement for sin. Jesus alone preserves our relationship with God.
*Our Advocate (lawyer, paraclete, spokesman, helper). My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous (1 John 2:1).
*Our Atonement (sacrifice, expiation, satisfaction, appeasement, remedy).He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2).
Jesus intercedes for us and took the punishment for our sins, so we can have fellowship with God.
INTRODUCTION: The Apostle John writes his letter 1 John so that we may experience joy (1 John 1:4). To know Jesus is to know joy. John explains that a right view of Jesus is essential to full joy (1:1-4). But John also writes “so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3). We are invited to participate in genuine fellowship with God and each other. Christian fellowship and authentic relationships are possible in Christ.
CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP BEGINS WITH A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH THE FATHER AND HIS SON JESUS.
*Christian fellowship is eternal, personal and communal. John shares his personal testimony that Jesus is the Messiah. He invites others to follow Jesus too: “that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ” (1:3).
*The foundation of Christian fellowship is the sharedexperience of Jesus Christ as our Savior. Jesus Christ alone can give us eternal life. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
We must have a personal relationship with Jesus to have eternal life and to experience joyful fellowship.
CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP BUILDS ON HONEST, AUTHENTIC, AND OPEN RELATIONSHIPS.
*God’s character is our standard. God is light. He is pure, holy, without stain or blemish, transparent, and revealing. “This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1:5).
*Fellowship demands that we practice truth and walk in the light of God’s presence. If we walk in darkness and deny the truth, we hinder fellowship. “If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another (1:6-7).
*Christians will stumble and fall and have conflict. We are broken people. The nature of relationships breeds misunderstandings. The nature of fellowship requires honesty, humility, and forgiveness. The uniqueness of our individuality demands that we be honest in our relationships and wear no masks to hide behind. Jesus’ blood continually cleanses our sins and makes authenticity possible. “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin” (1:7).
True fellowship means a person grows closer to God and others every day.
CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP IS BASED ON FORGIVENESS AND CONFESSION.
*If we refuse to admit our faults, we are in denial. If we refuse to admit we are wrong, we resist God’s truth. Christian fellowship depends upon total honesty and transparency before God and others. “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us…If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us” (1:8-10).
*Confession, not denial, is God’s answer to our sin problem. To confess our sins means we say the samething about our sin that God does. God has forgiven us at the Cross. It is a once for all completed act (1:7). We experience this forgiveness with the conditional act of confession. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1:9).
*Christian unity and authentic relationships are possible in Christ. Healing comes through admission of wrong and encouraging prayer. “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working (James 5:16).
The Jesus Prayer:
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
INTRODUCTION: The Apostle John writes his letter 1 John so that we may experience joy: “And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete” (1 John 1:4). John places Jesus at the center of his life and focus. To know Jesus is to know joy. We must have a personal relationship with Jesus to have eternal life and to experience joy. But who is this Jesus and why does he deserve our devotion? In 1 John 1:1-4, John explains that a right view of Jesus is essential to full joy.
JESUS IS FROM BEFORE ALL TIME (1:1-2).
*Jesus is divine. Jesus is the eternal Son of God. He existed before time began. “That which wasfrom the beginning… and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— (1:1-2).
Jesus was the Eternal Word of God from before the beginning of all things. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God” (John 1:1-2).
Jesus was present at the creation of the universe. All things were made through him. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). “All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3).
Jesus is the LifeGiver. The eternal essential life of God has shown up in Jesus. The Gospel story and our salvation begin and end in Jesus. “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth…And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent” (Colossians 1:15-18).
Jesus is all God. He is big enough to carry our problems and forgive our sin.
JESUS ENTERED TIME (1:1-2).
*John was an eyewitness and an earwitness to Jesus’ humanity. He gives personal testimony to his time with the real man Jesus. Jesus was tangible and transformed John’s life. “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life--the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— (1:1-2).
The incarnation is the Eternal Word of God entering our world as the historical, promised Messiah (Christ). William Barclay says, “In Jesus Christ, eternity entered time.” “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
Jesus is human. He understands our situation. He can identify with us. “Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted” (Hebrews 2:17-18).
Jesus is all Man. He can identify with us in our struggles.
JESUS CAN BE KNOWN IN OUR TIME (1:3-4).
*Jesus is the author of life and gives us eternal life. To know Jesus is to know true life and full joy. We were created to have fellowship with each other and with Jesus Christ. God’s goal for us is that we love God and our neighbors. “That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete” (1:3-4).
*The basis of Christian fellowship is the sharedexperience of Jesus Christ as our Savior. Jesus Christ alone can give us eternal life. We can trust him right now and find life worth living. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Jesus invites us to join him in the life of eternal family fellowship.
INTRODUCTION: God wants us to experience joy in our lives. Jesus said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). Jesus wants us to live a full, abundant and joyful life. Joy is listed as one fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). The Apostle John lists joy as one of his purposes in writing his letter: “And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete” (1 John 1:4). So how can we have true joy in our lives?
