Repent & Believe

Repent & Believe

Thursday, October 3, 2013

How Can I KNOW If God Has Saved Me? - Part 6

  • Examine Yourselves, Prove Your Own Selves – This is a very important question that we should all seriously consider, “How Can I KNOW If God Has Saved Me?”. This question gets to the essence of what life is all about. God tells us everything we need to know with regard to His salvation plan for mankind in His Book, the Bible, and God explains that assurance of our salvation is indeed possible as 1 John 5:11-13 explains. We must realize that God does ALL the work of salvation. The Bible teaches that we cannot save ourselves. No church, no religious ritual, no person, and no human effort can save us. Only the work done by the Lord Jesus Christ at the cross and by the Holy Spirit in our hearts can save us. Believing, or having “faith”, in the Lord Jesus Christ is the result of salvationnot the cause of it. Rom 5:10 declares that if God has saved you, your spiritual war with God has ended: “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life”. In other words: If God has saved you from Hell, the Lord Jesus Christ paid for ALL of your sins with His life so that you now have eternal life, and you made no contribution to your salvation in any way, as Tit 3:4-7 declares. However, if God does not save you before you die or the Lord Jesus Christ returns in judgment, you will face eternal damnation in Hell under the wrath of God as a payment for your own sins. If God has already saved you from eternal damnation, He has put His Spirit within you and resurrected your soul (that is, you became a new creature in Christ); as God stated in the verses Eze 36:26-27 and 2 Cor 5:17. In 2 Cor 13:5 and 2 Pet 1:10, God commands us to evaluate our spiritual condition to determine if we truly have received the gift of eternal life based on what the Bible teaches about salvation. In this sixth part of the study we will ask ourselves several questions based on the biblical evidences of salvation to help us “examine” the state of our souls. May God cause each of us to seriously examine our self in the light of His Word to discover whether we are indeed a child of God or not. If we are not (or are not sure), wonderfully today is still the day of salvation; and we can cry out to God for mercy, read His Word, and wait (trusting altogether) on Him.

1 John 5:11-13 “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 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, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”

Tit 3:4-7 “But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Eze 36:26-27A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.”

2 Cor 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

2 Cor 13:5Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”

2 Pet 1:10 “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:”

  • Is theFruit of the Spiritbecoming more Evident in your Life? – We see in Eph 2:10 that true believers are Godsworkmanship”, which means “the fruit (or product) of a workmans labor”. We also see in Gal 5:22-26 that true believers are governed by thefruit” (or product) of the Holy Spirits work in their lives: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance ...”. There is “no law” against these nine fruit of the Spirit because they reflect the righteous nature of God Himself. True believers can sincerely exclaim the words of Eph 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ!”

Eph 2:8-10 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

Gal 5:22-26 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christs have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.”

  • The Fruit of the Spirit isFaith” – Do you trust and hope for unseen life after death? Are you able to set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth? “Faith” is synonymous with the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is called “Faithful” in Rev 19:11. What was the “work of faith” in 2 The 1:11, or rather, “the work of Christ” or “the Saving Faith” or “the faith of Christ” that He so faithfully performed? Isa 53:11 reveals: “He [referring to the Father] shall see of the travail [or work] of his [Christs] soul, and shall be satisfied: by his [Christs] knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he [Christ] shall bear their iniquities”. Every believer who is saved by the “faith of Christ” receives “faith” as a result of salvation and are commanded to “walk by faith, not by sight” in 2 Cor 5:7. This verse has been all but abandoned in our modern, “Christian culture”, which sadly highlights a plethora of sight-based gospels” that feature healings, visions, miracles, and financial prosperity. In other words, everyone who has experienced the new birth will understand the meaning of Heb 11:6 that says, “without faith it is impossible to please him [God]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him”. Faith is defined in Heb 11:1 as, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. What one sees physically does not produce faith. From Rom 8:24, We learn that one is “saved by hope”, but it is not something we can see physically and if we see something physically, there is really no need for hope. 1 Pet 1:3 speaks about being “begotten again” (or “born again”) to such a glorious hope. 1 Cor 15:19 stresses the importance of a “living hope” for each believer who anticipates spending eternity – not just a few years on this earth – with the object, or substance, of his hope, the Lord Jesus Christ: “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable”. 2 Cor 4:18 also mentions the difference between “things not seen” and the “things which are seen”. The “things on the earth” are the things which can be seen – or temporal things. This verse, like Heb 11:1, indicates that “the things which are not seen are eternal”. If we are a true Christian, things that are eternal in character should grip our minds and hearts and motivate us to greater obedience, as Col 3:1-2 asserts.

