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Am I Really a Christian? (1 of 12)
1 John 1:1-4
And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete (v. 4).
The author of 1 John was probably the apostle John. (There are many similarities between 1 John and the Gospel of John.) John probably wrote this letter while he was living in Ephesus. It was probably sent to churches in cities near Ephesus. A possible date for 1 John is the early nineties A.D.
[Read 1 John 1:1-4.]
NOT EVERY CHRISTIAN IS A REAL CHRISTIAN
When I was around 18 years old, I would mail baseball cards to players, asking them to sign the cards. Most of the cards were signed and mailed back to me. [Show three of these cards: Larry Walker, Paul Molitor, John Olerud.] How can I know if these signatures are authentic or not? There are tests for authenticating signatures. (Does the signature show evidence of being signed by hand? Does it look similar to authentic signatures of the same person?)
Many people wonder, ''Am I really a Christian?''
Sometime before the writing of 1 John, a group of people left John's church over a disagreement about the doctrine of Christ. John calls these people ''antichrists'' (2:18) and says, ''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'' (2:19). These people professed to be Christians, but they were not real Christians.
We can't be JOYFUL Christians if we have DOUBTS about our faith, so we must make SURE that we are real Christians.
One of John's favorite descriptions of a real Christian is a person who has eternal life (1:1; 2:25; 3:15; 5:11-13, 20). Of the 136 occurrences of ''life'' (zoe) in the NT, 66 of them are found in John's writings.
John wrote his Gospel so that people might receive eternal life by believing in Jesus. ''Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his d ...
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