Summary: Sermon 5 in series. 1 John, the epistle of assurance, gives 16 signs of a genuine believer in Christ. This is part 1 of that series.
Series: Things That Accompany Salvation
Hebrews 6:9 But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.
Message #1: An Argument in Eternity. Mt. 7:21-23 Many who say “Lord, Lord ...”
Message #2: The Cost of Freedom in Christ. John 8:31-37 True believers continue in the Word!
Message #3: Let’s go to supper! Luke 14:15-24. We must accept Jesus’ invitation.
Message #4: The Cost of Serving Christ Luke 14:25-35 Following Jesus has serious demands!
Message 5: Sixteen Signs of a True Believer (Part I)
(2 Cor. 13:5; 1 John 1:3-10)
2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
• “Examine” - peirazo = to test, to scrutinize.
• We are to examine our faith.
• But with what are we to test it?
ILLUS: Forensic lab uses chemicals and special lights and complex processes to come to a result.
• We are to examine ourselves by the revealed word of God.
▸ It is not the standard of other believers.
▸ It is not the standard of Baptist churches.
▸ It is not the standard world opinion.
▸ If I want to know if my faith matches God’s definition of faith, then I must look at God’s definition!
▸ So let us give ourselves a “pop quiz,” a self-test, by looking into the word of God!
NOTE: At this point credit Gromacki for his development of these 16 signs. There is nothing new under the sun, but there may be new insight, new ways of looking what has already been revealed!
▸ 28 times in 23 verses John tells us that we can “KNOW” that we are saved!
▸ We cannot afford to ignore what John, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is telling us!
▸ There is the danger that we may be “reprobates.”
“reprobate” - to be tested by God and rejected as unapproved, found to be worthless and cast away.
ILLUS: These are the gauges on the dash of your life!
NOTE: These tests are not for you to judge your fellow church member’s salvation. They are to be applied by each person to himself!
I. Sign #1: The Companionship Test (1 John 1:3,4)
• Have I experienced spiritual fellowship with God and with others? (1:3,4)
1 John 1:1-4 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; 2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) 3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
A. The Believers in Fellowship (1:3; John 13:35)
• The normal thing for the Christian is to have fellowship with other believers.
• That fellowship should be a delight to us!
• It should be evident to all the world that we love one another!
John 13:35 (KJV) By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
• Soon we shall begin our study in Baptist distinctives.
• One of the things that distinguishes us is regenerate church membership.
• We are not like the Anglican Parish.
• Members of Baptist churches must be born again.
• And a person that avoids the house of God, for whatever reason, is placing a huge question mark on his love of the believers.
• And thus, he places a huge question mark on his own salvation!
B. The Basis of Fellowship (1:3; Lk. 24:32)
“Our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ”
• You may be an accepted part of a local assembly and yet be “reprobate.”
• For the basis of our fellowship with one another is the fellowship that we have with Jesus Christ!
Can two walk together, except they be agreed? (Amos 3:3)
• Do you have a walk with the Lord?
• Are there times of his presence with you?
• Do you think of Him at any time other than 11:00 Sundays?
• The test of our faith is our fellowship with Christ!
• Hear the testimony of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus:
Luke 24:32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?