Summary: Assurance of salvation
Check Your Life Boat
TEXT: 1 John 5:13
Sermon by Kenny McKinley
In 1st John were given principals for a spiritual check up that will either lead to assurance of salvation or expose false assurance. Now this is important because there are many, many Christians who are not walking in victory and who are not effective for Christ because of doubt.
Now there are three views on assurance. The 1st is a false confidence. False confidence is when a person learns that salvation is a gift and so they conclude that self-examination is unnecessary, even if there is no evidence of spiritual fruit. The Bible says that these are hearers of the Word and not doers, and they have deceived themselves. The 2nd group are those who constantly beat themselves up with anxiety and doubt. They’re never able to enjoy their standing with Christ, and the more they look at themselves the more they see their flaws. And the more they see their flaws the more fears, worries, and doubts they have, because they are looking too much at themselves and what they are capable of doing, and not looking enough at Jesus, who is the author and finisher of our faith. The 3rd group is a combination of the other two groups and is the right group to be in. So if you will turn with me to 1st John 5:13 (read).
On April 12, 1912 the largest ship ever built set out to sea. It was as long as three football fields, 11 stories high, and weighed 46,000 tons. That’s over 9 million pounds. Most of you probably know that the name of the ship was the R.M.S. Titanic. At 9:40 PM on April 14th the Titanic received a warning about icebergs, but the warning was ignored. Five more warnings were received and all five were tossed aside. At 11:40 PM the Titanic hit an iceberg that ripped a 15 foot gash in the ships right side, and out of the 2,226 people on board, only 753 were saved.
Just like the Titanic this world was traveling along full speed ahead, ignoring all the warnings, and then it hit the iceberg of sin. The only question is, who will heed God’s warning and get into the lifeboat of salvation?
The greatest thing in the world is to be saved. The only problem is that there are many in the Body of Christ who have no assurance. Christians everywhere seem to be wrestling with the question of assurance. “Am I saved? Am I truly forgiven and right with God? Will I go to heaven?” Well one book in the Bible was written for the specific purpose of giving the believer assurance, and it’s the book we have taken our text from today. John wrote this book to help us check ourselves. To help those who say they are Christians see if they really are.
I have a Denver Broncos jersey that I will occasionally wear. But just because I might put that jersey on from time to time, it doesn’t mean that I’m part of the team. In 2nd Corinthians 13:5 were told to test ourselves. To examine ourselves as to whether or not were in the faith. And Jesus said in Matthew 7:22 “Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord have we not prophesied in Your Name, cast out demons in Your Name, and done many wonders in Your Name? And I will declare to them, I never knew you…” the Bible is clear when it tells us that there are some who claim to be Christians, and some who even think that they are Christians who really aren’t. And then there are some Christians who, as we just discussed, have trouble with assurance.
There are several key words that John used in our text and if I can I’d like to go over them today. The first, is the word “know”. Now it’s important to note that John addressed this to “you who believe”. This tells us that God wants those who truly believe to have a firm assurance of their salvation. He wants us to know that we belong to Him. The great British preacher Charles Hadden Spurgeon said he was so sure of his salvation that he could grab a cornstalk, swing over the fires of hell, look into the face of the devil, and sing “blessed assurance, Jesus is mine.” Now that’s assurance!
The 2nd key word in this verse is the word “written”. 2nd Timothy 3:16 tells us that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God…” most of you have heard me say this before and you’ll probably hear me say it again. The Bible is absolute truth. If one part of it is a lie, then it all is, and we are wasting our time being here. The problem is that there are many want to gauge where they stand with God by what they think and their feelings. Let me just tell you that those who base their assurance on their feelings end up riding an emotional roller coaster. One day they will be up, the next day they will be down. We can’t trust our feelings, but we can trust God’s Word.