13 Confidence Before God 1 John 3:21-24

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Confidence Before God 1 John 3:21-24 Adapted from a Steve Shepherd sermon http://www.sermoncentral.com/sermons/confidence-before-god-steve-shepherd-sermon-on-confidence-148973.asp

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  • eh-an‘ hom-ol-og-eh'-o
  • 13 Confidence Before God 1 John 3:21-24

    1. 1. Confidence Before God 1 John 3:21-24<br />Adapted from a <br />Steve Shepherd sermon<br />http://www.sermoncentral.com/sermons/confidence-before-god-steve-shepherd-sermon-on-confidence-148973.asp<br />
    2. 2. 1 John 3:21 NET Dear friends, if our conscience does not condemn us, we have confidence in the presence of God, 22and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do the things that are pleasing to him.<br />
    3. 3. 23 Now this is his commandment: that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he gave us the commandment. 24 And the person who keeps his commandments resides in God, and God in him. Now by this we know that God resides in us: by the Spirit he has given us.<br />
    4. 4. A prosecuting attorney called his first witness, a grandmotherly, elderly woman, to the stand. He approached her and asked, "Mrs. Jones, do you know me?" She responded, "Why, yes, I do know you Mr. Williams. I’ve known you since you were a young boy. And frankly, you’ve been a big disappointment to me.<br />
    5. 5. You lie, you cheat on your wife, you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you’re a rising big shot when you haven’t the brains to realize you never will amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes, I know you."<br />
    6. 6. The lawyer was stunned. Not knowing what else to do he pointed across the room and asked, "Mrs. Williams, do you know the defense attorney?" She again replied, "Why, yes I do. I’ve known Mr. Bradley since he was a youngster, too. I used to baby-sit him for his parents. And he, too, has been a real disappointment to me. He’s lazy, bigoted, he has a drinking problem. <br />
    7. 7. The man can’t build a normal relationship with anyone and his law practice is one of the shoddiest in the entire state. Yes, I know him.”<br />At this point, the judge rapped the courtroom to silence and called both counselors to the bench. In a very quiet voice, he said with menace, "If either of you asks her if she knows me, you’ll be jailed for contempt!"<br />
    8. 8. As you well know, this is the not the norm in the court of law. Most people are very cautious about what they say before the judge and jury.Have you even been in a court of law? Ever had to stand before a judge and answer questions? How did you feel about it? Did it make you nervous? Of course, if you were not the defendant in the case you might have little to fear, unless you were appearing before JUDGE JUDY!<br />
    9. 9. If you ever thought it would be hard to stand before a judge, knowing that you were guilty as sin, just think how you would feel standing before God, knowing you are guilty of gross sin! How does that thought grab you? Hebrews 10:31 NET It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.<br />
    10. 10. I know of some people that should dread to fall into the hands of God, don’t you? But fear not, it is not you nor I. Why? Because our sins are covered by blood of the lamb.Romans 4:7 NET "Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered;8blessed is the one against whom the Lord will never count sin." (Psalm 32:1-2)<br />
    11. 11. Do you believe it? You should. <br />We who are in Christ should have confidence before God. <br />We must trust Him and His Word!Our text reveals what it means to have confidence in the presence of God.<br />1- We ask and God answers2- God speaks and we obey3- God sends and we receive<br />
    12. 12. WE ASK AND GOD ANSWERS<br />21Dear friends, if our conscience does not condemn us, we have confidence in the presence of God, 22 and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do the things that are pleasing to him.<br />
    13. 13. Confidence in the presence of Godmeans whatever we ask we receive from him. Have you received everything you’ve asked of God? Probably not everything. So what’s the deal? Why don’t we get everything that we ask for from God? The reason is because God rules and He has certain criteria for our asking. What are some of His guidelines for getting our prayers answered?<br />
    14. 14. We must ask in faith without doubting.<br />James 1:5 NET But if anyone is deficient in wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without reprimand, and it will be given to him. 6But he must ask in faith without doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed around by the wind.<br />
