Satan may try to get you to doubt your salvation

     Satan may try to get you to doubt your salvation.  He may cause you to wonder if you really are a Christian, and tell you that because you do not feel any different than before, nothing really happened.  And then, you might sin. You might slip back into your old ways. Satan is quick to sow the seeds of doubt by telling you that Christians don’t sin.  When doubts come, what will your answer be?  The purpose of this study is to teach you that by accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, you are saved now and forever — and you can KNOW it for certain!  However, some people falsely think they are saved.  An old spiritual put it simply and directly: “Everybody talkin’ about heaven ain’t going there.”  Some may think all is well between them and God when it isn’t.  One of the most chilling passages in the Bible is found in Matthew 7:21-23, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. {22} Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? {23} And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”  This reality compelled the Apostle Paul to warn, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith” (2 Corinthians 13:5).  Part of this lesson is a test, a Biblical checklist, to allow yourself to examine the reality of your faith.  How can you tell whether you really are a Christian?  How do you know if your faith is real?  The Apostle John wrote his first letter to answer these questions and gave a series of tests to measure us by.  The Holy Spirit is the one who gives assurance (Romans 8:16).  It is the work of God in the believer’s life as he lives righteously.  With righteous behavior comes the peace and confidence of God.

Read Isaiah 32:17, “And the work of righteousness shall be

P__ __ __ __; and the effect of righteousness quietness and

A__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ for ever.”

 

 

I.      WHAT IS MEANT BY “ASSURANCE”?

By “assurance of salvation” we mean the intellectual and spiritual certainty that you belong to God, that you possess eternal salvation.

A.     Look up: 2 Timothy 1:12

The “key words” in this verse are K__ __ __ and

P__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __.

B.     Look up: 1 John 5:13

1.     On the basis of this verse of Scripture, would you say God wants you to have assurance of salvation?                                                            

2.     What word in this verse indicates this?

K __ __ __

 

II.     WHY DO I NEED ASSURANCE OF SALVATION?

A.              Assurance brings us J__ __ (1 John 1:4).

B.              Assurance brings us

C__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ before God (1 John 3:19, 21).

C.     Assurance brings us C__ __ __ __ __ __ of heart (Colossians 2:2).

D.              Assurance enables us to O__ __ __ __ __ __ __ the world (1 John 5:4-5).

E.     Assurance enables us to effectively serve the Lord by telling others about Jesus.  Read the following Scriptures: John 1:40-41; John 4:28-29; and Acts 16:10.

 

III.     WHAT IS THE BASIS OF ASSURANCE OF SALVATION?

Many Christians base their assurance of salvation upon personal FEELINGS.  The problem with this is that feelings change.  One day you may feel saved; the next day, through circumstances, you may not feel saved.  When you allow feelings to be the power that drives you, you are in for a rough ride.  Feelings should never come before faith in the Word of God. 

 

You have something MORE than feelings to go by — the UNCHANGING WORD OF GOD.  Your faith is empowered by the Word of God — “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17).  If you put faith in the Word of God, the feelings of being saved will eventually follow.

Look up 1 John 5:11-12 and write this Scripture out in full.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

 

Circle the words record and hath in the above verses. The record is – that you have eternal life!

There are three grounds for your assurance:

A.     The PERSON of God

According to Titus 1:2, God cannot __ __ __.

GOD SAID IT — THAT SETTLES IT!

Assurance of salvation is the collective work of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

1.     God the Father gave His Son to be the Savior of the world (John 3:16).  The Father gives people to the Son (John 6:37).  Through some divine choice God gives people to Christ to be saved, and

 

 

anyone who comes to Him will not be cast out.  According to John 10:27-29, from whose hands is no one able to snatch us?

2.               God the Son prayed, “Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me” (John 17:11).  Since Jesus Christ always prays in perfect harmony with the will of the Father, we can be assured that keeping our salvation secure is the will of God.  According to Hebrews 6:19-20, Jesus Christ is our High Priest and serves as an A__ __ __ __ __ of the soul to keep us from drifting away from God.

3.               God the Holy Spirit seals the believer’s salvation.

He is God’s pledge to us that full redemption is coming.

