Summary: Sermon 7 of the series. As we continue to study the 16 signs that John gives to identify a true believer, we ask ...Am I doing righteousness? Am I living in light of His coming? Am I overcoming habitual sin?
Series: Things That Accompany Salvation
Hebrews 6:9 But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.
Message 7: Sixteen Signs of a True Believer (Part III)
(2 Cor. 13:5; 1 Jn. 2:29; 3:1-9)
2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
• “Examine” - peirazo = to test, to scrutinize.
• We are to examine our faith.
• But with what are we to test it?
• We are to examine ourselves by the revealed word of God.
• 28 times in 23 verses John tells us that we can “KNOW” that we are saved!
• We cannot afford to ignore what John, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is telling us!
• There is the danger that we may be “reprobates.”
“reprobate” - to be tested by God and rejected as unapproved, found to be worthless and cast away.
ILLUS: These are the gauges on the dash of your life!
NOTE: These tests are not for you to judge your fellow church member’s salvation. They are to be applied by each person to himself!
Thus far, we have considered:
1. The Companionship Test: Do I demonstrate that I love the fellowship of the Father, the Son and the Saints?
2. The Comfort Test: Am I sensitive to sin?
3. The Cleansing Test: Have I experienced and accepted the forgiveness of God?
4. The Commandments Test: Am I keeping God’s commandments?
5. The Conformity Test: Does my life conform to the will of God?
I. The Conduct Test (1 Jn. 2:29)
Explain the Greek word here.
1 John 2:29 If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.
Am I doing righteousness? (2:29)
A. The Assumption that is Made
“If ye know that he is righteous”
The construction in the Greek is called a 3rd class condition.
B. The Actions that are Taken
See definition from On-line Bible.
• Lit., “Every one that is consistently doing righteousness, is practicing righteousness”
• Righteousness = what is just, what is right!
C. The Assurance that is Given
• When we see one that is consistently practicing righteousness, we may be assured that this person is born of God!
• Note that the focus is not upon knowing if YOU are saved.
• The focus is upon our observation of others!
• The righteousness is not buying cookies and holding the door for little ladies.
• It is doing “right” according to the standards of the Word of God.
• It is Bible reading, praying, tithing, church attendance, love for the brethren, etc.
• You say, Preacher, how can you say that? I’m not, the Word is!
In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. (1 John 3:10)
Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. (Matthew 7:16,17)
• This is the conduct test.
• Are you doing right?
II. The Coming Test (1 Jn. 3:1-3)
A. Our Privilege (1)
1 John 3:1-3 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
• John tells us to look upon this, to fix your gaze, to wonder with amazement at this love of God.
• In 1905, Charles Gabriel published a song which expressed this sentiment:
I stand amazed in the presence, of Jesus the Nazarene,
And wonder how he could save me, a sinner condemned unclean.
Oh how marvelous, Oh how wonderful, this my song shall ever be,
How marvelous, how wonderful, is my Savior’s love for me!
B. Our Position (2A)
2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God,
• I was born to a lower working class family in the South.
• I come from a home where divorce broke up a family.
• I am a Baptist preacher, and an independent one at that.
• I have no prospects of becoming famous.
• Many of you join me in that background.
• But in this we can rejoice: We are sons of God!
• In 1877 Harriet E. Buell wrote:
I once was an outcast stranger on earth,
A sinner by choice, an alien by birth,
But I’ve been adopted, my name’s written down,
An heir to a mansion, a robe and a crown.
A tent or a cottage, why should I care?