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May 24, 2019 3:00 am
If you listen to people with us in the media are on public in general. And whenever they or even indicators for that matter when they talk about faith. Generally speaking they're really talking about you having faith in yourself or have faith in somebody else or having faith that things will be okay. Just the word faith is sort of banded about without really proper definition on understanding and even some churches teach that even faith in God is a blind faith. Not many years ago, a minister was talking to me one-on-one one of those ministers of those churches that teaches that and he basically said to me said I don't know if the Bible is true or not. I don't know if Jesus is real or not.
I don't know if the resurrection happened or not, but I just accepted all by faith. You know what my response was our brother be an atheist than have this kind of blind faith because my faith is anchored in the fact that God is what the Bible said, here's my faith is anchored in the fact that every word in his book is God breathed, my faith is anchored in the fact that Jesus was God of very God who became man of very man. My faith is anchored in the fact that for eyewitness accounts detail of the life, the crucifixion and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, far more than all the historical evidence by which we believe history that there were recording what they saw with their own eyes and heard with their own ears that my faith is anchored in the fact that I was wicked and lost in sin, but when I came and asked for his forgiveness.
He gave it to me and he forgave my sin and gave me the assurance of eternal life. My faith is anchored in the fact that before Christ came into my life. I was alienated I was aimless I was fearful and anxious about my eternal future. But Jesus gave me saving faith. My faith is anchored in the fact that whenever Satan all my own flesh. Tempt me to rebel against the living God.
Jesus gives me conquering faith victorious faith power to conquer temptation, listen to me, this faith is very real. This faith is tangible. This faith is practical.
This faith is reasonable. This faith is very sure this faith is authentic and the reason for that is because John said Jesus gives us conquering faith. I wanted to turn with me if you haven't already. One of my favorite verses in the Scripture first John 544 everyone born of God and only you know whether your born of God are not for everyone born of God overcomes the world.
This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.
Beloved. This is very different from the kind of faith that people talk about whether his faith in oneself or faith in others.
In fact, I was thinking about this and I thought about a man who used to work for me. He was really talented and we would travel on the road and and then he would introduce me as the man who really, in whose driving. He has no faith that I don't have faith in Michael's driving nonmonetary of that was many, many, many years ago.
The reason I'm saying that is because the grace of God in the process of sanctification. I have come a long way and I'm sure he was making this up but anyway I'm going to tell you about it. Anyway, he would get up and publicly speak and he would say Michael wanted me to have faith in his driving, but I cannot because the fact is, when we're in the car and I see the speedometer hitting 65 miles an hour I start singing. Nearer my God to the and he said they wanted goes to 75.
He said I start singing Neera still near and then when I see 85 on the speedometer I start singing this world is not my home anymore and at 95 miles an hour start singing Lord I'm coming home. And then when it goes over 100 miles an hour I start singing precious memories. This meant that's very different from the faith of John is talking about. I wanted to say that second part of the verse with me together. This is the victory that has overcome the world. Even your faith, we have been looking at the way John leading us into a progression in his official logical progression.
First, she told us how to receive life at its best.
Then he told us how to sustain then it told us how to grow in it. Then he told us how to overcome conflicted myths. Then he told us how to experience that lavish love of God.
Then he told us how to be empowered to overcome doubt. Then he told us how to develop healthy skepticism and then he showed us as we saw in the last message how to have an authentic self-esteem and today he tells us that faith is the key to victory.
In fact, more than that, he tells us that faith is the master key to victory. In fact John could be called rightly so. The victorious apostles. The overcoming apostles and I'll tell you why. In the book of Revelation. He mentions overcoming 12 times and then he speaks about overcoming six times in this official and that's because John understood that you and I cannot live life at its best, the experience of reality in life without knowing how to overcome without knowing how to be victorious without knowing how to be triumphant is a man what does he know about my problems. What does he know about my circumstances. He was living back in the first century. What does he know about the temptations of the 21st century well just let me give you a little bit of a understanding of the period in which he was writing when John wrote those words, there were no churches on every corner. When John wrote those words, there were no regular Christian radio and television 24 hours a day.
