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Friday, 2 May 2014

Satisfaction in Jesus. 1 John 2:28-3:11

The Apostle John says:

And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practises lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practises righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

Love One Another

For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.

English Standard Version Anglicized (ESVUK)

Before we look at our subject it is right to lay the foundation of John's purpose for writing his letter. First read 1 John 1:1-4:

The Word of Life

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life; the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.

English Standard Version Anglicized (ESVUK)


John is writing his letter in order to make our joy complete. The way that he goes about his task is to teach that Jesus is the Word of Life and that true life is found in Him alone. He intends his readers to find answers to life's vital questions, therefore it is right for us to address the following questions from the passage that we are considering:

  • What is complete joy?
  • How do we gain complete satisfaction?
  • Do you have complete satisfaction?

The simple answer to these three questions is that we find complete joy when we are living in the light of God! That is the evidence of being in a real relationship with God and also with God's people!

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.”
1 John 1:7

Living in the light of who God is therefore brings:

  1. Satisfaction in Jesus.
  2. Satisfaction in the church.
We will not consider satisfaction in the church on this occasion (later) but will concentrate on what it means to have satisfaction in Jesus.

Bob Dylan sang these words:

How many times have you heard someone say
If I had his money I'd do things my way
Hmm, but little they know
Hmm, it's so hard to find
One rich man in ten with a satisfied mind.

Hmm, once I was wadding in fortune and fame
Everything that I dreamed of to get a start in life's game
But suddenly it happened
Hmm, I lost every dime
But I'm richer by far with a satisfied mind.

Hmm, when my life is over and my time has run out
My friends and my love ones
I'll leave there ain't no doubt
But one thing for certain
When it comes my time
I'll leave this old world with a satisfied mind.

I am not too sure whether Bob Dylan fully understands what it means to have a fully satisfied mind but he sang the song not long after he claimed to have become a Christian. That is really an issue between him and God but the words that he sang are nonetheless true.
My question is:
Do you have a satisfied mind?
John is teaching in our passage what it means to have a satisfied mind. In order for that to be accomplished we must live in :

  1. A continuing relationship.
  2. A confident relationship.
  3. A complete relationship.

A continuing relationship:

In the ESV we are told to abide in Him where the NIV says to continue in Him. Both translations are good but the ESV and the AV by using abide seems to have the better feel to what John is saying throughout his letter.
We are to abide in Him; live in Him; live for Him and through Him it is an ongoing or continuing situation, a continuum right through life and into eternity. Christians Jesus is our life!

How is it therefore possible to live in Jesus?

John's instruction is simply to do it. We are to work at it, to make every effort to live in a right relationship with God every single moment of every day. To have a completely satisfied mind requires EFFORT! Even in difficult times.

It may merely be a money making exercise when a singer sings such songs. It is poetic and interesting to the buying public to sing of being satisfied even when losing earnings especially when you are a multimillionaire! But it can still be true and for the true Christian it must be true.

Do you have a satisfied mind?

How do we become satisfied with all that we are in Christ Jesus? John tells us that it is made possible by reflection:
In the first part of chapter 3 verse 1 John tells us to reflect on God and what He has done. We are to reflect upon these things:
  • Look at what he has given to us: Love.
  • Look at what He has done for us: Adoption.
  • Look at what we have become: Children of God. (verse 2a)
  • Look at what we will be: Continuing; eternal life is secured. (verse 2b)
  • Look at what we will be like: We will be like Him. (verse 2c)
  • Look at who we will be with: Him. (verse 2d)
  • look at how He will see us: Pure. (verse 3)

William Dyer who lived during the 17th century wrote these words in his book; Famous titles of Christ.
Jesus Christ desired us so much that:
  • He uncrowned Himself in order to crown us.
  • He took off royal robes in order to put on our rags.
  • He came out of heaven in order to keep us out of hell.
  • He fasted for 40 days in order that he might feast us to all eternity.
  • He came from heaven to earth in order that He might send us from earth to heaven.
  • The son of god became the Son of Man in order that we, the sons of men might become the sons of God!

Being a Christian means that all of the above are true of us which in turn means that we are heirs and co-heirs of eternity with Jesus, we are brothers with Jesus in the family of God.

We are family: Sister Sledge sang a song with that title. They are a group of sisters that are proud of their relationship and so declare to the whole world that they belong to each other.
Does the church proudly sing that we are the family of God?
The basis of our continuing relationship is all about God's love extended savingly to His people. We are alive in Him alone which means that we have a:

Confident relationship:

John tells us in verse 28b that our confidence is dependent upon the promises of God, which are absolute, they are both yes and amen. What God promises always comes to be! They are both absolute and without a doubt.

