Certain and Sure
“The Outward Evidence of Our Eternal Assurance” 1 John 5:1-21
Old Testament – Ezekiel 36:22-32
New Testament – Romans 5:1-20
Certain and Sure
“The Outward Evidence of Our Eternal Assurance”
1 John 5:1-21
Wayne J. Edwards, Pastor
While it is possible for a Christian to have the absolute assurance of their eternal salvation, it is also possible for a committed Christian to experience some doubts about their salvation.
- Some question their childhood decisions to join the church and to be baptized without fully understanding what that meant.
- Some doubt their salvation because they can’t conquer some besetting sin, or forgive themselves of their past sins.
- Some doubt their salvation because they can’t live up to the strict moral standards of the Christian life.
Perhaps the main reason Christians doubt their salvation is because they do not understand that our eternal salvation is given to us by God’s grace alone, through our faith alone, and in Christ alone.
- Our salvation is the supernatural work of God from beginning to end. Yes, we must believe, and yes, we must receive. However, in John 6:44, Jesus said, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent me draws Him.”
- The purpose of the Father’s gift of grace is not to save us so we can have our best life today, but that we might spend eternity praising God for His gift of salvation.
The Apostle John said he wrote his gospel, and his three epistles, to assure those who expressed their faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior of their eternal salvation.
- John 20:30-31 – “Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book, but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”
- 1 John 5:13 – “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.
- The words “believe” and “know” mean to have such assurance in those facts that we would stake our eternal lives on them.
On what basis do we take God at His word? Is there some empirical basis for our expressed faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior?
- We have the testimony of our spiritual forefathers who obtained every promise of God by their faith alone.
- Hebrews 11:1 – “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen, for by it the elders obtained a good testimony.”
- We have the testimony of millions of people whose lives have been radically and drastically changed by their expressed faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord.
- 1 John 5:6 – “This is He that came by water and blood.”
- We are saved from the penalty of our sins by His shed blood.
- We are sanctified from our sins by the daily washing of the water of the Word of God.
- 1 John 5:6 – “This is He that came by water and blood.”
- We have the external witness of the power of God the Father, the power of the written Word, and the power of the Holy Spirit, and they are all in agreement.
- We have the internal witness of the power of the Holy Spirit, the cleansing power of the water of the Word, and the saving power of the blood of Christ, and they are all in agreement.
- 1 John 5:7 – “There are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit.”
- We have the assurance given to us from God’s Holy Word.
- 1 John 5:10 – “And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.”
Our trust in Jesus Christ for our eternal salvation is not a religious crutch upon which we can lean in the hard times of life, nor a salve we can put on our wounds to soothe the hardships of life, nor an opiate we can turn to when we face the unexplainable things of life.
- Every facet of our faith is confirmed by the divinely inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God.
- The essential doctrines of the Christian Faith are attested to by God’s Holy Word,
- Either the Bible is absolute truth with no mixture of error in its content and its intent, or it is not truth at all.
- The work of Christ and the witness of the Holy Spirit are a part of God’s written record, which is His Holy Word, and to doubt the divine authority of the Bible is to call God a liar.
- We have the assurance given to us by the fruit of our behavior.
- The root of our eternal salvation is the work of Christ on the cross, the witness of the Holy Spirit within us, and the promise of God’s Holy Word.
- But the fruit of our eternal salvation is manifested in our behavior, and John gave us three tests by which we can know whether or not we are saved.
- The Commandment Test – 1 John 2:3-6 – “By this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says I know Him, and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.”
- While we do not keep the commandments to be saved, we keep the commandments of God because we are saved, and because we want the testimony of our faith not only to be real, but convincing and convicting to others.
- While none of us have kept all of God’s commandments, the fact that we have failed should not keep us from trying.
- If we are truly saved, there should be a burning desire to live our lives for the One who loved us enough to send His Son to save us from our sins, and while we may swerve off course from time to time, we need only to confess that sin, repent of it, and recommit our purpose to walk in His ways.
- The Companion Test – 1 John 3:14 – “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.”
- It is impossible to love the Lord Jesus and not love what Jesus loves, and Jesus loves His Bride, The Church.
- True believers stay right with God the Father, and they strive to be right with their brothers and sisters in Christ.
- In John 13:34-35, Jesus humbled his arrogant disciples by washing their filthy feet, and then He told them: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
- The Commitment Test – 1 John 5:10 and 13 –
- Verse 10 – “He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself.”
- Verse 13 – “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.”
- Exercising our faith requires more than a mental agreement, or an emotional involvement; True faith requires a life-changing, lifetime commitment.
- Ask people if they are saved today, and most likely, they will tell you about an event that happened in their life when they were children, or a teenager, or a young adult, but the Bible never uses such an experience as proof of one’s salvation.
- 1 John 5:10 – “He who BELIEVES!
- Of course, there was a day when you made your pubic confession of faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, but the real test is, do you believe in Jesus Christ today?
- What is the verifiable evidence that you are a true, born-again, child of God today? That is the irrefutable proof of your eternal salvation