Rest Assured in Jesus
This past weekend during praise and worship we sang and testified about God’s love for us, which never fails and never gives up on us. His love is higher than the mountains and stronger than death, and is constant through trials and change. We sang those words with confidence because that’s what God’s Word affirms for us. The current teaching series is based on 1 John so that we know that we know that we know. And what we know is the assurance that if we are followers of Jesus Christ, then we are saved. John wrote so that you and I can be certain of our salvation. Changed lives are meant to be lived in grace and in the peace that comes with being assured that we stand firmly in God’s kingdom.
A Pharisee tried to test Jesus with a question by asking Him which commandment was greatest. Jesus summarized Scripture into two basic commandments, “Love God, and love people” (Matthew 22:35-40). Today, you might be wearing a wristband that says those two commands. Jesus told His disciples that their love for one another would prove to the world that they were His disciples (John 13:35). Many of us have no problem loving God, but feel we may lack love for others reflected by just not doing enough overall. We’re then conflicted because we know that Jesus tells us that if we love Him we’ll obey His commands. Yet we know that we still miss the mark. This awareness is our conscience tugging at us. It provides us a moral sense of right and wrong and affects our thoughts and behaviors. But we learned that our conscience is only as good as how it was constructed. Some of us may be operating with a conscience that has faulty programming. We may still be influenced by how we thought before we were saved, or by a theology which isn’t consistent with the Word of God. God’s thoughts are not like our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8). Natural man cannot understand how God thinks. In fact, unbelievers are spiritually blind (2 Corinthians 4:4). However, you and I now supernaturally have the light and the truth of spiritual sight. God’s thoughts are revealed to us through His Word, the Bible. And the Holy Spirit uses that Word to educate and enlighten us. He reprograms our conscience.
A heavy conscience results from unconfessed sin or not clearly understanding God’s Word. One of Satan’s schemes is to trick us into questioning the Word of God. It started in the Garden of Eden when Satan asked Eve, “Did God really say…” (Genesis 3:1), and continues today. Satan then accuses us and condemns us. The Holy Spirit will use the Word of God to convict us if we’re wrong. Conviction leads us back to God. He wants us to live in forgiveness and to restore our relationship when we seek Him. Condemnation drives us away from God and is what our enemy wants.
You probably know that none of us were good enough. But our salvation isn’t dependant of what we do; it’s about what Jesus already did for us. On the cross Jesus already paid our debt; past, present and future. That doesn’t give us the right to keep on sinning, but it does give us the ability to approach God confidently in prayer when our conscience prompts us. We don’t have to hope we’re forgiven. Our hope is in Christ who assured our forgiveness already.
Make It Stick: In your own words, describe how you can be absolutely sure of your salvation.
Additional Reading: John 14:1-31
From sermon 6119 Scripture references from NIV unless otherwise noted.
Based on Spiritually Healthy Indicators, Part 2 on August 10th, 2013 - Watch Sermon