ASSURANCE OF SALVATION – Elder Jim shedd
Jesus’ parable of the sower and the seed; Matthew 13 –The sower (the Holy Spirit) and the seed (God’s Word) are effective and good, but the field or soil must accept and allow the seed to take root and grow. The context is about how receptive and open we (people) are to the Gospel message and the prompting of the Holy Spirit.
So how can we know that God’s seed has been firmly planted and taken root in us ?
Assurance of Salvation; John’s first letter gives us many markers in our life that testify to the reality of our salvation. Consider 1John 5:13-15 as the purpose of his letter: “I write these things to you ……so that you may know that you have eternal life. This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us, and if we know that he hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have what we asked of him..
Bottom line – How We Can “KNOW” That We Are Saved; John offers certain markers or evidences confirming how we can KNOW we are truly saved. These are not behaviors we can note in others to either confirm or deny their salvation, although they might be signs of caution. Rather, they are for us personally to give rock solid assurance, or serve as warning flags for us to get right with God. Consider the following in 1John;
(1) A desire and prompting to tell others (proclaim) about Christ (1:1-4)
(2) Do our lives (our walk) support what we believe? (1:5-7)
(3) Sensitivity (conscience) to any sin in our lives (1:8-10)
(4) Enabled with a desire to obey (2:3)
(5) We experience some victories over sin (2:14, 5:18)
(6) Our faith is tested (2:15-17, 1Cor 10:13)
(7) Changes in our life; our desires, habits and behaviors (3:9-10, 2Cor 5:17)
(8) A growing love and need for fellowship with other believers (3:14, 18)
(9) Our desire and confidence to approach God in prayer (3:21-24, 5:14-15)
(10) Acknowledge (believe) that Jesus Christ is God’s son (4:12-16, 5:20, 1Cor 12:3)