    15. 15. We askfor wisdomin faiththat the Lord will provide it. We must ask for everything in faith before He will provide. But if our faithis lacking or doubting, we can’t count on getting an answer from the Lord.I believe that “faith” and “faithfulness” go hand-in-hand. If we are not faithful to the Lord in worship and serving our faithis lacking and our prayers are in vain.<br />
    16. 16. Verizon wireless has long advertised, “Can you hear me now?” But we don’t have to ask God that question. We just need to believe He does hear us and that He will answer us in His good time.As Jesus stood before the tomb of Lazarus He prayed.<br />
    17. 17. John 11:41 NET So they took away the stone. Jesus looked upward and said, "Father, I thank you that you have listened to me. 42I knew that you always listen to me, but I said this for the sake of the crowd standing around here, that they may believe that you sent me."<br />
    18. 18. I knew that you always listen to me. Do you have that kind of faith? All that were present witnessed the Father answer Jesus’ prayer when Lazarus came out of that tomb alive. We must believe He answers and not doubt.We must ask unselfishly. James 4:3 NET you ask and do not receive because you ask wrongly, so you can spend it on your passions.<br />
    19. 19. Would we ever ask for something for ourselves? For our selfish passions? A young lady prayed, “Lord, I’m not asking for me, but could you send my mother a son-in-law.” <br />It doesn’t work that way. <br />Or “Lord, I don’t need a new car but my wife could use one.”<br />
    20. 20. We must ask in Jesus’ name.John 14:13 NET And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.14If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.<br /> <br />Why should we ask the Father in Jesus’ name? Because it doesn’t do any good to ask in anyone else’s name!<br />
    21. 21. Can you imagine praying, “Lord, would you please provide a job for me and I ask in Jack’s name”? I know you wouldn’t do that. And you most certainly wouldn’t ask in your own name. But could it be that whenever we don’t ask in His name that we are essentially asking in our name? <br />Neither my name, your name nor any human’s name carries the POWER of God the Son, Jesus’ name.<br />
    22. 22. We must ask in obedience.<br />1 John 3:21 NET Dear friends, if our conscience does not condemn us, we have confidence in the presence of God, 22and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do the things that are pleasing to him.<br />
    23. 23. Does this mean perfect obedience? No, because no human person perfectly obeys God.<br />1 John 1:8 NET If we say we do not bear the guilt of sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. <br />It means, however, that we must walk in obedience to Him as best we can, not the least we can or not just on Sunday.<br />
    24. 24. Have you ever seen employees who could work really hard & as fast as possible when they know the boss is coming? If the boss is not near, “while the cat’s away the mice will play!”Our boss is always near. We should work really hard. We should obey really fast and then perhaps He’d be quicker to answer our prayers.<br />
    25. 25. Confidence before God means that we ask and receive.Matthew 7:11 NET If you then, although you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!<br />
    26. 26. GOD SPEAKS AND WE OBEY<br />22 andwhatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do the things that are pleasing to him. 23 Now this is his commandment: that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he gave us the commandment. We are confident of our relationship with God because we are obedient children.<br />
    27. 27. The idea of keeping His commandmentsin verse 22 led John to speak specifically about what His commandmentis. Simply, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another.<br /> <br />Here, John does not refer to these two aspects of obedience as two commandments, but as one commandment. Grammatically, he may not be officially correct, but spiritually, he is right on.<br />
    28. 28. These two are one. When Jesus spoke of the greatest commandment, Matthew 22:37 NET Jesus said to him, " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' (Deu 6:5)38This is the first and greatest commandment. <br />He added another saying: 39The second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' (Lev 19:18) They are two commandments, but like one another.<br />
    29. 29. That we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ: Again, John seems to have quoted Jesus' idea from John 6:29 NET. Jesus replied, "This is the deed God requires — to believe in the one whom he sent."<br />The first part of His commandment and the greatest work we can do, is to believe on Jesus.<br />
