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Real Christians & Deep Fakes - Part 2

Tom Pennington 1 John 5:16-21

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This past week I was introduced to a person that you may never have heard of. I had not. His name is John Myatt. John Myatt holds a singular distinction. Scotland Yard called him the biggest art fraud of the twentieth century. It turns out, unassuming, John Myatt painted some 200 art forgeries, and many of them were sold in the biggest art auction houses in the world. In other words, he was so good that he fooled most of the art world. In fact, he started by selling what he called genuine fakes. In other words, initially he was up front about the fact that these were copies of the masters, and he sold them as such. People were willing to give him money for those. But then he heard from a customer that this customer had sold one of these fakes to Christie’s Auction House for 25,000 pounds. And everything changed for John Myatt.

He decided to go criminal. He went on to forge works by all of the world’s or many of the world's greatest artists, and he was eventually arrested and caught only because his former partner got angry with him and reported him. He informed the police. John Myatt only served 4 months in prison, and since his release rather in 1999, he has continued to copy the work of the world’s famous artists on commission. But now he marks all of them as fakes.

As we’ll see today there are marks that will help us to identify genuine Christians. Marks that will help us distinguish real Christians from Satan’s forgeries. We’re studying the last section of John’s letter and for the third and final time the test of obedience to Christ and His word. Let’s read it again together. First John 5:16-21.

16 If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask and God will for him give life to those who commit sin not leading to death. There is a sin leading to death; I do not say that he should make request for this. 17 All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not leading to death.

18 We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him. 19 We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. 20 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. This is the true God and eternal life. 21 Little children, guard yourselves from idols.

Now the theme of this paragraph is somewhat difficult to sort of wrap our arms around, but last time I described in this way, the basic messages of the verses we just read are all that all false forms of the Christiam faith and all false professions of the true Christian faith are, in fact, idolatry that originate with Satan and lead to eternal death. On the other hand, the truth that brings eternal life is revealed through God’s Son, Jesus Christ, and it alone is the truth that saves. That’s the point of this final paragraph. It’s helping us to distinguish between real Christians on the one hand and deep fakes on the other, forgeries by Satan on the other because in every church there are people who are the real thing, the real article, the authentic Christian followers of Jesus Christ. And there are at the same time as Jesus described in Matthew 13 tares, false Christians who are not truly followers of Christ regardless of their claim.

So, how do we distinguish? Well, this closing paragraph provides us with two key insights into real Christianity and the deep fakes created by Satan. Now, the last time we studied this letter a couple ago, before our Missions Emphasis Sunday, we discovered that the first insight in here is concerning praying for false Christians. We are instructed to pray for false Christians, that is those who think they are Christians but in fact aren’t because they are caught in either false teaching or they understand the true gospel, but they made a false profession of the true gospel. That’s the message of verses 16 and 17.

We learned last time that the two common interpretations of those two verses are either we should pray for true Christians living in sin, or we should pray for false Christians living in self-deception. John could have meant either. Both of them are taught elsewhere, and we should pray for both groups. But we concluded last time our Lord is commanding us to pray here for the salvation of false believers living in the deception of either false teaching or a false profession of the true Christian faith.

Now, the rest of this paragraph beginning in verse 18 down through the end of the chapter provides us with a second key insight into real Christianity versus the false, the forgery created by Satan. And the second key insight concerns distinguishing real Christians from false Christians, distinguishing real Christians from false Christians. These verses are all about what all Christians know.

In fact, one of the Greek words for “know” appears three times introducing three verses. Notice the beginning of verse 18, “we know”; verse 19, “we know”; verse 20, “and we know”. These are three Christian certainties. Three timeless truths that every Christian knows, and truths that will help us distinguish real Christians from false Christians. Now, let me just say that although these truths can help us sort out the false profession of others, it really becomes a help for us individually to help each of us judge the validity of our own profession. So, here’s how we can distinguish the real Christian from the deep fake even if it’s such a good deep fake that you’ve deceived even yourself. So, let’s look at them together.

The first timeless truth that every Christian has come to know that helps us distinguish real Christians is this. Real Christians have a new relationship with sin. Real Christians have a new relationship with sin. Verse 18, “We know that no one who is born of God sins, but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.” Now you can look at verse 18 and immediately see that there are three clauses there, three parts.

