Dear SanLo Community, an update for the week of October 22, 2017…
Thank you Pastor Eric for the message from 1 John 4:13-21, “The True Believer.” Today, we live in a culture that isn’t just agnostic to God, but we live in a growing culture that is actually AGAINST God. There are many atheists and others trying to refute the Bible, the existence of God, and the person of Christ. This is the culture and situation that we live in now, and for the Apostle John in his letter, it was even worse, because people within his own church were refuting solid teaching and doctrine. John writes his letter to teach what genuine, authentic and real faith is. That’s why at SANLO, we strive to help you understand clearly what the scriptures say and who Jesus Christ is. It is out of this backdrop, we are compelled to ask, How can we know our faith is genuine?
1) Our faith is genuine when we receive the Spirit and the Son. (vv.13-16) 13 By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. The word, abide, means to remain and dwell in the presence of the Lord. In our relationship we have with Jesus Christ, the Maker and Savior of the Universe, we have been given the Holy Spirit who makes us into a new creation, we are Born Again, and we have a new disposition to love God rather than sin. (v.14) Out of the indwelling of the Spirit, comes the outward proclamation and confession of Christ. That word for confess, means to stand in allegiance with Jesus Christ. (v.16) We know the love of God, we believe the love of God, and we abide in the love of God. Our relationship with God is not just head-knowledge or words from the good book, but they are written on our hearts, and they are sown in our souls. Genuine faith is found in the love of the Spirit and the Son.
2) Our faith is genuine when God replaces our fear with His confidence. (vv.17-18) 17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as He is so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. The love of God ought to overwhelm us into an assured and confident faith. The love of God is working its way in our lives to produce something great. The idea of perfecting doesn’t mean that we’ll be perfect in loving God or others, but it does mean that God’s design and plan will meet its perfect end in an assured and confident believer who loves others. The end goal of God’s love is to produce people who are unashamed of Him and radically love people. This is what love perfected with us means. John is dealing with the Gnostics who are telling believers that they need another gospel, a special revelation from God to be saved. It is possible that some people in the church are being shaken in their faith. They are questioning if they are saved or not and are fearful of what is ahead of them. They might think God is going to punish them in the end, because they didn’t believe correctly. John is saying NO to that! John is providing reassurance that God’s love frees them from fear, punishment, and uncertainty. If we have confessed Christ, then we CAN be certain of our future and destiny. God is love and whoever abides in love abides in God and God abides in him.
3) Our faith is genuine when God removes our hate with His love. (vv.19–21) 19 We love because He first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from Him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. We love because He first loved us. This is such a profound statement and verse. God took the initiative to love sinners like us. God took the hit upon the cross first, He sacrificed Himself for us. Then verses 20-21 — If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brothers, he is a liar… whoever loves God MUST also love his brother. John gives us this greatest love statement of the entire letter so that we might give that same wonderful and amazing love to someone else, especially someone we might find hard to love or someone who is difficult. That’s the challenge presented to them and now to us. God commands us to LOVE those who are difficult, not just tolerate them, not put up with them, but to radically love them as Christ has loved us. It’s difficult, but it’s what genuine faith looks like. It’s what Christ-like faith does.
When God gets a hold of us, and we sit in the overwhelming thought of His love - we love, because He first loved us and when we abide and soak up the love of Christ, then His Spirit will empower us to love beyond our hate and comfort. Then we are challenged to do the same thing for others and in return, Jesus will transform us from fearful and hateful people into genuine, confident, and loving, true believers of His Son.
Operation Christmas Child is a “global gift exchange” project operated by Samaritan’s Purse. You can sign up to bring Shoeboxes filled with toys and other items for children in need around the world (through 11/19). See Janet Buso-Morgan
10/27 12:00pm 55+ Potluck Lunch; Hospice Care, with Dr. Marvin Masuda
10/28 8:00am Love East Bay Fall Serve – Grace Baptist, SL. http://loveeastbay2017fall.eve...
10/29 12:00pm GROW SANLO update followed by Joint Fellowship and Harvest Festival setup
10/31 5:30pm Harvest Festival Outreach – Invite your friends, neighbors and family. A free and fun time for all!
11/4 8:30am Mission Prayer
11/4 9:30am Winter Vision Planning meeting (rm.8-9-10)
11/4 10:00am NCNCC meeting – Rev. Nakano (English sanctuary)
11/4 2:30pm Memorial Service for Rev. Fukiagi at Wintersburg Presbyterian 2000 N. Fairview St. Santa Ana, CA
11/5 both services Special Guest speaker – Jews for Jesus, “Christ in Hanukkah”
11/10 Craft Day setup
11/11 CRAFT DAY!
11/12 both services Missions Moment – Nick and Eric Petkoff (TEAM, Japan)
11/12 12:30pm Missions Team meeting
11/19 both services Missions Moment – Roy and Nancy Toma (JEMS)
12/1 7:11pm B.A.M.
12/2 8:30am Mission Prayer
12/2 9:30am Winter Vision Planning meeting (rm.8-9-10)
12/2 Craft Day debrief
12/3 12:30pm Full Rehearsal of the Christmas Program
12/8 5:30pm Full Rehearsal of the Christmas Program
12/9 10:30am Christmas Program followed with reception
Have a blessed week, overwhelmed by His love,
Stan, for slzjcc