The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"That Ye May Know"
"These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life" (I John 5:13).
A young man responded to a preacher's witness regarding assurance of salvation. "Oh, we can't know until the end of our life whether we are saved and going to Heaven" he said. "Well," the preacher instantly replied, "That's a fine time to find out!"
With salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ comes the Holy Spirit's promised assurance: "The Spirit Himself bearer witness with our spirit that we are the children of God" (Romans 8:16). This does not mean, of course, that our spiritual enemies do not seek to create doubt in the minds of believers regarding the genuineness of our relationship with God. Few Christians have not had times of such challenge, perhaps when feeling discouraged, or after having failed the Lord in some particularly significant way. Indeed, if our own faithfulness rather than the faithfulness of the Lord Jesus becomes the barometer of salvation's authenticity, we become easy prey for discouragement and doubt. By definition, a true believer does not primarily look to himself to determine whether he knows the Lord, but rather to the Savior Himself: "Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2).
Of course, it is possible to "believe in vain" (I Corinthians 15:2). If one bears no fruit of conversion, or possesses a faith that clearly contradicts the foundational teaching of the New Testament, one should heed the Apostle Paul's warning: "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith" (II Corinthians 13:5). This does not mean, however, that believers cannot know and rejoice with assurance that we are in the fold. Indeed, had God provided a salvation accompanied by uncertainty, no true peace would be possible for any believer. Walking with the Lord of Heaven would involve a precarious and paralyzingly fearful journey if we thought it were still possible we might end up in lake of fire. No Christian could know any semblance of a secured relationship that alone leads to "the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:11). Thus, we seek to communicate a Gospel that offers assurance as well as that which leads to assurance, namely, the presence of Christ in our hearts, and the confidence that He forever serves as the guarantor of our faith. "Of Him are ye in Christ Jesus" wrote the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians, even at at time when they so openly and inexcusably walked in carnality rather than faithfulness (I Corinthians 1:30; 3:3).
The preacher spoke facetiously when he suggested "a fine time" regarding having to wait until the end of our lives to know if we know the Lord. While warning against the possibility of a false profession, the New Testament clearly does not suggest or encourage uncertainty regarding salvation if we have placed our complete confidence in the Lord Jesus, and have a genuine desire to honor, trust, and obey God through Him. Again, John promises we can "know we have eternal life" right now. Thus, we live from the peace and assurance of a salvation freely given and faithfully assured by gazing on the Savior, who promised…
"I am the good shepherd, and know My sheep, and am known of Mine."
Weekly Memory Verse
"These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life."
(I John 5:13)