Lesson 10 - Having Assurance

Lesson 10 - Having Assurance

(1 John 5:14-21)

We know that we have eternal life because we believe in the Son of God, Jesus Christ.  "And this is the promise that He has promised us--eternal life."  1 John 2:25.  There is no doubt about it!

We also know that God hears our prayers.  Because of the shed blood of Christ on the cross of Calvary, we have access to the Father and the throne of grace.  See Hebrews 4:16; 10:19-23.  When we pray, we do so on Jesus' merit and in His name.  Prayer with our heavenly Father is a vital part of our walk with the Lord.

Our prayer life is an accurate indicator of our faith in God.  "And this is the confidence that we have in Him."  We pray to the extent that we believe the Lord hears and answers our prayers.  Prayerlessness is a result of faithlessness.  We pray because we believe "that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us."

Faith knows that "we have the petitions that we have asked of Him."  It is in believing that we receive.  Jesus said, "And all things, whatever you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive."  Matthew 21:22.

Verses 16 and 17 are not as clear as John's statement about answered prayer.  In these verses the apostle mentions two kinds of sins: "a sin which does not lead to death," and "a sin leading to death."  These sins are committed by a "brother."  Here we are dealing with a sinning Christian.

John is careful to say that "All unrighteousness is sin."  You'll remember that John previously wrote that sin is a transgression of the law.  1 John 3:4.  Paul stated, "The wages of sin is death."  Romans 6:23.

Bible scholars cannot agree to the meaning of 1 John 5:16, 17.  It is possible that John here is referring to physical death, not eternal separation from God.  For example, Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, lied about a contribution they had made in the apostolic church in Jerusalem.  This was a sin which led to their death.  See Acts 5:1-11.  Also, in the church at Corinth there were believers who participated in the Lord's supper in an unworthy manner.  Because of this many were weak and sick, and many died.  Read 1 Corinthians 11:27-30.

"I do not say that he should pray about that."  After expressing confidence in God hearing and answering prayer in verses 14 and 15, the recipients of the letter are not encouraged to pray regarding the brother who has committed a sin leading to death.  In the Old Testament there are incidents when the Lord told His servant not to pray.  When apostate Judah went into captivity, God said to Jeremiah, "Therefore do not pray for this people, nor lift up a cry or prayer for them, nor make intercession to Me; for I will not hear you."  Jeremiah 7:16.  Also, when the children of Israel were defeated at Ai, Joshua prayed on his face before God.  He was told, "Get up!"  There was sin in the camp, and it was punished by death.  Joshua 7:10-26.

We know that Christians are not immune to sin.  In this Bible study course we have made that point more than once.  In the remaining verses John mentions other things that we know, of which we have assurance.

  1. We know that those who have been born again do not practice sin.
  2. We know that those born of God keep themselves.
  3. We know that the wicked one does not touch the believer.
  4. We know that we are of God, and the whole world is under the sway of the devil.
  5. We know that we have come to know Him, the true God and eternal life.

God wants you to walk with Him in the full assurance of faith.  Hebrews 6:9-12.  Walk with God!

 
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