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Posted By Nan

1 John 5:14-15
These two verses are linked to verse 13 in being about the confidence we have in our salvation through Jesus. In these two verses John reminds his readers to have confidence in prayer.
According to John, we can ask for anything in prayer. Before anyone gets too excited about asking God for permission to do whatever he/she wants, he qualifies it. We must pray according to God’s will.
I have seen many people over the years become paralysed in prayer because they do not know what God’s will is. They become too frightened to pray because they are afraid of not praying in God’s will. I believe praying in God’s will is not as hard as people make it out to be. All those worriers achieve is to paralyse their prayer lives. We need to have the confidence that we are more able to pray in God’s will than we realise, and if we don’t, then the worst that will happen is that God will not answer the prayer. God will not condemn us for praying something not in accordance with His will. He knows how hard it is for us to get it right so pray anyway. When we don’t pray in God’s will, He reveals it to us in time.
If we look in the Bible we see that we must pray in faith (Mark 11:24). We must pray in the name of Jesus (John 14:14). We must abide in Christ (John 15:7). So what does abiding in Christ mean? It means we know and believe in Jesus’ words. We must also forgive those who we hold anything against (Mark 11:25). We must be obedient (1 John 3:22). We also must not request something that is seeking personal gratification (James 4:3). A good rule of thumb is to think about what Jesus’ instructed in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), the ten commandments (Exodus 20:1-17) and what is often referred to as the Jesus Creed: “The most important [commandment],” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and will all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31 Amplified – taken from Deuteronomy 6:4-6).
So pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17), as much in God’s will as you can and have the confidence that God will answer your prayers. He may not answer it today, or tomorrow, but if it is prayed in His will He will answer it. I have heard it said that God answers our prayers “Yes”, or “No” or “Not yet”. It is all about His perfect timing.

 
Posted By Nan

1 John 5:13
“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” NIV
The gospel written by John is the one most widely recommended to people wanting to know more about Jesus, either to find faith in Him or to receive early instruction in a newly found faith. When John wrote his letters however, he wrote not to new believers or those seeking but to those who already believed. He wanted them to be reaffirmed in their faith and sure of what they believed and what Jesus offered to them. This verse marks the start of the conclusion of the letter and he starts it with a reminder that he wrote this letter to those who believe in the name of the Son of God to reassure them they have eternal life.
There were so many people peddling their version of the story of Jesus, trying to corrupt the true faith in Jesus, that believers were often left confused and unsure of where they actually stood with God. Here John is at pains to tell them that if they believe in the name of the Son of God they have eternal life. Believing in the name of Jesus is another way of saying they believe in all of Jesus, in everything His name stands for. In 3:23 John writes:
“And this is His command: to believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as He commanded us”.
We are also to believe that our faith is in the Son of God, not just some man, as some antichrists suggested, but in the Son of God, Jesus, our Saviour.
It was often remarked that the early Protestants struggled to believe they were saved, as confusion reigned about what salvation meant. People were reading the Bible and attempting to understand it. Shame they didn’t read this letter of John.
We have confidence that we have eternal life because we believe in the name of the Son of God. We do not have to jump through any hoops, or do a prescribed amount of work or adhere to some weird cultural practice. We just have to believe and act out that belief in our lives, so that we can grow in our faith and knowledge of Jesus. As we grow in that faith and knowledge, our own self seeking ways and pride are replaced by a stronger desire to serve Jesus and put His needs first. Our delight is increasingly turned to spending time with Our Saviour. That is the joy and confidence of the believer. We have eternal life because we believe in Jesus.
“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” NIV

 
Posted By Nan

1 John 5:6-12
John’s primary purpose in writing this letter was to ensure his readers had the right view of Jesus. Here, as the letter draws to an end, John reminds us of that testimony that establishes who Jesus is so we may have a right view of Him.
The first thing he emphasises is that Jesus came by water (His baptism) and blood (His death). Remember how at his baptism there was heard the heavenly voice saying “ … You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” (Luke 22b NIV Also see Matthew 3:17). At His baptism Jesus entered into His life’s work, however there were heretics, such as the Gnostics, who believed that the divine Christ only came on Jesus at that point and left before His death. John’s answer to this is to emphasise the water and the blood. The water and the blood are two inseparable facts about Jesus. In addition, the Holy Spirit testifies continuously to the water and the blood. John emphasises the Spirit’s fitness to testify to this as the Spirit is truth (see John 14:6). This triple earthly witness is evidence of the one great act of God in Christ for our salvation.
In verse 9, John reminds us of the trust we have for each other, even though we are all capable of betrayal. If we can accept man’s testimony, when man is inherently untrustworthy, then can we not more accept the testimony of God who is totally trustworthy? And if we don’t accept God’s testimony when we accept man’s testimony, why is this?
If we trust and believe in Jesus as God’s Son then the testimony of truth about Jesus indwells our hearts. As far as John is concerned, to believe in Jesus is to believe in God because Jesus is God incarnate. If a person says they believe in God but do not believe in Jesus then they are a liar because this person does not know God. In fact they have a wrong view of God and do not have the truth of God in them.
The testimony John wants us to understand is that God has given us eternal life through His Son Jesus. Eternal life does not exist outside of faith in Jesus. To have eternal life is to live in Jesus and to have Jesus live in us.
“He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” v12 NIV

