We're so glad you're joining us today.
When we meet in person, we share our joys and concerns together. If you are reading this from home, take some time to consider the joys and concerns you have. You can share them with us by making a comment on this post as you feel comfortable. You may also want to share them with the prayer chain. When you are ready, use the prayer below (source) to get started:
Faithful Father, we begin today by giving you thanks. Your love endures forever, it never fails. Though there are many ways in which we have failed, we have not exceeded the supply of your mercy and grace. We thank you for revealing yourself to us through your word. As we open the Bible today we pray that we would hear your voice. We ask that your Holy Spirit would be at work, opening our ears to hear and our hearts to receive your word. May we be transformed into your likeness. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, Amen.
Today's scripture is divided into three sections: 1 John 4:2-3, 13-17; 5:4-5.
John was one of the original disciples and is thought to have written five books of the New Testament. Overcoming , or being victorious is a favorite theme of John’s; victory over Satan, and overcoming pressures of the world.
The Bible speaks of the world as planet Earth in its physical sense, as the world’s human inhabitants and as a system of values opposed to God’s A person of the world lives for the pleasures of the flesh, but a dedicated Christian lives for the joys of the Spirit.
John spoke about false teachings (gnosticism). Gnostics believed that Christ was a spirit who didn’t exist in bodily form. The spiritual was viewed as always good, and the physical was viewed as always evil.
We can have victory and overcome the world only through faith in Jesus Christ, the son of God. We can overcome as we allow the Holy Spirit, sent after Jesus’ ascension, to empower us to do so. God put this plan into action even though those created in his image rejected him time after time (John 1:10-11; 3:16).
Despite this rejection, God still seeks to save people from a fate of eternal death (2 Peter 3:9) God’s plan for this still centers on the life, death, resurrection and ascension of his beloved Son, Jesus. The plan remains the same today as in the first century; it has not changed. In his life, Jesus proved His identity; in his death, Jesus paid the penalty for sin; in his resurrection, Jesus defeated the power of death; in his ascension, he reigns forevermore.
At his second coming, Jesus will rid the world of sin and welcome his children home. Hallelujah! What a Savior we have! Those facts allow us to have confidence as we face the challenges of the world. And as we obey Jesus, we can assist others to do so as well.
Heavenly Father, thank you for your love expressed in sending your Son to die for the sins fo the world! Empower us to overcome the world and model your love to others. As we do, may we look for ever forward to the day of your son’s return when we will share in his glory. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
The only way to overcome the world is through faith in Jesus.
This week's benediction is from the New English Translation.
Next week's lesson will be on 2 Corinthians 4:16-5:10.
We are a small, rural Presbyterian church in southwestern Pennsylvania.