    30. 30. This is not simply believing that Jesus is, or even believing that He did certain things such as die on a cross. To believe in the name of…Jesusmeans to put your belief in Jesus in the sense of trusting in Him, relying on Him, and clinging to Jesus. It isn't about intellectual knowledge or understanding, it is about trust.<br />
    31. 31. And love one another: The second part of His commandment is also a quoting of Jesus' idea from John 15:12 NET My commandment is this — to love one another just as I have loved you. The love of the brethren is not an option for some Christians; it is a commandment for all. (Guzik)<br />
    32. 32. A woman named Heather has a little Jack Russell Terrier mix named Heidi. She’s about three years old and follows Heather around the house like she is her mommy. It seems Heather can ask Heidi to do anything and she’ll do it. In fact, sometimes Heather doesn’t even have to speak to get her to do something. Some time ago Heidi had an ear infection and Heather had to put ear drops in one ear. <br />
    33. 33. All Heather did was look at Heidi and she came to her for those drops. <br />IT’S CALLED OBEDIENCE.When we have confidence in the presence of God, HE SPEAKS AND WE OBEY. <br />A part of our confidence in God is that we are willingly obedient. <br />
    34. 34. In his book God will Help Me, Walter G. Swanson refers to the life of Robert Dollar who passed away in 1932. He writes: “A keen-eyed young sea captain stood in the lobby of a large hotel in Hong Kong conversing with an Englishman. ‘So you’ve come to do business in the Orient? Well, step into the bar and tell me about your plans.’<br />
    35. 35. ‘I’m sorry,’ said the seaman, ‘but I never partake of alcoholic beverages.’ The man’s face broke into an unbelieving smile.<br />‘Entering the Oriental trade without having a Scotch and soda?’ ‘Yes, sir!’ ‘Do you expect to be successful without taking your friends into a tavern for a drink? If you do,’ he said with a cynical laugh, ‘God help you!’ The young man replied, ‘God WILL help me.’” And God did help him.<br />
    36. 36. Years later, Robert Dollar stood on the 10th floor of the building that bore his name near San Francisco Bay. He was watching the workmen unload cargo from his freighters that had come from all over the world. Having avoided the pitfalls of liquor, he had indeed been richly blessed by the Lord.<br />
    37. 37. I like this story. I like the idea that he said, “GOD WILL HELP ME.” That’s faith plus obedience. Robert Dollar believed God would help him because he was quick to honor God in what he thought was obedience in abstaining from drinking.That’s confidence in God and we need to get it. How? Walk with Him. Spend more time with the Lord through His Word, in prayer and praise.<br />
    38. 38. 1 John 3:21 NET Dear friends, if our conscience does not condemn us, we have confidence in the presence of God, <br />Does your heart ever condemn you? Probably. Sometimes we know that we are guilty of sin and we feel terrible about it. We may feel so bad about it that we actually condemn ourselves. We may think, “Oh no, I may go to hell for this sin.”<br />
    39. 39. Did you ever do that or feel that way? Please don’t. Please put your trust in Jesus and what He did for you. Nothing you do on your own will make it right. Christ made it right with God on the cross! And as we trust Him for our salvation in spite of our sinfulness, our faith will grow and our confidence before God will grow!The more we walk with Him, stay in His presence, the more our confidence and obedience will grow.<br />
    40. 40. If we do, and we will at times, fall into sin, an avenue of forgiveness has been prepared.1 John 1:9 NET But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous, forgiving us our sins and cleansing us from all unrighteousness.<br />Robertson’s Word Pictures gives us a view of the statement, “if we confess” (eanhomologōmen). Third-class condition again with ean and present active subjunctive of homologeō, “if we keep on confessing.”<br />
    41. 41. 1 John 1:9 RotherhamIf we are confessing our sins, faithful, is he and, righteous—that he should forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.<br />1 John 1:9 ISV If we make it our habit to confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us those sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.<br />Don’t these translations convey the idea of the need to confess our transgression when we find ourselves in sin?<br />
    42. 42. I’m reminded of King David, a man after God’s own heart, having to humble himself and confess his sins. GOD FORGAVE HIM!<br />I am also reminded of Peter’s denial of Jesus. Luke 22:61 NET Then the Lord turned and looked straight at Peter, and Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, "Before a rooster crows today, you will deny me three times." 62And he went outside and wept bitterly.<br />
