June 2014 Dear Friends, The following letter I am sharing with you this month comes from the Spring 2014 issue of the SonShine Society’s quarterly newsletter. May the Lord bless your heart and soul with it: My Child, You may not know me, but I know everything about you…Psalm 139:1 I know when you sit down [...]
I feel like the biblical writer Jude today (Jude v. 3). I was going to write about freedom and liberty since it is July with our American celebration of the 4th; but reading my Bible I was impressed with 1 John’s account of the assurance of our salvation in Christ and I came across some material it had on this subject that I share with you here. Consider some questions about assurance—see 1 John 1:8.
Have you ever wondered why some genuine believers doubt their salvation? There are many reasons. Here are several of them: 1) Ignorance. Some Christians haven’t fully understood God’s sovereign operation of securing our salvation forever. They tend to base assurance on feeling and don’t understand the objective truth of God’s Word on this issue; 2) Temptation. Christians feel the pull of the flesh to sin, even though they have a new nature. This pull is disconcerting; 3) Uncertainty. Christians who were saved at a young age often can’t remember the “experience” of the conversion moment; 4) Trials. Some Christians become spiritually unstable because they can’t see the hand of God in all their trials. “How could God love me and let me go through this?” 5) Disobedience. Perhaps the most common reason for lacking assurance is disobedience. With disobedience comes guilt, and then we question, “How could I possibly be saved and have done….”
What brings assurance of salvation into my life? It is possible you may have doubts from time to time. Just remember that Satan is a liar (John 8:44), and his first recorded words in the Bible were casting doubts upon God’s Word (Gen. 3:1). Here are some ways you can have assurance, or deepen your assurance in what God has done for you:
1. Learn the Word of God—Your salvation is based upon what God has said—not upon how you think or feel. Thus it is important for you to read and study the Bible—2 Tim. 3:14, 15
2. Thank God for His gift of Salvation—According to Rom. 6:23, you have received the GIFT of eternal life. Have you thanked God for this gift yet? Thanksgiving is evidence of faith—2 Cor. 9:15
3. Make public testimony before others—Have you told someone that you have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ? 1 John 4:15 shows the relationship between confessing Christ and assurance. Cf. Matt. 10:32; Rom. 10:9, 10. One way of confessing Christ publically is to come forward at the “invitation” in one of our church services.
4. Live a righteous life—Sometimes a full assurance does not come until God sees we mean business for Him. According to Isa. 32:17, the effect of righteousness is quietness and assurance forever. (Remember, your peace and assurance is based on believing God’s promises and not your feelings.)
*Don’t sugarcoat sin in your life! Recognize it, hate it, and call it for what it is—rebellion against God.
*Fix your heart on God. Devote every area of your life to God.
*Use the Word of God to bolster your faith. Memorize it and quote it when Satan whispers doubts in your ear.
*Relentlessly move forward. Perseverance is a forgotten practice in our culture; few Christians tenaciously hold to the commitments they make at the church altar.
What Happens If I Sin?
1. cf. 1 John 1:8 Is it possible for a Christian to sin? Yes.
2. cf. 1 John 1:9 If a Christian sins, what is the one thing we are to do about it? Confess it to God.
3. cf. 1 John 2:1 When I sin, Who appears before God the Father in heaven on my behalf? Jesus Christ the Righteous.
4. cf. 1 John 1:6, 7 A Christian loses fellowship with God when he sins.
Can I Ever Lose My Salvation?
1. John 10:28 says we shall never perish.
2. John 10:29 says no man is able to remove us from God’s hand.
3. John 6:37 says God will in no wise cast out those who come to Him.
4. John 6:39 says the responsibility of keeping us saved is the Lord’s, not ours, and that Christ can lose nothing.
5. John 5:24 says the kind of life I now have is everlasting.
6. Rom. 8:38, 39 says that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.
7. 1 Peter 1:5 says we are kept by the power of God.
8. Jude 24 says Christ is able to keep us from falling.
9. Phil. 1:6 says that Christ will continue His good work in us until the day of Jesus Christ.
10. Eph. 1:13 says our salvation has been sealed with the Holy Spirit.
11. Eph. 2:8 says that our salvation is the gift of God. A gift taken back by the giver is NO gift.
12. Eph. 2:9 says that we have done nothing to gain salvation. If we have done nothing to gain it, we can do nothing to lose it!
13. According to Eph. 2:2, 3 and <st1:bcv_smarttag w:st=”on”>1 John 3:10, before we were saved, we were in the control of Satan. Now that we are saved, we have a new relationship with God.
a God is our heavenly Father—Rom. 8:5
b. Christians are sons of God—1 John 3:1
c. In our earthly family, when a child does wrong, his parents do not cast him out of the family and disown him. They will correct and chasten their son, but he is still their son and a member of the family. However, like any loving father, God may chasten the erring Christian—Heb. 12:6.
It is my hope today that if you have been harboring doubts or questions about your salvation, they have been answered for you from God’s Word.
If you are saved, realize that it is forever and no one—that’s right, no one—not even Satan can take it from you. If you are saved today, you are eternally safe in the Lord Jesus Christ.
If you are doubting or not saved, contact me.
Resting in Jesus,
Dr. Frederick W. Carroll