ROBERT >> How’s your faith? This is so important. We live in a devil’s world where we’re constantly tempted and tried, and it’s faith that gets us through it all. It’s faith that empowers us to conquer sin in our life. It is faith that gives us hope. This is the victory that overcomes the world. You don’t have to live a defeated life. You don’t have to be overwhelmed, upset and worried and discouraged, no. Faith is the victory that overcomes the world. Read it with me from 1 John 5:4. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world, our faith. So, how can we know if we have this victorious faith?

>> Speaking the truth, speaking the truth, speaking the truth, speaking the truth in love.

ROBERT >> John teaches that if you have this faith, you know, that’s a key word in this section, you know five things. You see, victorious faith is not just a subjective feeling or a leap in the dark, as some put it; but it’s real. It’s real understanding. It’s real knowledge that comes from evidence and experience provided by God.

As the Bible says in Romans 10:17, “Now faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

What is it that John tells us we know?

Well, first of all, John tells us you know Jesus is the son of God. Let’s read verses 4 through 10. And as we read this passage, I want you to note that verse 7 was not a part of the original letter by John, but it’s found its way into the text much later, as is noted by all Bible scholars.

1 John chapter 5, beginning verse 4. “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world, our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is He who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear witness in heaven: The Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth: The Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son. He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son.”

Jesus Christ is the Son of God. This is the very thing denied by the false teachers of John’s day. The popular idea was that Jesus was merely a man on whom the Christ had come when Jesus was baptized. And on the cross, the Christ left Jesus, and so he died like any other human being. But John refutes this false teaching. And he refutes this false teaching by giving three witnesses to prove that Jesus is the Son of God.

Jesus came by water and blood, and the Spirit also bears witness. Let’s take a look at this and examine the witness for the fact that Jesus is the Son of God. The water refers to his baptism. You remember when John was baptizing and Jesus came to him, and John wanted to be baptized of Jesus, but he said, Permit it. He said allow me to be baptized. Though he had no sin and did not need forgiveness of his sins, still he wanted to set the example. And to fulfill all righteousness, John baptized him.

They both went down in the water, he baptized him, and they both came up out of the water. And it was on that occasion there that a voice spoke from heaven, This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. There at that moment Jesus was confirmed to be the Christ, the Son of God, confirmed by God right here at the beginning of his ministry.

The witness of the water. But there was also the witness of the blood. The blood refers to the cross. When on the cross, God witnessed to Jesus by the darkness over the land. It lasted for three hours. There was a great earthquake that opened up the graves in Jerusalem, and there was the rending of the temple veil from the top to the bottom. All of these were signs from God. You read about them in Matthew 27:45, verses 50 through 53.

No wonder the centurion who looked upon these things would cry out, “Truly this was the Son of God,” Matthew 27:54.

Jesus did not receive the Christ at his baptism and lose it at the cross. On both occasions he was shown to be the Son of God. He was no ordinary man. He was the Christ, God come in the flesh. But there was another witness, the Spirit.

Jesus was begotten in the virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit. You can read about it in Luke 1:35. That’s how he was conceived in her.

And then you remember the Spirit came upon him at his baptism, giving him miraculous power. Matthew 3:17 describes how the Spirit descended upon him as a dove.

In Acts 10:38 we see it’s by this power from God’s Holy Spirit that he was enabled to perform these tremendous miracles, the healings, and all of these things which Jesus did while on the earth to show that he was the Son of God. These miracles and signs by the power of the Holy Spirit confirmed his claims to be the Christ, the Son of God. Let me read this to you from John 20:30-31, where John explains why he wrote about the various signs that Jesus did while upon this earth.

John 20:30 says,”And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”

And so the Spirit bore witness to Christ not only in his conception in the virgin Mary, but also in the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit. Also, the Spirit was with Christ on the cross.

Hebrews 9:13-14 indicates this very thing. Here’s what it says, “For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

It was through the Holy Spirit that he offered himself as a sin offering for the world upon the cross of Calvary. And it was the Spirit of God that raised him from the dead, declaring him to be the Son of God, Romans 1:4.

In 1 Peter 3:18 it also indicates how the Spirit of God raised up Jesus from the dead.

