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 (C)”

Text: I John 5:13

INTRODUCTION: Welcome to week 4 of a 5 week study on how to be assured of our salvation.

QUOTE: Remember that I have been stressing the point that faith alone saves – but faith that saves will never be alone…it will never be void of doing good works

Jesus gave us a great example of the relationship of both faith and works, along with a stern warning:

Matthew 7:21-23 “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.”

Here Jesus makes 3 points:

(1) Those who ‘say’ and ‘do not do’ shall not enter Heaven (v.21)

a. This is because if we say we believe and don’t do God’s will, it shows our lack of belief

b. This, of course, is an example of a ‘make believer’

i. Remember 3 types of people:

ii. “Believers”, “Unbelievers”, and Make believers”

(2) Those who do and don’t believe shall not enter Heaven (v.22)

a. Notice the spectacular works they claimed

b. Prophecy, demonic control, wonderful works

c. But they were trusting in their works to save them!

i. And good works void of saving faith left them clinging to their own self-righteousness

ii. Their hearts were set on what they had accomplished, not on what God accomplished through Jesus

(3) Those who believe and do God’s will shall enter Heaven (v.21)

a. As stated earlier, the faith which “says” and does not “do” is not real faith

b. Jesus is not teaching ‘works based’ salvation in this passage

i. If so, those who did the good works would have a claim to salvation

ii. But because they were called ‘workers of iniquity’, they showed their true heart

iii. A heart that lacked a sincere change through an authentic ‘new birth’

c. Jesus is teaching that “saving faith” is essential for Heaven, and the faith that saves will not neglect to seek and do the will of God

We learned in week #1 of this series that, according to Jesus, our ‘New Birth’ is require for entrance into Heaven

And we have learned over the past two weeks that this ‘New Birth’ will make a change in our hearts – One that will bear the ‘Birthmarks of a Believer’

The birthmarks we have learned about so far have been:

1. Fellowship with Jesus and the Father

2. Sensitivity to sin (Consciousness)

3. Obedience to God’s Word

4. Rejection of evil in the world

5. Desire to see Christ return

6. Decreasing sin pattern

This week we will study three more of these ‘birthmarks’ from John’s first Epistle

I. Show love for other Christians

a. For this, we have to go backward in our text a bit from last week to pick up some of John’s writing on this subject

b. I John 2:9-11 “He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. 10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. 11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.”

c. To say that you’re ‘in the light’ is to say that you are a Christian

i. And as we have seen in this series, a life lived ‘in the light’ has a certain pattern

ii. And “love” is at the center of that pattern

iii. Because ‘love’ is the most Christ-like characteristic anyone can possess

iv. If we claim to be Christians, but we don’t love other Christians, our claim is really a ‘sham’

d. Love for other believers comes naturally to a true Christian

i. I Thessalonians 4:9 “But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another;”

ii. How are we taught? By the new nature given us by the Holy Spirit

iii. We don’t need to be instructed in love, because its instinctive, inherent and implicit in our new nature

e. There is something about love I think we should all realize:

i. Love comes in two forms:

ii. (1) Natural Love

1. Most parents ‘love’ their children with natural love

2. This is usually a ‘family’ type of love that extends (to varying degrees) to extended family (Aunts, Uncles, cousins, etc.)

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