1 John 5:1-5 ESV
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
To believe in Jesus Christ is much more than just to acknowledge who he is and was, what he did for us on the cross in dying for our sins, and the fact that he was resurrected from the dead and ascended back to the Father in heaven. It is much more than just accepting his forgiveness of our sins, too, or just accepting his payment for our sin, which he took in our place.
To believe in Jesus Christ is to accept into our lives what he did for us on that cross by applying his death to sin to our lives. For, belief in Jesus Christ is divine persuasion. It is God persuading us as to his holiness and righteousness, and of what Jesus did for us, and of our need to humble ourselves before God and to turn from our sins, and to turn to walk in holiness to God. For, Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. This is the essence of the gospel message (1 Pet. 2:24).
To believe in Jesus Christ also means to walk in obedience to His Word. It does not mean we will never sin again, but that sin should no longer have mastery over our lives, for Jesus Christ set us free from our bondage to sin, and he freed us to walk in his righteousness. Now we should walk (live) according to the Spirit of God and no longer according to our sinful flesh. For, if we walk according to the flesh, we will die in our sins, but if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, then we will live.
To believe in Jesus Christ, too, means that we are overcomers. We no longer walk in the ways we did before we believed in Christ, for the Spirit of God transformed us away from darkness, and he brought us into God’s wonderful light. He turned us away from the power Satan had over our lives to God to follow our Lord and his ways. We are overcomers over sin because Jesus delivered us from the power sin and Satan had over our lives. Amen!
1 John 5:10-13 ESV
Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.
We Can Know
When we truly believe in Jesus Christ, with God-given and divinely persuaded faith, so that we die with Christ to sin, so that we can live with him to righteousness, the Holy Spirit of God comes to live within us. And, he bears witness to the fact that we are now God’s children. And, we can be assured that we who are believing in him have eternal life in him.
Yet, many people feel that they are assured that they have eternal life with God, and yet they don’t truly believe in him, because they have not truly died with him to sin, and thus they do not live with him to righteousness. They think that a mere acknowledgment of Jesus and who he is and what he did, and a mere acceptance of his forgiveness of their sins will guarantee them entry into heaven, despite how they live on this earth.
They have been convinced, as well, that God requires nothing of them other than some non-descript “belief” which is not accompanied by an abandonment to our former lives of living to sin and self. So, not all who think they have the assurance of heaven as their eternal destiny truly do. For, if we know the Lord, and we love God, we will walk in his ways and according to his commands. Again, not saying we will never sin again, but sin should no longer be what controls our lives, but Jesus should be.
So, to have eternal life with God, we must have the Son, and to have the Son means that we have surrendered our lives over to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. It means we walk according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh. In other words, belief in Jesus Christ is ongoing, it is not something we do once and then we are in, and then we go on with our lives, living them how we want, until one day we die and go to heaven.
Assurance of salvation is based on current faith, not past belief, and it is based in the true meaning of faith, not on some intellectual assent to who Jesus is. If we die with Christ to sin, we will live with him for eternity.
1 John 5:18-21 ESV
We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.
We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols.
Keep Ourselves from Idols
We who are in Christ Jesus, by faith in him, do not continue in sin, in willful sinful lifestyles, after we believe in Him. This is not saying we will never sin again, and it is also not saying that we can never backslide, for the letters to the seven churches (Rev. 2-3) are written largely to churches who were failing in several areas where God said they needed to repent or face some type of divine judgment (discipline, chastisement, correction).
What I see consistently throughout the New Testament is that our salvation is progressive. We are saved (past), we are being saved (present) and we will be saved (future) when Jesus Christ returns and our salvation is complete. For us to have the assurance of eternal life with God, we must continue in Christ, we must walk (in lifestyle) according to the Spirit, and we must no longer live to our flesh (in lifestyle).
The way in which any of us can walk according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh is by way of the cross. Because of what Jesus did for us, in taking our punishment for us, and by putting sin to death, and then by being resurrected from the dead, victorious over sin, we can live in victory over sin. Amen! We can walk in Christ’s righteousness because we have God living within us empowering and helping us to walk righteously.
But, God has allowed Satan and evil to still exist, and so we will be tempted to sin and to stray from our devotion to Christ. And, we will be persecuted for righteousness’ sake if we hold to the Word of God and if we follow His ways. For, we are in a spiritual battle while we still live on this earth, and so we must rely on our Lord to help us to walk righteously and to not give in to the devil and to sin. But, then we must obey him and do what he says. We must flee from idolatry and we must now yield our lives to our Lord.
Thank You, Lord
An Original Work / May 19, 2011
Thank You, Lord, for saving me;
From my sins set free.
Crucified and risen Lord,
They hung on a tree.
They thought they had finished You.
You came back to life;
Triumphed over hell and sin;
You gave eternal life.
Thank You, Lord, for victory
Over all my sin,
So that I might live with You;
You cleansed me within;
Filled me with your love and pow’r;
Give me strength each day,
So that I might live for You,
To love You and obey.
Thank You, Lord, for your return.
Soon You will arrive
To receive Your bride to You;
Meet You in the sky.
You’ll wipe away all our tears;
Free us from our fears;
Crown our heads in victory.
We’ll praise You with our cheers!
Saturday, August 18, 2018 – Thank You, Jesus, for this teaching from Your Word. I pray you bring its truths home to our hearts. In your name, Amen!