 
Posted By Nan

1 John 5:5
The 1 has been missing from the front of recent blogs. I have of course been referring to 1 John in my blog. I am sorry if this has been confusing.
Sorry is an interesting word. So often today people will say they “regret”. It seems to be tied up the idea that saying sorry admits liability. That is so ridiculous. If you talk to a bereaved friend say “I am sorry”, you are not admitting liability in the death! Even if you have been involved in an accident and apologise to the other person, that is not admitting liability. What has happened to us as people if we cannot say sorry? Instead we say “regret”. What does that mean? Do we “regret” being in the wrong place at the wrong time? Do we “regret” not being able to sneak away so no one noticed we were involved? Do we “regret” that the other person wants answers? When someone offers their “deep regret” they are refusing to take responsibility for their actions. They are not sorry, they are just regretful at being caught. Saying “regret” is something Jesus would never do. Be mindful, if you love Jesus and you want to express that love by doing all you can to please Him, that you don’t use “regret” instead of “sorry”.
Last blog I talked about 1 John 5:1-5 and today I am revisiting verse 5.
“Who is it that overcomes the world?
Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” NIV
So what does this mean? Well it is pretty straightforward. We are overcomers, we have the victory in this world, over the world. We have this victory because we believe that Jesus is the Son of God. We believe the truth.
We live at a time where many great racist attitudes of the past are being changed. Instead of those in the predominately white countries based on Western European culture looking down on the rest of the world, we are changing to see others are being our equals. We are learning to celebrate difference, rather than fear and deny it. That is a good thing. What is not a good thing is that in our desire to be seen not to discriminate against others we rush to water down our own faith. We don’t know how to live with the right of another person to have their own beliefs while adhering to the truth of Jesus. The truth that there is only one way to God, through Jesus. Here in verse 5 John is saying exactly that. The overcomers in this world are those who believe in God. By believing in God, they believe in the Son of God. Jesus Himself stated in John 14:6 “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” NIV. In the past month I have heard two professed Christians tell me that they “don’t put a name to that divine presence” because they think it discriminates against others and that “that divine presence is there for everyone in whatever way they worship and whatever they call the presence, be it Buddha, God or anything else”.
These statements are so untrue. Jesus said no one can come to the Father except through Him. If He said then it is true. But these same people told me that “the Bible is just a heap of rubbish written by self-interested people, just like today’s church”. If you want to deny the word of God, what better way to do that than to debunk the Bible? Sadly, many in the church so misrepresent God that the bad press from that allows people to use arguments like that. When people in churches misrepresent the word of God, it is easy to suggest that earlier generations misrepresented the word of God when writing the books of the Bible.
We as followers of Jesus have a responsibility to NOT misrepresent God. We will be judged on how we represented God, how we shone our light into the dark world.
Love all people, accept and respect the right of others to have their own faith. Doing that doesn’t mean they are right, any more than saying you are sorry means you are liable. Accept other people, love them, and pray they may see the Truth in God and may come to accept Jesus as their Saviour.

 
Posted By Nan

John 5:1-5
In the closing verses of Chapter 4, John covered our love relationship with God. We are to love one another, live in love and perfect love. Love is all about our relationship to God and love in God is the victory that is in Jesus Christ. As we saw in 4:16 we have faith in the love God has for us. This is the foundation of our faith relationship with God. Without that faith in His love we cannot see the love in the cross and resurrection of Jesus. Without that faith in His love we cannot accept God’s love for us in sending Jesus to die for our sins. Without that faith in His love we cannot lead a life as a follower of Jesus.
In The Amplified Bible 1 John 5:1 reads as follows: “Everyone who believes (adheres to, trusts, and relies on the fact) that Jesus is the Christ (the Messiah) and is a born-again child of God; and everyone who loves the Father also loves the one born of Him (His offspring).”
It is our faith that trusts that Jesus is the Christ. We know this, not because of our own belief, but because God has given that truth to us (1 Corinthians 12:3). But there is more to this divine love. We love God and we love Jesus, but we also love those born of God. In other words, we love all believers because we are all born-again in the Spirit, born of God.
Verse two leads into this. Instead of the perspective he gave in 4:17-21 where we demonstrate our love for God by loving others, this looks instead at the fact that we love others born of God because we love God. Because we love God we desire to please Him by keeping his commands and doing His will.
This is affirmed in verse 3. He states that we show love by doing what we know will please the one we love. In this case, the one we love is God. Because of our love for Him, no matter how hard it is to carry out his commands, they are not a burden because carrying them out leads to delight.
What more can this discussion lead to than victory? We stand in the victory that is in Jesus, won in the past on the cross. In our belief in Jesus as the Son of God, we stand in victory over the world. So love leads to faith and leads to victory over the world. What a beautiful way to live our lives in Jesus.

 


 
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Nan
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