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Assurance of Salvation Series

 

We have completed our weekly series of outlines on the topic of Assurance of Salvation.

It was a joy to search the Scriptures and work on this outline that I find helpful to encourage God’s people in counseling to encourage believers to find their assurance of salvation and bear more fruit, joy in Christ, etc.

Feel free to share this and use it for God’s Glory along with the encouragement of believers and evangelism of unbelievers!

Here are the outlines:

Theological Foundation

1.) Assurance of Salvation Part 1: Why study on the topic of Christian assurance?

2.)Assurance of Salvation Part 2: Foundation for Perseverance of the Saints

3.) Assurance of Salvation Part 3: Perseverance means a Believer Endure

4.) Assurance of Salvation Part 4: Objections to Perseverance of the Saints

5.) Assurance of Salvation Part 5: Christians can Know that they are saved

The Test of Assurance of A Christian’s Salvation

6.) Assurance of Salvation Part 6: Do you understand the Gospel?

7.) Assurance of Salvation Part 7: Questions to examine ourselves Part 1

8.) Assurance of Salvation Part 8: Questions to examine ourselves Part 2

The Result

9.) Assurance of Salvation Part 9: Four kinds of people and the result of our testing in the faith

Appendix

Assurance of Salvation Appendix: Test your faith Survey Questions List

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Go to Part 9

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Purpose: Here is a summary list of questions to Probe the Assurance of your Salvation that we have gone over in this series.

If one wishes to probe it more in-depth with Scripture with each questions please consult Part 6-9.

 

1.) Do you truly understand and trust in the Gospel?

2.) Are you fellowshipping with God and God’s people?

3.) Do you live knowing and practicing the truth?

4.) Do you confess your sins?

5.) Do you follow God’s commandments?

6.) Do you reject loving the world more than God?

7.) Do you love Jesus and others?

8.) Has God changed you?

9.) Is the yoke of obedience lighter for you over the passing of time?

10.) Is God disciplining you?

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l. Four kinds of people and the result of our testing in the faith

i.      Establish the need: Have you tested yourself to see if your Christian faith is genuine?

ii.      Purpose: Today we will see four possible kinds of people who have not and have tested their salvation.

These are divided into those who have and have not tested their salvation:[1]

1. Those who are not saved and know it

2. Those who are saved are not sure of it

3. Those who are unsaved but do not know it

4. Those who are saved and know it

iii.      Two kinds of people who have not tested their faith

1. Those who are unsaved but do not know it

a. Proof:21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many[a]miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’” (Matthew 7:21-23)

b. Practice:

i.      Do you Jesus as Lord?  Make sure you are not in this category by testing your salvation.

ii.      Make sure you don’t only look at the good you do, but also the wickedness in your life as a red flag.

2. Those who are saved are not sure of it

a. Proof: These are the people whom Paul commanded: “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you [e]fail the test?” (2 Peter 13:5)

b. Practice:

i.      Test yourselves!

ii.      Use this syllabus and listen to the audios from this series.

iii.      Why would you not want to make sure you are saved?

iv.      Two kinds of people who have tested their faith

1. Those who are not saved and know it

a. Proof: These are the kind of people described here: “37 Now when they heard this, they were [aj]pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “[ak]Brethren, [al]what shall we do?” (Acts2:37)

i.      To which Peter responded: “38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you bebaptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.

b. Practice:

i.      Repent and believe!

ii.      Look at the promise of Romans 10:9.

2. Those who are saved and know it

a. Proof:For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him [a]until that day.” (2 Timothy 1:12)

i.      This is Paul’s last epistle.

ii.      He is finishing the Christian life strongly (cf. 2 Timothy 4:6-8)

iii.      Note the verse why he experience suffering and was able to go through it was because “I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him [a]until that day.”

b. Practice:

i.      Praise the Lord you are saved!

ii.      Understand the Reality: It is not always constant that assurance; for instance we might have sin grossly and experience guilt.

iii.      Therefore: 2 Peter 1:3-11 is important.


[1] The idea of the four kinds of people comes from R.C. Sproul, “Four Kinds of People” Can I Be Sure I’m Saved? (Grand Rapids: Reformation Trust, 2010), 74.

 

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k. Test of Assurance #3: More Questions to examine ourselves

i.      Establish the need: How do I know if I’m saved?

ii.      Purpose: To examine ourselves with questions to see if we are in the faith.

iii.      Question 2d: Do you follow God’s commandments?

