Summary: Continuing in our series on the ASSURANCE OF SALVATION, one of the evidences that you are a true Christian is that the believer will understand the truth and identify error.
“BLESSED ASSURANCE” – Evidence #6
“Understanding The Truth”
1 John 2:18-27, 4:1-6
INTRODUCTION: We continue in our series on EVIDENCES of salvation that give us the ASSURANCE of salvation.
You can’t base your ASSURANCE of salvation on a PAST experience … it may have been COUNTERFEIT. We are to base the ASSURANCE of salvation on PRESENT EVIDENCES. We see these EVIDENCES in the book of 1 John.
We have seen, so far:
EVIDENCE #1 – A TRUE Christian will have a relationship with Jesus.
EVIDENCE #2 – A TRUE Christian will deal with the sin in their life.
EVIDENCE #3 – A TRUE Christian will obey God’s Word.
EVIDENCE #4 – A TRUE Christian will love other Christians.
EVIDENCE #5 – A TRUE Christian will forsake the world.
NOW – EVIDENCE #6 – A TRUE Christian will UNDERSTAND THE TRUTH.
Do you remember before you were saved? You read the Bible, but you really didn’t understand it … it didn’t make much sense to you. You thought of it as “The Good Book” … you respected it … BUT … it didn’t mean very much to you.
When you were saved, the Holy Spirit came to live inside of you … to TEACH you. John 16:13 - "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.”
There were many FALSE teachers in John’s day (like today) … leading people astray (Jim Jones, false cults). They needed a special discernment as to what was TRUE … and what was FALSE.
1 John 2:18 – “last time” or “last hour” = the time between the 1st & 2nd coming of Jesus.
FALSE teachers WILL come … we have to know the TRUTH. If you are TRULY born-again, you WON’T be fooled … this can give you the ASSURANCE of your salvation. Mark 13:22
“For false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order to lead astray, if possible, the elect.”
1 John 2:19 – False teachers do not last in the church. They come and go, taking their lost followers with them. Those who follow these false teachers are LOST. This is how God purifies, purges, and cleanses the Church.
1 John 2:20-21 – The Holy Spirit is within every TRUE Christian, to warn us as to what is true/false. He is our “early warning system” … a built-in “lie detector”.
John 14:17 – “That is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.”
John 14:26 - "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”
NOW – John tells us how we can identify FALSE teachers.
1 John 2:22-23 – They deny that Jesus is who He claims to be … God in the flesh … the Savior … the only way to God the Father. They try to re-route the way to Heaven.
1 John 2:24-26 – TRUE Christians will never fall for the lies of the FALSE teachers. John 8:31 – “So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;” The TRUE Christian won’t follow the FALSE teachers. John 10:5 - "A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers."
1 John 2:27 – The Holy Spirit will open up the Scriptures to the TRUE Christian … the TRUE Christian will stay faithful. Those who follow FALSE teachers didn’t LOSE their salvation … they didn’t backslide … they were never saved.
1 John 4:1 – We are in a Spiritual warfare. Those without the indwelling Holy Spirit will lose. 1 Tim. 4:1 – “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,”
How can you tell who is the TRUE/FALSE teacher?
1 John 4:2-3 – The FALSE teachers will CLAIM the name of Jesus (“Christian”) … use the Bible … sound religious. They will talk about the love of Jesus … and even speak of His death, burial & resurrection.
BUT – They will deny His humanity and His deity … proclaim a “works salvation” … baptism, Church membership, or some other religious activity. Their apostasy will not deal with “Who is Jesus?” … “Why did He come?” … “What did He accomplish?”