The Morse Family

Beyond Me

Beyond Me

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Assurance that Christ is At Work : 1 John 2:28-3:10

i have been attending a women's bible study on tuesday mornings at my church (Redeemer PCA).  this year, we are studying 1John.  It has been a great is always good for my soul to practice regular fellowship around the never returns void.  i have also been feeling a pull lately to listen online to sermons by some of the reformed pastors (keller and piper and others) who have great things to say about the texts that we have been studying.  today, i listened to a sermon on 1john3:1-10 by piper on the Gospel Coalition website.  here it is:
Let What You Hear From the Beginning Abide in You

it is a little on the long side..but

the question it tackles is how do people who have experienced the miracle of the new birth deal with their own sinfulness as they try to live in the full assurance of their salvation?

i struggle with questions like, "why do i still sin?" "why does sin matter to me, since i will never be sinless?" "why don't i have joy, if i believe the Gospel to be true?"  1 John addresses all of these questions.  John's first letter seems to be designed to help believers in the daily battle.  Piper says, "This book is written to help believers have the full assurance that they have been born again."  God wants His Children to experience Joy..a profound confidence that we have passed from death to life.

my struggle looks a little like this in my head, "i am a believer. i will go be with the king when i die. but i won't ever stop why try...where is my joy? i carry a feeling of defeat around.. what is the point of telling others about this faith of mine,if it doesn't produce change in my life. if it doesn't produce joy?"

so here i stand, a believer who knows my destiny, but is so "all or nothing" that i despair in my sin and live a life of tons of apathy about my unbelieving friends.

John warns against claiming to have a new birth when your life contradicts it, and John celebrates the advocate we believing sinners have in Christ.  The fact that we can be both Christians and sinners and drawing on Christ all at the same time and that is the way we show others Christ!?..This is exciting to me!  Assurance in my new birth can be found in how these truths function in my life..Assurance brings great joy.

so what i am saying is:
The Holy Spirit manifests both
1 John 3:9 "No one born of God makes a practice of sinning"
1 John 2:1 "We who sin have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous"
in the life of a believer.  "New birth has a spiritual discernment that senses how to use Johns' teaching to chasten the warnings and be sobered and be filled with joy and power because of the promise of an advocate."-John Piper

Proof/Assurance that I am a growing believer comes as I see the Holy Spirit showing me my sin, giving me power to put it to death, (ie. not living a life of practicing sin), and allowing the Father to be my advocate as I fall again and again.  That assurance that the Lord is indeed at work...making change where joy is found.

I don't know if any of this makes a ton of sense, as I am still trying to flesh all of this out..but it is just really meaty to me.  As a believer I am always "slipping into a lukewarm, careless, presumption frame of mind about my own sinfulness" but the Holy Spirit awakens me...As a believer I am always "sinking down in fear and discouragement and even despair though my righteousness, my love for people, and my fight against sin are just not good enough" but the Holy Spirit rescues me.  The redemptive power of God's word and His Spirit grants me to embrace both the warning and the comfort in a way that can bring...even me...Joy!

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