B.     The PROMISES of God

1.     In John 5:24, God says I H__ __ __ everlasting life, I S__ __ __ __ N__ __ come into condemnation.

2.     According to John 6:37, because I came to Jesus Christ, He will in __ __ W__ __ __ cast me out.

3.               According to Romans 10:13, those who call upon the Name of the Lord S__ __ __ __ be saved.

These are just a sample of the positive statements, put in writing, by the God who cannot lie.

C.     The PRESENCE of God

1.               According to Romans 5:5, when we are saved, God gives us His

H__ __ __  G__ __ __ __, who dwells in our hearts.

2.     According to Romans 8:16, the Spirit of God bears W__ __ __ __ __ __ with our spirit that we are in fact God’s children.  See also the first part of 1 John 5:10.

 

IV.    HOW MAY I KNOW I’M SAVED?

Here is a checklist to use in evaluating the authenticity of your salvation experience.  The Apostle John’s letter delves into the subjective grounds for assurance.  They focus on the fruit of righteousness in the believer’s life and the internal witness of the Holy Spirit.  These subjective factors have meaning only if they are first rooted by faith in the objective truth of God’s Word.

 

A.     Do I believe on the Lord Jesus Christ?

This is a belief that is evidenced by love for Christ and the Father. (1 John 5:1)  “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that

loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.”  The Apostle Paul said it this way, (Galatians 2:20) “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”  There’s something very experiential about this truth; there is an experience of knowing God intimately.  Do you believe in Christ from the depths of your heart?

B.     Am I sensitive to sin?

We cannot claim fellowship with God and walk in darkness.  Light and darkness cannot coexist. What does God call people who walk in darkness and claim to have fellowship with Christ?

L__ __ __ __ (1 John 1:6). In John 2:1, John writes that believers should not sin.  If they do, they realize that forgiveness is in Jesus Christ, the righteous one.  True believers are sensitive to sin.

C.     Do I keep God’s commandments?

Do I obey God? 1 John 2:3 says, “And hereby we do

 

K__ __ __ that we K__ __ __ him, if we K__ __ __ his commandments.”   The word “keep” means watchful, careful, thoughtful obedience.  When Jesus commissioned His church in Matthew 28:20, one of the elements of that commission was to teach disciples to observe all things that He commanded.  True disciples are “obeyers.”  Obedience to the commands of God produces assurance.  What does God call people who say they know Him and keep not His commandments? L__ __ __ __ (1 John 2:4).  According to 1 John 2:17, who abides forever? “He that D__ __ __ __ the will of God.”

D.     Do I reject this evil world?

Do I desire to turn from the world and all its sin?  Does this evil world system, with Satan as its god, have a pull

on my heart and affections? According to 1 John 2:15, what is not in the person who loves the world?  “The

L__ __ __ of the F__ __ __ __ __ is not in him.”  Jesus said His children are not of this world even as He is not of this world (John 17:14-16).  We may have to live in this world, but we are not of it.  A believer rejects its false religions, errant ideologies, damning philosophies, godless living, vain pursuits, immorality, materialism, and the like. Is this you?  Do you love darkness or light? According to John 3:19-21, unbelievers love darkness; light only reproves their wicked lifestyles.

E.     Do I love believers?

According to 1 John 3:14, assurance resides in those who love the brethren; they know they “have passed from D__ __ __ __ unto L__ __ __.” In verse 10, God defines an unbeliever as one whom D__ __ __ __ not righteousness, neither L__ __ __ __ __ his brother.  Loving fellow Christians comes naturally to believers.  It shows that the love of God has been poured out in their hearts.  Jesus went so far as to say that this love is an

 

 

identifying mark of His disciples (John 13:35).  So, do you love Christians?  Do you love those in the church, or are you cold, indifferent, and uncaring toward them?  Your love may not be perfect, but it will be there.

F.     Do I experience the ministry of the Holy Spirit?

God says that people can know that they dwell in Him because He hasG__ __ __ __ us of his Spirit” (1 John 4:13).  This ministry of the Spirit includes things such as conviction of sin, fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), spiritual understanding when reading the Scriptures, and so on.  In Romans 8:16, Paul says, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:” In a definite, concrete way the Holy Spirit brings assurance to you that you belong to God.

