A Compelling Conclusion - Part 2

March 1, 2019 Preacher: Gareth Franks Series: Letters of John - Knowing, Walking & Living the Truth

Topic: Foundations Scripture: 1 John 5:16–17

Home Group Study - Sermon Date: 1 March 2019

Text: 1 John 5:16-17

Opening Discussion: As a child, did you ever get to visit your parents’ office where they worked? Perhaps it was a ‘bring your child to work day’ or another official office function. How did that make you feel having such special access to your mother or fathers place of work?

Observation - What does God’s word say?

As God’s children, we have special access to Him, through the atonement of Jesus Christ. We don’t have to pray through anybody else. We don’t have to confess through anybody else. We don’t have to fellowship with God through anybody else. We can read our Bible, talk with the Lord and fellowship directly with God. The apostle John has spent much time, helping us understand that nothing can separate us from this privileged relationship we possess with God — it’s the reason he wrote this letter. From this assurance flows confidence in the believer’s relationship with Jesus and in what they know. John uses the word ‘know’ six times in verses 14 through 20. So what is it that those who are in Christ know? If we are in Christ, we know God hears us. Prayer is the way believers communicate with God. It’s conversation with the heavenly Father that helps submit one’s own will to his will. If we ask according to God’s will, he hears us and he hears our requests. This includes prayer for other people—especially a fellow believer in sin.

What are your observations from the passage below?  


  • Romans 8:12-39

Meaning - What does God’s word mean?


  • 1 John 5:13-17

We learned previously in v.13 and v.14 that as believers in Christ, we should have confidence in our prayers, because we have confidence in God. We know we have eternal life, that is a certainty, but we also need to have confidence that God answers our prayers. We have direct access to the throne of God. Verse 14 says, “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us." We are certain that we possess eternal life if we pass the tests. We are certain that we have the resources of God at our disposal by merely asking.

John’s purpose in these two verses (16, 17) is primarily to illustrate what may be prayed for with assurance that God will answer. As believers we have confidence that God will answer our prayers, if we pray carefully according to His will. The promise is if we pray for a person who is not committing a sin unto death, god will give life to him. But this promise does not apply to a person committing a sin unto death. The main subject John addresses in v16 & 17 is prayer - the type of request that can be made with the assurance that God will answer, and which he will not. In the context here, the reason why John does not encourage prayer for sin that leads to death is that it is not the type of request that can be made with assurance, or we can be sure will be granted by God

Application - How must I change?

  • Is there a Truth to be believed?

Read Romans 1:19–21 and Ephesians 4:18. How do these verses shed light on what John might have meant by “sin that leads to death”?

  • Is there an Attitude to be fostered?

What are we to do if we see a “brother committing a sin not leading to death” (1 John 5:16)? Read Galatians 6:1–2. How does this confirm what John says about how we handle a brother committing sin? What is the warning in Galatians?

  • Is there a Behavior to be changed?

If there are differences in the kinds of sin we commit, some sins being worse than others, how should this change the way we approach our brother or sister who is sinning?


As Christians, it’s not only important to pray for those living in sin, but to also pray for each other and with each other, as we pray for our loved ones.

The examples of Joshua, Elijah, and Jesus teach us that, when our prayers line up with God’s sovereign will, wonderful things will happen. There is no need to be intimidated by mountains, for they can move. The struggle we face is in getting our prayers lined up with God’s will, having our desires match His. And the only way to do that is to be abiding in Christ, so that whatever we ask, is in accordance with His heart. Harmony between God’s will and our own is the goal. We want exactly what He wants; nothing more, nothing less. And we don’t want anything that He doesn’t want. John Piper once said “God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him.”


Prayer Points:  

  1. Praise God that even though we live in a world of anxiety, doubt and fear, we can know for sure, with all joy, that we belong to Him, and He hears our prayers.
  2. Pray for NLC to joyfully pray for and desire God’s will above everything else.
  3. Pray for NLC to experience a greater level of confidence in God that will affect our daily life and prayer life.

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