The Essence of Christian Living

Pete Briscoe

What would you say is essential to the Christian life?  Is it adherence to religious activities you think are important to God like attending church services, volunteering, participating in rituals like baptism or communion, or following a long list of “thou shall nots”?  The Apostle John would argue that these things are merely excess activities—they’re not the true essence of Christian living.

So then, what is the essence of Christianity?  It includes knowing undoubtedly that you’re saved—having an intimate relationship with God, being capable of loving the unlovable, experiencing unspeakable joy in all circumstances, being available to God working through you.

This Bible teaching from Pete Briscoe explores the freeing truth found in John’s three letters.  Once we peel away all the excess activities we tend to cling to, we can experience the intimacy, assurance, joy, and fulfillment that comes with Christian living the way God intended. 

Scripture:1 John

Messages From This Series:

  1. 1. Just One Thing

    Pete Briscoe

    Jesus didn’t come to give you life—He came to give you the Life, His Life, true Life. If you lack peace and joy, and struggle with restlessness, you might be missing out on the Life that Jesus promises to give you.

    In this message, Pete Briscoe teaches from 1 John to lead you to that just one thing that provides the freedom you long for and the rest you need.

    Scripture:  1 John 1:1 - 1:4

  2. 2. Clean from Sin

    Pete Briscoe

    After we sin, we can feel a bit grimy. Our sin sticks to us like dirt, and we can have an itching desire to scrub ourselves clean.

    Some of us confess to a priest to be made clean – others talk directly to Jesus. But in either case, many of us were made to believe we must confess every sin – no matter how large or small – in order to receive Christ's forgiveness.

    In this message based on 1 John 1:5-10, Pete Briscoe shakes things up by asking whether John is talking to believers in this text, or to people pretending to be believers?  Knowing which you are makes all the difference in understanding the forgiveness of your sins – past, present, and future.

    Scripture:  1 John 1:5 - 1:10

  3. 3. What Happens After You Sin?

    Pete Briscoe

    As a believer, what do you think will happen if you sin? Do you fear you’ll lose your salvation or be punished by God? Do you think God will turn His back on you until you do something to make Him happy again?

    Understanding the new covenant is essential in understanding how God deals with your sin—past, present, and future.

    In this message based on 1 John 2:1-2, Pete Briscoe teaches about life after sin and how you can experience hope, joy, and reconciliation with God. 

    Scripture:  1 John 2:1 - 2:2

  4. 4. Distorted Love

    Pete Briscoe

    Is there ever a check in your spirit about whether you’re really a Christian? Studied out of context, 1 John 2:3, which mentions obeying commands, can read more like a warning to believers and cause us to doubt if we’re really children of God. But in reality, John brings to light in his letter the most beautiful and magnificent truth about the new command that Jesus wants us to focus on.

    In this message, Pete Briscoe uses John’s letter to lift the burden of doubt we might carry about our salvation. And at the same time, teaches us about Jesus’ design for love that is counterintuitive to how we love on our own.

    Scripture:  1 John 2:3 - 2:13

  5. 5. Flirting with the World

    Pete Briscoe

    Why is the world such a dangerous place for Christians? Because worldly pleasures are developed by the evil one for the purpose of drawing you away from Jesus.

    Just like a true friend would warn you of impending danger, John cautions us in 1 John about the danger of being seduced by worldly things that are not from God but are from Satan—things that pull us away from Jesus and into harmful circumstances.

    In this message, Pete Briscoe shows us what’s at stake when we maintain a flirtatious relationship with worldly things.

    Scripture:  1 John 2:12 - 2:17

  6. 6. Detecting False Teaching

    Pete Briscoe

    Have you ever heard biblical teaching that sounded a bit off? Sometimes it’s glaringly obvious, but other times, you might not even be aware that you’re being deceived.

    False teaching can be extremely dangerous. It can lead you into temptation and outside of the Life Jesus came to give. So, how can you discern false teaching and avoid anything beyond the realm of God’s Truth?