1. Passage:By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.” (1 John 2:3-6)

2. Proof:

a. Statement of reality in v.3

The Greek word for keep has the idea of watchful, careful obedience.

b. What if one does not keep God’s commandments?  This is the subject of verse 4 which states this individual:

i.      “is a liar

ii.      “and the truth is not in him

c. The characteristic of the true believer is described in verses 5-6.

i.      Note the ability to walk in His commandments require abiding in Him.

ii.      Don’t forget that a believer is saved to do good works (Ephesians 2:10)

3. Probe and Ponder:

a. Do you obey God’s commandments?

b. Is your obedience to God’s commandments because of your union with Christ?

iv.      Question 2e: Do you reject loving the world more than God?

1. Passage:Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.” (1 John 2:15-17)

2. Proof:

a. Statement of reality in v.15: “If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him

The Greek word for “world” “speaks of a system encompassing false religion, errant philosophy, crime, immorality, materialism and the like.”[1]

b. The issue is not action but the inward affections and lust as well as verse 16 teaches.

c. Powerful motive to fight lusts: “The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.” (v.17)

3. Probe and Ponder:

a. What do you love more: God or something else?

b. When no one is there, does your action show you love God or the world?

c. Pray to God to reveal to you what your true love is, and that you love Him more than the world.

v.      Question 2f: Do you love Jesus and others? (1 John 4:7-14)

1. Passage:Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is [a]born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested [b]in us, that God has sent His [c]only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.12 No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14 We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.” (1 John 4:7-14)

2. Proof:

a. The exhortation to love: “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God;” (v.7a)

b. What love and not loving reveal:

i.      If you love: “and everyone who loves is [a]born of God and knows God.  (v.7b)

ii.      If you do not love: “The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” (v.8)

iii.      The basis of our love for others is because of the implication of the Gospel (v.9-11)

1. Gospel explained (v.9-10)

2. Gospel implication (v.11)

3. Probe and Ponder:

a. Do you just have mere sentiments for others or real love?

b. Do you sacrificially serve others rather than serve them to your selfish ends?

c. Pray to God to reveal to you what your true love is, and that you love Him more than the world.


[1] John MacArthur, Saved Without a Doubt (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1992), 74.

 

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j. Test of Assurance #2: Questions to examine ourselves

i.      Establish the need: Besides knowing the Gospel accurately, assurance of salvation means we bear certain fruit.  Are these true in your life

ii.      Purpose: To examine ourselves with questions to see if we are in the faith.

iii.     PICTURE: Think of the danger as someone who takes the car in the autoshop for a check up.  He hears the tires are okay, the brakes and the power steering but don’t think it’s dangerous when warned that there are problems with the engines.

iv.      Question 2a: Are you fellowshipping with God and God’s people?

1. Passage:1 What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life— 2 and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us— 3 what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.” (1 John 1:1-3)

2. Proof:

a. Faith is historical and true (v.1-2)

b. Goal of salvation and the Gospel declared is to have fellowship other believers: “what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us…” (v.3)

c. Goal of salvation and the Gospel declared is to have fellowship with God: “what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship …and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.” (v.3)

3. Probe and Ponder:

a. Do you have a relationship with God?

b. What does your prayer life look like?

c. Do you enjoy being around God and God’s people?

v.      Question 2b: Do you live knowing and practicing the truth?

1. Passage:This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:5-7)

2. Proof:

a. Theological basis: God is Light (v.5)

b. God has called us out of darkness into light: 1 Peter 2:9, Ephesians 5:8, Colossians 1:13.

c. Therefore:If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth” (v.6)

d. Note the reiteration of what it means if we “walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light” (v.7):

i.      “we have fellowship with one another,”

ii.      “ and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin

3. Probe and Ponder:

a. Do you have close fellowship with others concerning the things of God?

b. Have you experience forgiveness and cleansing from sins?

vi.      Question 2c: Do you confess your sins?

1. Passage:If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.” (1 John 1:8-10)

2. Proof:

a. Danger of saying we don’t sin described in verses 8 and 10:

i.      “we are deceiving ourselves” (v.8)

ii.      “and the truth is not in us.” (v.8)

iii.      we make Him a liar” (v.10)

iv.      “ and His word is not in us.” (v.10)

b. Therefore:If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (v.9)

3. Probe and Ponder:

a. Do you really believe that you are guilty before God?

b. Do you confess your sins regularly before God?

c. Are you self-righteous or do you realize any righteousness is on the basis of the work of Christ?

d. Have you experience forgiveness and cleansing from sins?