FOCUS ON JESUS (1:1-2).
*We gather to make much of Jesus. John places Jesus at the center of his life and attention. We must have a personal relationship with Jesus to experience eternal life. That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— (1:1-2).
*We will experience fullness of joy when we put aside all obstacles and fix our eyes on Jesus. Therefore… let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross (Hebrews 12:1-2).
FELLOWSHIP WITH BELIEVERS (1:3).
*When we make much of Jesus with others who know him, we experience fellowship. The basis of Christian fellowship is faith in Jesus Christ. Fellowship is the shared life in the family of God. That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ (1:3).
FILL UP WITH JOY (1:4).
The fruit of fellowship is joy. Joy is a choice we make in Christ. “And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete” (1:4).
INTRODUCTION: We conclude our series today on “The Names of God in Genesis.” But we go to the Book of Acts at a time after the resurrection of Jesus and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the church. Peter and John go to the Temple and a lame man is healed in the name of Jesus. The man leaps up and praises God and people come running to see what the excitement is all about. They begin praising God in amazement. Peter tells them that the Jesus they crucified has risen from the dead, and the man was healed by the name and power of Jesus. While he is preaching, the authorities step in and arrest him. The elders ask, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders…let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well (Acts 4:7-8). Jesus has the name that is above every name. All authority andpower are in the name of Jesus
THERE IS HEALING IN THE NAME OF JESUS.
*The name of Jesus gives authority to heal and work miracles. The purpose of signs and wonders is to draw people to God. And he [the lame man] fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. And leaping up, he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God (Acts 3:5-8).
*Peter and John gave credit to Jesus for the healing and they demanded that the people repent of their sins and put their faith in Jesus. You killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. And his name—by faith in his name—has made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all…Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out (Acts 3:15-19).
*Peter and John were arrested for preaching the resurrection in the name of Jesus but many people believed in Jesus. And they arrested them… But many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand (Acts 4:3-4).
True healing draws people to Jesus.
THERE IS SALVATION IN THE NAME OF JESUS.
*Realizing that Peter and John were uneducated men, the authorities wanted to know by what power or authority they used to heal the man. Every spiritual or religious system operates under some authority. On the next day their rulers and elders and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem…And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” (Acts 4:5-8).
*Peter the coward now boldly proclaims that they operate under the name of Jesus Christ and that Jesus healed the man. Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well (Acts 4:8-10).
*The name Jesus means “salvation.” Jesus is the promised Savior. He is the only way to God. No other gods, religions, or systems can bring us to God. Peter said, “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
THERE IS BOLDNESS IN THE NAME OF JESUS.
*Jesus gives us boldness to speak the truth. Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. But seeing the man who was healed standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition (Acts 4:13-14).
*Jesus gives us the power to stand up for what is right. So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:18-20).
INTRODUCTION: Abraham experienced a dramatic rescue on Mt. Moriah. God intervened at the last second to provide a substitute sacrifice in place of Abraham’s son Isaac. Abraham called the place Jehovah Jireh; the Lord will provide. We have seen that names identify us and reveal who we are. In the Bible, God has names that reflect his nature, character, and power. God’s names describe God and draw us to worship him. We continue our series today on “The Names of God in Genesis.” Abraham’s test on Mt. Moriah gave him new insight into who God is. God is our Provider. God sees our need and shows up at just the right time to meet our need. Let’s look at this story in Genesis 22.
GOD PUTS US THROUGH A TESTINGPROCESS (Gen. 22:1-2).
*Life is probation, a time of testing. God places us on probation to test our character. God uses tests to confirm our faith and build our spiritual muscles. Adversity gives us new opportunity. By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac (Hebrews 11:17).
*God does not tempt us to do wrong, but he allows us to be tested. Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one (James 1:12-13).
*Trials prove our faith is genuine. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:6-7).
What adversity is your opportunity today?
GOD PREPARES US WITH HIS PROMISES (Gen. 22:3-8).
*We can overcome adversity because we have God’s promises to lean on. Abraham believed God would deliver Isaac based on God’s promise that all the nations on earth would be blessed through his offspring. Abraham was willing to believe God could even raise Isaac from the dead. By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back (Hebrews 11:17-19).
*God’s promises keep us on the right path and maintain our integrity. This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life (Ps. 119:50).
He has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire (2 Peter 1:4).
God’s promises strengthen us inwardly, so we can conquer outwardly.
GOD PRESERVES US WITH HIS PROVISION (Gen. 22:9-19).
*God provided a substitutesacrifice for Abraham. He rescued Isaac by having a ram die in his place. Abraham trusted God to be his provider. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided” (Gen. 22:13-14).
He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back (Heb. 11:19).
*God always provides a way of escape. He sees our need and shows up at just the right time. He is our provider and our deliverer. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it (1Cor. 10:13).
*God has provided a sacrifice for us as well. Jesus was crucified for us on the same mountain the ram was slain for Isaac. Jesus is the Lamb of God. John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29).
Have you accepted what Jesus did for you on the Cross?