    Pete Briscoe takes you to the answer found in 1 John and shares how to recognize the telltale sign of false teaching and avoid its danger and deceit.

    Scripture:  1 John 2:18 - 2:27

  7. 7. The Moment Jesus Returns

    Pete Briscoe

    How you feel about Jesus’ return probably has a lot to do with your understanding of the Bible.

    There certainly will be a lot of action that day—the dead in Christ rising, non-believers swept away, believers lifted up to meet Jesus in the clouds. It will be an amazing day!

    But if you’re not sure about how Jesus will react to you, you might be living in fear of His return. Maybe that fear stems from a struggle with sin, or you’re afraid you’ll be sinning at that exact moment He returns.

    In this message, Pete Briscoe teaches from 1 John 2 & 3 to help release you from your fear and anxiety. You’ll learn why and how you can live confidently today while you wait for Jesus’ imminent return.

    Scripture:  1 John 2:28 - 3:3

  8. 8. Believers Who Sin

    Pete Briscoe

    What do sinners do? They sin. Sinning comes naturally and is to be expected from people who don’t know Jesus. The battle against sin truly begins after you accept Jesus into your life. It’s at that point where you begin to feel the pull toward sinning – yet also feel a counter-pull that makes it difficult to sin. Why? Because you’re now a saint, and sinning is no longer a natural behavior for you. Instead of being a sinner saved by grace, you’re a saint who sometimes sins!

    How does this sin battle play out in the life of a believer? That’s what Pete Briscoe teaches in this message from 1 John 3:4-10 where you’ll find hope for victory in your battle against sin.

    Scripture:  1 John 3:4 - 3:10

  9. 9. Loving Those Who Have Hurt You

    Pete Briscoe

    Is there a person in your life who you just don’t get along with? Worse yet, has someone hurt you so deeply that, if you were totally honest, you would say you hate them?

    What do you do with such people? Hurt them back, avoid them, or pretend that everything is fine? Are these your only options?

    In this message based on 1 John 3:11-18, Pete Briscoe shows us a better way to navigate painful relationships. And if you’re open to this alternative way, it will radically transform how you relate to difficult people in your life.

    Scripture:  1 John 3:11 - 3:18

  10. 10. Overcoming Self-Condemnation

    Pete Briscoe

    Do you ever beat yourself up over a failure or a sin struggle you can’t seem to shake?

    Culture seems to teach that when we fall short, we’re no longer as lovable or valuable—we’re failures. Because of this, we can become consumed with negative, self-condemning thoughts that can leave us feeling paralyzed. But is this what Jesus wants for us? What does He think of us—even when we mess up? 

    In this message, Pete Briscoe takes us to 1 John to share how we can be freed from self-condemnation and start living in the light of how God really sees us.

    Scripture:  1 John 3:19 - 3:24

  11. 11. Deciphering Truth from Lies

    Pete Briscoe

    We have an endless amount of information at our finger tips. And with social media and countless blogs, anyone who thinks they’re an expert can find a platform to sound like one. But in this endless sea of opinion, how do we know which voices are speaking words of truth?

    In this message, Pete Briscoe talks about the dangers of false teaching and how, if we’re not careful, Satan can use words to deceive and attack us. You’ll learn how to rest in the truth and avoid the enemy’s deceptive tactics.

    Scripture:  1 John 4:1 - 4:6

  12. 12. A Dream for the Church

    Pete Briscoe

    There’s a lot of debate about what the church is supposed to focus on. Some say it should be primarily concerned with bringing people to Christ, while others believe the focus should be on maturing existing believers.

    So, how do we know if we’re “doing church” right? Can we be certain that we’re making an impact in ways that matter most?

    In this message, Pete Briscoe takes you to 1 John to outline God’s dream for the church. You’ll discover a lesson that goes beyond the debate of men and becomes an entirely new and fulfilling way of life!

