1 John series: (post #1)
Perhaps you’ve heard that God wants you to be saved from the eternal penalty of your sins by believing in Jesus, God the Son, as your personal Savior. But have you also heard that God wants you to live out your days knowing for certain that you have been saved? Just how serious is God about this matter of you having a “know so” salvation as opposed to a “hope so” one? He’s serious enough about it to have inspired one of His choice servants to devote an entire book of the Bible to the topic. That book is the one we call 1 John.
The same man who wrote 1 John also wrote the books of 2 John, 3 John, The Revelation, and the gospel of John. Who was the writer of these five books? It was John the apostle, one of Jesus’ chosen 12 apostles. As for what John’s God-inspired purpose was in writing 1 John, we don’t have to guess. In some of his closing words from the book, he says the following:
These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God (1 John 5:13, N.K.J.V.)
Those words “These things” refer to the teachings that John has provided leading up to that point in the book, Therefore, by consulting those previous teachings, anyone can take a litmus test in order to find out whether or not he or she has experienced an authentic salvation by authentically believing in Jesus. You see, the salvation experience changes a person on the inside and that inward change will at some point show up in that person’s outward conduct. Good works don’t flow into salvation to produce it, but they do flow out of it to evidence it. So, even though John doesn’t offer a list of things that one must do in order to get saved, he does offer a list of traits that a genuine salvation experience will inevitably produce in the life of the saved person.
I might also add that John’s list is quite extensive. All told, it names no less than ten tell-tale marks of salvation. Over the course of this blog series we will examine all ten of these marks, devoting one post to each, and as we do this we will come up with a pretty thorough resource for what might be called “the assurance of salvation.” By joining me for this series you, the reader, will be able to scripturally assess whether or not you have legitimately experienced the salvation that is offered in Jesus Christ. For the record, that salvation includes you being forgiven of all your sins, being granted eternal life, and being guaranteed entrance into heaven as opposed to dying and going to hell. Needless to say, when it comes to salvation, the stakes don’t get any higher. That’s why I encourage you to get on board the train as this series is just now pulling out of the station, and let’s find out together what having a “know so” salvation really looks like.