Do you have personal life assurance (not "insurance" but "assurance")? Do you know for sure that you will spend eternity in heaven with Christ? Are you certain that you are saved or is there some doubt? The term "assurance" means "the state of being SURE or CERTAIN." God wants us to be certain about our eternal future.
In 1 John 5:13, John tells us why he wrote the book of 1 John. Did he write this book to believers or to unbelievers? ______________________________ He wrote this book so that these people might (circle the correct answer):
- Feel like they have eternal life.
- Think that they have eternal life.
- Hope that they have eternal life.
- Know that they have eternal life.
According to 1 John 5:13, is it possible for a person to KNOW that he is really saved or is this something that no one can know until he dies? _______________________________________________ The word "KNOW" is a word of assurance. The person who has assurance of his salvation is able to say, "I know that I am saved and I know that my sins are forgiven and I know that I have eternal life!" But how can I know? Remember this: We can KNOW SO because GOD SAID SO!
The Bible says in 1 John 5:9, "If we receive the witness (testimony) of men, the witness (testimony) of God is greater." Do you receive the testimony of men? Do you usually believe what men tell you? Do you most often take men at their word, or do you suspect them of being liars? Do you believe the news reports on the radio? Do you normally accept the reported statements of fact which you read in your newspaper? If your neighbor came to your door and said that there was a car accident down the street, would you accept his word? If you heard on the radio that the president was shot, would you believe it? Sometimes the testimony of men proves to be false, but normally we take the statements of men at face value! We believe what men tell us!
If we believe what men tell us, how much more should we believe what God tells us, because "the witness (testimony) of God is ___________________ (1 John 5:9). If we take men at their word most of the time, how much more should we take God at His Word all of the time, because HE ___________________ LIE (Titus 1:2)!
If we do not believe what God says (especially about His Son), then we are actually accusing God of being a ______________ (1 John 5:10). How great is the sin of unbelief! How our unbelief shames the God of truth!
What is the record (witness, testimony) that God has given to us concerning His Son? It is found in 1 John 5:11. What has God given to us? ________________(eternal life is a gift--Romans 6:23). Where is this life found? ________________________ Do you have the Son of God (have you ever personally received Him as your Saviour and Lord--John 1:12)? _______ What is true about the person who has the Son of God (1 John 5:12)? _________________________ What is true about the person who does not have the Son of God (who has never received Him) according to this same verse? ___________________________________ DO YOU HAVE ETERNAL LIFE? _______ How do you know this?
- Because I feel like it.
- Because my friends think I'm a Christian.
- Because GOD SAID SO in 1 John 5:12. I have the Son because I have received Him as my Saviour and God clearly says that those who have the Son have life. He cannot lie, and this is how I know that I have eternal life (1 John 5:13).
- Because five years ago I went forward at the close of a church service wanting to be saved.
|Someone asked Luther, "Do you feel that you have been forgiven?"
He answered, "No, but I'm as sure as there's a God in heaven.
For feelings come and feelings go, and feelings are deceiving;
My warrant is the Word of God, naught else is worth believing.
|Though all my heart should feel condemned for want of one sweet token,
There is one, greater than my heart, whose Word cannot be broken.
Ill trust in His unchanging love, Till soul and body sever;
For though all else shall pass away, His Word shall stand forever."
I KNOW SO because GOD SAID SO! God in His Word has given us certain salvation promises. These are conditional promises which means that if the sinner does something, then God promises to do something. In other words, before God will fulfill the promise, the sinner must fulfill the condition. As soon as the sinner does what he is supposed to do, then God will surely keep His promise. Let us look at ten of these salvation promises. First we want to see what the sinner's responsibility is. This is exactly what the jailer wanted to know in Acts 16:30 when he cried out, "What must I do to be saved?" Secondly, we want to see what God promises to do for the sinner when the sinner responds in the right way. The first two promises are already completed for you:
As you have looked at these promises, have you done your part? _________ Can you think of one word that sums up man's responsibility (that which God requires the sinner to do) according to all these verses? _____________________ Have you done this (see Chapter 3)? ______ If you have done your part, do you think God will do His part? ________ Do you KNOW God will do His part? _______ How do you know?
It is important that we understand the difference between ASSURANCE and SECURITY. ASSURANCE is that complete confidence and certainty that all is right in my relationship to the living God. The believer who has ASSURANCE is able to say, "I know that all is well with my soul and I know that I am safe and secure in Christ forever!"
Personal assurance and the enjoyment of my so-great salvation depends on my knowledge of the absolute certainty of the promises of God.