The first part is the reality of this new relationship with sin. Then you have the reason for this new relationship with sin. And the last part of verse 18 the result of this new relationship. So, let’s look at those various parts or clauses in this verse. First of all, John points out the reality of this new relationship that we have with sin. Verse 18, “We know that no one that no one who is born of God sins…” No one, that tells us a couple of things.

First of all, it tells us that statement is about individuals. We are not talking about the collective. We’re talking about you and me. No one, it also allows for no exceptions. It’s individual, and it’s inclusive. No one, there are no exceptions. He goes onto say no one who has been born of God. That is a person who in the past has experienced the new birth that Jesus talks about in John 3. No one who has experienced that new birth and the results of that new birth continues. We’re talking about that person. You see the new birth is not a passing experience. It is a permanent change in your person at the most foundational fundamental level. So, look at what he’s saying in verse 18. No one who has experienced the new birth, literally it says, “is sinning”. No one who has experienced the new birth is sinning.

Now, this doesn’t surprise us if you have been with us since 1 John. You know that John had developed this same point already a couple of times in this letter. Now, let me just remind you what this doesn’t mean. John is not saying that real Christians don’t sin; that we somehow achieve some state of perfection in this life. In fact, he’s very clear on this back in the first chapter. Go back to 1 John 1:8, “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” Verse 10, If we say that we have not sinned, we make God a liar, and His word is not in us.” So, if we claim that we have not committed acts of sin, or if we claim we don’t have a sin nature, we don’t even know God because that’s the first step in becoming a true Christian: acknowledging your sin and your need of a Savior. And the reality of sin.

In fact, verse 9 says, rather than saying we don’t have sin, or assuming we don’t have sin a s Christians we are to regularly confess out sins. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Chapter 2:1, “My little children, I’m writing these things to you so that you may not sin.” In other words, He says, look, don’t misunderstand, I’m not saying sin’s okay, and you should just live with and tolerate it. I’m saying you should hate it. You should try not to sin, but the reality is,

“…if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and He himself is the propitiation for our sins”, (He’s the satisfaction of God’s wrath against our sins.)

So, listen carefully, real Christians sin, real Christians sin at times badly. David is a perfect example. And real Christians can sin for extended periods of time. Again, David, we know at least 9 months from his adultery with Bathsheba until he was confronted and repented, he lived in a pattern of ongoing unrepentant sin for nine months. So, real Christians can do all of those things.

So, back in our text, what does John mean then? John means that no one that has experienced the new birth lives as a pattern of life in ongoing, unrepentant sin. He’s underscoring again that although Christians still sin, because of the new birth they have a new relationship with sin. Again, he has said this. Go back to chapter 1:6, “If we say that we are having fellowship with God, and yet are walking in the darkness, (that is our lives are characterized by sin) we lie and do not practice the truth. On the other hand, verse 7, … if we are walking in the Light [if our lives are characterized more by obedience than sin then], we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus [Christ] His Son cleanses us from all sin.” Look at chapter 2:3,

By this we know that we have come to know Him if we keep His commandments. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”

Chapter 3, really beginning verse 4 down through verse 10 he develops this same theme. Just look at 3:9

No one who is born of God practices [that’s the key word] sin, because [God’s] … seed abides in him [He’s got a new nature, and he can’t keep on sinning]; … because he’s been born of God. 10 By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.

Again, the point is real Christians because of the new nature they received in the new birth, our entire outlook on sin has changed. We don’t continue practicing sin. We don’t live in a state of sin. We’re not characterized by sin.

It’s interesting that in 1 Peter 2:22 Peter compares the false teacher’s and the false believer’s relationship with sin as that of a relationship a pig has with mud. You know pigs are interesting animals. I don’t know if you know this or not, but pigs actually use mud to regulate their body temperature as well as to protect their skin from sunburn. So, they roll and wallow in the mud as, in part, for physical reasons. But those who study such things, and why you would give your life to studying this I’m not exactly sure, but those who do tell us that wallowing in the mud is also an important social behavior for pigs. They enjoy wallowing together. There’s a comradery that comes with wallowing together in the mud for a pig, If you are a pig it’s a source of comfort and play and pleasure. So, think about it. When it comes to mud, a pig chooses it; he wallows in it; he loves it; he doesn’t want to leave it; and he feels perfectly at home in it. And he spends most of his time in it.

