Summary: You can be sure you’re saved, just make sure.
Are You Sure You’re Saved?
October 4, 2009 Morning Service
Immanuel Baptist Church, Wagoner, OK
Message Point: You can be sure you’re saved, just make sure.
Focus Passage: 1 John 5:11-13
John says “These things have I written”… what things? Look back to see:
I. Hatred of sin (1:8-2:1
a. Many can quote 1 John 1:9 from memory: If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” without fully understanding its meaning. “Confess” here means to “agree with” implying that we agree with God that your sin is sin and feel the same way about it as He does, which is to hate it. It’s more than just verbally admitting your sin; it is forsaking it.
II. Obedience of God’s law (2:3-4)
a. By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. (1 John 2:3 NASB)
b. The word “keep” means to watch or guard, or to carefully observe. (Also read 1 John 5. 2, 3, and 18). 1 John 5. 3 states that the commandments of God are “not burdensome.” The Lord places in us a desire to obey Him. This truth sheds light on the meaning of 1 John 3. 9: “Whoever is born of God does not commit sin; for his seed remains in him and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” It is not that the believer does not have the ability to sin, as we all do, but that he cannot abide or tolerate sin. The “seed of God” remaining in him will not allow him to continue in sin. He just cannot keep on living the same old way.
III. A Love for the brethren (2. 9-11, 3. 10, 14-15)
a. It is natural for believers to love other believers. In fact, it is natural for believers to grow closer to each other than even their immediate family members who are unsaved. Why? Because as believers we have the Holy Spirit of God in us. If we love God, and another believer has God dwelling in him, we will naturally love him, for the sake of Jesus Christ and the Spirit which dwells in him.
b. Why would a believer in Jesus Christ prefer the company of those who do not love the Lord? It is unnatural. Along with this basic truth is the reality that we will treat others with grace as we have been shown grace. We will forgive as we have been forgiven. We will hate sin in other believers, not because we feel ourselves to be better than them, but because it is offensive to our God and detrimental to them and their relationship with Him. We will be motivated by care for them and their spiritual well-being.
IV. A love for, and a persistent following after Holiness (2. 29, 3. 3-9)
a. John says, “And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” (3:3)
b. Now John is in no way implying that Christians never commit any sins. The verb tenses in these verses indicate that true believers do not go on sinning as their main pattern of conduct, but rather, in the main, they seek after holiness.
c. The ninth verse of chapter three states that those who have been born of God “cannot practice sin.” Again, this does not mean that the believer does not have the ability to stumble, and commit isolated sins, but that he cannot tolerate the ongoing practice and presence of sin in his life, because it is simply incompatible with the “seed” of God that remains in him.
d. The Apostle Paul wrote of his own personal struggle with sin in Romans 7. 13-25. And at the end of his life he wrote that he had not yet “arrived,” or “attained perfection,” but that he kept on “pressing on” so as to attain “the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil 3. 12-14). The mark of the true believer is the constant and persistent following after holiness, and an absolute refusal to tolerate the presence of any known sin in our lives.
e. One might ask, at this point, a series of soul- searching questions. What is the chief object of my affection? What are my highest priorities? Is holiness a priority in my life? What am I pursuing? Am I hungering and thirsting for righteousness? (Matt 5. 6). Am I loving and seeking God with my whole heart? If so, do I understand that I must first pursue holiness, because without holiness it is impossible to see God? (Heb 12. 14).
V. The internal witness of the Holy spirit that we belong to Jesus Christ. (4. 13, 5. 10-11)