Posted by Peter Thompson

I John 3:19-24

Walking in the Light of Confident Salvation

INTRODUCTION:  The book of I John is about not sinning and having fellowship with God.  One issue that many Christians face that keeps them from full fellowship with God is doubt.  Wonderings about whether you are saved or not.  People wonder, did I say the right words.  People wonder was my prayer heartfelt enough?  Did I really mean what I was saying back then or was there another motive?  I have had people come to me and say that they don’t feel saved.  That is who John is talking to in the last section of this chapter.  He writes in v. 19, “And hereby we know that we are of the truth.”  In our language, by these things we know that we are saved.  He goes on to write, “and shall assure our hearts before him.”  The “hereby” is still in effect here.  In other words by these things we can assure our hearts that we are saved.  Your heart is your center of feeling and emotion.  And then in vs. 20 John makes it clear that you cannot trust your heart or your feelings and emotions about your salvation. (read v. 20-21 again)  The heart may condemn you and you may still be saved, because God is greater than your feelings and emotions.  But if you can convince your heart so that it does not condemn you anymore.  If your feelings and emotions become sure of your salvation then you are confident and you can work for God.  So how do you assure your heart that you are truly saved.

  1. BY YOUR EFFECTIVE PRAYER LIFE (V. 22)
  2. It is very interesting what John says here about prayer
  3. If you are in the truth or if you are a saved person
  4. Then your prayers will be answered
  5. In fact, he says here that whatever you ask for you will receive
  6. But he gives reason for that
  7. “Because we keep his commandments and do that which is pleasing in His sight”
  8. You see an effective prayer life is contingent on your fellowship with God
  9. If you are walking in the light as He is in the light then you have fellowship with Him
  10. So whether or not God gives you the things that you pray for depends on whether or not you are close to Him
  11. God gives those that are in fellowship with Him what they ask
  12. Psalm 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear me:
  13. This verse lets us know that if we are living in sin the Lord will not respond to our prayers
  14. But when you someone confess your sin God is faithful and just to forgive you your sin and cleanse you from all unrighteousness
  15. As you are living for Him, keeping His commandments, doing what He would have you to do
  16. Then when you ask He will answer
  17. So if you are doubting your salvation, your prayer life is one place to look
  18. If you are a saved person
  19. And you are living the way that God would have you to live
  20. Then you should see results when you pray
  21. The things you pray for will be the things that God wants you to pray for because you will be close to Him
  22. And He will answer if you are His child
  23. You say, well Bro. Pete, I can’t really use that test because I’m not really doing what God wants me to do right now
  24. You are right, the first thing to do is confess your sins, and start living for God
  25. If you are saved you will be able to draw close to God and then He will answer your prayers.
  26. That is the test, can you confess sin, can you draw close to God and serve Him and are your prayers answered.
  27. BY YOUR BELIEF IN JESUS CHRIST (V. 23)
  28. A saved person keeps the commandment of God
  29. One of those commandments, the main one, actually
  30. “believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ”
  31. That is what is required for salvation is a heart belief in Jesus Christ
  32. So a saved person should believe that with all their heart still
  33. Believing with your heart and believing with you head are two different things
  34. When someone truly believes with all their heart, it becomes a part of who they are as a person
  35. That is why someone that truly believes with their heart that Jesus died on the cross and rose again so that they can have salvation will turn their life over to Him in complete service
  36. So if you ever had that kind of heartfelt belief then it is still a part of who you are
  37. In other words you should be able to look deep inside
  38. And find that belief system still there
  39. True belief that Jesus is the Son of God
  40. True belief that Jesus died on the cross for your sins
  41. True belief that Jesus rose again from the grave after He was dead
  42. True belief that He saved you when you confessed Him as Lord
  43. You doubt your salvation?
  44. Review what you believe
  45. Do you really believe all those things about Jesus Christ with all your heart
  46. Was there a time when you believed with your heart so that you still believe
  47. That Jesus is all that He said He was, and that Jesus really saved you
  48. BY YOUR LOVE FOR OTHER SAVED PEOPLE (V. 23)
  1. Another commandment of Jesus that can be used as a test is love for other saved people
  2. John has already addressed this subject in last week’s text
  3. Saved people should love other saved people
  4. It should not be terribly difficult because we have the love of God in us if we are saved
  5. So if a person is truly saved, it should not be very hard for them to love other saved people
  6. These are people that believe the same way they do
  7. This is a friend, that has the same world view that you do
  8. Yes, it requires some effort to love those people outside that disagree with us
  9. It is difficult to love somebody that lives against everything that you believe in
  10. But your fellow believer who is there to encourage and strengthen your faith
  11. Your fellow believer that is walking on the same path you are walking on
  12. You should love them, like Jesus loved you
  13. You should support their efforts to do good (you remember from last week)
  14. You should be willing to sacrifice for them
  15. You should be willing to give to them when they are in need
  16. You should be willing to display true love toward them by your actions
  17. You wonder if you are really saved or not?
  18. Check into your love for your fellow believers
  19. Do you hang out with them because of what you can get from them
  20. Are you putting on a show there
  21. Or do you genuinely love the believers around you
  22. Would you give it all up for them
  23. Do you have a desire to help them succeed without ulterior motives
  24. If you are saved, you desire to love other believers
  25. BY THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD THAT IS IN YOU (V. 24)
  26. John sums up with this one because it really encompasses all the others
  27. Without the Holy Spirit of God you have no chance at keeping His commandments
  28. Without the Holy Spirit of God living in you there is no prayer
  29. Without the Holy Spirit of God you cannot believe in the Son
  30. Without the Holy Spirit of God living in you there is no true godly love
  31. But on top of those things it is the Holy Spirit that gives a person joy in troubled times
  32. It is the Spirit that gives you peace when you should be in turmoil
  33. It is the Spirit that gives you power when you should be filled with fear
  34. It is the Spirit that leads you to truth in God’s word
  35. It is that Spirit of God that guides you to do the things God wants you to do in life
  36. If you doubt your salvation
  37. Check to see evidence of the Spirit in your life
  38. When Jesus was describing the Spirit to Nicodemus, He described it as wind
  39. You can see the results of the wind, moving trees and blowing leaves
  40. But you cannot see the wind itself
  41. If the Holy Spirit lives in you, you will see the results in your life
  42. That joy that I talked about will be there
  43. That peace that I talked about will be there
  44. That guiding and leading
  45. That understanding of the word of God through the Spirit
  46. That love that cannot be explained
  47. The true test of salvation is the presence of the Holy Spirit of God in your life.

CONCLUSION:  Feelings and emotions can be very deceptive in your life.  In fact, I would say that is one of Satan’s favorite battle grounds is your feelings and emotions.  What you need is the truth.  Because you don’t feel saved does not necessarily mean you are not.  Any number of things can make you feel far from God; trials, sin, lack of time with Him.  But it is important for your fellowship with God that your heart is convinced that you have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.  You get that confidence by taking a look at your prayer life in times of obedience, by belief in Jesus Christ and everything that the Bible says about Him, by your love for other saved people and by the Holy Spirit’s working in your life.