The story is told of a western traveler in the pioneer days who came one winter night to the banks of a wide river. He had to get across but there was no bridge. The river was coated with a sheet of ice but he did not know how safe it was. After much hesitation he gingerly tested it with one foot and it held. Night was coming on and he must get across. With many fears and with anxious care he crept out on hands and knees, hoping to distribute his weight evenly on the uncertain ice. When he had gone some distance painfully and slowly he suddenly heard the sound of horse hoofs and joyful singing. There in the dusk was a man happily driving a wagon load of coal across the ice, being pulled by a muscular horse. The man was cheerfully singing as he went. He knew the ice was safe and he had no fears.
Both of these men were absolutely safe on that ice. The ice was thick and solid. It could have borne twice that weight easily. One man was in fear and doubt because he did not know how safe he was and did not realize how solid and thick the ice was. The other man enjoyed his ride across the frozen river because he knew without any doubt that the ice would hold and that the foundation under him was solid and safe. Both men were secure. Only one man enjoyed the security he had. Only one man had assurance.
Every believer is eternally safe and secure in Christ Jesus (SECURITY) and every believer needs to understand how safe and secure he really is (ASSURANCE).
God knows who is really saved, and everyone who is saved is eternally secure and safe in Christ. Is a believer really safe forever? Can a person lose his salvation? Can a Christian be lost? I know I am saved now, but will I be saved tomorrow or ten years from now? If God saved me, will He keep me saved? These are very important questions and we want to go to Gods Word to see how secure Gods children really are:
The answer to this question is "YES" because of the following ten reasons (to be continued in chapters 7 and 8):
Is God a man that He should lie (see Numbers 23:19)? _____ Is it possible for God to lie (Hebrews 6:18)? ______ Therefore, God cannot break His promises--it's IMPOSSIBLE! We have already looked at ten salvation promises. In John 3:16 God promises that the true believer will never ______________. In John 3:18 God promises that the true believer will never be _____________________. According to John 5:24, what are three things that are true of every believer:
In John 6:37 Christ promises to never cast out the person who comes to Him. In John 11:26 Christ promises that the true believer will never ______. Answer TRUE or FALSE:
|_______||If a believer sins, then Christ will cast him out.|
|_______||A person who truly knows the Lord as Saviour will never perish.|
|_______||John 5:24 teaches the same truth as Romans 8:1.|
|_______||It is possible for a true believer to lose his salvation.|
|_______||If it were possible for a true believer to perish, then God would be a liar (see John 3:16).|
|_______||Since God is not a liar and since John 3:16 is true, we know that the believer shall not perish but shall have eternal life!|
In John chapter 10, Christ describes Himself as the good ___________________ (verse 11) and He describes those who are true believers as His _____________ (verse 27). What does Christ give to His sheep (verse 28)? _____________________ _________ What are two things that are true about Christs sheep (verse 27)? They ____________ Christs voice and they ________________ Him. In John 10:28 our Lord Jesus said that His sheep will never ____________________ (verse 28). (Note: In the Greek this is a very strong statement. A double negative is used along with the word "forever." Literally it says, "They shall never perish forever!" or as we would say it: "they shall never ever perish, no not ever !!!")
In John 10:28 we learn that the believer is safe and secure in whose hand? ________________________________ Is anyone able to pluck the believer out of His hand? _________ In John 10:29 we learn that the believer is safe and secure in whose hand? _____________________________________ Is anyone able to pluck the believer out of His hand? ________ In verse 30 we learn that God the Son and God the Father are _________. In order for the believer to be lost, there would have to be a person stronger and more powerful than God the Son and God the Father! Is there such a person? _______ Is the God who lives in us (God the Holy Spirit) greater than Satan (see 1 John 4:4)? ________
A true believer is like a baby cat, not like a baby monkey. It is said that monkeys carry their young by having the little ones hold onto the mothers tail. If the baby monkey is healthy and well, there is little danger, but if the little one, through sickness or weakness loses his hold when his mother makes a sudden leap from one branch to another, then it is "good-by" as far as the tiny, unfortunate creature is concerned. With a mother cat, the story is entirely different. She takes hold of her baby kittens with her teeth. The babies safety depends upon the hold of the mother cat, not upon the ability of the weak kitten. This is much better. So, too, it is not our hold upon Christ that makes us safe, but His hold upon us!
In the next chapter we shall study some more reasons why we know that a true believer is eternally safe and secure and not in danger of losing his salvation.