But compare that to cats. Cats are one of the cleanest animals that exists. I’m not a huge cat fan. I’d tell you my cat joke, but my daughters on to me, and you’d be mad at me. So, I’m going to move on. I’m a dog person, but cats have this about them. They are very, very clean. In fact, they tell us that cats spend fifty percent of their awaking hours cleaning themselves. So, a cat wants to stay out of the mud. And if it falls into the mud, it gets up as quickly as possible. It hates it., wants to leave it, feels like a stranger to it and spends most of its time trying to get clean. So, let me ask you honestly in your heart of hearts, how do you respond to your sin. Is your response to sin more like the response of a pig to mud? Or is your response to your sin more like that of a cat to mud?

You see, what John is trying to help us understand here is that real Christians have a new relationship to sin. What they once loved, they now hate. They hate it. They try to avoid it. And if they fall into it, they’re eager to get out and to be clean again. That’s the pattern of their lives. Now, why is that true? Why does a real Christian have this new relationship to sin? Well, chapter 3:9 tells us that believers cannot sin in that way in that ongoing characteristic pattern of life sort of way because we are born of God because we have a new nature. But notice here in chapter 5:18 we learn another reason that a Christian can maintain this new relationship to sin.

Notice the reason in the middle of verses 18. “And we know that no one who is born of God sins, but here’s the reason, “He who was born of God keeps him.” Notice, “He” is capitalized in our New American Standard and most translations even though they don’t capitalize it, take it to be a reference to Deity for good reason because there is a change in the verb tense here that makes this clear. In the beginning of verse 18 it literally says “the One having been born” perfect tense. That’s the tense John always uses for a human being who’s experienced the new birth. There was a point in the past when we experienced the new birth, and it has continuing impact and results. But in the middle phrase in verse 18 he changes from “the one having been born” perfect tense “to the one born”, the Aoris tense in the Greek, and it can describe a continual state of being as it undoubtedly does here. This change in verb tense actually points out the profound difference between our sonship and Christ’s Sonship. In fact, look back at chapter 4:9. Here it identified as unique. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent [notice this] His only begotten Son into the world [His monoganate, His one of a kind begotten Son]. This is the description of eternal Sonship.

In fact, the Nicene Creed which formulated the Orthodox statement about the person of Christ uses almost identical language to chapter 5:18 when it says “He was begotten of the Father.” It describes His eternal Sonship. It means the Son was not created. In the classic expression, “He was begotten, not created.” So, don’t think of begetting as a beginning point. There was never a time when the eternal Son of God didn’t exist. Rather, it’s talking about His character, that He shares the same nature with God. He’s eternally God the Son and the second person of the Trinity.

So, look back at verse 18. “He who was born of God” is an explicit reference to the Son of God, and “He” notice “keeps him,” meaning the believer, The one who has been born of God. So the only begotten Son of God “keeps”. The word means “to protect, to keep from harm.” In fact, in this context the leading Greek Lexicon defines it this way, and I love this, as “holding onto something so as to not to give it up or lose it.” He keeps the believer. Holding onto something so as to not to give it up or lose it.” The eternal Son of God continually holds onto; He protects; He preserves every believer. Now, don’t misunderstand. There are plenty of texts in Scripture that call us to persevere, to continue in faith; to continue in obedience; to keep ourselves from the world and its influences. So, there’s a lot we’re responsible to do. But understand what John is saying here. The ultimate reason real Christians don’t live in an ongoing pattern of unrepentant sin is that God the Son protects everyone who has been born of God.

And what exactly what does Christ protect us from? Let me just give you a little list to think about. What does He Christian protect you from. This isn’t an all inclusive list, but it’s representative.

First of all He protects you from enslaving patterns of unrepentant sin. This is really John’s main point in 5:18. Notice what he says, “We know that no one who is born of God sins.” That is living in this unrepentant pattern of sin. Why? Because He (Christ) who was born of God keeps him. I love what Romans 6:14 says. Because of Christ’s work for us and in us sin shall not be master over you. That’s the reality, and that’s because of Christ.

