Sunday, October 24, 2010

What is Salvation? - Part 5 : How Can I Know I am Saved?

INTRODUCTION

We began this series a few weeks ago, first looking at what Biblical Salvation is, the following week we examined what some of the outward signs of salvation are.

We then talked saw in the scripture the difference between saying and doing, and then we looked at how the godly should behave.

This led to our four part miniseries on Godly Marriage, where we discovered what the word had to say about the husband’s role and the wife’s roll as well as how the two should work together.

Last week we spoke on how God hates divorce, finishing our miniseries on marriage.

This week we are going to finish our series on “What is Saved” by answering the question that is on the minds of so many today.  How can I know I am saved?

This question has puzzled many since Christ came and paid the price of sin we could not afford.

In fact, in our scripture reading this morning, we see that John wrote his first epistle to clarify and answer the questions many had about salvation.

SCRIPTURE READING
I John 5:13
13 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.”

So let us look to the scriptures today so that you may know you are saved, and have an eternal life with the Lord.
I.                   DO YOU BELIEVE?

a.      The word “believe” in verse 13 here is the Greek word Pist-yoo-o, its literal meaning is ‘to commit’. 

                                                             i.      the word “on” is literally the Greek word Ice, which means “to” or “unto”

                                                          ii.      the word translated into “name” is the Greek word on-om-ah, which refers to authority.

                                                       iii.      I John 5:13 Should have read; “These things have I written unto you who are committed to the authority of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may Commit to the authority of the Son of God.”

                                                         iv.      What John is really saying, is that if we commit to the authority of Christ, and then we know we have eternal life.  Why does he repeat that you may commit to the authority again?  John is saying that we commit, and continue to commit to the authority of Christ.

b.     To believe in the Lord means more than simply thinking He exists

                                                             i.      James 2:19 “You believe that there is one God.  Good!  Even the demons believe that — and tremble.”

                                                          ii.      Belief is not enough, what we need is commitment!  The questions should never be, “Do you believe in Jesus?”, rather “Are you committed to Jesus?”

                                                       iii.      “How do you know you are saved?”  The scriptures say to look first at your commitment to Christ.

c.      I said the prayer of salvation and was baptized!

                                                             i.      A young man came to me one afternoon to tell me that he was a Christian even though he was a practicing homosexual living in sin.  He told me of his conversion and showed me his certificate of baptism.
1.      I first told him it was not me he was trying to convince, but himself, but what I think makes no difference. It will be the Lord who judges him, not me.

2.      Secondly, Jesus died on the cross to FREE those who are committed to Him from sin (Acts 13:39), so we would no longer be its slave, under its bondage (Romans 6).  It would no longer be our master (Romans 6:14).

a.      Why is it important that sin is no longer our master when we commit to Christ?

                                                                                                                                      i.      (Matthew 6:24; Luke 16:13) No one can serve two masters!

                                                                                                                                   ii.      You are either a slave to sin, or a slave to righteousness!

b.     John 8:24 “Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.”

3.      When you are committed to Christ, you are no longer a slave to sin, under its control, but you become a slave to righteousness! (Romans 6:18)

                                                          ii.      You see, Jesus tells us, it is not about what sin you are living in, all sin is bondage, and all sin makes you its slave.  Salvation is being committed to Christ, therefore becoming a slave to righteousness because Jesus has freed you from sin!

d.     When you question your salvation, ask yourself, are you committed to Christ, or are you living in a sin?



II.               SIGNS OF BELIEF

a.      Christians Never Sin

                                                             i.      What we should say is, “Christians will not continue to live in sin”.  To say Christians never sin is incorrect...we are not perfect, and Jesus makes it clear that sin is impossible to avoid without Him.  We cannot live perfect lives though.  If we could be perfect, we would not have needed Jesus.  Christians do sometimes commit a sin.

1.      If you are angry with someone unjustly, or behave in a manner towards him or her fueled by selfishness or self-centeredness, you have just committed a sin.

2.      You have two choices as a follower committed to Jesus Christ at this point.

a.      Continue in that sin, thus living in it and making that sin your master, therefore walking away from your commitment to Christ.

b.     Confess your sin and repent, therefore returning your commitment to Christ and avoiding that sin!

c.      This equates to OBEDIENCE, which is the first mark of someone who is saved.

b.     OBEDIENCE, the first mark of Salvation

                                                             i.      I John 2:3-63 We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. 4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth (Jesus) is not in that person. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.”

1.      Are you saved?  Do you Obey His Word?

c.      LOVE is the second mark of Salvation

                                                             i.      I John 3:14-1514 We know that we have passed from death to life (eternal life), because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. 15 Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.”

1.      Are you saved? Do you love your brothers and sisters?

d.     FAITH & LOVING GOD
                                                             i.      I John 5:1-51 Everyone who believes (as in having faith) that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. 2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”

                                                          ii.      Are you Saved? Do you have faith that Christ was sent by God, and do you love God by obeying His commands?


e.      If you are concerned about your salvation, examine yourself.  Are you living as Jesus did?

                                                             i.      By measuring ourselves against Christ, the Word will expose our sin to us, and we can confess and repent.

                                                          ii.      I John 3:4-6 4 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. 5 But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. 6 No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.”

1.      If you are committed to Christ, you do not “keep on sinning”

2.      If you continue to sin, the Word of God says you have not seen God, nor known Him.

3.      One who has obtained Salvation, sees the sin in their lives, and STOPS SINNING!
f.       You may be surprised...

                                                             i.      God’s Word reveals to us that our personal salvation requires effort on our part!


III.            SIGNS OF BIBLICAL SALVATION

a.      A True Follower of Christ

                                                             i.      Is committed to the Lord, Obeying His commands (which shows our love for God), Loving his brothers and sisters as well as having Faith in Christ, living as Christ lived

b.     A True Follower of Christ, committed to the Lord

                                                             i.      Repents & Believes the Gospel of Jesus
1.      Acts 3:19 “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out”

                                                          ii.      Has a humble heart; allowing God’s Word (seed) to fall upon good ground
1.      Matthew 13:23 “the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

                                                       iii.      They are broken & mourn, and grieve when they sin
1.      Luke 18:11-1410 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

                                                         iv.      There is a hunger & discipline to read, study share God’s Word
1.      I Peter 2:2-3 “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.”

2.      2 Timothy 2:15 “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”

3.      Acts 17:11 “Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”

                                                            v.      They obey the Word to show their love for Jesus
1.      I Peter 1:14-17 “ 14As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
16Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
17And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:

2.      John 14:15 Jesus says; “If you love me, keep my commands.”

3.      Luke 6:46 Jesus said; “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”

4.      Matthew 7:22-23 “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”

                                                         vi.      They forsake EVERYTHING putting God first
1.      Luke 14:33 “those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.”

                                                      vii.      They love other believers
1.      John 13:35 “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

                                                   viii.      They do not live as the world does
1.      Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

                                                         ix.      They show evidence of their new nature
1.      II Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

                                                            x.      They fear God and turn away from evil!
1.      Philippians 2:12-13 “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”

2.      Proverbs 3:5-75 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
   and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
   and he will make your paths straight.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
   fear the LORD and shun evil.

                                                         xi.      They bear MUCH FRUIT!
1.      John 15:8 “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”

2.      Matthew 3:8 “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.” - prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins!


CONCLUSION

The last mark of a true follower of Christ is the fact that right now we are in God’s Word, and He is pointing out your sin to you.

Confess, repent

Commit to the Lord, and continue to commit.

Obey His Word, and continue to obey.

Love others, and continue to love them.

Put God first in your life, forsaking everything else, and you will be called a child of God’s!