A Compelling Conclusion - Part 3

March 8, 2019 Preacher: Gareth Franks Series: Letters of John - Knowing, Walking & Living the Truth

Topic: Foundations, Christian Living Scripture: 1 John 5:14–21

Home Group Study - Sermon Date: 8 March 2019

Text: 1 John 5:18-21

Opening Discussion: Learning to drive can be a scary experience. Can you remember your first driving lesson? How confident were you the first time that you sat in the driver’s seat of a car? Share your story.

Observation - What does God’s word say?

Being confident in our relationship with God is the major concern of the apostle John in his first epistle. As we have learnt already he wants us to have confidence in our relationship with God. He wants us to know without a doubt that we are IN Christ. He wants us to have confidence in our salvation that was purchased by the blood of Christ and sealed by the Holy Spirit. As John summarizes his letter in verse 18-21, the apostle of love does not want us to be unsure of our relationship with God.

There are many who claim to be Christian but their lives are marked by unrepentant, persistent sin. Those whose lives are dominated by unrepentant sin cannot claim any assurance or enjoy any confidence that they will receive eternal life because their unrepentant sin reveals they are not born of God. Satan may lead believers astray, but the preserving power of Jesus ensures this will not be final for those with saving faith.

What are your observations from the passage below?  


  • Luke 22:31-34

Meaning - What does God’s word mean?


  • 1 John 5:18-21

Verses 18, 19, and 20 are in one sense just a review of what John has already said. John’s final words are a warning against adopting the errors of man-made religion. Those who are in Christ have been given understanding to know who is true, not just what is true. There are a lot of people setting themselves up against Jesus. There are a lot of competing truths out there, and John has already warned us in chapters 2 and 4 of the “antichrists.” He summarizes his message in 5:18-21, by emphasizing that because of what we know about our relationship with God, we must guard ourselves from idols.

Idolatry is making up your own god as a substitute for the one true God, who has revealed Himself in Jesus Christ. The false teachers were doing just that. They were offering a false god of speculation, not the one true God of revelation. Idolaters make up their own gods to suit their desires and preferences. They do not submit to the God who has revealed Himself in Jesus Christ through the Bible. Matthew Henry’s commentary on this section says; “The Son leads believers to the Father, and they are in the love and favour of both; in union with both, by the indwelling and working of the Holy Spirit. Happy are those to whom it is given to know that the Son of God is come, and to have a heart to trust in and rely on him that is true! May this be our privilege; we shall thus be kept from all idols and false doctrines, and from the idolatrous love of worldly objects, and be kept by the power of God, through faith, unto eternal salvation. To this living and true God, be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”

Application - How must I change?

  • Is there a Truth to be believed?

Why is it obvious that true believers do not live in sin? Can a person who claims to be born again, but who refuses to repent of known sin have any assurance of salvation?

  • Is there an Attitude to be fostered?

Do you ever struggle with the thought that Satan or sin will lead you permanently away from God? What do we learn about persevering through evil from 1 John 5:18-21?

  • Is there a Behavior to be changed?

Martin Luther described his reaction to the incarnation this way: “When I am told that God became man, I can follow the idea, but I just do not understand what it means. For what man, if left to his natural promptings, if he were God, would humble himself to lie in the feedbox of a donkey or to hang upon a cross?” What have you learned about the character of God through the incarnation? How has Jesus’ earthly life and death changed your position before God?

  • Read 2 Corinthians 8:9, Ephesians 2:1–10, and Jude 24


This epistle was written to challenge and strengthen the believer. John spoke much concerning a personal relationship with Christ, even providing marks by which we can know we are saved. Do you know Christ as your Savior? Are you confident of your salvation?

We are in the midst of difficult days and they will continue to get worse. If we are to overcome, we must be abiding in Christ. Our lives must be lived in light of His holy standard, keeping sin confessed, and engaging in continual prayer and we must guard ourselves from idols. John warns us not to allow other things, idols, to take God’s place in our hearts and lives.

Charles Spurgeon in a sermon he preached called “A Jealous God” had this to say about idolatry, “O ye sons of men, think not that God is blind. He can perceive the idols in your hearts; He understands what be the secret things that your souls lust after; He searches your heart, He tries your reins; beware lest He find you sacrificing to strange gods, for His anger will smoke against you, and His jealousy will be stirred. O ye that worship not God, the God of Israel, who give Him not dominion over your whole soul, and live not to His honor, repent ye of your idolatry, seek mercy through the blood of Jesus, and provoke not the Lord to jealousy anymore.” Where are you most tempted to idolatry? What measures are you taking to guard yourself against it?


Prayer Points:  

  1. Pray that God the Holy Spirit would continue to enlighten NLC of the truth of the gospel, so that we may discern error and flee from idols.
  2. Pray that even though we are in the midst of difficult days that may get worse, we will overcome by abiding in Christ.

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