Forget our false stories - what does God say about us?
In the light of my writing about the false stories we tell ourselves, we can freely and graciously look to Jesus to understand God’s truth and not entertain any false ideas about who we are and who God is. Only by focussing on who Jesus really is will we cease to be in bondage to our own ill-conceived, repetitive, monotonous and dreary stories.
It has long been said 'Tis impossible to be sure of any thing but Death and Taxes', but the apostle John (1 John 5:13-21) assures us that Christians have 3 wonderful certainties. I’m going to let John tell you about these.
Christians have absolute assurance of life eternal.
“11 And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life.13 I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life” (I John 5:11-12).
Christians can expect their prayers to be answered.
”21 Dear friends, if we don’t feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence. 22 And we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey him and do the things that please him” (I John 3/21-22).
Prayers for forgiveness of repented sin will be answered.
“16 If you see a fellow believer sinning in a way that does not lead to death, you should pray, and God will give that person life. But there is a sin that leads to death, and I am not saying you should pray for those who commit it. 17 All wicked actions are sin, but not every sin leads to death” (I John 5/16-17).
(Just for the record, from the context of these epistles we can ascertain that when there is a deliberate denial of the divinity of Jesus in light of all the evidence to this truth, this is the sin that cannot be forgiven).
I like the way John ended his epistle with, “Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts” (I John 5:21). John was elderly and gently referred to his readers as dear children. He doesn't want them to be tricked into having anyone in their hearts but the one, true, Divinely-manifested Jesus.
We can be reassured, therefore, that when we live a life in Jesus we will be truly blessed with a freedom from fear, shame, guilt and the false stories that we want to tell ourselves.
“So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free” (John 8:36).
*All quotes from NLT.
The Cobbler of Preston by Christopher Bullock (1716)