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i. Test of Assurance #1: Do you understand the Gospel?

i.      Dilemma: Do you really know the Gospel?

ii.      Purpose: Give a brief exposition of the Gospel message.

iii.      Outline of this session:

1. Consequences of a wrong gospel is grave

2. Do you understand sin and its consequences?

3. Do you understand what Christ has done it?

iv.      Consequences of a wrong gospel is grave

1. “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel [d]contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be [e]accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel [f]contrary to what you received, he is to be [g]accursed!” (Galatians 1:8-9)

a. Note another gospel, no matter who it’s from is dangerous.

b. Note also the seriousness of false gospel preaching is something Paul wishes upon the false preacher “to be [e]accursed! 

c. It’s so important that Paul repeats it twice again in verse 9.

2. Why this strong condemnation?  Paul goes on to say “For as many as are of the works of [a]the Law are under a curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, to perform them.’” (Galatians 3:10)

a. A false gospel that will deny grace through faith in Jesus Christ will instead preaches justification by “the works of [a]the Law.

b. This brings about a curse both in the New Testament and the Old Testament as the Paul cites Deuteronomy 27:26.

3. 2 Peter 2:1-3

a. The reality of false teachers:But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you,” (2 Peter 2:1a)

b.  The reality of the dangerous false teaching they produce: “who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.” (2 Peter 2:1b)

c. The reality that many will be deceived: Many will follow their sensuality, and because of themthe way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

v.      Do you understand sin and its consequences?

1. Everyone has sins

a. “ as it is written, “There is none righteous, not even one;” (Romans 3:10)

b. “ for all [a]have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23)

2. Sins have consequences

a. The LSD verse:But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin [p]is accomplished, it brings forth death.” (James 1:14-15)

b. “For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23a)

vi.      Do you understand what Christ has done to rid our guilt?

1. “…but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23b)

2. Salvation by Grace alone: Ephesians 2:8-9.

3. Substitionary Atonement:

a. “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

b. Other passages: Isaiah 53:5-6, 1 Corinthians 15:3

vii.      Further doctrines to study to better understand the Gospel

1. Predestination

2. Justification

3. Adoption

4. Union with Christ

viii.      Works to read up on

1. The Epistle to the Romans by Leon Morris

2. Commentary on Galatians by Martin Luther

3. The Future of Justification by John Piper

4. Atonement by Leon Morris

5. The God Who Justifies by James White

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h. Christians can know that they are saved

i.      Dilemma: The last few weeks demonstrated that God will see that a believer persevere and have eternal security, so while God can know we are saved can believers know they are saved also?

ii.      Illustration: A man in the train might not be sure whether the train has enough coal to arrive at their location while the Engineer knows this and that was never in doubt.  Is a similar thing the cases with a believer’s salvation or can a believer know he or she is saved?

iii.      Believers can know that they are saved

1. A believer can know whether he or she is saved since scripture states this explicitly: “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.” (1 John 5:13)

2. A believer can know whether he or she is saved due to the Holy Spirit’s testimony:

a. “For you have not received a spirit of slavery [b]leading to fear again, but you have received [c]a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15)

i.      Earlier in Romans 8:11 Paul makes it clear the Holy Spirit resides in the believer.

ii.      Now in verse 15, Paul indicates negatively what the Spirit does not mean and what the Spirit does mean.

1. What it does not mean: ““For you have not received a spirit of slavery [b]leading to fear again,

2. What it means:but you have received [c]a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!

3. Greek word for “but” is “Alla,” a strong contrast.

iii.      If you are saved, this verse tells us we will know we are adopted as sons of God.

iv.      Also, our spirit will cry out to Him showing we have a relationship with God.

b. “The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,” (Romans8:16)

i.      There is an emphasis on “Himself,” since it is the first word in the verse thus indicating that the Spirit is the one who will do this.

ii.      The tense for the Greek verb “testifies” indicates a general constant truth.

iii.      The Spirit testifies “that we are children of God

iv.      This testimony by the Holy Spirit is in conjunction “with our spirit

3. A believer can know whether he or she is saved because of Scripture’s promises to those who believe.

a. The Scripture’s relationship to Salvation

You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them,  and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 3:14-15)

b. Promises of Salvation in the Scriptures

i.      “but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is [a]the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.” (John 20:31)

ii.      John 1:12, John 3:16, etc.

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