Study 8 ASSURANCE
GREAT WORDS OF THE GOSPEL
by Francis Dixon
(Scripture Portion: 1 John 5: 1-13)
The key word of this study is the word KNOW. Look up 1 John 5:13, and compare the following references in the Epistle of John where the word know occurs:- 2: 3-5,11,21,29; 3: 2,5,14,15,19,24; 4: 2,6,13; 5: 2,13,15,18-20. How clear it is that God wants us to know, to be absolutely sure that for those of us who are His children all is well for time and eternity!
If there is one word more than any other which characterises or describes the times in which we live, surely that word is uncertainty. Everything around us, everything temporal, is uncertain, and consequently men’s hearts are filled with fear, anxiety and depression – look up Luke 21:26. Is uncertainty the best that God can give us? No! God wants His people to be sure. The one word which should characterise and describe the child of God, the Christian, is the word certainty. He wants us to know, to be certain, to be sure! But how can we be sure? What is the ground of our assurance? The Word of God is the ground of our confidence. God has spoken, and His Word is sure and cannot fail (Matthew 24:35; 1 Peter 1:23,25). His Word, the Bible, has been written that we may know – what?
1. He wants us to KNOW that the Lord Jesus is our own personal Saviour.
The first assurance God wants us to have is assurance concerning a Person, His Son the Lord Jesus Christ – turn up 2 Timothy 1:12, and notice the words: “I know whom ” i.e. “I know Him ”! This is the privilege of every child of God, to know Him personally as Saviour and Lord. How wonderful it is that when the whole world is filled with uncertainty I can know Him for myself, the One who sits upon the throne (Hebrews 8:1; 12:2)! How can I be certain that I really do know Him and that He is in my heart and life? Make quite sure that you have welcomed Him (Revelation 3:20), and having done so, take Him at His word – “I will come in!”
2. He wants us to KNOW that all our sins are blotted out and forgiven.
If we are Christians our sins are – forgiven not may be, but are! (1 John 2:12). It is not a presumption to believe the Word of the Lord Jesus, and He says to every Christian – Mark 2:5. When the Lord Jesus died upon the cross of Calvary He died to put away our sin (Isaiah 53:5-6; John 1:29 and 1 Peter 2:24), and when we believe that fact and receive Him into our life, we have His pardon look up Acts 13:38-39, and compare Psalm 32:1 and 103:12! Are you sure that your sins are forgiven?
3. He wants us to KNOW that we have passed from death to life.
By nature we are spiritually dead (John 5:40; Romans 5:12; Ephesians 2:1); but when we become Christians we are born again (John 1:11-14); and we receive a new life, His life (John 10:10); eternal life (John 10:27-29; 1 John 5:11-12). Now look up the great word of assurance in 1 John 3:14. Do you know that you have been born again and have passed from death to life (John 5:24)? In the First Epistle of John there are five marks, or evidences, of the new birth, the new life. Look them up and see if you really have been born again:-
- 1 John 2:29 i.e. Have you a desire to please God?
- 1 John 3:9 i.e. Do you no longer enjoy sinning?
- 1 John 3:14 i.e. Do you love other Christians?
- 1 John 5:1 i.e. Do you acknowledge His sovereignty?
- 1 John 5:4 i.e. Have you power to overcome?
4. He wants us to KNOW of His loving plan and purpose for our life.
The unbeliever just drifts through life, hoping for the best, and he has no answer or assurance when he is faced with life’s problems and perplexities. But the believer has a very wonderful assurance – look it up in Romans 8:28-30. In the intention and purpose of God, every believer is already foreknown, predestinated, called, justified and glorified! What assurance this fact gives! But in particular notice verse 28; when we become Christians we do not become immune from trial, trouble, sorrow, loss, disappointments, etc., but in and through all these experiences we know - what? That – “In all things God works for the good of those who love him… ” We cannot understand all God’s ways now, but our assurance is that all is well and that we shall understand one day (John 13:7).
5. He wants us to KNOW that all that is happening in the world today is moving towards the fulfilment of His will, when the Lord Jesus shall be King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
This should be our blessed assurance – look up Job 19:25-27. We know that “God is working His purpose out, as year succeeds to year”, and that in the end –
Jesus shall reign where’er the sun
Doth his successive journeys run;
His kingdom stretch from shore to shore,
Till moons shall wax and wane no more –
and that we shall see Him (Revelation 1:7), and be with Him in His victory (Revelation 3:21). How great it is to know this!
- All my doubts I give to Jesus;
I’ve His gracious promise heard:
I shall never be confounded,
I am trusting in that word.
- All I am I give to Jesus
All my body, all my soul;
All I have, and all I hope for,
While eternal ages roll.
- I am trusting, fully trusting,
Sweetly trusting in His word;
I am trusting, fully trusting,
Sweetly trusting in His word.