There’s a second way Christ protects us and that is from Satan’s damning lies; from his damning lies. In other words, Christ is never going to let you Christian believe a damning lie of Satan that will jeopardize your eternal soul. I love the way Jude puts it at the end of his little letter. It’s a letter about false teachers. And there’s a great danger of false teachers, but I love the way he ends it in Jude 24, verse 24,

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling [And in context he’s talking about stumbling into false teaching that would destroy soul. He] who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory, blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, [And how does it happen?] through Jesus Christ our Lord and to Him be [the] … glory forever.

Christ protects you from Satan’s daming lies.

A third way He protects you [and I love this] is from perishing forever, from perishing forever. John 17:12. Jesus is praying to the Father in His high priestly prayer, and He says this, 12 While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them [and He says, listen to this] and not one of them perished [except Judas who was ordained to that end.] I didn’t lose one, and He won’t lose you. He protects us.

So, that brings another question, If that’s what He protects us from, how does He protect us? Well, I don’t have time to fully develop this, so let me just give you a couple of thoughts.

First of all, He protects us through His revealed word to us. Second Timothy 3:16, “The Scripture has been” [breathed out] “by God and it’s profitable” [for all that we need in this life] “for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;” Jesus said to His disciples, “you are clean” [John 15] “… through the word which I have spoken to you.” It’s His word that’s powerful in us to protect us.

Secondly, His Spirit’s work in us. You see, not only did He send His Spirit to regenerate you, to get you new life the moment of your salvation, and to give you a new heart, but He also has left His Spirit with you to continually be making you more like Jesus. He’s protecting you in that way.

But I love the third say, and I think this is so powerful, He protects us through His continual intercession for us. Do you realize Jesus is busy in heaven, and He’s busy on our behalf. He’s our Great High Priest at the right hand of God interceding constantly on our behalf. You see, Jesus, Christian, prays for your protection and your perseverance. I love what He said to Peter in Luke 22:31 and 32.

31 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; 32 but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail;”

I’ll look forward when I get to heaven to learn how many times Jesus prayed for me so that my faith wouldn’t fail. And the same thing is true for you. He prays for our sanctification. John 17:17 again, His High priestly prayer, this is what He prayed then, this is what He prays now, Father, “Sanctify them [through] … the truth; Your word is truth.” Jesus prays Satan’s power will be broken in your life as you are conformed through the Scriptures day in and day out to the image of Christ, Himself. He prays for us and helps us in the midst of our trials and temptations. I don’t know where you find yourself today, but I can assure this, if you’re in the process of facing serious temptation, or if you’re in the process of facing a serious trial, He prays for you.

Hebrews 2:18 in the context of His intercessions says, “He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.” Hebrews 4:15 “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” Jesus prays for you in the midst of trails and temptations.

But He also prays for, and this is my favorite of all, He prays for our eventual glorification. In John 17:24 at the end of His priestly prayer prays this, “Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, [that’s every believer] be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me…” Jesus prays that you Christian will make it to glory, and the Father always hears Him.

So, believer, no wonder John says that we’re protected from enslaving patterns of ongoing unrepentant sin. Verse 18, because He who was born of God keeps him. Now look at the end of verse 18 and the results. “We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God meaning Christ, keeps him, [that is the individual believer] and the evil one does not touch him.” In context here the evil one is clearly Satan. Look down at verse 19, “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” So, back in verse 18, John says, “that because Christ constantly protects the one whose born of God the evil one does not touch him.”

Now, that’s a little misleading because when you and I use the English word “touch”, it usually means something different than what John means here. When you touch someone, it’s like a light tap on the shoulder or a touch on the arm. That’s the idea behind this word. This word means again according to a leading lexicon, “to make contact, to cause harm, to injure.”

Christian, you are kept by the Son of God, and Satan cannot touch you to harm you to destroy your faith. He can’t drag you back into your former life of sin. D. Edmund Hebert puts it in this beautiful way. He says,

“The words does not touch him declare the comforting assurance that the devil will fail in efforts to recapture the believer. He’s not going to recapture you.” Hebert goes on, “His slimy fingers will never regain an abiding grip on the redeemed soul. His attacks may be vicious and inspire fear, but the promise is that he will destroy the true child of God.”

