Summary: This sermon looks at: What is salvation? and examines the fruit of salvation in our lives from attitude, actions and affection to Jesus. It ends by asking people if they personally have salvation. It contains references from the Koran, BBC, psychology jou
1 John part 1
‘How may I know I am saved?’
Before I start my sermon this week I want to start by saying I am only talking about your personal salvation. I am not talking about salvation in general.
Romans 10: 6 – 9 is quite clear that it is God’s decision who will enter heaven. We can only be sure of our own salvation, who else God lets into heaven is his own business. 6But the righteousness that is by faith says: "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?'" (that is, to bring Christ down) 7"or 'Who will descend into the deep?'" (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8But what does it say? … 9That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
In Australia we seem to have an interesting view of our bodies. On the 24th of May 2008 the Melbourne Age Newspaper reported that Australians now have the 2nd longest life expectancy in the world. We are exercising more, dieting better and beating our bodies into submission. Compared to the rest of the world Australians are fanatical about being healthy, denying ourselves many of the pleasures the rest of the world takes for granted. We smoke less, eat less and are less idle, we are very harsh on our bodies to keep them in shape. Yet at exactly the same time the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reports Australians are having more unsafe sex and diabetes is on the rise. So Australians are very hard on their bodies beating them into submission yet on the same side we are indulging in more unsafe pleasure than ever before.
This philosophy is not new. 2,000 years ago it had a name called Gnosticism. People would declare all human bodies as evil, anything to do with the material world as sinful. One day they would deny themselves all pleasure and beat their bodies into submission, the next day they would say that bodies are evil and would indulge in extreme pleasure, saying it is just human nature.
This leads to the question, ‘How does our Christianity fit into a world of denying your body one day and extreme pleasure the next?’
More specifically ‘if the human nature is so sinful how do you know you are a Christian?’
Read 1 John 1: 8 - 10
INTRO: One of the main purposes of the book of 1 John is that you and I might come to know that we are truly children of God. To know that we are born again. The Bible plainly teaches that it is possible for a Christian to really and actually know he is saved.
It would be inconceivable to go to one of the first century Christians and ask him if he were saved and get answers like, “Well, I hope so or I think I am saved.” Those early Christians had assurance because their salvation was solidly based on a real experience with the Lord Jesus Christ and the unshakable testimony of the Word of God.
Read 1 John 2:3-2:11
Notice a phrase that occurs three times in these verses. It is the phrase “whoever claims” It occurs in vv. 4, 6 and 9 and introduces us to a series of tests whereby we can know beyond a doubt that we are a child of God.
How can I know, I am saved?
1. What is salvation?
2. The test of attitude
3. The test of actions
4. The test of affection
1. What is salvation?
Many people do not really understand salvation as shown by a joke that was once told to me
Jesus and Satan have a discussion as to who is the better programmer. This goes on for a few hours until they come to an agreement to hold a contest, with God as the judge.
They sit themselves at their computers and begin. They type furiously, lines of code streaming up the screen, for several hours straight. Seconds before the end of the competition, a bolt of lightning strikes, taking out the electricity. Moments later, the power is restored, and God announces that the contest is over.
He asks Satan to show what he has come up with. Satan is visibly upset, and cries, "I have nothing. I lost it all when the power went out."
"Very well, then," says God, "let us see if Jesus fared any better."
Jesus enters a command, and the screen comes to life in vivid display, the voices of an angelic choir pour forth from the speakers. Satan is astonished.
He stutters, "B-b-but how? I lost everything, yet Jesus' program is intact. How did he do it?"