G.    Am I experiencing spiritual victory?

According to 1 John 5:4, who is born of God? “For whosoever is born of God O__ __ __ -

__ __ __ __ __ __ the W__ __ __ __.”  Believers experience spiritual victory.  They may not do so all the time, but there is a pattern of growth. Believers are overcomers!  Every believer stumbles from time to time; but unbelievers are devoid of spiritual victory for they do not possess the Holy Spirit who causes the victory. 

A person’s assurance cannot be based upon the feeling he experienced at the moment of the “alleged” conversion.  A person’s true spiritual state is not known by a past experience but rather by a present pursuit of holiness.  Jonathan Edwards (a Puritan preacher) said, “Assurance is never to be enjoyed on the basis of a past experience.  There is need of the present and continuing work of the Holy Spirit...[in] giving assurance.”

 

V.     WHY DO SOME GENUINE BELIEVERS DOUBT THEIR SALVATION?

 

 

The answer to this question could have an infinite number of reasons.  Here are several of them:

A.     Ignorance

Some Christians haven’t fully understood God’s sovereign operation of securing our salvation forever.  They tend to base assurance on feeling and don’t understand the objective truth of God’s Word on this issue.

B.     Temptation

Christians feel the pull of the flesh to sin even though they have a new nature.  This pull is disconcerting.

C.     Uncertainty

Christians who were saved at a very young age often can’t remember the “experience” of the conversion moment.  Link that with the “glowing” testimonies of

people saved out of a life of wickedness and you have a formula for doubts.  The “flash” of the dramatically changed life can cause others to doubt their own salvation.

D.     Trials

Some Christians become spiritually unstable because they can’t see the hand of God in all their trials.  “How could God love me and let me go through this?”

E.     Disobedience

Perhaps the most common reason for lacking assurance is disobedience.  With disobedience comes guilt, and then we question “How could I possibly be saved and have done....”

 

Things which cause doubts –

This author was in Bible College taking a course entitled “Philosophy of Christian Living” when asked to write out a testimony of his salvation experience.  He was saved as a boy and was raised in church.  Another student in class was saved out of the debauchery of a country western singer’s lifestyle (drugs,

 

 

alcohol, and sex).  The singer’s testimony of salvation earned an “A” from the professor; the Sunday school boy only achieved a “C” grade.  In less than a year the singer was back in Nashville and back in sin.  The Sunday school boy entered the ministry.

 

The Testimony of Charles Spurgeon –

Whenever I feel that I have sinned and desire to overcome that sin for the future, the devil at the same time comes to me and whispers, “How can you be a pardoned person and accepted with God while you still sin in this way?”  If I listen to this I drop into despondency and if I continued in that state I should fall into despair, and should commit sin more frequently than before; but God’s grace comes in and says to my soul, “Thou hast sinned; but did not Christ come to save sinners?  Thou art not saved because thou art righteous; for Christ died for the ungodly.”  And my faith says, “Though I have sinned, I have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and though I am guilty, yet by grace I am saved and I am a child of God still.”  And what then? Why the tears begin to flow and I say, “How could I ever sin against my God who has been so good to me?  Now I will overcome that sin,” and I get strong to fight with sin through the conviction that I am God’s child. (Source unknown)

 

VI.    WHAT BRINGS ASSURANCE OF SALVATION INTO MY LIFE?

It is possible you may have doubts from time to time. Just remember that Satan is a liar (John 8:44), and his first recorded words in the Bible were casting doubt upon God’s Word (Genesis 3:1).  Here are some ways you can have assurance, or deepen your assurance in what God has done for you:

A.     Learn the Word of God.

Your salvation is based upon what God has said — not upon how you think or feel.  Thus it is important for you

 

to read and study the Bible.  Read 2 Timothy 3:14,15.

B.     Thank God for His gift of salvation.

According to Romans 6:23, you have received the GIFT of E__ __ __ __ __ __ L__ __ __ . Have you thanked God for this gift yet?  Thanksgiving is evidence of faith.  Read 2 Corinthians 9:15.

