Sunday, September 30, 2018

1 John And Assurance Of Salvation

          "I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life." (1 John 5:13)

          The Apostle John spells out his purpose in writing this epistle. It closely mirrors the evangelistic appeal of John 20:30-31 in that Christ leads us to eternal life. John includes various standards to use in evaluating our overall standing before God:  

             *According to 1 John 2:1-6, assurance of salvation is based on whether or not we genuinely know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. False professions of faith do exist.
             *Our life should be characterized with a desire to please God and obey His commandments (1 John 5:2-3). We should continually be striving to grow in sanctification. 
             *If believers do stumble, then Jesus Christ is their advocate before God (1 John 2:1). He can be likened to an attorney who intercedes before a judge in a courtroom on our behalf. 
             *A lack of concern regarding our status with God or consistent failure to make Him top priority in our lives is sufficient reason to doubt having been saved. It indicates a serious need to examine what has gone wrong in our spiritual life. A saved person will seriously try to overcome sin in his life.
             *A person who loves God and loves neighbor as himself can confidently assert being justified before God (1 John 3:16-24). A Christian will love truth and is changed by the Holy Spirit (1 John 4:4-6).

          This is not meant to be viewed as an all or nothing proposition or some sort of a legalistic checklist. Rather, the central point of emphasis here is our current state of heart. Are we striving to approach and worship God on His terms? Are we persistently living in sin? God will not accept our worship if it is based on a lie.

           If a person has doubts regarding his salvation, then he need not at the moment focus on sanctification, but justification. He needs to find the root cause of that doubt by using Scripture and strive diligently to resolve it.

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