Isn’t that exactly what our Lord said in John 10:28 “He said, I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.” So, real Christians have a new relationship to sin. This is a distinguishing mark of a real Christian.

So, let me just ask you this morning, do you bear this mark? Do you truly have a new relationship with sin? Yes, believers still sin. I still sin. You still sin. But, is your life marked by this new relationship. Is your relationship to sin best described as that of a pig with mud or a cat with mud? What describes you?

There’s a second timeless truth that we know that helps us distinguish real Christians, and it’s this. Real Christians have a new Father and family. Real Christians have a new Father and family. Verse 19, “We know that we are of God and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” We know. This is another of those timeless pieces of knowledge that the true Christian has. We know that we, first of all, have a new Father. We are of God. Literally, the Greek text says that we are out of God. There are two truths in that phrase. One is that God Himself is the source of the new life in us. But more than that, we belong to Him. As His children, He’s our Father.

But before we can appreciate our new Father, we first need to think just for a moment about our old father. He’s in the second half of the verse. The whole world lies in the power of the evil one. That’s referring to all of lost humanity. They’re all lying or reclining in the evil one. He can’t touch us Christians, but he has his grip on unbelievers. That’s the idea. They’re completely under control of Satan. Jackman writes,

“The world is under control of the evil one who controls it with tyrannical authority, organizing and orchestrating its life and activities to express his own rebellion and hatred against God. [And then he says this, and I love this] The world’s freedom is slavery, and the devil’s offer of autonomy from God, which lies at the root of all sin, is an illusion.”

You see the truth is as you are sitting here this morning, you are either under the control of the authority of God or you are under the control of Satan himself. There’s no middle ground. That’s it. Those are the two options. One of those is true of everyone of us. The whole world lies under the power and control of Satan. And in what sense.

Well, first of all, he’s the father of all unbelievers, of every unbeliever. Satan is their father. Jesus said exactly that in John 8:44, “You are of your father the devil.” So, either you are of God, or you are of Satan. Either God is your Father, or Satan is your father. He goes on to say, “Satan has given his children his nature and enslaved them in sin in the same way he’s enslaved to sin.”

Again John 8:44, “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father.” He’s implanted in every unbeliever a desire to think like he thinks, and live like he lives, and live in rebellion to God as he does. And, in addition to that he has blinded the minds of every unbeliever to the gospel. Second Corinthians 4:4, “… the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” Think about that, Satan has blinded the minds of every unbeliever.

How does he do that? Well, the New Testament teaches that Satan uses several primary strategies. I’m not going to develop these. I’ll just give them to you. You can come back this week if you want to look at the slide online. But here’s what Satan does to blind people to the gospel.

First of all, he promotes secular human philosophy. Our world is filled with this. The west is filled with secular human philosophies that blind people to the truth of the gospel. Paul talks about that in 2 Corinthians 10. He talks about those philosophies as like fortresses that lock people’s minds in to protect them from the truth of the gospel.

Secondly, he invents and promotes false religions both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. We’re told that every single false religion has been invented by and is empowered by demons. That’s what the Scriptures teach. That means whether you are talking about Islam or Buddhism or Bahi it doesn’t matter. Whatever it is, it is from the devil himself.

Thirdly, he corrupts the true gospel and distorts the true Christ. You see, he’s not only out there in false religions, he mucks about a lot in “Christian” circles. In 2 Corinthians 11:14, Paul says Satan transforms himself into an angel of light or a messenger of truth. And he was behind the false apostles and the false Christs and the false teachers in Corinth, and he still is.

And number four, he produces false believers. In the parable of the wheat and the tares Jesus says in Matthew 13, the enemy who sowed the tares in the church, the false believers in the church, is the devil. So, those are the main ways that Christ tells us that Satan blinds the unbelieving world. Christian, don’t be naïve. This, verse 19, this should be your world view. An unspeakably evil person controls human life on this planet, and he’s blinded the entire world with his damning lies.

