I met a lady this week who, in the face of a personal tragedy, had a tremendous testimony. She had lost someone very close to her, but her focus was not so much upon her loss as upon their gain. Paul wrote to the Philippians and expressed a similar attitude. Note: Ph. 1:21-23
How wonderful to know - to know that you have eternal life! With the children we sometimes sing a song that isnít grammatically correct, but it is theologically right on target! The title is "Ainít it Grand to be a Christian". Well, it certainly is, and I am profoundly thankful that I know it! Some might think that is a bit presumptuous for me to say, but it isnít if my basis is the infallible Word of God!
It is quite clear from the Bible that it is Godís will that we should be safe, for we read that He is "...is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." (2 Pet 3:9b) He also says, "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." (John 10:28)
But it is equally clear from the Bible that God not only warts us to be safe; He wants us to be sure. He wants us to know without the shadow of a doubt that we have received eternal life, that our sins have been forgiven and that we are safe for all eternity!
The fact remains, however, that thousands of Christians lack the assurance of their salvation. Their language is something like that of the little girl who was traveling in a lift from the beach to the top of the cliff. She was heard to say, ĎI know weíll get to the top all right, but Iím frightened that we wonít!í This is the attitude of many of Godís people. They know they belong to the Lord and that He will never let them go, and yet they are fearful that after all they might not reach the top! God never meant His own children to be full of doubts and uncertainty, especially concerning the matter of their souls salvation.
If we lack the assurance of salvation our testimony will be stifled, our service will be spoiled, our growth will be stunted and we shall know little of the joy of the Lord and Ďthe peace of God, which passeth all understandingí.
I. The early Christians had no doubts at all about their salvation.
"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:" (Rom 5:1)
"In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;" (Eph 1:7)
"For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day." (2 Tim 1:12)
"I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his nameís sake." (1 Jn 2:12)
"We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death." (1 John 3:14)
II. Now, the one condition of salvation is faith in the person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ.
A. We learn this from the Scriptures.
B. In the Bible salvation is spoken of as the present possession of those who believe.
III. Three Reasons Why a Believer Knows for Certain They are Saved.
A. His work FOR me makes me sure.
1. My salvation depends entirely upon what the Lord Jesus Christ has done for me.
2. My feelings may change a thousand times, but the fact that the One in whom I am trusting has shed His blood for me can never change.
3. The Lord Jesus Christ in His death upon the cross of Calvary fulfilled all the requirements of the broken law therefore the law can have no claim on me whatsoever.
4. I have already passed out of death into life, and shall never come into condemnation.
5. The words of Jesus Himself, recorded in John 5:24 assure me of this:
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." (John 5:24)
6. Just as in Exodus where the people believed God and exercised faith in the blood of the lamb for their deliverance from death.
7. I am every bit as safe as I, by faith, trust in the shed blood of Jesus Christ ... the Perfect Lamb of God.
"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." (Rom 8:1)
B. His Word TO me makes me sure.
1. Consider the Israelite who believed Godís Word and obeyed by applying the blood of the lamb to his doorpost.
a. Was it presumption on his part to rest in calm assurance upon the Word of God?
b. No! It would have been a greater presumption had he doubted Godís Word.
2. The blood of Christ makes us safe; the Word of God makes us sure!
3. If we have received the Lord Jesus as our Savior you are a child of God. "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:" (John 1:12)
4. If we have truly believed on the Lord Jesus we have eternal life and will never perish, because God says so!
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
5. If we have really come to the Savior, and if we are trusting Him alone for salvation, then He has received me, because God says so!
"All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." (John 6:37)
6. And if we have accepted the Lord Jesus, then we have eternal life, because God says so!
"He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." (1 John 5:12)
C. His Witness IN me makes me sure.
1. First, there is the witness of the Holy Spirit.
a. The moment we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and accept Him as our own personal Savior, the Holy Spirit enters our hearts to live there for ever.
b. "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:" (Rom 8:16)
c. "And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father." (Gal 4:6)
d. The believer can know that they are saved because of the inward assurance given to them by the Holy Spirit.
2. Then there is the witness of a changed life.
a. "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." (2 Cor 5:17)
b. Things we used to love, now we hate.
c. Before I became a Christian I craved for pleasure and I had no real love for the things of God - for the Bible, for prayer or attendance at church.
d. But, when I trusted Christ as my Savior, something wonderful happened!
e. My affections and desires were completely turned around! This was a miracle!
f. But this is what happens when a person is saved and really comes to know the Lord for themselves.
Are you born again? That is the one thing above everything else that you need to be absolutely sure about. Are you sure? Do you have this assurance today? You can have!
"... one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see." (John 9:25b)