Derek Smith, Lead Pastor LHBC
1 John 5:1-13
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. 4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. 6 This is he who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree. 9 If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. 10 Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. 11 And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.
When you’re in an airport, it’s easy to observe the difference between passengers who hold confirmed tickets and those who are on standby. The ones with confirmed tickets read, chat with those traveling with them, or even sleep. The ones on standby hang around the ticket counter and pace back and forth until they hear whether or not they will be on the flight. The difference is caused by the confidence factor. One knows for sure she has a seat on the plane while the other isn’t sure. If you knew that in fifteen minutes you would have to stand in judgment before our God and learn your eternal destiny, what would your reaction be? Would you stand and pace anxiously or sit and rest in what’s Him?
John writes here in 1 John chapter 5 that we can know for sure we are saved. He says there is one thing we can be sure of, if you have the Son of God you’re saved, but if you don’t have the Son of God you’re not going to Heaven. Which begs the question: how do you know for sure you have the Son of God? He precedes the statement in verse 13 on assurance with some characteristics of someone who has the Son.
First, he says the life of Christ in us is seen in our desire to obey God’s commands. Put simply, a true Child of God wants to and does obey God as the customary pattern of his or her life. In salvation we are born again of the Holy Spirit of God which means He births a new found love for the commands of the Father in us. This is evidence of the life of Christ in our hearts. Second, he says the life of Christ is seen in us overcoming the world. A true Child of God cannot be overcome by the world. I was speaking with someone recently who said they had a friend who had been a professed Christian but now was an atheist. Friend, this is not possible. Someone can say they are a Christian then become an atheist, but according to Scripture you cannot be truly saved then deny Christ. Scripture says that He who began a good work in us will complete it (Phil. 1:6), that we are His workmanship created for good works (Eph. 2:10), and that the Lord predestined us to become conformed to the image of Christ through salvation (Rom. 8:29). Lastly, John says when we are saved the testimony will be in us. This speaks of the conviction of the Holy Spirit. In Romans 8:16 Paul tells us that God’s Spirit will bear witness with our spirit that we are children of God. This is referencing the conviction and indwelling Presence of the Lord in our lives that we recognize. If you’re saved you know it when you get alone with the Lord and call to Him in prayer.
Jerry Bridges once said this,
“Our reconciliation to God is permanent and eternal. Because Christ accomplished it for us, there is no possibility it can ever be undone. Though we continue, even as believers, to do those things that in themselves deserve God’s displeasure, we can never revert to a state of divine alienation. For the sake of Christ, God will always accept us.”
Because of what Christ did on the cross and through His powerful resurrection we are now redeemed, justified, reconciled, forgiven, and empowered. If you have turned from sin and confessed Jesus publicly as the Lord of your life trusting fully in His saving power then you are saved. The evidence is in your soul through a real love for God and a desire to obey His commands. Hey, there’s a lot of things I’m not sure of in this life, but I’m sure of one thing: I’m saved! Not because of a single thing I have done, but because of what Christ did for me on the cross of Calvary and by His resurrection life. When I called on His name I was made right with God, my sins were forgiven, and I was given a brand new purpose in life: to bring glory to Him. Today, do you have a confirmed ticket to Heaven or are you on standby? Are you sure of your salvation? Today, turn your doubt into assurance. Call on His name, then go to church and get baptized as your public profession that Christ Jesus is your Lord. Live for Him. Worship Him. Serve Him.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Father God, I thank You for saving me. I have inexpressible joy when I think about how you gave Jesus for me. I know there is nothing I did to save myself and there is nothing I can do to lose my salvation. I am born again of Your Spirit and now I can live freely for You. Thank you Jesus! Amen!
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
1 John 5:12-13
Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.