Be careful whose blogs you read. Be careful whose advice you take. Be careful who you absorb because it they’re not of God, they are of Satan, and he is trying desperately to deceive you. Only biblical Christians are God’s children. The rest of the world lies in the power of Satan. Real Christians have a new father. It’s no longer Satan, it’s God.

But we also have a new family, a new family. Notice verse 19, John doesn’t say, I am of God. He says, we are of God. And then notice the contrast. We are of God, the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. The whole world here is contrasted with we who are of God. So, in this context, the whole world isn’t the world’s system that John talks about in other places. Here it’s the people who are entrapped in and love that system. In other words, he means all of the people who are not of God. So, you have on the one hand we who are God’s family and on the other hand you have Satan’s family, everyone else, the whole world.

Here’s John’s point. Christians used to belong with unbelieves. Think about your life before Christ. Unbelievers were our family. We felt perfectly comfortable with them. We enjoyed their company. We shared their priorities and values. We loved what they loved. But real Christians now have a new father. God has adopted us, and because he’s adopted us into a new family. It’s no longer the world of unbelievers, but it’s the family of God. And therefore, as he says throughout this letter, we’ve seen it again and again. Real Christians love God’s people. Why? Because we’re family. We might not always like them. We may not always understand them because we’re all different just like in a human physical family. But we love them because they’re family.

How can you distinguish between a real Christian and a clever forgery? Well, real Christians have a new relationship with sin. It’s not what it once was. It’s not the pattern of their lives. It’s the anomaly. It’s the thing they hate. It’s the thing they want to clean themselves from by the work of the Spirit in their lives. And real Christians have a new Father and a new family.

Listen, if you have to admit even in those distinguishing marks that there’s a decent chance that you’re not a real Christian, you’re really just a clever forgery then what do you do. You need to turn to Jesus Christ. He’s still the only answer. You need to repent of your sins. Throw yourself on His mercy and ask Him to truly change you. Because you see, we can destroy ourselves, but we cannot save ourselves. He’s the only who can. He’s your only hope. And my plea to you this morning is to throw yourself on His mercy and grace because He never, listen carefully, think about His life on earth. He never turned away a truly repentant person, never once. And He won’t turn you away either. It you’re here this morning, and you are truly a Christian, you’re a follower of Christ and you look at those distinguishing marks, and you say, yes those are true of me, then don’t lose heart. Look again at verse 18, He who is the “one of a kind Son” is keeping you, and He will always keep you.

I love the way Lloyd-Jones puts it,

Redemption cannot be undone. We have been delivered. We have been emancipated and set free. We belong to Christ, and we are children of God. We belong to the heavenly family. That wicked one will never get us back. We are safe in the arms of Jesus beyond the furthest reach of Satan. He cannot finally rob God of His possession. No man shall pluck them out of My hand.

Christian, that’s you, that’s you. What a Savior.

Let’s pray together.

Father, thank you for the precision of Your word. Thank you for how it cuts and divides and separates. Lord, you know my prayer as it’s been through the study of 1 John that You would use the truth of Your word to encourage, to comfort, to give assurance to those who are truly Yours. Lord, that’s still my prayer. Lord, I pray that you would use even this morning’s message to that end. I know that’s Your purpose and Your goal even in giving us this letter.

Lord, I also pray for those who are here this morning who when they take an honest look at their lives, they don’t bear these distinguishing marks. Lord, help them to see the reality that they are in fact, forgeries, fakes, and bring them instead truly to the feet of our Lord Jesus Christ, throwing themselves on His mercy, asking Him to save them from their sin, and from its penalty and power. Father, thank you that You always hear the prayer of the repentant heart. And I pray that You would hear the cry of hearts here this morning.

We pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Real Christians & Deepfakes - Part 1

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Real Christians & Deep Fakes - Part 2

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Real Christians & Deep Fakes - Part 3

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7.

The Believer's New Relationship to Sin - Part 3

Tom Pennington 1 John 1:5-2:6
8.

The Believer's New Relationship to Sin - Part 4

Tom Pennington 1 John 1:5-2:6
9.

The Believer's New Relationship to Sin - Part 5

Tom Pennington 1 John 1:5-2:6
10.

The Believer's New Relationship to Sin - Part 6

Tom Pennington 1 John 1:5-2:6
11.

The Priority of Love

Tom Pennington 1 John 2:7-8
12.

