Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Be Assured of Eternal Life

The Lord Jesus Christ offered this explicit assurance as recorded in Jn 6:47

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.”

Before I offer how one may know they are indeed saved from the Wrath of God, and in fact possess Eternal Life I will briefly address a grave error which so easily entraps Believers.

Many have told us that in order to be sure of our actually having Eternal Life we ought to “examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith” and use passages such as 2Cor 13:5 as their support for such bold claims. Paul’s purpose there was not for the Corinthians to find assurance of their salvation by examining themselves, but to turn their questions on themselves. They had been examining Paul in challenge of his Apostleship, and Paul simply turns their actions back on them.

In an extreme perversion of the intent of 1Jn, many teach that you can use this epistle to examine yourself and determine if you are in deed saved. The passage used to justify their means is 1Jn 5:13. Let us look at this passage and examine it briefly.

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.

“These things” were written to those who “believe in the name of the Son of God” – to saved people. To people the Apostle John knew were saved. He’s assuring them that they are in fact saved, not giving them a test to see IF they are saved.

If it were written for the purpose those who would trouble believers teach it would be “These things I have written to you who CLAIM to believe….” Or “These things I have written to those who would like to know IF they believe….” However, the Holy Spirit in pure wisdom had the Apostle John write to saved Christians to assure them of their salvation.

For an excellent, and so much more complete rebuttal of the abuse of 1Jn please check out the material linked from this article “Assurance of Salvation and 1st John

Finally, before I continue, one might say that faith can be seen by one's works and so the above arguments are valid. However, James the Brother of Jesus Christ calls such a claim foolishness in his Epistle to the Church.

In my book Fail-Safe for Fallacy, there is a whole chapter dedicated to the issue of assurance. This chapter is entitled “Concerning Converts” because I have so often witnessed the sad practice of giving converts supposed cause for concern. This chapter opens by quoting Lk 18:9-14 to show the folly of looking at one’s self for assurance of salvation. John Calvin addressed the very same error of looking for assurance from the wrong source in this way;

“When Paul lays down the cause of justification, he dwells chiefly on this point, that our consciences will never enjoy peace till they rely on the propitiation for sins.”

I will not reproduce the chapter of Fail-Safe for Fallacy here but the point made in it is this. Have you come to know that you are a sinner who will be judged for your sin and cast into the Lake of Fire (you may think of this as Hell) because you have not believed on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ? Then you are near to grace! Have you come to realize this, and have believed on Him Who died in accordance with the Scriptures for your own sins, was buried and rose again to life on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures? Has God accepted this payment on your behalf? Has God reconciled you to Himself on this basis alone? If this is this your faith then you have "received the Gospel" and based on Paul's usage in 1Cor 15:1-11 I can say that you my dear beloved Brother or Sister in Christ have Eternal Life. What's more I can say this with absolute conviction simply by echoing the infallible words of the Lord Himself.


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