REAL CHRISTIANITY

 

1 JOHN 5:1-5 - PAGE 1

WALKING OR RIDING – A.M. 2/20/05

REAL CHRISTIANITY #16

 

Ecclesiastes 10:7 - I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the earth.

 

Solomon evidently saw those who were servants, or who acted like servants, taking the place of royalty and riding on horses, when they should have been walking.

   

He also saw royalty, or those who acted like royalty, princes, walking next to the horse, just as servants would.

 

The ones who should be ruling were serving.

The ones who should be serving were ruling.

 

You may be asking, So what’s the point?

 

God has made the born-again Christian so he would act like royalty.  All too often, we act like servants.

 

For instance, God has given us our human bodies.

They are to be under the control of our spirits.

But so often we find our body in control, so that we give into its cravings and desires.

The spirit, which should be in control is forced to walk, while the body, which should be our servant, is riding.

 

The same principle is true for some in the area of wealth and material things. God made money and the things that money can buy to be our servants so we can have our needs met and help meet the needs of others. They should be our servants. But, in all too many cases wealth and material things control the person, instead of the person controlling the wealth and material things.

 

And one needn’t be rich to have this problem. Remember, Paul told Timothy that it is “the love of money” that is the root of all evil, and not money itself. The desire for wealth and riches can control and ride, while the human spirit ends up walking as a servant.

 

And what about our thought lives?

The born-again Christian is to control his thoughts.  The thoughts are to be servants and not rulers.

 

Philippians 4:8 - Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

 

But all too often, the Christian is a slave instead of a prince in his though life. Immoral thoughts, dirty thoughts, thoughts of bitterness and unforgiveness, thoughts of pride and arrogance, thoughts of worry, doubt and fear, thoughts of lust and other unclean thoughts control the mind. Instead of our minds riding in victory, they walk as servants to wrong thoughts.

 

I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the earth.

    

The question is, are you walking or riding?

Are you riding as a ruler, a prince in control of your body, your mind, and your desires? Or are you walking as a servant or slave to these things?

 

If you are a born again Christian, you are a child of God. God is the king of the universe. So, the moment you were born-again you became a prince! Romans 8:17

 

We are heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.  One day when Christ reigns, we will reign with Him. We are royalty! Romans 5:17

 

It says in this verse that the Christian shall reign in life.

When is life?  Life is right now!  Because you are royalty, a child of God, a joint heir with Christ, God has given you all you need to live a victorious life, a life of victory, a life of walking in control of your lusts, your body, your thoughts, and your actions right now!

   

You should be riding in victory as a prince, and not walking as a servant in defeat.

 How do we learn to ride in victory and not walk in defeat? 

 

Here the Apostle John is talking about love.  In this conversation about love he shows us how we can act like the royalty we are, and not walk as servants in slavery.

 

We see three aspects of love in this passage that will lead us to victory:

 

BELIEVING LOVE – Vs. 1

 

1 John 5:1 - Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God:

   

If you are a child of God there was a specific time that you were born into God’s family, whether you can remember the exact time of not.

 

John 1:12 - But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

 

The moment you received Jesus Christ as your Savior by believing on His name is the moment you became a child of God.  

Our text tells us that the one who is born of God is a “believer”.  He or she believes that Jesus is the “Christ” or the anointed one, or the Messiah.

 

Vs. 5 elaborates by telling us that the believer believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

 

1 John 5:5 - Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

    

Not only are we to believe what He did, die for our sins, be buried and rise again, but we are to believe who He is, that He is the Christ, the Son of God.

   

When a person is born into his or her family it is the beginning of a love affair.  The parents love the child and the child loves the parents when all is normal.

 

1 John 5:1 - Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.

 

and every one that loveth him that begat   

John is making an assumption. He is assuming that every person who has truly been born again, and become a child of God will love God who has given him or her life. 1 John 4:19

 

He first loved us. If we have truly believed, we will have at least some idea of what He has done for us, and we will love him.  

 

Most of us will concede that we need to love Him more.

The Christian should have as one of his goals, the command found in Deuteronomy 6:4-5

 

and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.

Please note that believing love does not only love God but loves the other children who have been born into the Family of God.

 

Sometimes when I look at our attitudes towards other Christians, what we say about other Christians, and what we do to other Christians, I wonder how much we really love other Christians.   

Believing love, love that comes with being born again, loves God, and also loves brothers and sisters in Christ, other Christians.

