Blessed Assurance, Jesus is Mine!
SPECIAL NOTE: The Mother’s Day Sermon (aka “The Sunday Night Sermon”) will be posted early on the church’s public Facebook page! Be looking for it sometime on Friday. I’m posting early because I didn’t want it to be the end of the day before our moms saw it. (Also, we might have some men who forgot Mother’s Day and this reminder will spur them to do something before it’s too late!)
This Sunday morning on the YouTube live stream, we will close out our series on 1 John with something of a review. John ends his letter by say, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know you have eternal life.”
Over the years, I have met a lot of Christians who were not confident about their salvation. They would say things like:
· “Can anybody really know for sure?”
· “Boy, I hope I'm saved.”
· “I don’t know. I worry that I haven’t done enough.”
We've sung the words countless times:
“Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O, what a foretaste of glory divine,
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.”
We sing the words, but do we really believe them? Are we assured of our salvation because we have been redeemed by God, born again by water and the Spirit, and cleansed in the blood of our Savior? Or do we think we need something more?
John says, “Yes! You can have confidence that if Jesus came back today, you would be with Him in eternity. You have eternal life! Do not doubt that!” John wants his little church and the Southern Hills Church to have confidence in their salvation. A lack of confidence signifies a lack of faith in what Jesus did for us at the cross. This is why we must be rooted in Christ by faith. It is why we focus on the root instead of the fruit… so we can have that blessed assurance of salvation.
Now, there is a phony kind of confidence, isn’t there? One form of counterfeit confidence is when we trust in our own goodness. Ask anyone on the streets who believes in heaven and hell, “Where will you go when you die?”
“Oh, I’m going to heaven!”
“Yeah? Why do you believe that?”
“Because I’m a good person. Better than most. Good people go to heaven and bad people go to hell. And I'm as good as the next guy”
Artificial confidence in our own goodness. John squashes that pest in the very first chapter, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” That’s a nice way of saying, “You’re a liar!” And liars are on several lists of people in scripture who will NOT inherit the Kingdom of God.
Another form of phony confidence is when people put their trust in what John refers to as “the things of this world.” In other words, idolatry. They trust in money, good looks, talent, knowledge, or prowess in the bedroom. John squashes that bug, too, in chapter 2, “If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away.”
John writes this at the tail end of the letter, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” There is NO eternal life in the things of the world. This world is dying.
So, how can we KNOW we have eternal life? John has told us!
· We believe in the name of the Son of God (3.23; 5.1; 5.5; 5;10; 5.13).
· We confess the name of Jesus Christ—which happens first at our baptism and then, hopefully, every day thereafter by our words and our deeds (2.23; 4.2; 4:15).
· We allow Jesus’ blood to cleanse us of sin—initially at baptism (Acts 2:38; 22.16) and then as we “walk in the light” with God (1.7; 1.9; 2.2; 4.10).
· And finally, we can know we are saved children of God when we love one another (3.11; 3.23; 4.7; 4.11, 4.12).
So, rest assured, little children, you have eternal life if you have responded to the Good News of Jesus in the ways John has described in this letter. He wrote these things so that we would know.
Where’s YOUR trust? In the name of Messiah Jesus, the Son of God? Or in the things of this world?