Basic Truths: Assurance of Salvation - Why People Have Doubts #3

Faith Church September 28, 1991 2 Corinthians 13:5

 

- we've been studying the topic of assurance of salvation

 

- Word of God makes it clear that God wants you to be saved

- ...and he wants you to know for sure that you're saved

     - cf. I John 5:13

 

- in this study we've said that God wants you to have

  assurance of your salvation three ways

 

    1) historically

 

    2) theologically

 

    3) experientially

 

- - we've discussed the first two in the last two weeks,

    today and the Sunday after the NANC conference, we want

    to talk about the issue of having assurance

    experientially

 

- let's begin by turning to II Cor. 13:5 (READ)

 

- INPUT - what is Paul concerned about in this verse?

 

- now, James 2:14

- INPUT - what is James concerned about in this verse?

 

- both Paul and James are concerned about an individual who

  says he/she is a Christian but there's no evidence

- thats what we're talking about today...false professions

 

    - people who've mouthed some words historically

    - haven't been careful theologically

    - and there's little/no change experientially

 

- the good news is that God has given us us one book in

  particular in His Word that deals with the issue of knowing

  experientially that you're saved

      - the book of I John

 

- INPUT - what phrase is repeated several times in I John

          that goes along with what we're talking about?

            (here's how you "know that you know")

 

- its important for us to understand what John is talking

   about with his use of the word know

- in the Bible, there are several original words that are

   translated "know" in our English Bibles

 

- 2 most prominent:

 

    - 1) oida - objective knowledge, no experiential proof

                 necessary

              - much of what we believe is "oida"

              - we know that God exists by faith in what He's

                revealed in His Word

              - thats what faith is all about

 

              - what we've talked about the last couple of

                weeks is oida

                  - knowing historically and theologically

 

    - 2) ginowsko - experiential knowledge

             - we can look around and observe what's

               happening and "know" in a different way

 

             - the book of I John deals with both

 

             - In I John 5:13 - the word know is oida

                - "I want you to know objectively"

 

             - often in the book in the phrases "here's how

               you know that you know," the word ginowsko is

               used

             - point is - I want you to examine your life and

                 and have experiential knowledge added to

                  your objective knowledge

 

- let's start looking at some of the experiential tests or

   proofs God gives us in this book

 

I. The Test of Fellowship With God

 

    - read 1:5-2:2

 

    - Paul's speaking in these verses about genuine believers

      having a close, growing, intimate relationship with God

    - he describes that relationship with a very important

       principle

 

    A. The principle stated

 

        - Fellowship with God comes from walking in the light

 

        - argument is - a person who is saved has fellowship

           with God, and a person who has fellowship with God

           walks in the light

 

        - so the question I need to ask myself is - am I

          walking in the light?

 

        - of course, that leads to this question - what does

           that mean?  (often we use Christian phrases

           without thinking about their meaning)

 

    B. The principle explained

 

        - verses 8, 10

 

        - Walking in the light means I have an open attitudse

          toward admitting sin

 

        - develop - "translucent"

 

        - INPUT - evidences of a person who is growing in

            this characteristic?

 

            - open to confrontation

            - looking for exposure to Word (hit faithfulness)

                 - Blessed are they that hunger and thirst

                   after righteousness

            - cf. Matt. 7:3

 

        - INPUT - how important is it to develop this

                  attribute in children and what are some

                  ways we can do this?

                     - cf. Prov. 15:5

 

     - a good question to ask here - how can I know if I'm

        growing in this area?  (see next point)

 

    C. The principle in action

 

        - 1:9

 

        - fellowship with God comes from walking in the light

        - walking in the light means I have an open attitude

          toward admitting sin

        - an person who has this attitude will regularly be

             confessing sin

 

        - dev. homologeo - saying the same thing - agreeing

             with God

 

    - undoubtedly, most if not all of us would say, "this is

        hard"

    - thats true, but...

 

    D. The principle made attainable

 

        1. Jesus is our advocate

 

            - dev. - "lawyer"

 

            - not arguing on the basis of our own merit

            - couldn't be our advocate unless He was also

              our:

 

        2. Jesus is our propitiation

 

            - satisfaction

            - dev: picture in "heavenly courtroom"

 

- so the first question we need to ask when irt comes to

  the experential proofs of salvation

    - Do you have growing fellowship with God through walking

        in the light?

 

    - (deal with those who don't)

 

II. The Test of Obedience To God's Word

 

    - read 2:3-5

 

    - point is - a person who says he/she is saved is

      obedienct to God's Word, he keeps the commands

 

    A. What commands?

 

        - using the word in a very broad way - "what God has

            revealed to us in His Word"

 

        - this is a tall order

        - we're talking about a lifestyle that "keeps" the

          things God has commanded

 

    B. What does it mean to keep?

 

       - not keep perfectly

       - same word used to describe the guards assigned to

          Christ's tomb (which is a good illustration of the

          fact that we're not talking about perfection)

 

        - we're talking about "guarding"

        - a cautious stance toward the commands of God

 

        - same principle (not same word) as in Eph. 5:15

           walk circumspectly (develop)

 

        - cf. Sam

 

        - cf. "precipice living"

 

        - INPUT - in broad terms - trends in today's church

            that violate this principle?  (music, standards,

            dress, etc.)

 

    C. What is the result of this kind of lifestyle?

 

        - INPUT - (from verse 5) - love of God perfected

 

        - point - if you were trying to communicate to

           someone about the love of God, what would be the

           best example to use?

 

           - several possible answers - but one of the best

             examples is a changed life

           - develop - evangelistic concern and opportunities

                that grow out of change

 

- thats the second question we need to ask - Do you have

    assurance of salvation because of a cautious stance

    toward the commands of God?

 

III. The Test of Love

 

    - read 2:6-11

 

    A. loving brothers more

 

        - develop meaning of love

 

        - good question to ask - what evidence is there in

            your life of love for the brethren?

 

    B. evidence of that brotherly love

 

        - cf. "abiding in the light"

        - develop - not clumsy and careless with other people

 

    C. loving world less

 

        read 2:15-17

Faith Church