Summary: Sermon 9 of the series, "Things that Accompany Salvation." In the current sermon we ask: Am I free from moral guilt? Have I experienced answered prayer?
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 9: Sixteen Signs of a True Believer (Part V)
(2 Cor. 13:5; 1 Jn. 3:20-23)
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?
• We are to examine ourselves by the revealed word of God.
• 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!
Thus far, we have considered:
1. The Companionship Test: Do I demonstrate that I love the fellowship of the Father, the Son and the Saints?
2. The Comfort Test: Am I sensitive to sin?
3. The Cleansing Test: Have I experienced and accepted the forgiveness of God?
4. The Commandments Test: Am I keeping God’s commandments?
5. The Conformity Test: Does my life conform to the will of God?
6. The Conduct Test: Am I doing rightousness?
7. The Coming Test: Am I showing that I am looking forward to the coming of Christ by living in such a way that I would not be embarrassed by His coming? “He that hath this hope ... purifieth himself.”
8. The Conquering Test: Am I winning the battle over habitual sin?
9. The Charity Test: Am I demonstrating by my actions and attitude a genuine love for my brothers and sisters in Christ.
I. The Conscience Test (3:20-21,23)
Am I free from moral guilt? (3:21)
• Some may object to using the word conscience.
• Yet 31 times in 29 verses the Word of God talks about our conscience.
• Listen to the words of Scripture:
1 Timothy 1:19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:
NOTE TO ME: Use WS7 to look up the references to conscience and use several. Preach a series on this soon.
A. A Condemnation that is Felt (20A)
1 John 3:20A For if our heart condemn us,
• Guilt is an horrible creature.
• We saw earlier in the chapter that the true child of God cannot practice sin.
• It tells us that this is so because His seed dwelleth in us.
• That is the Spirit of God!
• God has so made us that sin will bother our spirit.
• The Holy Spirit living within us makes sin and the believer incompatible.
ILLUS: Smoke alarm. Sometimes it may go off when cooking, especially when I cook! If we get tired of hearing it, then we may tape over it. But in so doing, you may set yourself up to burn in a real fire! You cannot ignore the conviction of the Holy Spirit without bringing yourself into eventual peril! And if you don’t get that alarm to shut up, you may lose your mind!
B. A Confidence that is Found (20B-21,23)
A Confidence in Our Salvation from God!
20B God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ,
• When we have dealt with our sin problem ...
• When we have dealt with our sins problem ...
• We remove the monster of guilt from our lives.
• And then we can enjoy the confidence of KNOWING that we are saved!
Title: Phantom Guilt
Amputees often experience some sensation of a phantom limb. Somewhere, locked in their brains, a memory lingers of the nonexistent hand or leg. Invisible toes curl, imaginary hands grasp things, a "leg" feels so sturdy a patient may try to stand on it. For a few, the experience includes pain. Doctors watch helplessly, for the part of the body screaming for attention does not exist.
One such patient was my medical school administrator, Mr. Barwick, who had a serious and painful circulation problem in his leg but refused to allow the recommended amputation. As the pain grew worse, Barwick grew bitter. "I hate it! I hate It!" he would mutter about the leg. At last he relented and told the doctor, "I can't stand it anymore. I'm through with that leg. Take it off." Surgery was scheduled immediately.