Summary: Everyone has faith in something. There is a counterfeit kind of faith. Even the demons believe in God but aren't saved. The evolutionist has more faith than we do! Let's learn true faith. Link inc. to formatted text, audio, PowerPoint.
If You're Saved and You Know it Say Amen!
Here's the final conclusion on how we are justified...by faith!
What is saving faith? We need to investigate because there is a counterfeit kind of faith. Everyone has faith in something. The devils believe in God but aren't saved. The evolutionist has more faith than we do!
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
The only thing worse than going to hell is going to hell thinking you are going to heaven.
Works are no substitute for saving faith. Good deeds/miracles/casting out devils. Judas Iscariot did all of these things, but wasn't saved!
The antichrist will do miracles and deceive people thereby.
3 things that are not necessarily evidence of saving faith:
1. Visible morality.
Outwardly there are many good people who aren't saved.
Jesus told the rich young ruler to live a good moral life in order to inherit eternal life. He said, I have kept these things all my life. But Jesus knew his real problem was his heart, and told him to go sell all he had. His tune changed then! This revealed that his good deeds weren't from the heart...they were merely outward.
Our righteousnesses are filthy rags.
ill.--Buddhists achieve nirvana by holding to very high moral standards. Many religions put us to shame w/ their strict, rigid, high standards. But they aren't saved!
2. Bible knowledge.
You can possess much knowledge about God's truth intellectually, but if it's all in the head and not the heart you're not saved.
The Pharisees had much knowledge but Jesus said, ye are of your father the devil.
The Bible says of some that they are ever learning and never coming to the knowledge of the truth. They even sit in seminaries, earning more degrees than a thermometer, but remain spiritually cold because they don't have the true fire within!
3. The guilt of sin.
Feeling guilty is not a proof that you are saved. I've heard preachers maintain that guilt is an evidence you are saved.
Don't confuse guilt w/ conviction. Guilt should drive us to our knees and bring us to Jesus for salvation. But often it doesn't. Conviction happens to the believer after salvation. Mental institutions are full of people who are so burdened by the knowledge of their sinfulness that they can no longer function in normal society. Many feel guilty, and aren't saved.
Some are able to self reform and beat an addiction without God's help, but the Bible teaches it gives them a sense of pride and self sufficiency that actually drives them farther from the Lord. [7 spirits worse than the first]
2 Reliable proofs of saving faith:
Almost all Christians struggle w/ assurance of their salvation at sometime. We all have doubts sometime in our lives.
First John is the book of assurance!
These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
Ye may 'know,' not hope or think.
We need to defeat perpetual doubt. Doubt is to your spirit what pain is to your body. And the Bible is what will help us to know it!
Some version of the word 'know' is used 38 Xs in this book.
1. The root of our belief.
2. The fruit of our behavior.
The root is faith. It is a firm foundation, not jello.
There are 3 bonafide witnesses that testify to the voracity of our faith: The eternal work of the Savior, the internal witness of the Spirit, the external Word of scripture.
The eternal work of the Savior
This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood.
What came out of Jesus when His side was pierced?
In the tabernacle there was the brazen altar of blood and the brazen laver of water.
We are justified by the blood of Jesus, but we are sanctified by the washing of water by the Word.
"Let the water and the blood, from thy wounded side which flowed, be of sin the double cure, save from wrath and make me pure."
I know I'm saved because I trust in His blood to wash my sins away.