Biblical Assurance of Salvation – Part 3

Posted on April 7, 2010

In Part 3 of Paul Washer’s series on Biblical assurance of salvation, he again opens with 2 Corinthians 13:5:

Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.

There is a weak Gospel preached in America today that has led many to a false assurance of salvation. Many preachers tell you if you said a prayer once and were sincere, then  you are saved. They have no concern whether there has been a heart transformation that has generated a new creature in Christ. The truth is, however, that if we profess to be born again believers, we must examine ourselves in light of Scripture to see if our faith is true.

The book of 1 John is filled with a number of tests for us to examine ourselves. 1 John 5:13

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.

We do not have to live in doubt as to whether our salvation is secure or not. Carefully studying 1 John and all of Scripture with diligence will reveal to us God’s will for our lives and give us discernment as to whether or not we truly believe in our hearts. The characteristics of a child of God are evident, yet professing a relationship with God while walking in darkness makes us liars and we do not live by the truth as 1 John 1:6 says

If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.

Washer goes on to say that if the professed Christian lives a style of life that completely contradicts the nature and will of God, if this style of life reflects a character of our own nature that is completely different than the character of God, if this lifestyle contradicts what He has revealed about His will in the Word of God – we are not saved.

We must be sensitive to sin, for this is evidence that we are sealed with the Holy Spirit. 1 John 1:8 tells us, ”

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

Many professed Christians are numb to sin. They don’t even acknowledge their sins although God has plainly told us in Scripture that those who practice a lifestyle of sin will not inherit the Kingdom of God. When we are sensitive to the sins we commit as believers, the Holy Spirit leads us to repentance and confession. If we say we have a new relationship with God, we must also have a new relationship with sin. We will grow to hate it, and our love for God’s Word will increase. This will lead to obedience as 1 John 2:3-6 says

Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

Because salvation is a supernatural work of God, the regenerated believer will grow in a style of life given towards the Word of God to know and obey it with some measure of victory. We will develop a new relationship not only to God and sin, but to the Scriptures. This is not to say, at all, that believers will not sin; however, the believer will no longer live a habitual lifestyle of sin. We all struggle and this battle will continue until we receive our glorified bodies. But we as believers do not relish in our sins, justifying these actions that are great offense to the Lord of lords. We are convicted by the Holy Spirit to confess our sins before God and turning from them.

The heart of the unbeliever is different, however. They do not have a concern with walking in the light, sin is no big deal to them, and the Word of God has no place in their hearts. And this is true of many professed Christians because their hearts were never changed. They deceive themselves because of a prayer they once said, yet their life produces no fruit of God.

God loves us so much, and the more we understand how deep His unconditional love is, we will want to increase in our obedience to Him. 1 John 2 says

By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.

His commandments are not burdensome to those who love Him. If we say we have the desire to walk with Him, we will strive to walk like Him. Yet some who profess the name of Christ have no passion for Him. Rather, they look like the world, talk like the world, and act like the world. If one says they walk with Christ, there will be some reflection of Him in his walk.

The validity of our faith comes through a changed life.

For Parts 1, 2, 4, and 5 see:

Biblical Assurance of Salvation Part 1

Biblical Assurance of Salvation Part 2

Biblical Assurance of Salvation Part 4

Biblical Assurance of Salvation Part 5

Biblical Assurance of Salvation – Part 3 mp3