Homiletical Bridge – I John 5:14-21
I John 5:14-21
Prior Context: John had warned his readers about falling into the heresy of “Docetism”. He had written to them that this was a proclamation of Jesus – the same Jesus that he had touched, seen, heard, etc.
Immediate Context: John was finishing up his letter and was writing of the testimony of Jesus by men as well as God. His final words were a warning against idolatry to his readers.
14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
John begins by talking about the confidence that we have in Him [Jesus]. We can ask Him anything and we know that He hears us.
16 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 he should pray about that. 17 All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death.
With this confidence, we know that we have forgiveness of sins when we ask for it for ourselves and our brothers.
There is also a differentiation of sin – those that lead to death and those that do not. We know that we have forgiveness of sin, but how do we avoid sinning and being guilty of unrighteousness?
18 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 have the promise of safety with God and are safe from the evil one.
19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.
We have the promise of knowing God and, again, being safe the control and influence of the evil one.
20 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.
Here John wraps up his entire letter in one thought. We know that He has come, we know that He has given us understanding, we know that we know Him, and finally, we have the promise of God that we are in Him – the one true God and eternal life. With all of these promises, we have nothing to fear of slipping into the sin of idolatry and being under the influence of Satan. If we are in God then we are in the true God and eternal life.
21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.
Here we have the famous last words of John in this letter – keep yourselves from idols. This is the summation of this entire letter. Do not fall prey to the sin of idolatry. In other words, simply look to Christ and hold fast to His promises that you are safe in Him and you will avoid sin and receive eternal life.
M.O.T.: Christian Life
C.I.T.: John warns them to “guard themselves from idols”
Thesis: Idolatry is a serious sin that can be avoided by remembering the testimony of proclamation of Jesus by John and others.
Proposition: I want my hearers to remember the promises of Christ to them about who He is and worship Him only so as to avoid looking at others things for fulfillment and committing the sin of idolatry.
Probing Question: “What do we know of Christ that will help keep us from sin?”
Unifying Word: promises
Title: “Famous Last Words”
Outline: I. We have the promise of safety with Him (v. 18)
II. We have the promise of knowing Him (vs. 19-20)
III. We have the promise of being in Him (v. 20)
NG, LR, NCU, USAR
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