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Rembrandt-philosopher

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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Rembrandt-philosopher

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?

Go to Part 8

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Saved without a Doubt

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I appreciated this book by John MacArthur on the topic of the Christian assurance of salvation. This book is biblical, pastoral and practical; it will certainly help the believer understand the Gospel better and applying it to the subject of assurance. The book is divided into three parts: After establishing the biblical warrant for the Reformed doctrine of the perseverance of the Saints, part two feature 11 tests on whether or not one is a believer according to 1 John followed by part three that ties the loose ends: Dealing with doubt, adding virtue which thereby adds more assurance of one’s salvation and biblical encouragement to persevere. I particularly enjoy chapter 7, “Adding Virtue upon Virtue” which is an exposition of 2 Peter 1, with MacArthur’s insight into the Greek terms and what it means. MacArthur does a masterful job of encouraging the believer with the reality of what God has done and promise to do. I recommend it to every believer whether they are struggling with whether or saved or whether they are already assured.

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