Assurance - Series: First John

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Sunday’s Message — Assurance │ Scripture: 1 John 3:19-24; 4:13-19

Series: First John │ Pastor Adam Kohlstrom

 

John interweaves the three tests of knowing God: obedience to God (3:6-9, 24); love for one another (4:16,20-21; 3:10-11,16-18); belief in Jesus (3:23; 4:14-17). How are these three related? How is each essential? What is left if any one test is exclud-ed (e.g.: obedience and love but not belief? etc.)?

1 John 3:18-20. John has taught that “truth” is not something we believe, but something we “do” (1:6; 3:18). Aware of our failure to consistently live the “truth” and “love one another” (3:11) our hearts might condemn us and call into question whether we are actually “of the truth.” How does John’s teaching in 1:9 and 2:1-2 answer our condemning hearts?

1 John 3:19-21. In The Art of Turning: from Sin to Christ for a Joyfully Clear Conscience, Kevin DeYoung writes, “The con-science acts as both a prosecuting attorney and a defense attorney... [it] convicts of sin when we violate God’s law… [and] should also defend us against false allegations” (see Romans 2:15). Can you share about a time your conscience either convicted or defended you?

1 John 3:20-21. Kevin DeYoung writes in The Art of Turning: “[The Apostle Paul] does not even say that if his conscience is fine, everything must be good. [Paul] admits, ‘I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me’ [1 Corinthians 4:3-4].” Why can we not trust our conscience to be the final judge of our actions (cf. 1 Timothy 1:19, 4:2; Titus 1:5)? How can only God’s greatness and His perfect knowledge “reassure our heart before him” (3:19)?

1 John 3:19-20. What are some of the doubts that come in when your heart condemns you? Why might we be self-condemning when God has forgiven and is forgiving?

1 John 3:21. What do we do to clear our conscience (1 John 1:9; Acts 3:19; Rom. 13:5) and how does God clear our conscience (Hebrews 9:9,14; 10:22)?

1 John 3:24; 4:13. When our hearts accuse and condemn, how does the presence of the Spirit within reassure us we are God’s (Romans 8:14-15; Galatians 4:6; 2Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:13-14)?

Why does a clear conscience before God lead to boldness and confidence before God in prayer (3:21) and before the judg-ment (4:17-18)?

 

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