In 1 John 5:13, we read very encouraging words.
This verse addresses the idea of assurance of the soul. Assurance is the idea that conviction, belief, that one is not going to be lost. Keep that in mind as we go through this lesson.
What came to my mind was a mountain climber, who faces a cliff face thousands of feet in the air. To climb and then come back down in safety requires a lot of trust in your equipment.
If you were going to climb, would you go to the local Walmart and purchase a cheap paracord and carabiner? No... you have to purchase good equipment to have confidence. When climbing a mountain you have to be assured that if you slip the things attaching you to the mountain will not fail, and you will not fall.
Some mountains cliffs take several days to make the ascent, El Capitan, ... requires an average of four days, to make the climb.
Think about the world we live in and what we face. It is a difficult mountain to climb. It is a straight and narrow path to make the ascent. We need to have confidence and assurance that we won't slip. We may backpedal some, but we need to be sure that if we repent we will be back on our way to the ascent.
In a Bible class someone took a survey asking the question... ? what was the percentage.
It seems as if 4 out of 10 Christians are not sure of their salvation. Heaven as their goal seems unreachable and impossible. These Christians often give in the towel and quit trying. They convince themselves that the effort isn't even worth it.
Two Extreme Views of the Denominational World Regarding Salvation
- Once Saved Always Saved
- No Security for the child of God
We may, when addressing the once saved always saved doctrine, the impression that we can't be assured of salvation. But, that isn't the case. The Bible distinctly teaches that we can be assured of salvation for the soul.
Scriptures That Teach Assurance and Security of the Soul
- 2 Timothy 1:7
He has not given us the idea of fearfulness. This is cowardice and timidity.
- Revelation 21:8
Notice this list, the fearful. Those who are afraid of life or property if they serve God. The fearful stop following God.
The Bible draws a contrast between the spirit of fear and a spirit of love.
- 1 John 4:18
He talks about fear here, terror, and chastisement for disobedience. WE don't have the spirit of fear but of power. Not the ability to work miracles but the ability to overcome obstacles. We can overcome because of our assurance in Christ.
Many people obey the gospel because of fear of God, respect for God. But, as we mature, our motive should grow and move on from that to a spirit of love, to Christ, and the FAther.
- John 14:15
We show our love by obedience to Christ.
- 1 John 4:19
Love is incentive to all obedience. That's the reason we all should obey because of love. This is discipline, sobering self-control. God has given these things but not the spirit of fear.
- 2 Timothy 1:12
Paul says he knows the one whom he has committed himself to. He knows who he believes and is persuaded. Paul's faith had been tested and he was not in doubt of his salvation.
- Philippians 1:20-24
Very simply, to live is Christ and to die is gain. Paul lived without fear because he was fully persuaded that he had committed himself to God and God would be with him until the very end.
- Romans 8:35-39
The love that we have for him, no one can separate us from God. No one can force us to stop being obedient to God. No matter what happens in life, we can continue to serve and love God. If one quits and turns away from God it is of his own accord.
- Romans 8:28
In all things, every situation of life, God can make it work for our good.
- 1 John 5:11-13
Eternal life is in the Son.
- John 10:10
Life is in Christ, it is a promise.
- Mark 10:29-30
He promised that in the world to come there is eternal life.
- Titus 1:2
It is a promise. We do not hope for that which we already have.
- 1 John 2:25
The hope that we have in Heaven. It is eternal life in Heaven. Those who keep on believing have eternal life. Those who leave him, cease to have this hope.
- 1 Timothy 5:12
- 2 Timothy 2:16-17
We know that we have eternal life. But what must we do to have this knowledge?
What Must We Do to Have Assurance of the Soul?
1) We Must Walk in the Light
- 1 John 1:5-10
The continual cleansing is dependent upon continued walking in the light. It continues to cleanse us of our sin as long as we walk in the light.
2) We must Make Confession
- 1 John 2:1-2
We've got to keep on confessing and repenting of sins. That's what walking in the light is.
- James 5:16
When we sin, repent, and confess our sins God is faithful and just to forgive our sins.
- 1 John 2:1-2
Our goal is to keep from participating in sin. But when we do, we have an advocate, the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins. He petitions and reconciles us with God. He renders God favorable toward us. He enables us to be at peace with Him.
Can We Quit Sinning?
Repentance is hard to do. It's not something we do just once. With baptism, it is only necessary once, but repentance is continual throughout our life.
- 1 John 1:8
- 1 John 3:9
This is where a lot of people find the idea of once saved always saved. But, the verb here, committeth, is a continuous action. He cannot keep on sinning, he is not allowed to be in sin.
- Romans 6:1-2
He doesn't keep on sinning. We do not live a life of continuous willful sinning.
Man can't be sinless, but we need to be sinless. How can we do this?
- Luke 8:11
The seed is the Word of God. When we let the Word of Christ live in us, dwell in us, we will be reminded to not sin.
- Colossians 3:16
- Psalms 119:11
This doesn't mean we can't sin, but rather, that we can't live a life of sin. The Word of God prohibits all sin.
- Romans 6:1-2
The question is, can we turn away from sin, living a life refraining from sin?
We need to live that life walking in the light.
If we are faithful to Him, that's where assurance comes from. If we are walking in the light, repenting of our sins, being a faithful Christian, and living the best life that we can for Him we can be assured of our salvation.
Let us have this confidence and assurance as we surrender ourselves to His will.
- 2 Timothy 4:6-8
Paul says, "It is well with my soul." He can go to rest knowing he can go to rest having finished his course.
- Romans 8:1
If you aren't in Christ, you can put Him on in baptism. Having heard the word and believing that He is the Son of God, you can repent of your sins, confess His name, and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins.
If we can assist you in coming to have the assurance of the soul, please contact us.