 

Believing love leads to:

OBEYING LOVE – Vss. 2-3

 

1 John 5:2 - By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.

 

Now John tells us how we can know that we love God’s children, our brothers and sisters, the way we should. He tells us that the one who loves his brother and sister in Christ is the one who loves God and keeps His commandments.

   

This makes sense. So many of God’s commands tell us how to go about loving our brothers and sisters. If we obey these commands we will love them.

 

An example is found in Ephesians 4:25-31 – If we obey these commands we will show our love the children of God.

 

1 John 5:3 - For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

 

You say that you love God, your Father.

You say that you love God, your Heavenly Parent?

Let me tell you, my friend, my children could say they loved me all they wanted when they lived at home, but it was when they obeyed me that they proved their love.   

Your goal as a believer should be to show your love for God by your obedience to God.

Now, don’t get bent out of shape, thinking, “How in the world can I keep every command from God?”

 

The end of verse 3 says and his commandments are not grievous. That is, they are not burdensome. They are not a burden designed to weigh you down.

 

Jesus said, My yoke is easy and my burden is light.

 

We need to remember that God is merciful and patient with us.  He doesn’t expect us to mature over night, but He does expect us to grow into that maturity.

 

2 Peter 3:18 - But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ…  We are called upon to grow in grace and knowledge. That would mean that we will grow in obedience also.

   

As God’s Word is preached to us, and as we study on our own, we will discover God’s commands for Christians. As we discover them, we then strive with God’s help to obey them. As God reveals areas of weakness and disobedience in our lives, we deal with them. Thank God, He doesn’t show them to us all at once.

 

WINNING LOVE – Vss. 4-5

Winning love is what makes obeying love easier.

God now shows us the main reason why keeping his commandments is not burdensome or grievous.

God has already made us victorious. He has already made us winners.

 

1 John 5:4 - For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

Beloved either the world, this old world system with all its sin and degradation is going to conquer you, or you are going to conquer the world. Either the world will serve you, or you will serve the world. You will either walk as a servant or ride as a prince!

 

Now here’s the great truth For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world:

It means “Whatsoever is born of God has overcome the world. It’s an accomplished fact! It’s been done! It’s complete!

 

Please turn to Romans 6.

 

Where was the greatest victory of all the ages won?

It was won at the cross, when Jesus died for sin. It was won at the tomb, when Jesus rose from the dead.

 

Satan is a defeated enemy. Christ won the victory at the cross.

 

Who died at Calvary? Jesus did, of course.

But I died at Calvary, you died at Calvary.

 

 Who rose from the tomb?

Jesus did, of course! But you rose from the tomb. Because you died with Him, you were buried with Him, you arose with Him! Believers’ baptism is a picture of these truths.

 

Romans 6:3-4 - Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? [4] Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

 

So, if this is all true, why does Satan, our defeated foe give us so much trouble?  It is simply because we have not appropriated the victory! and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

 

We simply need to trust the Lord by faith that we have the victory and start taking charge of sin in our lives.  We can start saying, “In Jesus name, I died to that sin. I will not do it.”

 

Romans 6:10-14 - For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. [11] Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. [12] Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. [13] Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from

the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. [14] For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

   

Let’s claim the victory by faith!

 

Romans 6:14 - For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

 

”In his book Forever Triumphant, F. J. Huegel told a story that came out of World War II. After General Jonathan Wainwright was captured by the Japanese, he was held prisoner in a Manchurian concentration camp. Cruelly treated, he became ‘a broken, crushed, hopeless starving man.” Finally the Japanese surrendered and the war ended. A United States Army Colonel was sent to the camp to announce personally to the general that Japan had been defeated, and that he was free and in command.

 

“After Wainright heard the news, he returned to his quarters and was confronted by some guards who began to mistreat him as they had done in the past. Wainwright, however with the news of the allied victory still fresh in his mind, declared with authority, ‘No, I am in command here! These are my orders.” Huegel observed that from that moment on, General Wainwright was in control.

 

Let me inform you my friend, the greatest victory has been won. Jesus Christ defeated the world, the flesh and the devil at the cross. Because you died with him, were buried with him, and rose with Him, as he is in charge, so are you. Claim the victory in the name of Jesus Christ. That is Winning love.

 

I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the earth.

Are you walking as a servant or riding as a prince?

 

BELIEVING LOVE

OBEYING LOVE

WINNING LOVE