Salvation: Yes, You Can Know for Certain
Continuing to Dig Deeper in the Book of First John
We saw last time...
The WHO of salvation is whosoever.
The HOW of salvation is believe.
The MEANS of salvation is by grace.
"And if by grace, it is no more works: otherwise grace is no more grace. And if it is by works, it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work." Romans 11:6
That means it's not part-grace and part-works. It’s all grace. When you put your hand of faith in God's hand of grace, that’s salvation.
In my hand no price I bring.
Simply to thy cross I cling.
Now that we see the WHO, HOW and MEANS, What Are the RESULTS of Your Salvation?
The book of First John was written to give Christians assurance of salvation. The apostle John uses the word know almost forty times because he wants you to know for certain you have been born again. John offers three tests to help you make sure. If you are saved, these things will be present:
- His lordship in your life,
- your fellowhip with other believers, and
- your relationship with Him.
I. THE LORDSHIP TEST
Is Jesus the Lord of your life? “And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.” (1 John 2:3)
1. We know we are saved if we ________ _______ ____________________.
Notice: John doesn't say you are saved by keeping the commandments, for that would be salvation by your works. John says you can be sure you know the Lord if you keep His commandments.
“He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” (1 John 2:4).
2. John doesn't beat around the bush. He simply says that if you say you are saved but consistently don't do what God says, you are a __________.
God doesn’t expect perfection.
Don't misunderstand: God isn't expecting you to be perfect. We are all sinners, and John just said that in an earlier verse: “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us” (1:10). Everybody sins. If we didn't sin, we wouldn't need salvation. Yet we know that we know Him “if we keep His commandments.”
A CLOSER LOOK AT “KEEPING” HIS COMMANDMENTS
The word keep was used by sailors who navigated by the stars. They would plot the heavens, then keep the boat going in the right direction by“keeping to the stars.” To “keep” His commandments means to steer your life by His Word. That's the goal of the Christian life. A sailor might get distracted and get off course, but when he realizes it, he gets right back on course. That's the way it is with the child of God. We sometimes take our eyes off Him and fail, but the desire of our hearts is to keep His commandments. You aren't saved by keeping them, but one of the marks of a Christian is that you desire to live according to those commandments. You want Christ to be Lord of your life.
3. According to 1 John 2:3, 5-6, 29 and 3:3, what is the Lordship test? ____________________________________________________
Again, it’s not that we become perfect. But before we were saved, we often found ourselves running to sin. Now we run fromit. Have you observed this in your life? If so, is there an area where you’ve noticed a “turnaround”? ___________________________________________________________________
4. While our attitude is different, we definitely still do sin. What are we warned about in 1 John 1:8 and 1:10?_______________________________
5. What wonderful promise is sandwiched in between these two warnings in 1 John 1:9? ________________________________________________________
6. What is John’s hope for all believers in 1 John 2:1? ____________________
II. THE FELLOWSHIP TEST
“We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.” (1 John 3:14)
When you love the Heavenly Father, you will love His children, your brothers and sisters in Christ, as well.
“If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who ___________ ________ __________ his brother also.” (1 John 4:20-21)
When you were saved, you became a partaker of God's divine nature, which is love. If God's nature is in you, you will love others the way He does.
“Beloved, let us love one another: for _________ ____ ____ ______; and everyone that loveth is _________ ____ ______, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love” (1 John 4:7-8).
If you are really saved, God's love will be in you. You aren't saved byloving others (again, never by our “good works”), but because you aresaved, you will love others.
7. Look at the following passages: 1 John 3:10-18, 4:7-11 and 4:20-5:2 What is the test of fellowship? __________________________________________
III. THE RELATIONSHIP TEST
Salvation is a vital relationship with Jesus Christ. Those who are Christians have an ongoing relationship with Him.
“And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may __________ that ye have eternal life, and that ye may _______________ on the name of the Son of God” (1 John 5:11-13).
The Bible never says to look back to some past experience for proof of your salvation. It says to look at your current relationship. Do you have a relationship with Jesus Christ? Is He your friend and companion? Or is He somebody you were introduced to once but never bothered to get to know? “He that believeth on Jesus is born of God.” The question is not “Did you believe in Jesus?” but “Are you believing in Jesus?” Do you have a relationship with the Lord now?
Communication with God
To have a healthy, growing relationship with anyone, you must communicate.
“In everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.” Philippians 4:6
How do we best communicate with God? by ____________________.
“The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” John 6:63.
“Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” Psalm119:105
He communicates to us by His ___________.
Are prayer and Bible reading a part of your personal, day-to-day relationship with Christ?
We’ve looked at three ways—lordship, fellowship, relationship—that you can have assurance that you are saved. It is possible that you could be saved and not have that full assurance. If you can honestly say, “I’ve passed all three tests,” if you have asked God to forgive you of your sins and have trusted Christ—fully committed your life to Him—then there is no reason for you to doubt your salvation. That assurance should be yours. A river of peace should begin to flow in your heart.
If you've had serious doubts,
- Maybe you've not understood and have tried to mix in works with grace.
- It’s possible you have some unconfessed, undealt-with sin in your life. God won't let you have assurance until you deal with that. Surrender that sin to Him.
No more playing church. Give everything to Jesus because you want that blessed assurance. You will be able to say, “Blessed assurance Jesus is mine. Oh what a foretaste of glory divine.”
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