Summary: One of the birthrights that God gives to each one of his children is the assurance of their Salvation. I can't think of anything more important in the Christian life than knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that we have eternal life.
One of the birthrights that God gives to each one of his children is the assurance of their Salvation. I can't think of anything more important in the Christian life than knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that we have eternal life. Someone once told me, “If Satan cannot get you to drink, he will get you to doubt.” A doubting Christian is a defeated Christian.
If you are not dead certain of your own Salvation, it will defeat your prayer life. Your witnessing life will be ineffective. It destroys your ability to worship because all your attention is turned inward. Doubt destroys every practice of the Christian life and renders the believer ineffective and powerless.
Now if you doubt, that does not mean that you are not saved. I think every believer doubts at one time or another. That is the reason for this book (the Bible). There are many reasons a person may doubt their Salvation. First, you may not be saved. Second, some persistent sin maybe in your life.
The greatest reason for doubt is ignorance of what God says about Salvation. 1 John 5: 13. You can know for sure that you have eternal life. Now, what is eternal life? Most would say to live forever, but that's incorrect. Eternal life does include living forever, but that is not its primary meaning. Eternal is an adjective that can only be ascribed to God. People talk about the “eternal mountains”, the “eternal heavens”, that's not true! God is eternal, so it means we have God's life. This is the miracle of Salvation.
2 Peter 1:4; God is giving me His life and His nature. Now, everybody does not want to live forever. 129 per day in the United States commit suicide. I wouldn’t want to live forever in sin, misery, and disappointment. But I do want eternal life in Christ!
How can we know for sure we have eternal life?
1. Very simply, God like results in God like living. So, John talks about three things in this book: Behavior, Brotherhood and belief.
2. John seems to have in mind someone who is always testifying one way and living another. 1 John 1:6, 2:4, 2:9, 3:17, 4:20, 5:2.
3. John says, wait a minute. Let's put your profession under the microscope and see if you possess what you profess.
4. Jesus constantly challenged those who profess faith in him; Constantly shifting the ranks. Luke 9:57 -62.
5. Jesus lost more people than he won. By today's standards Jesus could never get a revival in any church because he did not have that many decisions.
a. He would start out with great crowds.
b. Before it was over, he would run everybody off.
6. He lost one of the greatest prospects any preacher would have loved to have had, in the rich young ruler.
a. He had money.
b. He had manners; he came kneeling.
c. He had morals. He kept the commandments.
d. That's the best prospect that you could hope to find.
7. If Jesus had been the average Baptist pastor, he would have already had him signed up. Then he would have discussed all the other things later.
8. Jesus diagnosed this young man's problem. Gave him a prescription. The young man went away sorrowful and Jesus didn't even try to stop him.
9. Jesus wanted men to follow for the right reason. The Bible sifts us, so John says, “let's examine your profession by these three characteristics.”
I. The Test of Behavior
1. He is saying that when a person is saved, it affects the way he lives, it affects his conduct.
2. If a man says he is saved and his everyday life contradicts his profession, he is a liar.
3. John argues like a woman. A man is very logical, reasonable, rational. If he wants to prove something, he builds evidence and facts.
4. A woman on the other hand is illogical, irrational. She moves by instinct; she says such and such is, so and so.
a. How do you know, I don't know, it just is?
b. And you know what bugs you? The fact that they are right 99% of the time.
5. So, John does not argue. He's does not try to prove it. He just declares it. Verse 4
6. If you are safe, you should walk like Jesus. Verse 6. John 14: 8 -9, 20: 21. You ought to be able to say, “he that has seen me has seen Jesus.”
7. Just as Jesus was the truth about the father, we should be the truth about Jesus. Some of us are telling lies about Jesus. 2 Corinthians 3: 1 -3.