2 Corinthians 3:3 And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
We may not always realize the impact our lives have on those of others, but it’s a significant matter. Our experiences with other people can change the way they think or feel about any number of subjects, including God. How we represent Christ can make a difference in the way others see Him.
Jesus was sent to this earth as a self-revelation from God. In Him we see all of the attributes of God in human flesh. He walked the earth and those who lived during that time saw God for what He is. Now, Jesus ascended back to sit at the right hand of the Father in heaven, so who is left to represent God?
The Holy Spirit was sent to do God’s work in and through us as Christ followers. Now, we are God’s letters written to human hearts. We are what people look on and see God’s character (although not perfectly as in the person of Christ). The Holy Spirit connects our hearts with those of others, helping us bear witness to the work of Jesus and His saving grace. At times it may not even be something we say or do that draws another to Christ. It may seem unexplainable how they came to know the Lord through us, but that’s all the more proof that it’s Him doing the work.
1 John 5:13-21 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life—to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death. We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him. We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols.
What do you believe? Where do you put your trust? You may say that you believe Jesus has the power of eternal life, but if you don’t act as though He does, you’re not really believing. John didn’t write his first letter to non-believers so that they would see the truth about Jesus. He wrote it to Christians, so that they would actually believe what they say they believe.
It’s one thing to have the belief that Jesus died for your sins, one thing to go to church and fellowship with other Christians. But it takes more to actually live it out. If you know, without a doubt, that Jesus saves, then don’t ever worry about whether you’re forgiven. If you know it to be true, don’t act timidly when He calls you to do something. If you know He has all things in His hands, act like it.
John made this point by bringing prayer into the discussion. True belief brings confidence and boldness. Are you praying with confidence that God can answer you? With boldness that He will hear you and give you your requests? Pray in His name, according to His will, and He is able to provide all things. There’s nothing He can’t do. Do you believe it?
The First Letter of John
1 John 2: 18-27 18 Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour.19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.20 But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge.t21 I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth.22 Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son.23 No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also.24 Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father.25 And this is the promise that he made to ust—eternal life. 26 I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you.27 But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.
It will never be my intention to scare you, but there are certain warnings in God’s Word that need to be looked at. John thought it was important enough to point out the existence of antichrists that he spent a good portion of his first letter warning about them.
There are those who oppose the gospel of Jesus Christ and seek to lead His followers astray. Though we’d like them to be easily identifiable through something like their black cowboy hat, it isn’t that simple. Though we’d like to be able to tell who they are based on the fact that they’re “out there” saying hateful things about Jesus, it’s not true. They are among us, posing as our brothers and sisters. They say things much like what we say. They call themselves Christians but their intentions are not to follow Christ. Their intentions are rather to keep others from following Him.
So how can we spot someone who is an antichrist if they look just like a Christian in some cases? There is one test given by John to his readers. They deny that Jesus is the Christ. The simple fact is that they are called antichrists because they are against Christ. If someone is opposed to believing that Jesus is the Son of God, sent into the world to redeem God’s people, then he is an antichrist. Don’t get this mixed up with The Antichrist who will come as the embodiment of all that is evil. These are individuals who reject the gospel yet try to look like they belong with Christians as they work to destroy. It was true in John’s time and it’s true in ours. Be prepared for lies by knowing what the Truth is.