Tuesday, December 25, 2012

December 25, 2012 … Do You KNOW You’re Saved?

Chronological Bible Reading Plan - Day 360

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: 1st John, Chapters 1-5 ... To study these chapters, go to this link -

Highlight Passages: 1st John, Chapter 1: : [NLT] … {Continuing with Parsons Commentary: “John opens this letter by giving his credentials as an eyewitness of the Incarnation and by stating his reason for writing (1:1-4). He then presents God as “light,” symbolizing absolute purity and holiness (1:5-7), and he explains how believers can walk in the light and have fellowship with God (1:8-10).”}
Highlight Passages: 1st John, Chapter 2: : [NLT] … {The Apostle John goes on as as the Parsons Commentary continues: “If [Christians] do sin, Christ is their defender (2:1, 2). John urges them to obey Christ fully and to love all the members of God’s family (2:3-17). He warns his readers of “antichrists” and the Antichrist who will try to lead them away from the truth (2:18-29).” }
Highlight Passages: 1st John, Chapter 3: : [NLT] … {Parsons: “In the next section, John presents God as “love”—giving, dying, forgiving, and blessing (3:1–4:21). God is love, and because God loves us, he calls us his children and makes us like Christ (3:1, 2). This truth should motivate us to live close to him (3:3-6). We can be sure of our family relationship with God when our life is filled with good deeds and love for others (3:7-24).” }
Highlight Passages: 1st John, Chapter 4: : [NLT] … {Parsons: “Again, John warns of false teachers who twist the truth. We should reject these false teachers (4:1-6) as we continue to live in God’s love (4:7-21).”}
Highlight Passages: 1st John, Chapter 5 – the key chapter in this letter, written late in John’s life. Note the theme verse in 1John 5: 13 [copied below] : [NLT] … {Parsons: “In the last section, John presents God as “life” (5:1-21). God’s life is in his Son. To have his Son is to have eternal life. … Do you know God? Do you know Christ? Do you know that you have eternal life? First John was written to help you know the reality of God in your life through faith in Christ, to assure you that you have eternal life, and to encourage you to remain in fellowship with the God who is light and love.” }
13 I write this to you who believe in the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life. 14 And we can be confident that he will listen to us whenever we ask him for anything in line with his will. 15 And if we know he is listening when we make our requests, we can be sure that he will give us what we ask for. 

My Journal for Today: Shortly after I began meeting with my mentor years ago, he pointedly asked me, “Bill, are you saved?” … Rather taken aback, I answered, rather meekly, “Well, yeah, I think so.” And this provoked a series of questions from my discipler, Dr. Bob, to help me KNOW that I was securely in a personal relationship with Christ.

Today I am into the letter the Apostle John wrote late in his life to Christians to help them KNOW that they KNOW that they KNOW that they were saved. You can go right to the theme verse for this epistle in 1st John 5: 13 to confirm this intent on the part of the old Apostle. And in the book of 1st John, we probably have the best place for any Christian, doubting their salvation, to go do an inventory of their faith (much as Paul wrote about in 2nd Cor. 13: 5), and to build assurance of that Christian’s salvation.

When you read this letter, as I pray you’ve done by using the link above, you’ll see that John has written eleven specific arguments to help any Christian KNOW that he/she is saved. Here are those eleven points, summarized below; and you can check out these truths for yourself to bolster your own confidence in your relationship with Christ …

1. Communion with God – A deep and abiding relationship with Christ as expressed and experienced by fruitfulness in the Spirit [1 John 1: 3 – see also Gal. 5: 22, 23]
2. Sensitivity to sin – Conviction when/if sin occurs and a serious move toward the surrender of self to God’s Spirit. [1 John 1: 6-10]
3. Decreasing pattern of sin – Small sins become bigger in consciousness; and there is a growing intentional commitment to eradicate selfish/sinful living. [1 John 3: 6, 9]
4. Obedience to God’s commandments – An obvious drive – a conscious pursuit - in one’s spirit to surrender to God’s will [1 John 2: 3-6]
5. A love for Godliness and an antipathy with the world – A purposeful desire to please God rather than the world [1 John 2: 15-17]
6. A longing for and a preparation for Christ’s return - Awaiting the return of The Bridegroom by pursuing righteous living [1 John 3: 2-3 – see also Rev. 19: 7-8]
7. A love for other Christians – One is drawn to close fellowship and a drive to be vulnerable, especially in empathy with other believers [1 John 2: 10]
8. Answer to prayer – A growing realization of the power of prayer and the outcomes of humble/thankful prayer [1 John 3: 22-23; 5: 14]
9. Experiencing the sanctifying ministry of the Holy Spirit – The reality of the fruit of the Spirit becoming mature and being lived out in the experiences/circumstances of life. [1 John 4: 13]
10. Ability to discern false doctrine/spirits – A maturing sensitivity to false teaching and doctrine that is counter to God’s word as the likeness of Christ grows in us [1 John 4: 4-6]
11. Rejected by the world – A reality that the world will shun a growing, professing Christian [1st John 3: 13]

Well, how did you do? And if you honestly went through these apologetic points of truth from John’s first epistle and you seriously doubt your salvation, I invite you – no, I exhort you - to contact me via email or phone - which can be found at this link  – and I’ll do my best to help you clarify those doubts or prayerfully be used by God’s Spirit to shepherd you into the Family of God.

But if you came through this inventory, KNOWING THAT YOU KNOW that you are saved, now is the time to do what Jesus has charged all Christians to do in Matthew 28: 19-20 & Acts 1:8.

And so, … my fellow Christian, … let’s go do it!!

My Prayer for Today Heavenly Father, now that I know You have saved me on this day to celebrate Your Son’s birth into this world to do just that, may I launch myself into the New Year, seeking to follow You more closely than ever as my LORD. … Amen

And a Blogger’s PS - MERRY CHRISTMAS !!!

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