I was given the opportunity recently to preach a series to some students at a local church. I felt led to do a series on holiness. These are the notes from the first message in the series.
The text for this sermon comes from 1 John 2:1-6.
For the next few weeks we are going to explore the Bible to see what it says about holiness. We want to apply and understand holiness so that we can live a holy life and be the person that Jesus created us to be.
vs. 1 John is telling you Christian that you do not have to sin. You do not have to chase it. You do not have to pursue it. You do not have to seek it.
We live in a culture where it is popular to tell somebody to follow their heart. Now if you pay attention to what the Bible says, the heart is not just where your emotions reside. It is the center of you as a person. The Bible treats the words “heart,” as the control center for your life. The heart is where you initiate, create, it is where beliefs and habits are made. It is where your passions and desires, fears and doubts live. It is where your decisions are made.
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
(Proverbs 4:23 ESV)
Jeremiah 17 says that the heart is wicked and desperately sick. Why? The heart is ruined. The heart is affected by sin. All of your passions, actions, decisions, motives, thoughts, everything in your life is affected heavily by sin.
Do you see why it is both dangerous and bad advice to tell someone to follow their heart?
Back to John vs 1: You do not have to sin. But…. if you do sin, you are not without hope.
John says that Jesus is our advocate.
That means that when you eventually stand before God, if you are a Christian, God does not see the sin that was in you or the sin that you committed because you have been washed clean by the blood of Jesus.
vs. 2 Propitiation means that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross satisfies the wrath of God; and not just us but for everyone that Jesus calls to follow Him.
vs. 3-4 John is giving us the marks of a true Christian. A true disciple; a passionate follower of Jesus.
If you love Jesus, you will desire to know Him more and desire to do what He says.
Look at verse 4.
Whoever: This goes for ANYONE that says they know Jesus but does not do what Jesus says is a liar! There is no truth in him.
These people are everywhere.
- People go to church, sing some songs, listen to the preacher and memorize some verses but when they leave the building; there is no intentional living for Christ. There is no spending time with Jesus in His Word, there is no praying, there is no sharing the gospel, there is no giving or serving.
- People want to live disconnected. They want what happens on Sunday to stay in the church building and not overflow and affect the rest of the week.
- People go to conferences, concerts, and retreats and say some things and make some promises and come back home and they are back chasing the same sin and the same addictions.
These type of people are going to one day stand before Jesus and say: Matthew 7:24-27
They will look at Jesus and say:
- Did we not go to this retreat or conference?
- Did we not sing in the choir?
- Were we not a part of FCA?
- We went on mission trips.
- We coached UpWard.
- We taught VBS.
Jesus will say, “Get out of my sight.”
vs. 5 Whoever keeps His word…helps even us to know that we are in Jesus.
Wait Pastor Jimmy. These are all good things.
Yes they are…but Jesus is not talking about systems and methods and programs.
When John is talking about loving Jesus and keeping His commandments, he is talking about:
- Sharing the gospel
- Forgiving somebody that hurt you or asking forgiveness from someone you hurt
- Loving God with all your heart, soul and mind – your whole being
- Loving your neighbor as yourself
- That you do not lust after the the hottie sitting at the table next to you
- You don’t want what other people have.
verse 6 What you do for Jesus comes out of you being in Jesus.
A Christian does what they do for Jesus out of the overflow of passion and joy they have for Jesus.
You might be a little discouraged and think that is great if you were an older person in the church.
1 Timothy 4:12
Spiritual maturity is not determined by age!
You can talk to people about Jesus!
You can influence those that are before you and those that come after you.
Jesus changes the Why you do what you do.
You can be a leader in FCA why? Because you want to see people meet Jesus.
You can be a leader in VBS why? Because you want to see kids meet Jesus.
Jesus is not just Savior of your life. He is also wants to be Lord of your life.
He wants a real relationship with you. He wants you to know Him not just know about Him.
He wants to use you for His glory to accomplish His purposes that He created you to accomplish.
Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young!
Walk in Jesus!
Looking forward to worshiping with my FaithPoint family this Sunday!