Study 1 BEING SURE OF ONE’S SALVATION
(Scripture Portion: 1 John 5: 1-21)
The purpose of this series of studies is twofold: First, to give practical help and instruction to young Christians, to those who have only just started in the Christian life; and, second, to offer definite Bible teaching to all Christians, and especially to show how we may “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18), and “follow on to know the Lord” (Hosea 6:3, KJV). As we proceed with these studies we shall see what a glorious, happy and triumphant experience it is to be a Christian and to be going on with the Lord; abiding in Him (John 15:4); confessing Him before others (Matthew 10:32-33); enjoying fellowship with Him and with His children (1 John 1:7; Hebrews 10:24-25); winning others to Him (John 1:41-42) and looking for His coming again (Hebrews 9:28).
The first essential if we are to progress in the Christian life is that we should be absolutely sure about our own salvation. It is not enough to be saved; we must know that we are saved. God’s will is that we should not only be safe, but that we should be sure that we are safe! He loves everybody (John 3:16; Romans 10:12-14), and He longs for all men to be saved (2 Peter 3:9). He also desires that all who are His should know it - compare John 20:31 and 1 John 5:13. The fact is, however, that many Christians have no assurance of their salvation. This lack of assurance is most unsatisfactory, for the following reasons:-
Unless we are sure of our own salvation: (1) our TESTIMONY will be stifled (Psalm 107:2); (2) our SERVICE will be stunted (Daniel 11:32); (3) we shall not GROW spiritually (Ephesians 4:15); (4) we shall LACK peace, joy, confidence and power with God and with men (2 Timothy 1:12).
The world and the professing Christian think it is a great presumption for anyone to say that they know they are saved! But listen to Job (Job 19:25-27); to Paul (Romans 5:1; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Timothy 1:12); to Peter (1 Peter 1:3-8) and to John (1 John 2:12; 3:14). The early Christians certainly had no doubts about their salvation, and if we are saved we should have no doubts concerning ours.
Now, the one condition of salvation is faith in the Person and the work of the Lord Jesus Christ (John 3:16; Romans 1:16; Acts 16:30-31). It is by believing that we are saved. Here are three reasons why I, as a believer, know for certain that I am saved:-
1. HIS WORK FOR ME MAKES ME SURE
Our salvation depends entirely upon what the Lord Jesus has done for us. It is not DO, but DONE.
Upon a life I did not live,
Upon a death I did not die,
Another’s life, Another’s death,
I stake my whole eternity.
Our feelings may and will change, but the fact that He in whom we are trusting has once and for all shed His blood to redeem and to save us, is an accomplished fact, and that fact can never alter or change - look up Hebrews 9:28. Upon the cross of Calvary, the Lord Jesus in His death fulfilled all the requirements of the broken law for those who believed on Him, and therefore the law can now have no claim on them whatsoever. As believers, we have already passed out of death into life and we shall never come into condemnation (John 5:24). In Exodus 12:13, the Lord said, “When I see the blood, I will pass over you.” The same is true today. I know I am saved because the blood has been shed, and my deliverance from God’s righteous judgment is therefore absolutely certain (1 Peter 1:18-19). As I gaze by faith at the wounds of my Saviour (John 20:20-21) and trust in His atoning blood, I know that I am every bit as safe in Christ as the Israelites were in their homes when, by a simple act of faith on their part, the blood had been struck on the door posts - look up Exodus 12:7 and Romans 8:1.
2. HIS WORD TO ME MAKES ME SURE
The family dwelling in a home in Egypt which was sheltered by the blood would have had absolute assurance that all would be well, because God had said, “When I see the blood, I will pass over you.” It was not presumption on their part to know that all would be well; they were simply resting back in calm assurance upon the promise of God. It would have been a great presumption had they doubted the word that God had spoken! The blood of Christ makes us safe; the Word of God makes us sure. We may be absolutely sure of our salvation because we have God’s word, which cannot be broken, in which to trust. For example: John 3:16; 3:36; 5:24; 10:9; Romans 10:9; 1 John 5:11-12. Which is the greater presumption - to believe what God says, or to doubt what God says?
3. HIS WITNESS IN ME MAKES ME SURE
This witness is two-fold. First, there is the witness of the Holy Spirit. The moment we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and accept Him as our own personal Saviour, the Holy Spirit enters our hearts to abide there for ever - look up Romans 8:16; Galatians 4:6; 1 John 4:13. How wonderful is this inward assurance of the Holy Spirit!
Second, there is the witness of a changed life - look up 2 Corinthians 5:17, and compare John 9:25. When we find that the things we used to hate we now love, and the things we used to love we now hate, we can be quite sure that the miracle of regeneration has taken place.
Are you saved? If so, be sure of it! If not, make sure by receiving the Lord Jesus as your own personal Saviour now (John 1:12).