At a recent Good Friday service we considered a Good Friday upon which all of the promises of God were focussed. That made the particular Friday and Extraordinarily Good Friday upon which sin was once and for all dealt with for all who will believe.

On that day all of God's promises found fulfillment in the Lord Jesus Christ. This gives us great confidence that the outworking of those promises are for us and they are absolute. They will all of them come to fruition. The great promises of Jesus are that He is building His church and even the might of hell cannot stand before the church. That encourages us in days when the church seems to be so weak. There is also the wonderful promise that the world as we know it will one day finally end and the Lord Jesus Christ will return in glorious authority and will gather to Himself the church and will present her as one perfect body to God the Father as He would a bride. That is a wonderful promise and the great thing is that all who are born again of the Spirit of God will be there. From that moment on we will be eternally in His presence.

Do you have this confidence?

A good friend of mine recently suffered a serious heart attack whilst driving her grandchildren to school. Because she lives out in the country she had no other choice but to drive on for the extra mile to the school where she knew she would find help. She told the children that Grandma is having a heart attack and they needed to pray that she would be helped to get them safely to school, which they did. They arrived safely, an ambulance was called and she was operated on in the hospital and has survived the ordeal We are grateful to the Lord that He has allowed her to be with us for a little while longer. But when asked if she was frightened she simply told us that it was an exciting moment when she truly thought that she was about to be transported into heaven. She had absolute confidence in the promises of God, she thought that she was about to be in the presence of Jesus in a few moments time!

Do you have such confidence?

If you do not have this confidence there are two reasons as to why that would be the case:

  1. You are not in a continuing relationship with God, which means that you are not converted. You must ask God for His gift of faith in order that you might believe and respond to the gospel.
  2. You are a Christian but something has taken away your confidence. It is personal sin that takes away confidence and so you must turn away from your backsliding.

Whichever one of these is true of you you must pray to God for the grace needed to deal with it. When we are in this confident relationship with God then our relationship is made complete:

A complete relationship:

In verse 28c John tells us that a complete relationship has no shame. There will be no shame when we come into His presence.

Remember when Adam and Eve were created they were in a complete relationship with God until they sinned and after that their relationship was broken. The mark of that broken relationship was their shame which they pitifully tried to cover with sown together fig leaves. God right at that moment showed them something of great significance. He showed them by making a covering for their nakedness from the skin of an animal. An animal had to die to cover the shame of sin. An innocent victim died that sin is covered. That was a wonderful promise for the future when it found fulfillment on the cross here Jesus Christ the Ultimate Innocent Victim died to not merely cover sin but to atone for it which means that forgiveness is for sin is available for all who will repent and believe in Him.

We learn from Adam that our efforts in covering sin are hopeless and so there is nothing that we can do except to accept the gift of God on offer. Adam had to humble himself before God and accept the covering and so we must humble ourselves and accept the gift of Jesus as Saviour. In Him all shame is removed, sins are forgiven absolutely never to be remembered. The mark of shame which is rightfully ours is transferred to the One True Sacrifice which is Jesus. He carries the shame to the cross (tree of shame) on our behalf and is punished as the Guilty One! Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. This is a great exchange that only He can accomplish. This is the whole basis of our complete relationship with God, anything else is a complete sham.

There is no other name under heaven by which we can be saved!

When we are saved the result is that:
  • One day we will without shame be in the presence of God Almighty.
  • We are robed in the Righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • We are justified by God which means the he sees us just as if I had never sinned.
  • We are loved of God just as precious children.
  • We are in a complete relationship with God!

With all of this in place it makes sense of the rest of the passage that we read at the beginning. If we live as Christ intends us to live then we will truly have a Satisfied Mind.

All I once held dear, built my life upon
All this world reveres, and wars to own
All I once thought gain I have counted loss
Spent and worthless now, compared to this
Knowing you, Jesus
Knowing you, there is no greater thing
You're my all, you're the best
You're my joy, my righteousness
And I love you, Lord
Now my heart's desire is to know you more
To be found in you and known as yours
To possess by faith what I could not earn
All-surpassing gift of righteousness
Oh, to know the power of your risen life
And to know You in Your sufferings
To become like you in your death, my Lord
So with you to live and never die
Graham Kendrick
Copyright © 1993 Make Way Music,

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