There were no Christian books by the truckload. There were no children, pastors and student pastors and specialized pastors and preachers doing none of that. In fact, the opposite is true. Persecution was raging Nero was lighting the fire of Rome emperors were killing Christians for entertainment. There were dipping them in part on lighting them up so that they might become Atlantans for them and for the games that were throwing them to hungry lions the Roman Empire from East to West was filled with hatred. It was filled with oppression. It was filled with turning against Christian and yet John said this is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Let's say that again this is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. This overcoming faith is more than a set of doctrine. This overcoming faith is more than just a set of beliefs. This overcoming faith is not church tradition. This overcoming faith is a daily experience. It is an experience of the love of Christ on a daily basis.
It's experienced of practicing the love of Christ in the midst of hatred and the contrast between what the Christians were teaching and what the society in Rome was teaching could not be more visible they could not be greater in fact wrong taught people to hate and limit hate to be a virtue distance.love Rome conquered by force, but Christians conquered by love. In fact wrong. Use the weapons of war and bloodshed but Christians use the weapons of the Spirit of God. Rome placed its faith in its army and the multitudes of God's Christians placed their faith in the God who became man so that he may make those who come to him receive and partake in the divine nature. And so when he penned those words.
He knew a lot more than you and I will never experience in 10 lifetimes and John is saying there can be no genuine faith that can be no conquering faith. There can be no victorious faith without believing and experiencing the fact that Jesus is the only true God is not one of many gods is the only true God is not just the sound of religion. He is the only true God. He is not just one of the great teachers of all times is the only true God, and therefore he says no way to heaven without him and this is the cornerstone John the setting for conquering faithful victorious faith. But once you receive that saving conquering faith.
When you become a Christian. That's only the beginning. Then you have to experience it on a daily basis in every area of your life.
I wanted to listen carefully place there is a saving faith, the faith by which will become born-again the faith by which we turn from being children of darkness. The children of light, then there is a dainty face which you have to experience on a daily basis, moment by moment.
Look at verse four. Again, whoever is born of God overcomes the world, and I give an illustration of a rich uncle who gave you his entire estate to see that inheritance become yours by virtue of relationship with the uncle and your eternal inheritance becomes yours by virtue of relationship with Jesus Christ. You did not work for you did not earn it. You didn't have to do a copy thinking thing for it and this will happen will salvation God gives it to you by virtue of relationship with Jesus Christ. You didn't have to do anything for you just received it medically continue the analogy and take it a little further, but suppose you take this vast inheritance with your rich uncle left you and you put it under the mattress or let's even suppose you put it in the bank and you leave and you continue to live in poverty.
You don't was draw a single dollar you never go to the bank and to exercise your rightful ownership just taste and Stacy and states that it's in your name you are you will have authority over thinking away from you but you not enjoying a dime of say that's foolishness, right.
This is the condition of most believers today. They are saved by faith.
They have received eternal inheritance, their salvation is sure, but very living in the author's virtual poverty. Why because they don't exercise, conquering faith, they don't live victoriously over sin, they don't live triumphantly over temptation. They don't make a withdrawal from the vast inheritance that became vers because of Jesus Christ and so they don't overcome the world.
What world is he talking about, let me break it down to where you are where I am. There are basically two worlds in which you are not facing a regular basis. That is the outside world that's outside of us, and there is the inside world. Did you know that you have worlds inside of you to have a big world right there inside of you had your heart when you see the world outside engulfed in hatred and selfishness in poverty and disease, and enmity and injustice.
What you do you shrug your shoulders and say well you know what can I do what can one person do believers and not bothered to draw some of the resources of their eternal inheritance and don't have to make a difference in the world.
Maximal draw from that conquering faith in God overcome take hold of the precious inheritance of faith that you have been given at salvation and growing overcome the world. But then that is the inside world is inside world and probably my greatest war is with the inside world.
This temptation to fall into of sitting back sulking and complaining and thinking you're very spiritual.
There is things that you reading and seeing and hearing that you have no business seeing a reading or hearing because corroding the soul, and you constantly give into these forces on the inside of you on the world inside of you. There is the temptation of worrying and fretting and anxiety about the future and what you do you give into those forces that on the inside of you. The world inside of you. There is temptation not to trust God to provide for you and your family and so you horrid his blessings and you give into these forces in the world inside of you in the world inside of you. There is a temptation of what John calls the lust of the iron, the last of the flesh and the pride of life. Instead of overcoming these forces instead of in the inside world. You giving to them and you say everybody is in the same boat. What can I do on this is to me.