    43. 43. We see here true repentance! Peter was very upset with himself! I believe while he wept bitterly he cried out to God for forgiveness, hence confessing his sins. The Scriptures indicate through Peter’s interaction with Jesus after His resurrection and his lifelong ministry he was forgiven.<br />
    44. 44. Though a Christian may be suffered to go astray - may fall into sin - yet he who should, from this example of Peter, think that he might, lawfully do it, or who should resolve to do it, thinking that he might, like Peter, weep and repent, would give evidence that he knew nothing of the grace of God. He that resolves to sin under the expectation of repenting hereafter “cannot be a Christian.” (Barnes)<br />
    45. 45. GOD SENDS AND WE RECEIVE<br />1 John 3:24 NET And the person who keeps his commandments resides in God, and God in him. Now by this we know that God resides in us: by the Spirit he has given us.<br /> <br />confidence in the presence of God in verse 21means that God sends and we receive. <br />
    46. 46. We in America often place a premium on material things. Like what? Like nice houses, fancy cars, expensive clothing, luxurious living, dining at fancy restaurants.These things are what most people value in life but are they the most valuable things in life?<br />
    47. 47. One time a young artist was very unhappy and dissatisfied with his painting, so he somehow was able to borrow the brush of a great painter. BUT THE BRUSH DIDN’T SEEM TO MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE IN HIS PAINTING. A friend suggested to him, "It is not the Master’s brush you need, BUT THE MASTER’S SPIRIT."<br />
    48. 48. COULD THIS BE OUR PROBLEM AS WELL? We want the Master’s material blessings but what we really need is His Spirit. We have been given His Spirit. How or when did this happen?Acts 2:38 NET Peter said to them, "Repent, and each one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.<br />
    49. 49. Acts 5:32 NET And we are witnesses of these events, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him."<br /> <br />Apparently, when we initially accepted Christ through faith, repentance and obedience in baptism we received God’s Spirit.<br />
    50. 50. GOD SENDS AND WE RECEIVE. <br />His Spirit is the greatest gift.The Holy Spirit is real but are we in touch with Him? Are we aware that Christ lives within us through His Spirit? Are we sensitive to Him, to His leading? Do we allow Him to take control or do we want control of our own lives? <br />
    51. 51. Someone said: “In many Christian circles the Holy Spirit is either neglected, forgotten, or misunderstood.” <br />Perhaps all three.The late Dr. A. W. Tozersaid, "If the Holy Spirit was withdrawn from the church today, 95% of what we do would go on and no one would know the difference.”Tozerwas saying that we operate most of the time or live without depending on God’s Spirit.<br />
    52. 52. One New Year's Day, in the Tournament of Roses parade, a beautiful float suddenly sputtered and quit. It was out of gas. The whole parade was held up until someone could get a can of gas. The amusing thing was this float represented the Standard Oil Company. With its vast oil resources, its truck was out of gas.<br />
    53. 53. This may well be true for many people who are Christians. We are supposed to be empowered by God’s Spirit and yet, we’ve “run out of gas” when it comes to living for Christ.<br />
    54. 54. A woman testified to the transformation in her life that had resulted through her experience in conversion. She declared, "I'm so glad I got religion. I have an uncle I used to hate so much, I vowed I'd never go to his funeral. But now, why, I'd be happy to go to it any time.“Once we receive the Holy Spirit a change takes place in our lives, but that’s not exactly the change the scripture speaks of.<br />
    55. 55. 2 Corinthians 5:17 NET So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away — look, what is new has come!<br /> <br />Galatians 5:16 NET But I say, live by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh.<br /> <br />This is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.<br />
    56. 56. God’s Spirit can increase our confidence in God if we pay attention to Him.Preacher Dwight L. Moody met a man one day and asked him in his abrupt fashion, “Are you a Christian?” The man stiffened up and said, “Well, what do you think?” Moody replied, “Not a red hot one.” That could probably be said about some of us also.<br />
    57. 57. We lack faith and we often lack confidence in the Lord. <br />How do we get it? <br />We listen to God’s Word. <br />We walk in obedience to Him. <br />We spend much time in His presence. The more we do, the more our confidence in Him will grow.<br />

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