Loving One Another - Part 1

Tom Pennington 1 John 2:9-11
13.

Loving One Another - Part 2

Tom Pennington 1 John 2:9-11
14.

A Child of the Father

Tom Pennington 1 John 2:12-14
15.

Do Not Love the World

Tom Pennington 1 John 2:15-17
16.

It Matters What You Believe - Part 1

Tom Pennington 1 John 2:18-27
17.

It Matters What You Believe - Part 2

Tom Pennington 1 John 2:18-27
18.

It Matters What You Believe - Part 3

Tom Pennington 1 John 2:18-27
19.

It Matters What You Believe - Part 4

Tom Pennington 1 John 2:18-27
20.

It Matters What You Believe - Part 5

Tom Pennington 1 John 2:18-27
21.

It Matters What You Believe - Part 6

Tom Pennington 1 John 2:18-27
22.

The Christian's DNA - Part 1

Tom Pennington 1 John 2:28-3:3
23.

The Christian's DNA - Part 2

Tom Pennington 1 John 2:28-3:3
24.

The Christian's DNA - Part 3

Tom Pennington 1 John 2:28-3:3
25.

The Christian's DNA - Part 4

Tom Pennington 1 John 2:28-3:3
26.

The Christian's DNA - Part 5

Tom Pennington 1 John 2:28-3:3
27.

Oil & Water

Tom Pennington 1 John 3:4-6
28.

Researching Your Spiritual Ancestry - Part 1

Tom Pennington 1 John 3:7-10
29.

Researching Your Spiritual Ancestry - Part 2

Tom Pennington 1 John 3:7-10
30.

Love as a Sign of Life - Part 1

Tom Pennington 1 John 3:11-24
31.

Love as a Sign of Life - Part 2

Tom Pennington 1 John 3:11-24
32.

Love as a Sign of Life - Part 3

Tom Pennington 1 John 3:11-24
33.

Love as a Sign of Life - Part 4

Tom Pennington 1 John 3:11-24
34.

Love as a Sign of Life - Part 5

Tom Pennington 1 John 3:11-24
35.

Love as a Sign of Life - Part 6

Tom Pennington 1 John 3:11-24
36.

Love As a Sign of Life - Part 7

Tom Pennington 1 John 3:11-24
37.

Recognizing False Teachers - Part 1

Tom Pennington 1 John 4:1-6
38.

Recognizing False Teachers - Part 2

Tom Pennington 1 John 4:1-6
39.

Recognizing False Teachers - Part 3

Tom Pennington 1 John 4:1-6
40.

Recognizing False Teachers - Part 4

Tom Pennington 1 John 4:1-6
41.

Recognizing False Teachers - Part 5

Tom Pennington 1 John 4:1-6
42.

Recognizing False Teachers - Part 6

Tom Pennington 1 John 4:1-6
43.

This Is Love - Part 1

Tom Pennington 1 John 4:7-21
44.

This Is Love - Part 2

Tom Pennington 1 John 4:7-21
45.

This Is Love - Part 3

Tom Pennington 1 John 4:7-21
46.

This Is Love - Part 4

Tom Pennington 1 John 4:7-21
47.

This Is Love - Part 5

Tom Pennington 1 John 4:7-21
48.

The Nature of Saving Faith

Tom Pennington 1 John 5:1-13
49.

The Nature of Saving Faith - Part 2

Tom Pennington 1 John 5:1-13
50.

The Nature of Saving Faith - Part 3

Tom Pennington 1 John 5:1-13
51.

The Nature of Saving Faith - Part 4

Tom Pennington 1 John 5:1-13
52.

The Nature of Saving Faith - Part 5

Tom Pennington 1 John 5:1-13
53.

The Nature of Saving Faith - Part 6

Tom Pennington 1 John 5:1-13
54.

The Nature of Saving Faith - Part 7

Tom Pennington 1 John 5:1-15
55.

Real Christians & Deepfakes - Part 1

Tom Pennington 1 John 5:16-21
56.

Real Christians & Deep Fakes - Part 2

Tom Pennington 1 John 5:16-21
57.

Real Christians & Deep Fakes - Part 3

Tom Pennington 1 John 5:16-21
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