He did not give you that atonement inheritance so you can sit back sulking solid listen to me you have been given a huge and incredible inheritance of faith to use it to overcome. You have been given a powerful weapon so that you might fight and win. You have been given an overcoming faith. This is the victory that overcomes the world exercise faith. Faith is like a muscle. If you don't use it is going to atrophy exercise that faith stretch that faith lived by that faith use that faith, trust in the God who is giving you that faith and go and do some conquering in Jesus name is a question, how do you go about exercising that conquering faith answer. Knowing how to connect God's resources to your situation. Knowing how to connect God's resources to your situation just like a machine, and it doesn't matter what machine you have expensive machines, fine looking machine. The latest model machine and it just sits there unplugged to the electricity is useless. This worthless. It looks good. You can brag about it. You can show it off but it if is not plugged to the source. It's not doing you any good.
Then John said if faith is the victory by which you overcome the world. And you better know in whom this faith is anchored. You better know in whom this faith is placed is not in your family connection is not in your relationships, and it is not in your business deals is not in your work is not in your family is not anywhere else… Here's what he gives you look at verses 6 to 12 very quickly and then summarize it for chapter 5, I was thinking about this.
You know how it is in the gangster movies and is a very popular phrase that this produces a right is used when there is a fight going on in and the guy would say you talking to you dealing with you not talk about -2 movies that's our. I love you anyway and John is saying Activision saying that is that you better know where you know who you're dealing with. You better know who is the one who is the source of that conquering faith and if you asked the average Christian. Do you know who the source of your power the source of your strength. You know, skull goddess, come on, give me a break. Do you know the source of victory lap you know who the source of conquering faith in your life intellectually use do we know he is God.
John said he is the one at whose baptism in the river Jordan in the water have an open and shut up and the father testified my beloved son in whom I am pleased that's the water is the one, though he was the only perfect sinless man that has ever lived, and yet he shed his blood on the cross of Calvary so that he may redeem everyone who would come to him and that is why he said I am the way the truth and the life and that's where the blood comes in. He is the one to whom heaven and earth testified there is no one like him.
There is no way to heaven without him there is no way to meaningful life apart from him. There is no salvation without him there can be no real peace and joy in your life apart from him. There is no true contentment in life apart from him. He is the same, the same one to whom John testified as an eyewitness account when he wrote his gospel according to John, and now he's in the epistles trying to fill in the gap is saying that this is how you apply him to you. This is how you appropriate his power on your daily living that he is the one who said I and the father are one, because he's the one who said I am the father are equal because he's the one who said he has the same power as the father that he is the bread of life that he is the good Shepherd that he is the resurrection on the life that he is the one who said in John chapter 17 verses two and three. Now this is eternal life, that they might know you the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent John is doing here because applying the gospel that he already walked. What John is saying in the epistle is merely explaining what he saw and he testified to from the lips of Jesus the only one in the world and history since creation, who was worshiped and received worship listen. Saving faith is important. It is very important and I'm not minimizing that all we exist so that people will come to know Jesus Christ, but it cannot stop there. You have to exercise victorious daily faith every single day, in every area of your life is like a marriage marriage begins, not ends when the marriage vows are taken when the covenant is made. Is this the beginning and so is eternal life. It begins by believing that only Jesus Christ can take you to heaven.
But then any joyful, happy, contented, growing marriage does not conclude that the wedding night. It only begins and so is a victorious faith. It doesn't end once you come to Jesus hello saving faith, conquering faith in eternal life.
These are not just just nebulous concepts. There is no ambiguity in them any more than they can be an ambiguity in marriage.
If I ask a person is are you married all the person can say yes or you can say no but if the processes are not really sure what I would worry about the person I would want helping.
And so if I ask you, do you have conquering faith you have eternal life. You can either say yes or no. Not sure means no if you're not sure it means no and you can be sure today by recognizing the authority of Jesus Christ and submitting to him as Lord, and you will immediately receive all the inheritance that the father has for him all of it, not just a part of it and then begin to spend your inheritance spend your inheritance wanted to spend it. Wanted to give it away. Why because it is inexhaustible because it is limitless because it is an abundant and the more you use it the more he gives you the more you use it the more he gives you.
So start spending and conquering the world outside in the world inside. It is your inheritance to have David in Jesus.
Thanks for listening to this message from Dr. Michael. You sat recently featured on leading the way. If you'd like to know more about us, please visit LTW.org that LTW.org