Thursday, February 21, 2019

Assurance of Salvation

"I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life" (1 John 5:13).

We saw yesterday that some who claim to be Christians are really hypocrites, either consciously deceiving others or else pitifully self-deceived. How can we be sure that we are true believers? There are two ways. The first is to examine ourselves inwardly, and the second is to examine ourselves outwardly.

We can ask ourselves: Am I trusting in Christ? Do I understand who He is? Is my heart warmed at the thought of Him? Have I come to Him? Have I committed my life to Him? Do I say, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening”? Do I endeavor to do what He commands and to shun what He forbids because I love Him? The fact that you are doing this daily devotion is a pretty good indication that you do love Jesus and that you do want to serve Him.

We need, however, to balance this internal look with an external one as well. Jesus warned in the Sermon on the Mount that on the Day of Judgment many would come affectionately calling Him “Lord, Lord,” and expect to enter heaven but would be cast out. Though they had done mighty works of preaching and miracles, they would be rejected because they practiced lawlessness (Matthew 7:21–23).

He who is truly saved “does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (v. 21). As Jesus put it on another occasion, “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). The true believer not only loves the idea of God, he loves God and does what He commands. The true believer not only admires the wisdom of God’s law revealed throughout the Bible, he obeys it. Love translates into deeds done in conscious conformity to the revealed will of God in the Bible.

When we do things that do not feel good to us but do them anyway because He has told us to, that is evidence of love for Him. For instance, He has told us to love our enemies and to bless those who hate us, lie, spread gossip and slander, and tear us down. This is not something we feel like doing, but something He has told us to do as a response to His love (Matthew 5:43–48).

Use today’s blog post for meditation and prayer. Let the questions asked and the points raised be a stimulus for opening up yourself to God and for deepening your relationship with Him.