Preached at Straightway Bible Church on January 27th, 2013. Below you will find the study notes I handed out. There are some characteristics about our life that must be true if we are Christians, but don’t PROVE we are Christians. There are other aspects of our life that, if true about us, PROVE we are genuine saved. Find out what those are.
(Click here to see the entire series of “The Book of James – Practical Faith”)
Here are the study notes:
Saving Faith: Tests & Evidence
- Matthew 7:21–23 (NKJV) Some people will think they are saved but aren’t: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven… 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
- Tares – false Christians among us – Matthew 13:37–43 (NKJV)
- Test yourself: 1 John 5:13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.
2 Corinthians 13:5) Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.
- Good Works: 1 Co 3:12-13: 1 Ti 6:18:
- A Point of Decision
- Religious interest or ministry involvement
- Morality or Goodness: Mt 19:16-26:
- Knowledge of the Facts: Ro 1:20-21
- Contrition or Conviction About Sin: Ac 24:25:
- Personal Feeling of Assurance
Things That Will Be True About a True Christian But Don’t PROVE You Are a Christian Things Which ARE Evidence Of Genuine Salvation, So The First List Will Be True Too
- Taking up your cross: Mt 10:38:
- Living sacrifice: Ro 12:1
- Love for God: Ro 8:6-7; Lk 10:27;
- Continual repentance: 2 Co 7:10; 1 Jn 1:8-10
- A transformed life: Ro 12:2
- Humility: Jas 4:6
- Spiritual fruit: Lk 8:15; Ga 5:22
- Devotion to God’s glory: 1 Co 10:31
- Selflessness towards other: 1 Jn 4:7; Ro 12:10
- Effective Prayer: Jas 5:16
- Obedient Living: Mt 7:21
Is there any way I can look at my own life and person, and know for sure whether or not I’m genuinely saved?
- 1 John 5:13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.
- How? 2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.
Assurance Tests in 1 John
- 1 John 2:3 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. – Obedience is proof
- 1 John 2:4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. – Obedience
- 1 John 2:5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. – Obedience
- 1 John 2:11 But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes. – love for brethren is evidence
- 1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. – Love for the brethren is proof
- 1 John 3:15 Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. – If you hate a brother, that is evidence of being lost
- 1 John 3:16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. – o If we are willing to lay down our lives for our brethren, that is evidence of genuine saving faith
- 1 Jn 3:18-19: My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. (NKJV) When we put love into real action and not just talk about it, that is evidence of genuine salvation
- 1 John 3:24 Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we knowthat He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us. – Obedience is evidence
- 1 John 4:2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God,- Confession is evidence of genuine salvation
- 1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of Godand knows God. – Knowing God and loving God is evidence of genuine faith
- 1 John 4:13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. – If the work of the Holy Spirit is evident in our life, this is proof of our salvation
Conduct of Genuine Saving Faith
- Tell people (don’t be ashamed) – Ro 1:16: For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ…
- Live the truth – Php 1:27: Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ…
- Fellowship together in truth – Phil 1:5: for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, (NKJV)
- Protect the truth – Ga 1:6-8: But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. (NKJV)
- Suffer for truth – 1 Pe 4:12-13: but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. (NKJV)
- Defend the truth – Jud 3: … exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. (NKJV)
Questions to consider:
- How do you tend to approach “faith”… through facts, intellect and logic? Or through emotions, heart and feeling? Do you ever find yourself thinking the “other” approach is not as legitimate?
- Do you believe that these tests and evidences can REALLY, genuinely give us a true feeling of assurance? Or do we just have to “hope” we are saved and never really, seriously know for sure?
- How does this assurance, or lack of it, affect our Christian walk on an everyday basis? (discuss the dangers and effects of false assurance; discuss the positive effects and benefits to your daily life if you have genuine assurance.)