Summary: Sermon 8 of the series. John's sixteen signs of a true believer (continued). In this sermon, John offers "love for our brother" as the sign of genuince faith.
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 8: Sixteen Signs of a True Believer (Part IV)
(2 Cor. 13:5; 1 Jn. 3:10-19)
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?
6. The Conduct Test: Am I doing rightousness?
7. The Coming Test: Am I showing that I am looking forward to the coming of Christ by living in such a way that I would not be embarrassed by His coming? “He that hath this hope ... purifieth himself.”
8. The Conquering Test: Am I winning the battle over habitual sin?
9. Today we look at the Charity Test: Let’s look into the Word.
Sign # 9: The Charity Test
• John spends more time talking about this topic than many other topics to which some would give a higher priority.
• John pulls no punches.
• He must deal with this in great detail because of the Gnosticism that was taking root in his day.
• These Gnostics not only had an erroneous view of God, they had a clear hatred for true believers that would not follow their teaching.
HUMOR: A charismatic: someone who loves to hate people that don’t love.
• As we will see, the Charity Test is this: If you don’t love your brother, you are not saved!
• That is blunt, it may go against your feelings, but it is a fact of Scripture.
In our text John tells us that there is ...
I. A Disqualification (10-11)
A. Because Love is Manifested (10)
1 John 3:10 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.
• John tells us that two things reveal much about us.
• Those things are our conduct and our charity.
• A genuine Christian life and a genuine love for our Christian brethren.
• I have watched many in Christian circles for many years.
• I have seen some that seemed to be doing ok on their conduct (and didn’t mind telling you so), but their love for the brethren was questionable.
• Some of these have fallen by the wayside.
• Others may love and serve everyone, but never read their Bible, no devotions, one service per week is enough for them, no tithing.
• Just as a train cannot run on one rail, so the Christian cannot choose one or the other of these and neglect the other!
• Genuine righteousness and genuine love! That is the mark.
• If these are absent, John tells us that we are disqualified from knowing for sure that we are saved.
B. Because Love is Mandated (11; Jn. 13:35)
11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
John 13:35 By this shall all [men] know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
• Love is ordered.
• It is not an option.
ILLUS: When you buy an electronic device, often there are extra parts. Sometimes I go to sell the device years later, and when I pack things up, I see the extra parts. And then I realize that I have never used them. To some, love of the brethren is considered to be an optional, perhaps unneeded accessory. John says no! Without love, you have nothing.