C.     Make a public testimony before others.

Have you told someone that you have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ?  Look at 1 John 4:15 and see the relationship between confessing Christ and assurance.  Read Matthew 10:32 and Romans 10:9,10.  One way you can confess Christ publicly is to come forward at the “invitation” in one of our Church services.  The pastor will gladly introduce you to the Church.

D.     Attend church services faithfully.

Fellowshipping with your brothers and sisters in Christ will encourage you.  Many of them have experienced the same doubts you may have.  Hebrews 10:25 commands this, while Hebrews 10:22 talks about assurance.  Have a goal to begin attending all the services.

 

E.     Live a righteous life.

Sometimes a full assurance does not come until God sees we mean business for Him.  According to Isaiah 32:17, the effect of

R__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ is quietness and A__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ forever.  Remember, your peace and assurance is based upon believing God’s promises and not on your feelings.

·                   Don’t sugarcoat sin in your life! Recognize it, hate it, call it for what it is – rebellion against God.

 

 

·                   Fix your heart on God. Devote every area of your life to God.

·                   Use the Word of God to strengthen your faith. Memorize it and quote it when Satan whispers doubts in your ear.

·                   Relentlessly move forward. Perseverance is a forgotten practice in our culture – oh, some athletes and businessmen have it; but few Christians tenaciously hold to the commitments they make at the church altar.

 

VII.   WHAT HAPPENS IF I SIN?

A.     Look up 1 John 1:8. Is it possible for a Christian to sin?                                                                         

B.              Look up 1 John 2:1. Does God want a Christian to sin?                                                                           

C.              Look up 1 John 1:9. If a Christian sins, what is the one thing we are to do about it?

C__ __ __ __ __ __ it to God.

D.     Look up 1 John 2:1 again. When I sin, Who appears before God the Father in heaven on my behalf?

J__ __ __ __ C__ __ __ __ __ the Righteous.

E.              Look up 1 John 1:6, 7. What does a Christian lose if he sins? F__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __  with God

In a family, if a child sins, he does not lose his place in the family but his fellowship with his father is affected.  So it is with our Heavenly Father.  If you sin, you do not lose your relationship with the Father, which was established by your faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Sin affects our ability to have fellowship with the Father because of the shame and guilt of sin, but 1 John 1:9 tells us that if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

 

 

VIII. CAN I EVER LOSE MY SALVATION?

A.     John 10:28 says we shall N__ __ __ __ perish.

B.     John 10:29 says no man is A__ __ __ to remove us from God’s hand.

C.     John 6:37 says God will in __ __ W__ __ __ cast out those who come to Christ.

D.     John 6:39 says the responsibility of keeping us saved is the Lord’s, not ours, and that Christ can L__ __ __ nothing.

E.              John 5:24 says the kind of life I now have is

E__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __.

F.               Romans 8:38,39 says that nothing can

S__ __ __ __ __ __ __ us from the love of Christ.

G.             1 Peter 1:5 says we are K__ __ __ by the

P__ __ __ __ of God.

H.     Jude 24 says Christ is able to K__ __ __ us from F__ __ __ __ __ __.

I.      Philippians 1:6 says that Christ will continue His good W__ __ __ in us until the D__ __ of Jesus Christ.

J.     Ephesians 1:13 says our salvation has been

S__ __ __ __ __ with the Holy Spirit.

K.     Ephesians 2:8 says that our salvation is the

G__ __ __ of God. A gift taken back by the giver is no gift.

L.     Ephesians 2:9 says that we have done nothing to gain salvation. If we have done nothing to gain it — we can do nothing to lose it!

M.    According to Ephesians 2:2,3 and 1 John 3:10, before we were saved we were in the control of Satan.  Now that we are saved, we have a new relationship with God.

1.     God is our heavenly F__ __ __ __ __ (Romans 8:15).

2.     Christians are the S__ __ __ of God (1 John 3:1).

 

 

3.     In our earthly family, when a child does wrong, his parents do not cast him out of the family and disown him.  They will correct and chasten their son — but he is still their son and a member of that family.

4.     When a Christian sins, he is not cast out of God’s family, thus losing his salvation.  However, like any loving father, God may C__ __ __ __ __ __ __ the erring Christian (Hebrews 12:6).