Summary: Continuing in our series on EVIDENCES that give you the ASSURANCE of salvation ... the old love for the world will pass away and yield to a new love for God.
BLESSED ASSURANCE – Evidence #5
“Old Things Are Passed Away”
INTRODUCTION: We have been studying the EVIDENCES that give us the ASSURANCE of our salvation. In our study we have seen:
o Without the ASSURANCE of salvation, you can’t live a productive Christian life.
o EVIDENCE #1 – Your relationship with Christ gives ASSURANCE of salvation.
o EVIDENCE #2 – How you deal with sin in your life gives EVIDENCE of your salvation.
o EVIDENCE #3 – Your obedience to God’s Word gives EVIDENCE of your salvation.
o EVIDENCE #4 – Your love for other Christians gives evidence of your salvation.
NOW – We will see that your COMMITMENT TO CHRIST will give EVIDENCE as to whether or not you are a true born-again believer.
2 Cor. 5:17 – “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
When you are saved, there’s no going back to the old way of life. That bridge has been burned. You can never go back to being lost … that’s called ETERNAL SECURITY. You have become part of a new family … the family of God. You have ceased being a ‘child of the Devil’, and are now a ‘child of God’.
When I began my ministry, before I went to Bible College, I already had a college education … a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida in the College of Architecture. Many well-meaning people told me, “at least you have something to fall back on.” Although I understood their hearts, what they said always bothered me. It was as if I was expected to fail, and I had a safety net to catch me. I always thought of my education as something to SUPPORT and ENHANCE my ministry … not to catch me when I fell.
As a Christian, we have nothing in this world to “fall back on”. “Old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” We have made a U-turn … and there is no turning back.
HYMN – “I Have Decided To Follow Jesus”.
There will be a CHANGE in the life of the Christian … from the old life to the new life. That gives us the ASSURANCE of our salvation. If there hasn’t been a CHANGE in your life, you will always DOUBT your salvation … for good reason.
HYMN – “Since Jesus Came Into My Heart”.
The CHANGE that John talks about is the CHANGE in LOVE. Before you were saved, you had a love for this WORLD. NOW that you are saved, it has been replaced by a love for GOD. It’s not INSTANTANEOUS … but once you are saved, your love for the world will decrease, and your love for Christ will grow stronger.
1 John 2:12 - John writes to Christians as part of the FAMILY OF GOD. Our sins are forgiven, and Satan no longer has a hold on us.
1 John 2:13 – John shows us 3 different LEVELS OF SPIRITUAL GROWTH.
1.- “Little Children” – These are new believers … “babes in Christ” … still feeding on the “milk of the Word” … they “know the Father”, and are growing to love Him.
2.- “Young Men” – These are those who have been Christians for awhile, and are experiencing daily BATTLES in their Christian life … “overcome the evil one” … see 2:14b
With each spiritual victory you get stronger in the faith, as you see God at work in your life. Strength & victory comes as you get into God’s Word, and take up the “sword”.
3.- “Fathers” – These are those who have a deeper relationship with the Lord. They know Him “Who has been from the beginning (2:13 & 2:14). God is not just their Heavenly Father, but they know Him as the Sovereign of the universe … the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords … the Eternal God Who has unlimited power and might and majesty.
The BATTLE never stops … from becoming a new-born Christian to Spiritual maturity and death. John gives us some INSIGHTS into this BATTLE.
1 John 2:15a – “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.”
This is where the BATTLE is. This is the EVIDENCE as to whether you are really saved or not … WHERE DO YOU STAND WHEN IT COMES TO THE WORLD?
WHAT DOES JOHN MEAN, WHEN HE SAYS “the world”?
The Bible uses the “world” in various different ways:
o The physical planet … mountains, tree, grass, rivers, etc.
o The people on the planet … ALL or a special group of people.
o False religions, lifestyles & values in opposition to God … this is what John means by the “world” here.