Summary: Series inspired by “What every Christian Ought to Know” by Adrian Rogers and “Saved without a Doubt” by John Macarthur

Sermon Series: “Blessed Assurance”

Sermon #3: “Birthmarks of a Believer (B)”

Text: I John 5:13

INTRODUCTION: Welcome to week 3 of a 5 week study on how to be assured of our salvation.

We have learned so far that true salvation lies in our being ‘born again’ by God’s Grace through faith in Jesus Christ as Savior, and that we can add nothing to that with our good works.

Many people teach that:

Faith + Good Works = Justification & Grace (WRONG!)

But the Bible teaches that it is our faith alone that saves us, and our works are the natural bi-product of saving faith:

Grace + Faith = Justification & Good Works (RIGHT!)

This is spelled out in Paul’s epistle to the church of Ephesus (a familiar passage)

Ephesians 2:8-10 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

This truth is hard for many people to comprehend, and they ultimately end up adding a whole list of “Must’s” to faith for salvation

I.E. “To really be saved one MUST…” or “Along with faith one MUST…”

NOTE: I want to be perfectly clear that this is not the intent of the list I began last week – I am not adding any WORKS to faith for justification

I am simply teaching the truth of God’s Word that “saving faith” will ALWAYS be accompanied by good works, or it is not truly “saving faith”

With that in mind, let’s look again to the bi-products of authentic faith that we began to see last week.

You will remember we learned last week the first three birthmarks were:

- Fellowship with Jesus and the Father

- Sensitivity to Sin

- Obedience to God’s Word

***Today we will continue with three more ‘birthmarks of true believers’…

I. Rejection of Evil in the World

a. I John 2:15-17 “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”

b. The word “Love” speaks of our hearts deepest desires and goals

i. A love for this world would be a heart that desires the things of this world over Godly things

ii. This is, perhaps, the most unsettling of all of the tests

iii. Because most people, including Christians, are infatuated with all this world has to offer them

1. How many televangelists shower us with ideas that God is out for us to have wealth and prosperity in this life?

2. QUOTE: “The most popular “Bible” teachers of today are the ones who are spouting that “God wants you to be wealthy” rather than “God wants you to be Holy”

3. Most of them will tell you that the only thing keeping you from material wealth is that you haven’t ‘claimed’ God’s promise of riches

iv. To say we are to ‘not love the world’ goes against most people’s natural desires

c. The word “world” is not speaking of the ‘soil’ we walk on, but the ‘system’ we live in

i. This is teaching that the worldly system around us is sinful, and we are to love righteousness and not desire to be a part of it

ii. This is not saying that we can never have ‘joy’ or ‘enjoy anything’ – but that we must reject the evil that is in the world

d. It helps when we discern who is really controlling the world’s system

i. I John 5:19 “We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the control of the wicked one.”

ii. The Bible clearly teaches that the world’s system is guided by wickedness, rather than holiness

iii. Illustration(s) “Satan’s Control” Just look around us…

1. The most popular movies and video games in the world glorify sex, violence and drugs

2. “Grand Theft Auto” along with glorifying recklessness, gives the player extra points for picking up prostitutes and then killing them

3. “South Park” is a cartoon depicting young children with foul mouths making jokes about sex, drugs, pornography… while of course blasting Christianity

a. NOTE: Was rated as one of the Top 10 best cartoons of all time by an internet web poll

b. Whatever happened to Bugs Bunny? Yosemite Sam? Mickey Mouse?

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