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God Questions – Blog and Podcast

July 13, 2018

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One of the things I love about the church is that it is somewhat of a melting pot. People come from different backgrounds, live in different environments, work in different fields, are in different age groups, have different interests, sometimes are from different countries, are of different ethnic descent, etc. We have people who grew up in church and those who didn’t, and some which are half and half. I love that! It’s a beautiful thing that we see more and more over the past few years. God unites, removes barriers, draws people unto Himself, and brings families together under His Lordship.

I’ve talked to a number of people who have come from various backgrounds over the years in serving the church and because of that, I believe it’s important to speak to some of the fundamentals of the faith from time to time and try to answer any questions people may have regarding them. Today’s text really lends itself to answering some important questions that believers have from time to time, so we are going to look at 3 of them.

Our text for today is I John 5:1-5, which says…Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father also loves the one born of him. This is how we know that we love God’s children: when we love God and obey his commands. For this is what love for God is: to keep his commands. And his commands are not a burden, because everyone who has been born of God conquers the world. This is the victory that has conquered the world: our faith. Who is the one who conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

The first question I want us to deal with is…How do I know I’m saved?I had a man in my office one time, who was an active part of our church and was in his 40’s. He grew up going to church and when he got to be a teenager he drifted away. He got married and he and his wife had different church backgrounds. He didn’t like where she liked to go to church so he just didn’t go, and eventually she didn’t either. They moved from out of state to our town for a fresh start and decided they might want to try church again. Their daughters enrolled in girl scouts, which just so happened to meet at our church. They began to attend regularly, their kids got involved, and the Lord began to work on this man, convicting him about his salvation. He had walked an aisle when he was 12 years old, but he realized it hadn’t made a significant impact in his life. He came into my office wanting some assurance – was the decision he made at age 12 a real profession of faith? Was he feeling the conviction of someone who needed to get saved or was he just feeling guilt for walking away from the church for so many years? He even called his mom and asked her to give him the date off of his baptism certificate. He was so torn up. We prayed and we talked. We prayed and we talked some more. He kept saying, “If the decision I made to follow Christ at 12 was so real, how could I so easily walk away from it for so many years?”

Ultimately, he realized he had never truly repented of his sins and had never been truly saved. He asked the Lord to save him and walked the aisle the next Sunday to make his profession of faith public, which is an important step as a testimony before your church family. He was baptized a few weeks later and began a new life in Christ and I began to see some real changes in him over time.

A genuine salvation experience is marked by two evidences, according to our text today. Verse 1 says that everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father also loves the one born of Him. Basically, loving God and loving one another.

For those of you who may be looking for some additional evidences of “How do I know I’m saved?”, let me give you a few marks to look for in your life. This is not a list that is given to condemn you if you aren’t totally following all of these, but they are good indicators of a genuine walk with Christ.

  1. Have you felt the presence of Jesus Christ in your life?
  2. Does sin bother you? When you realize you’ve sinned, does it convict you?
  3. Do you have a desire to obey God’s Word?
  4. Do you love the Lord more than you love the things of this world?
  5. Are you excited about the return of Christ?
  6. Are you seeing a decreasing pattern of sin in your life?
  7. Do you love other Christians?
  8. Are you experiencing answered prayer?
  9. Are you sensing the work of the Holy Spirit in your life? Is He Your comforter and teacher?
  10. Are you able to discern between spiritual truth and error? Discernment grows as you walk with Him.
  11. Have you endured any resistance because of your faith?

(Adapted from “Saved Without a Doubt” by John MacArthur)

The second question I want us to deal with is…Can I lose my salvation?I realize that there is not universal agreement within the Christian church about this question. But, I’ll cut to the chase. I’m not interested in what the church says as much as I’m interested in what the Word of God says, so in order to answer that question, we’ll just go straight to the Word of God and let God sort it out for us. Here are 3 key Scriptures which do indeed answer the question of whether someone can lose their salvation.

  1. John 10:27-28, 27 My sheep hear my voice, I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand.
  2. Ephesians 1:13, 13 In him you also were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed.
  3. Hebrews 6:4-6, For it is impossible to renew to repentance those who were once enlightened, who tasted the heavenly gift, who shared in the Holy Spirit, who tasted God’s good word and the powers of the coming age, and who have fallen away. This is because, to their own harm, they are recrucifying the Son of God and holding him up to contempt.

The answer is, if you were ever saved, you are still saved. If you could lose it, you never had it, and if you could lose it, you couldn’t get it back again. Scripture is the first and last Word on that, period.

The 3rdquestion I want to address is, “Why is it hard to be obedient?” Anything worthwhile in your life comes at a price, it costs you something, and it shapes you in the process. Such is the Christian life. Our victories have purpose, and our trials have purpose. Our gains have purpose and our losses have purpose. All things work together for good for them who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.

The text tells us in verse 3, “For this is what love for God is: to keep his commands. And his commands are not a burden.” His commands are not a burden, but that doesn’t mean that they will be easy to keep. They are not a burden, meaning that whatever difficulty that comes from being obedient, God will equip us with whatever we need to be obedient.

These 3 questions, “How do I know I’m saved?”, “Can I lose my salvation?” and “Why is it hard to be obedient?” are questions that many people ask. But understand this…God doesn’t want you to live in fear of wondering. He wants you to have a salvation that is secure, and He wants to equip you to be obedient. All of those things are to be developed within the context of the local church. My sincere desire for each of you is that you have security in an authentic relationship with Christ, and that you press forward in knowing Christ in a deeper way.

Tony Watson
Senior Pastor
First Baptist Church
Palestine, TX

From → Blog Posts, Podcasts

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