    Scripture:  1 John 4:7 - 4:16

  13. 13. Chasing After Love

    Pete Briscoe

    Do you find yourself living for the love and approval of others? Are you looking to others to meet your needs and satisfy your desire for acceptance?

    Maybe you do the same thing with God – trying to please Him by performing and living well. Remaining in this trap of living to gain His approval will only prevent you from truly experiencing God’s outrageous love.

    In this message, Pete Briscoe shows you how to stop living for God’s love and live in it instead. You’ll learn how to rest in the love He already has for you instead of spending your life chasing after it.

    Scripture:  1 John 4:16 - 4:21

  14. 14. Obedience Isn't a Burden

    Pete Briscoe

    Does obedience ever feel like a burden to you? When you come across a command in the Bible do you sometimes feel overwhelmed at the seemingly impossible task of obeying it?

    In this message, Pete Briscoe takes you to 1 John 5 to share four reasons why walking in obedience isn’t a burden. You’ll learn how it can be a rich experience as you step into what God is inviting you to do.

    Scripture:  1 John 5:1 - 5:5

  15. 15. Struggling with Doubt

    Pete Briscoe

    How confident are you in your faith, your salvation, and in your beliefs about God? Do you ever doubt?

    Doubt is something we often think of as forbidden. It can bring about guilt and shame, and we may even think of ourselves as “less of a Christian” if we struggle with it. However, doubting is more common than you may think, and Scripture tells us where we can turn when we’re grappling with it.

    In this message, Pete uses 1 John 5:6-13 to outline four truths that eradicate doubt and bring us to a place of confidence in our faith. 

    Scripture:  1 John 5:6 - 5:13

  16. 16. Vibrant and Confident Prayer

    Pete Briscoe

    Do you lack confidence in your prayer life?

    Maybe you feel God has let you down by not answering your prayers, or maybe you struggle praying because you’re not even sure if He cares. You know that Scripture tells you God answers prayer, but you still wonder about the times He seemingly didn’t answer.

    In this message, Pete Briscoe points you to the truth about prayer as it’s described in the Bible. When you understand these truths you’ll be able to experience a vibrant and confident prayer life.

    Scripture:  1 John 5:13 - 5:17

  17. 17. Experience Transformation in Your Life

    Pete Briscoe

    Many times there’s a disconnect between how we believe the Christian life should look and how we actually live. What prevents us from seeing true transformation in our lives? 

    In this message, Pete Briscoe teaches about three scriptural truths that once we learn and are convinced of will dramatically change our lives. 

    Scripture:  1 John 5:18 - 5:21

  18. 18. What the World Needs from Christians

    Pete Briscoe

    2 John is a short letter but it packs a powerful message of how the church of Jesus Christ should look—to love everyone we encounter while never shying away from sharing God’s truth.

    God’s family is called to live in the tension that love and truth create. How do we go about living this way when now more than ever the world views Christians as intolerant and unloving, even to each other?

    In this message, Pete Briscoe, teaches from 2 John to show us how to walk constantly in love and truth. It’s exactly what this angry and hateful world desperately needs.

    Scripture:  2 John

  19. 19. Believers on Mission

    Pete Briscoe

    God reaches down into humanity and asks all of us to share His Good News throughout the world. But not all of us feel called to move to a different country to plant churches or live in isolated tribes to create a written language of the native tongue.

    What does being on mission look like in our individual lives? We don’t have to wonder!

    In this message, Pete Briscoe teaches from 3 John to show us the beautiful and simple way that each of us can love the unloved, and be on mission to tell others about Jesus.

    Scripture:  3 John

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About Telling the Truth

Telling the Truth is an international on-air and online media ministry that distributes the teaching content of three uniquely-gifted Bible teachers—Stuart and Jill Briscoe, and their son, Pete Briscoe—to help people know Christ and experience Life in all its fullness.

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