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Monday, December 26, 2005

How could you possibly know?

The one thing we as believers share is our common hope for salvation in Jesus Christ. Beyond that common hope there seems precious little we agree on. Even the very meaning of salvation is a topic hotly debated by many. Some say it is a one-time event, others claim there’s no need to seek it at all as it’s all been already decided. Many believe it to be a goal that can only be attained through faithful living. Given this plethora of methods and means is there any way a person can know in this life if their hope is sure? Can a person truly know they have eternal life? Even if you are persuaded that eternal life can be gained and lost, is there a way you can know if you have it right now, this very moment?

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.
2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
6 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.
7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.
9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.
10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.
11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

1 John 5 (KJV)

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10 Comments:

Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Indeed. We can know we have eternal life if we believe on Jesus Christ and acknowledge His saving work.

Is this passage contrasting the witness of our conduct in keeping commandments, and the assurance that brings, with the assurance that comes from knowing what Christ has done for us?

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

12/26/2005 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Hi KC,

As you probably know, I believe that unless at the moment of "faith" the believer is not sure that he has eternal life and cannot lose it, he has not believed the message of Christ that saveds.

1) If hwe beleives that he has it but at some point may lose it, this betrays the mindset that although Christ is necessary, He is not sufficient and that it takes the perseverance in faithfulness, etc, to finally attain (or keep) eternal life. This is a form of Lordship Salvation/ works rightteousess

2) If at the moment one "believeS" and has the mindset that he must persevere in faith and holiness, must commit all, surrender all to Christ, repent of all sin, then this betrays the belief that Christ maay be necesary but not sufficient, but the submitting and persevering are required to finally be saved.

I not only believe that assurance is the birthright of those newly born again, with out it, they have not believed the guarantee of Christ to dispsense eternal life to all who merely believe in Him for it; they have not believed the saving message, but a portion of their salvation relies upon their performance somehow, and not fully on God.

I just took a couple of soma for my bad back and am out of it...

Will check back later

Antonio

12/26/2005 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger Rose~ said...

Good post. Thought provoking. Thanks a lot! :~)

12/26/2005 05:03:00 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

"not sure" in the first sentence should be "sure"

I am way out of it. My back went out!

12/26/2005 06:37:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Matthew these verses are actually a continuation from chapter four where in verse 12 it states, "No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us." The text proceeds from there to explain how our love for one another relates to the indwelling of the Spirit and the work of the Spirit in us. If we have love for one another then God abides in us and we in Him. Verse 13 of chapter 5 completes this explanation in that we, who believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, can know right now, that we have eternal life, if we have love for our brethren.

Antonio, above all I want you to get well. I’m not sure what causes your back to go out, but I know with me it is always due to stress. If that’s the case then please take a break and heal. I have great hope that God will grant us every opportunity to discuss this and other doctrines. Regardless of the cause for your illness, you can count on our prayers.

I think this book could easily be called the “a beginners guide to faith and understanding.” It is evident to me that it is addressed to believers. It begins with belief and ends with an established faith. Consider the redundancy of verse 13. In essence, all was written here so that we who believe on the name of the Son of God can know we have eternal life so that that we may believe on the name of the Son of God. This signifies a growing faith that begins with the belief that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. It seems that one of the primary concerns of this text is to clearly establish the doctrine of eternal life “that your joy may be full”. I know these things touch on our difference but my primary purpose for this post was to do likewise.

Rose, thank you for your encouragement. It’s very much appreciated.

12/26/2005 07:08:00 PM  
Blogger Seeker said...

"..you will know them by their fruits. Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, "lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.'" Matthew 7:20-23
"The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ," Romans 8:16-17

Yes, the Bible declares that we can know for sure; by one's fruits (i.e. love for the brethren) and by the testimony of the Spirit of God with one's spirit.

12/26/2005 09:18:00 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Seeker,

How do you get "fruit" from Matthew meaning "love for the brethren"?

I get "fruit" being what they say, their teaching. These are false prophets; wolves in sheep's clothing.

As concerning Romans 8:16, this is talking about our prayer to God in times of trial. Notice how it does not say that the Spirit testifies "TO" our spirit that we are children of God, but "WITH" our spirit TO God!

Antonio

12/29/2005 06:38:00 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

The Spirit bears witness WITH our spirit...

Good article!

Antonio

12/29/2005 06:42:00 PM  
Blogger Tony Myles said...

Solid reminder.

12/30/2005 09:45:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

First let me apologize for being so slow to respond. I will offer no excuse but only give the reason. I am a slow duffus. ;-)

Seeker thanks so much for your thoughts. I can appreciate the logical implication from the text in Matthew, that if we know these who are false by their fruit, then they, which are not false, will also become evident. I agree with both you and Antonio on your interpretation of the verses in Romans.

Antonio I love how you challenge us all to consider these things more clearly and I appreciate your thoughts so much. I may seem double minded concerning the text in Romans but I really do think you are both right.

I think the verses in Romans are intended to help us have the proper perspective on our relationship with God, which indeed involves our communications to Him. We are not to fear Him as we would a ruler with which we have no intimate relationship, but as our Father by virtue of that part of Him that dwells in us having been born of His Spirit. I think Bob Wilkin’s article did very well to point out how this relates in prayer however I think that if we accept that God is omniscient we might tend to suspect that He who searches the heart has no need to testify to Himself. He knows us far better than we know ourselves.

The inner workings of that relationship are more specifically related in 1st John 4 and 5 but the intent here is essentially the same as in Romans. The testimony of His Spirit is present in us if we believe God (1st John 5:10) and we have confidence when we pray because we believe that testimony, or assurance from God. There is far more here than I can relate in this comment but I hope this at least points to my understanding and why I would agree with you both here.

Tony welcome! I have enjoyed your comments on Jeff’s site and I’m grateful for your visit. I have intended to catch up with your site as well and hope to do so soo

12/30/2005 01:02:00 PM  

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