Friday, October 22, 2010

Are you saved? How can you know?

My greatest struggle being a young Christian was the doubts hurled at me about the genuineness of my salvation. The first time I went down, it wasn’t even my idea, I wanted to get away from the guilt, and I wanted to go out, not down front. I wasn’t saved. I was baptized, but all I got was wet.

I was living a duplicitous life. (That means two faced.) I was the sweet loving Gregie at home, but a foul mouthed hellion away from my parent’s hearing. My salvation did occur and I was later baptized. I was still, however, a babe in Christ. I did not know how to “test” my salvation.

I recently listened to a good sermon from Paul Washer on “Testing your Salvation”. It is based on the teaching of John the Apostle in 1 John. I believe everyone should go through these verses and test yourself. Are you saved? If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?

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.

You need to get by yourself, with your Bible, pray for God to open your heart and eyes to what He wants to tell you. This is a test of the person you are when you are alone or around no one who knows you. Are you the sweet child always, or are you a rebellious hellion like I was before I was saved?

So what are the things that John has written? I am glad you asked.

1 John 1:5-7 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

Test 1: God is light. This is saying that if we walk in darkness, we are a liar and do not practice the truth. What does it mean to walk in darkness? This refers to your “style of life.” Does your life style indicate that you walk with God? Are you going places God would walk? Are you doing things God would do? Are you looking at things that God would approve? Do your friends know that God is primary in your life? If you are walking in darkness, STOP. If your style of life goes against God, then you are not saved.

1 John 1:8-10 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

Test 2: Say NO to sin. Are you sensitive to your own sin? Does God grab your attention when you have sinned and convict you? Does He lead you to confession and repentance? You should be broken over your sin. The devil is a roaring line seeking whom he can devour. Sin is a slippery slope. Just one step; then another; soon you find yourself covered in it. If you can sin and not cast a care at all, God is not in you. Test yourself, confess your sins, and repent. That means you need to turn away from the sin. Turn toward God.

1 John 2:3-5 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.

Test 3: Do you keep His commandments? Again, this is a style of life issue. Do you allow hate anywhere in you for anyone? Are you angry without cause? As a saved individual you should have a keen interest in keeping God’s commandments.

1 John 2:6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

Test 4: Do you walk like Jesus? Do you desire to live your life like Christ? Do you routinely ask yourself “What Would Jesus Do” when faced with decisions or temptations?

1 John 2:9-11 He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. 10 He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 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.

Test 5: Do you hate your brother? In this, John is referring to your brothers in Christ, or other believers. Do you enjoy the company of other Christians? Do you like to worship together with others in Church? We should desire fellowship with other believers. Would you rather spend time with the Christians in your life or with the sinners in your life? This is an indication of your salvation. You can not be a secret service Christian and worship God alone on the golf course or in the fishing boat, or in bed on Sunday morning. Test yourself in this.

1 John 2:15-17 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

Test 6 : Do you love the things of the world? Have you followed tv shows from talking about lust to doing sinful things. We had to stop watching many of the funny shows we used to watch. Sinful situation comedies are no longer funny. The sin of the flesh and lust of the eyes should not be in you. We can’t be a slave to this sinful evil age and be loyal to Christ. In this test, are you loyal to Christ in all that you do?

1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.

Test 7 refers to the unsaved among us that leave. They were never a part of the faith to begin with. You can’t come and go to Christ as if He was an insurance policy and you only need Him on certain occasions. Folks that are pulled away to other “religions” were never truly saved. You know there are only 2 religions; Christianity, and everything else. There are only two paths; the hard and narrow path to God through salvation in faith by Christ, and everything else (the wide path).

1 John 2:24-27 Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life. 26 These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. 27 But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.

Guys you must embrace the fullness of the Person of Jesus as Savior and Lord, Prophet, Priest, and King. You can not slice Him up and get the parts you like, but leave behind the hard parts. You must strive to be Holy as God is Holy. Test your self in these areas. Take these to Christ in prayer and really know that based on the tests in scripture that John wrote for us, that you truly have salvation. If you fail any of these tests, talk with God about it. Repent of your sins and confess them. Ask Christ to show you the way of salvation and He will do so. For whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

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