02/24/13 Do You Really?

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Friday, March 1, 2013 Under: Sermon

Text: 1 John 5:1-5 (NKJV)

1 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. 4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith. 5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

Intro: Everyone believes in God, so they say! Or is it almost everyone. There are a few agnostics and atheist, but the rest of us claim to believe there is a God, right?

Most people claim to believe in God and claim to have some idea in their minds about what God is like. I am sure we would also agree people's beliefs and ideas differ. You’ve got your Baptist and their always right! Right? You’ve got Jews, Hindus, and Muslims… It is amazing the number of people in this world who just think differently about who God really is and what He means to them. Some would also agree it doesn’t really matter who you believe in as long as you believe. Who is right? Whose belief and idea of God is correct? One thing is sure: if God really exists, then it is of utmost importance that we be correct in what we believe and think about Him. Someday we shall all stand before Him and give an account to Him.

How can we tell if we believe in God, if our beliefs and concepts of God are accurate? How can we tell if we really believe in the only living and true God? This is the discussion in our text today. Are you born again, do you have a relationship with Jesus Christ? (REALLY?)

God would not have given His divine nature to a person who does not believe in Him. Therefore, if we have the divine nature of God, if we have been truly born again, then we believe in God, in the living and true God. But how can we tell if we have been born of God? There are three proofs.

Application: Do you really believe you have a relationship with Jesus Christ?

Do you really believe you have a relationship with Jesus Christ?

Proof 1: believing Jesus is the Christ: vs. 1 “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him.

The first proof of you really having a relationship with Christ; is understanding. Understanding who He is and why he came to live and die and rise the third day from the grave. Another part of understanding is realizing you’re a sinner and those sins separate you from God. “Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3:3

Do you really understand what it means to be born again? How many times have you heard someone say: “you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand” In the book of John chapter three Nicodemus was a religious man, a well learned man. He was probably looked upon as a rocket scientist. Let me ask the question again, because your lack of fully understanding this could keep you out of heaven. Do you really understand what it means to be born again? Nicodemus didn’t! He didn’t really get it.

The first proof reminds us you become a new creature: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)

You become a new creature in Christ; a person who is "born of God" loves God, and you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. This is the hard part of this proof! It shouldn’t be but seems to be, A person who loves God will love other believers as well. True believers love one another. There are no believers who do not love their brothers and sisters in Christ. How can we say this? Because a true believer has the nature of God, and God is love. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:34-35 (NKJV)

So the first proof is understanding. (Really)

Do you really believe you have a relationship with Jesus Christ?

2. Proof 2: obeying and keeping God’s Commandment: vs. 2-3

“By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.”

The second proof of you really having a relationship with Christ is obedience. The person who has a relationship with Christ keeps God's commandments. Do you really believe God? Keep His commandments. Here’s the good news! If you believe in what the scripture teach, there “not burdensome” Our obedience and love for God proves that we love the children of God.

There is no other way to show God that we love Him except by doing what He says. Some people feel that God's commandments are grievous, a real burden. They feel that the commandments of Scripture restrict them too much, and keep a person from the pleasures and possessions of the world. They feel that to be a Christian disallows a person from having fun and enjoying life. To them the demands of God are just too large a price to pay, that demanding all one is and has is too much to ask of a person. But the exact opposite is true: Scripture declares that God's commandments are not grievous. They are not too large a burden to carry. You just got too decide if you’re even going to try to pick it them up.

This second proof demands we pledge allegiance to God! As for me and my house we will serve the Lord and pledge our allegiance to the Lamb! What I mean is Cast all your cares upon Him He does care but He demands obedience. Jesus Christ never allows a trial or temptation to come upon a person beyond what the person can bear. Christ always provides the strength or the way to escape.

“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

God gives all true believers His Spirit, and the Spirit gives all the assurance, confidence, and security, and all the love, joy, and peace that one could ever need or want. The believer is filled with life and all the real and meaningful things of life. Therefore, the believer never thinks of God's commandments as being burdensome. They are a joy to him, for they bring abundant life to him. “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27

So the second proof is obeying. (Really)

Do you really believe you have a relationship with Jesus Christ?

3. Proof 3: conquering the world: vs. 4-5

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith. 5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”

The third proof of you really having a relationship with Christ is overcoming the world. The person who is born of God overcomes the world. The victory that overcomes the world is our faith. The person who overcomes the world is the person who believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

Who is it that really has a relationship with Christ? It is the person who believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. The world is overcome by faith. Victory is gained over the world by faith in Jesus Christ, by believing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Really!

This proof is telling me conquer the things of this world, because Christ is already victorious! Nothing can stop this love for Christ when we are conquerors. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:35-39

It means that God gives the believer victory over sin. It means that God gives the believer victory over death. It means that God gives the believer victory over judgment. “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” God gives the believer victory over fear and despair and fills him with love, joy, and peace. We have victory over Satan, he can’t enter in and allow us to make bad decisions. Keep that full armor of God on!

The new commandment is the mark of a true disciple. The distinguishing mark of a true believer is not the normal human love of neighbors, not even the love of brothers and sisters or of husband and wife. It is the spiritual and supernatural love of Jesus Himself that dwells within the life of the believer. By this love shall all men know that a person is a true disciple of the Lord.

"This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you" John 15:12

Conquering the world gives you Victory in Jesus: I heard an old, old story, how a Savior came from glory, How He gave his life on Calvary to save a wretch like me… O victory in Jesus, my Savior forever! He sought me and bo’t me with His redeeming blood. He loved me ere I knew Him, and all my love is due Him. DO YOU KNOW HIM! REALLY?

So the third proof is conquering the world. (Really)

The proof is in the pudding!

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