Summary: Continuing in our series on the EVIDENCES that give you the ASSURANCE of your salvation ... The TRUE Christian will strive to be more Christ-like in their daily living, and not practice sin.
“BLESSED ASSURANCE” – Evidence #7 – “The Practice Of Righteousness”
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.
EVIDENCE #6 – A TRUE Christian will understand the truth.
NOW … EVIDENCE #7 – A TRUE Christian will PRACTICE RIGHTEOUSNESS.
One of the characteristics of a TRUE Christian, is the PURSUIT of Christ-likeness. He/she will strive to be more like Christ in our daily living. This is called SANCTIFICATION … and it is a life-long process. We will never become “sinless” … but we should get to the point where we “sin less”. While sin will always be IN us, sin should no longer REIGN in us.
The fact that you desire to live a more righteous life, gives you the ASSURANCE of your salvation. If you’re not interested in living a more Godly life … are satisfied in your relationship with Christ … don’t care about what Christ thinks about the way you live … then you should doubt your salvation … probably for a good reason.
Jesus is coming back. This ought to motivate us to life Godly lives. Every Christian will have to give an account of themselves as to what kind of a Christian life they lived. We will be judged for how closely we have reflected the image of Christ.
1 John 2:28 – Not everybody in the “church” will be happy to see Jesus return. Those who “abide in Him” (the saved), are those who have walked in fellowship with Christ. While there may have been times when our fellowship has been strained, we nevertheless have rested in the grace of Christ.
If we want to stand CONFIDENTLY when Jesus returns, we have to keep in close fellowship with Him now.
1 John 2:29 – John tells us how we can know if we are TRULY saved or not … if you “doeth righteousness” = “practice righteousness”.
Christ is righteous … i.e., He conforms perfectly to the righteousness of Holy God. He never sinned … He lived a perfect. Holy, righteous life. To be “righteous” means to be “right” with God. Only Jesus has ever done that.
All Christians are in the family of God …. we are related to Christ by blood … by His blood. As in all families, there should be a FAMILY RESEMBLANCE. If you are TRULY born-again, you WILL bear a family resemblance to Christ … you will “practice righteousness”. You will still sin … but you will continue to “practice righteousness” … or you aren’t a TRUE child of God.
1 John 3:1 – The more you “practice righteousness”, the less the world will understand you. You will be so different from the world, that you will STAND OUT. This can give you the ASSURANCE of your salvation. Would you rather STAND OUT from the world, or BLEND IN with the world? If you are accepted by the world, you will probably doubt your salvation.
1 John 3:2 – Right now, we might look more like the world than we should. We might not be as conformed to the image of Christ as we should. BUT … there’s coming a time when we will be perfectly conformed into the image of Christ … when Jesus comes to take us home with Him.
A great sculptor can see, in the stone, the image he wants to produce. When Michelangelo created the sculpture “David”, he said that he just chiseled away everything that wasn’t “David”.
Within every Christian is the image of Christ … because Christ lives in you. What God wants to do, is to chisel away everything in your life that isn’t Christ. He’s still working on you. This is an EVIDENCE that you are a TRUE child of God.
BUT … When Jesus returns, God will COMPLETE whatever is lacking in your conformity to Christ-likeness. Philip. 1:6 – “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”
1 John 3:2 says that “we will be like Him”.
1.- PHYSICALLY – Our bodies will be changed and be made like His glorified resurrected body. Philip. 3:20-21 – “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;  who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.”