Rev 19:11 “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he [Lord Jesus] that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.”

2 The 1:11 “Wherefore also we pray always for you [believers], that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power…”

Heb 12:2Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our - The word “our” in this verse was added by the translators] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Rom 8:24-25 “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.”

1 Pet 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively [or living] hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead”.

Tit 2:13Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ

2 Cor 4:18 “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

Col 3:1-2 “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”

  • The Fruit of the Spirit isMeekness” – Are you meek enough to humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God and His Word? Are you humble enough to forbear one another in love? God reveals a very important biblical principle in Mat 23:12, “And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted”. Repeatedly in the Bible, God echoes His sentiment toward the humble. Mic 6:8 further adds, “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”. The Bible gives us some wonderful pictures of the “meek”, or those who have inherited the quality of “meekness”. As we ponder this word “meekness”, we are reminded of the Lord Jesus, the ultimate servant, who uttered these words in Mat 11:29: “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls”. We must bear in mind that when the Lord speaks of Himself as “meek” and “lowly”, we are talking about eternal God the Creator, His Eternal Majesty, the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords! Mat 21:5 portrays the Lord Jesus in such a fashion: “Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass”. Here we see to what extent Christ had to empty Himself of His divine glory as He humbled Himself by taking on a human nature. With these verses in mind, may God give us an even greater appreciation for the thrust of Php 2:8, “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross”. So, we can safely conclude that the Lord Jesus indeed manifested a “… contrite and humble spirit …” In turn, those whom God has elected to salvation will be “humbled” and will be “made contrite” as God gives them a new resurrected soul and saves them by His grace and for His glory. Moses, as a great type of Christ, is described in Num 12:3 in these words, “Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth”. “Meekness” is associated with only those who are true believers - those who have received with meeknessthe engrafted word, which is able to save your souls …”. The child of God is to exhibit the attitude described in Eph 4:2, “With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love”. Col 3:12 further maintains: “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering”. 1 Pet 5:5 also addresses this subject: “Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble”. In 1 Pet 3:3-4, God is contrasting that which is “outward” as opposed to the “inward”, or the “hidden man of the heart”, which has to do with salvation and is also known as “a meek and quiet spirit”. Meekness is also one of the “the qualities of a servant” as set forth in 2 Tim 2:24-25. We would do well to recollect the words of Isa 61:1, which outline the Saviors mission: “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound”. In turn those who fear the Lord will also speak of His salvation as 1 Pet 3:15 points out: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”

Isa 57:15 “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”

James 1:21 “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.”

1 Pet 3:3-4 “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”

2 Tim 2:24-25 “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;”

  • The Fruit of the Spirit isTemperance” – Are you able to rule over your body and combat besetting sins? One of the characteristics of those who have received salvation will be a willingness to be faithful in declaring and as well as in obeying Gods Word, as confirmed in Jude 3: “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints”. The word for “earnestly contend” is actually a compound Greek word that is only used in this verse, but the word for “contend” is translated as “striving” in Col 1:29: “Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily”. In 1 Cor 9:24-27 the same word is translated as “mastery”: “And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things”. “Temperance”, or “self-control”, is a remarkable fruit of the Spirit that motivates the true follower of Jesus Christ to forsake sin and follow the commands of Scripture. Paul likens the Christian life to a race for which an athlete trains. Following the rules and employing self-control and discipline are key factors in athletic competition as well as in the “Christian race,” as Paul states, “… I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection”. There exists an internal struggle between the believer’s new, resurrected soul (in which he never sins) and his body (that still lusts after sin because it has not yet become saved), as Paul explains in Rom 7:18-19. Thus, the true Christians biggest obstacle is himself! The solution lies in the fact that God is at work in the believer’s life to “… will and to do of His good pleasure”, so that obedience reigns, and the lusts of our bodies are dominated by the Word of God, as is seen in the phrase, “… and bring it into subjection”. The idea expressed here is to make the body a “servant” (or a slave). Those who have been redeemed are the servants of God, and they live to do His divine bidding, as Rom 6:12 affirms, “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof”. The root word for “contend” is rendered as “fight” in 2 Tim 4:7 and “race” in Heb 12:1. Heb 12:1 proclaims: “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us”. Could it be that God might so work in each of us that we might affirm along with the Apostle Paul the words of 2 Tim 4:7, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith

1 Cor 9:24-27 “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. 25And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 26I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: 27But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”

Rom 7:18-19 “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me [in soul]; but how to perform that which is good I find not [in my body]. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.”

1 Pet 2:11 “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;”

Eph 6:10Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.”

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