1 Peter 3:18, the Bible says, For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but made alive by the Spirit. It was this same Holy Spirit that came upon the apostles, who would lay their hands on members of the church and reveal and confirm the message of Jesus Christ, the Son of God with miraculous power. You might remember in John 14:26, before going to the cross, Jesus promised the apostles the Holy Spirit, that he would guide them into all truth; in John 16:13, that he would bring to their remembrance all the things that he had spoken unto them. In Hebrews 2:3-4 we read about this work of revealing and confirming by the power of the Holy Spirit. Hebrews 2:3-4, How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will? And so the word of God and the claims of Jesus Christ have been revealed and confirmed to us by the power of the Holy Spirit. We have this preserved in the Bible for us to this very day. Remember that the law required two or three witnesses for a matter to be settled, Deuteronomy 19:15. That same principle is true concerning the word of God, that everything’s established by two or three witnesses, as Jesus said in Matthew chapter 18. The Father witnessed at the baptism and at the cross; the Spirit from Jesus’ birth, throughout his ministry, in his resurrection, through the church of the first century, and throughout every generation by the Bible. The Spirit, the water, and the blood all agree. They settle the matter. You know Jesus is the Son of God. In our courts of law, we still receive the witness of men to settle disputes and judge individuals.

Why should we reject the witness of God?

People say, I wish I could have faith; but everybody lives by faith. We trust the doctor, the pharmacist, the cook in the restaurant, the fellow in the lane next to us on the highway.

Why can we not trust God?

And not to trust him is to make him a liar. Jesus is the Son of God. This is the faith that overcomes the world.

But let’s notice something else that we can know from 1 John.

1 John 5:11-13 tells us that you know you have eternal life. Here’s what John writes, “And this is the testimony: That God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; and he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.”

You have it in promise. Compare Joshua 6:2. “See, I have given Jericho into your hand.”

That’s what God told Joshua. But they had not yet received Jericho, but it was as good as theirs because God had promised it.

And in Titus 1:2 the Bible says that “we are in hope of eternal life, which God who cannot lie promised before time began.”

We have God’s word, his assurance of eternal life. You have it as a gift from God.

According to Romans 6:23, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”

None of us deserve it. “We’ve all sinned and fall short of the glory of God” according to Romans 3:23.

We certainly cannot earn it. As Jesus pointed out in Luke 17:10, when we’ve done all that we’re commanded to do, we’re but unprofitable servants. No, it’s God’s gift. By grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast. You have it, eternal life, in God’s son Jesus Christ.

“There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit,” Romans 8:1.

“We’re baptized into Christ,”

Romans 6:3,

Galatians 3:26-27. “ We’re buried with him by baptism and raised with Him through faith in the working of God who raised Him from the dead.”

If we lose our faith in Christ and willfully sin against him, we’re no longer in Christ, and we’ve lost that promise of eternal life. God help us never to forfeit his grace in our disobedience, as the Galatians in chapter 5 and verse 4 who fell away from the grace of God,

as the Hebrew writer warned us in chapter 10, verse 26 and 27, “If we sin willfully, there remains no more a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment and fierceness of fire.”

John wants us to have assurance, to know we are saved. Not, well, I hope I go to heaven, or, I wonder if I’m going to make it; but I know I have eternal life. That’s what he gave us. That’s why he gave us this letter, to give those of us who believe the assurance of eternal life and to encourage us to continue to keep the faith so that we do not lose that assurance.

We’ve been learning from 1 John how to stay in Christ, stay connected to God. And so we should know whether we’re passing the test and can claim that assurance. This is the faith that overcomes the world.

There is a third thing that John mentions that we can know. You know your prayers are heard and answered. Look at 1 John 5:14-17. “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death. I do not say that we should pray about that. All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death.”

What a promise. Don’t miss the condition. If we ask anything according to his will. There’s the key.

Prayer’s not about what we want, but what God wills.

As James said in chapter 4 verse 2 and 3, “We have not because we ask not, and we have not ecause we ask amiss, that we may spend it in our pleasures.”

“In prayer, we’re seeking God’s will because we trust him as a father who wants to give us good gifts, Matthew 7:11;

“as one who promised to work out all things for good to those that love Him and are called according to His purpose,” Romans 8:28;

as one who is able to hear our requests and grant us that peace that passes understanding,

Philippians 4:6-7. Peter said, “Cast all your cares upon Him, because He cares for you.”

