If You're Saved and You Know it Say Amen!
Here's the final conclusion on how we are justified...by faith!
What is saving faith? We need to investigate because there is a counterfeit kind of faith. Everyone has faith in something. The devils believe in God but aren't saved. The evolutionist has more faith than we do!
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
The only thing worse than going to hell is going to hell thinking you are going to heaven.
Works are no substitute for saving faith. Good deeds/miracles/casting out devils. Judas Iscariot did all of these things, but wasn't saved!
The antichrist will do miracles and deceive people thereby.
3 things that are not necessarily evidence of saving faith:
1. Visible morality.
Outwardly there are many good people who aren't saved.
Jesus told the rich young ruler to live a good moral life in order to inherit eternal life. He said, I have kept these things all my life. But Jesus knew his real problem was his heart, and told him to go sell all he had. His tune changed then! This revealed that his good deeds weren't from the heart...they were merely outward.
Our righteousness is like filthy rags.
ill.--Buddhists achieve nirvana by holding to very high moral standards. Many religions put us to shame w/ their strict, rigid, high standards. But they aren't saved!
2. Bible knowledge.
You can possess much knowledge about God's truth intellectually, but if it's all in the head and not the heart you're not saved.
The Pharisees had much knowledge but Jesus said, ye are of your father the devil.
The Bible says of some that they are ever learning and never coming to the knowledge of the truth. They even sit in seminaries, earning more degrees than a thermometer, but remain spiritually cold because they don't have the true fire within!
3. The guilt of sin.
Feeling guilty is not a proof that you are saved. I've heard preachers maintain that guilt is an evidence you are saved.
Don't confuse guilt w/ conviction. Guilt should drive us to our knees and bring us to Jesus for salvation. But often it doesn't. Conviction happens to the believer after salvation. Mental institutions are full of people who are so burdened by the knowledge of their sinfulness that they can no longer function in normal society. Many feel guilty, and aren't saved.
Some are able to self reform and beat an addiction without God's help, but the Bible teaches it gives them a sense of pride and self sufficiency that actually drives them further from the Lord. [7 spirits worse than the first]
But don’t let me talk you out of your salvation. The goal is not to make you doubt, unless the Lord reveals to you that you need the real thing.
2 Reliable proofs of saving faith:
Almost all Christians struggle w/ assurance of their salvation at sometime. We all have doubts sometime in our lives.
First John is the book of assurance! Let’s turn…
1 John 5:13
These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
Ye may 'know,' not hope or think.
We need to defeat perpetual doubt. Doubt is to your spirit what pain is to your body. And the Bible is what will help us to know it!
Some version of the word 'know' is used 38 Xs in this book.
1. The root of our belief.
2. The fruit of our behavior.
The root is faith. It is a firm foundation, not jello.
There are 3 bona fide witnesses that testify to the voracity of our faith: The eternal work of the Savior, the internal witness of the Spirit, the external Word of Scripture.
The eternal work of the Savior
1 John 5:6
This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood.
What came out of Jesus when His side was pierced?
In the tabernacle there was the brazen altar of blood and the brazen laver of water.
We are justified by the blood of Jesus, but we are sanctified by the washing of water by the Word.
"Let the water and the blood, from thy wounded side which flowed, be of sin the double cure, save from wrath and make me pure."
I know I'm saved because I trust in His blood to wash my sins away.
It's not about how much faith you possess, but the object of your faith! With just a mustard seed of faith you could move mountains.
ill.--a frozen pond in winter / 2 boys want to play on it / one of them fell thru last year and almost died / but this year he wants to try again, but is quite afraid...he tiptoes. The ice is thick this year. He doesn't have much faith, but the object of his faith is secure. The other boy runs out like a wild man. Which one has more faith? The latter. But it doesn't matter...the object is all that matters.
We need to defeat doubts because you're not gonna be a good warrior for God if you're not even sure if you're a soldier in His army.
The internal witness of the Spirit.
1 John 5:6b
And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.
1 John 5:7-10
7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.
9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.
10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself:
'Witness of God is greater' means we put faith in men all the time, like doctors and pharmacists...how much more should we trust God!
Your faith is in your chair now, and a cook earlier when you ate!
The Holy Spirit will help you believe and know you are saved. First the Spirit witnesses to us and we get saved...then the Spirit witnesses in us...and finally...thru us!
We never have to be intimidated when talking to an atheist or other doubter, because we know what we know is real!
ill.--I can eat apple pie, and you can tell me it doesn't exist...but I have the witness in me!
The external witness of Scripture
1 John 5:10-13
10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record [written Word] that God gave of his Son.
11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
Salvation does not hinge on our emotions or feelings...we have an official record in our laps! This book is why it is not presumptuous for me to say I know I am saved.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
I want FBC to be filled w/ shouting Christians, not doubting Christians. I don't want to see people drooped over like a question mark but standing straight and tall like an exclamation point...knowing they are saved!
2 Timothy 1:12
... I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
The root of our belief is faith.
The fruit of our behavior is a changed life:
Take 3 tests from 1 John:
The Commandment Test
The first test is found in 1 John 2:3-5: "And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth His word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him."
A person who says he is saved but doesn't keep the commandments of God is lying. I don't care whose church he is a member of, how much theology he has in his head, or what kind of experience he has had at an altar; John says if he's not keeping the commandments of God, he doesn't know Him. He is not talking about sinless perfection, but that the commandments of God are to be the standard by which we chart our course.
There are many people who profess faith and then join a church as if they were joining a country club. There's no change and they continue to live the same ungodly lives. Those people have no reason whatsoever to think that they are going to heaven. If you can sin willfully, knowingly, deliberately, and habitually and feel no conviction or remorse; you have no reason to believe you are saved.
The Companion Test
There's another test found in 1 John 3:14: "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death." And in 1 John 4:20 he says, "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?"
If God is love and we have the nature of God, then we are going to have love in us. If we don't have love, we don't have the nature of God. If we don't have the nature of God, we haven't been born of God. It is very clear that another birthmark of the believer is love for the brethren. When I am saved, not only do I want to be right with my brothers, but I want to be with my brothers. If you love Jesus, you're going to love His Church.
The Commitment Test
The third test is found in 1 John 5:10-12: "He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son. And this is the record, 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."
The word believe here really means "commitment" or "trust." And that commitment and trust is in the present tense. I cannot find a single verse in the Bible that tells us to look back to some experience for the assurance of our salvation. The Bible doesn't deal with what happened in the past for assurance. What are you trusting in right now? If you were truly saved ‘back then’ then you will truly believe now. Someone who lost the faith didn’t lose salvation…they never had it in the first place.
1 John 2:19
19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
Verse thirteen says, "These things have I written unto you that believe..." It doesn't say, "believed." It means those who believe right now. Do you have that faith in your heart right now? Is there that trust and commitment to Jesus Christ right now? That's how to have assurance.
You can be saved and know it! You can be free from nagging doubts. It's so important to get this issue settled. Everything else builds on the strong confidence that God has saved you and will never let you go. Stand on His Word, and rest assured in your salvation.
If You're Saved and You Know it Say Amen!
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