This is the faith that overcomes the world. And John illustrates this in verse 16 and 17 when he speaks of the sin leading to death and the sin not leading to death. You can see it when a Christian soul has once again become lost in sin, as we read of those in 2 Peter 2, got entangled in the world once again, and their latter state was worst than the first.

Oh, we cannot expect God to save those in that condition, but only pray that they’ll one day turn back to the Lord before it’s too late.

On the other hand, we can pray for the forgiveness of those Christians who come back in penitence, confessing their sins, and know that God will forgive them.

“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.

But then there’s a fourth thing John mentions here in verse 18 and verse 19. You know you keep yourself from sin. He says,” We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.”

We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. We are kept by God.

We must also keep ourselves, 1 Peter 1:5, Jude 1, Jude 21, Jude 24. Keep yourself, he says, as we are kept by God. You’re a child of God, not the devil. You stay away from sin and the devil. You submit to God, not the devil. This is victorious faith.

Finally, John tells us that we can know the true God. Here he says in verse 20 and 21, “And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen. An idol is a lie.”

Romans 1:25, some have exchanged the truth of God for a lie. Idols are just a lifeless, useless, empty substitute for the real thing.

As Paul said in 1 Corinthians 8:4,”We know that an idol is nothing in the world, and there’s no other God but one.”

You say you don’t worship an idol?

Covetousness is idolatry. According to Colossians 3:5, when we put our desires before the true and living God, that’s idolatry. That’s not living in reality.

Jesus came so we could know the true and living God.

John 1:14 tells us that, “He became flesh and He dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. Verse 18 says, No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son who was in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.”

Yes, Jesus Christ is the true God, he’s the real God. This is victorious faith.

So how’s your faith today?

Do you know Jesus is the Son of God, that you have eternal life, that your prayers are heard and answered, that you keep yourself from sin, that your God is the true God?

How you answer will determine your connection with God. If you’ve never made that connection, respond in faith to save your soul today, turning from your sin, confessing Jesus as the Son of God, and be being baptized into Christ, trusting him for your salvation.

If you’ve broken that connection, come back to God, come back to his church. Let us know here at The Truth In Love how we can help you towards heaven today.

SINGING>> Soon we’ll come to the end of life’s journey,
and perhaps we’ll never meet anymore till we gather in heaven’s bright city,
far away on that beautiful shore.
If we never meet again this side of heaven
as we struggle through this world and its woe,
there’s another meeting place somewhere in heaven by the side of the river of life,
where the charming roses bloom forever,
and where separations come no more.
If we never meet again this side of heaven,
I will meet you on that beautiful shore.
Oh they say we shall meet by the river where no storm clouds ever darken the sky,
and they say we’ll be happy in heaven in the wonderful sweet by and by.
If we never meet again this side of heaven as we struggle through this world and its woe,
there’s another meeting place somewhere in heaven by the side of the river of life,
where the charming roses bloom forever,
and where separations come no more.
If we never meet again this side of heaven,
I will meet you on that beautiful shore.

SINGING>> Face to face with Christ my savior, face to face what will it be when with rapture I behold him,
Jesus Christ who died for me?
Face to face shall I behold him,
far beyond the starry sky.
Face to face in all his glory I shall see him by and by.
Only faintly now I see him,
with a darkening veil between.
But a blessed day is coming when his glory shall be seen.
Face to face shall I behold him,
far beyond the starry sky.
Face to face in all his glory
I shall see him by and by.
Face to face, oh blissful moment!
Face to face to see and know;
face to face with my redeemer,
Jesus Christ who loves me so.
Face to face shall I behold him,
far beyond the starry sky.
Face to face in all his glory,
I shall see him by and by.

ROBERT >> I hope that you found today’s lesson helpful. And to help you in your continued study, we’d like to offer you a free copy of today’s lesson. Thankfully, members of churches of Christ make these materials available to our viewers absolutely free of charge.

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SINGING>> Unto the hills around do I lift up my longing eyes.
Oh whence for me shall my salvation come, from whence arise?
From God the Lord doth come my certain aid,
from God the Lord whom heaven and earth hath made.
From every evil shall he keep thy soul, from every sin.
Jehovah shall preserve thy going out, thy coming in.
Above thee watching, he whom we adore shall keep thee henceforth,
yea for evermore.

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