John provides seven clear-cut evidences of salvation, and today we look at Evidence #3.
Christian, these life-changing evidences of salvation will remove doubts and fears about your relationship with God.
You see, the Bible teaches us there are no do-overs. When we die we enter heaven or hell. Therefore if you want to spend eternity in heaven you must make sure you know and do what Jesus Christ reveals. In fact, even Paul warned the Christians at Corinth to examine themselves to make sure they were really in the faith, and not find out they were deceived and lost after all. (2 Corinthians 13:19)
So how do we do examine ourselves? The apostle John wrote the letter, we call 1 John and he tells us how and why. He says, “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, …” [1 John 5:13]
So it is clear, the purpose of the first letter of John is the “assurance of salvation.” John wrote to give proof to the people who claim to be Christians that they actually were saved by offering clear evidence. These truths will prove whether we are alive in God, or as we say, born again. Please make sure you sit down and read the entire letter!
And also please watch the first two talks, because this talk is based on the last two as we work through John’s letter.
Now consider this, John will not let go of the idea of complete and total lifestyle change. He already demanded a new love for other Christians in our local church and also proved that turning away from sin is evidence of a real salvation experience.
But next, he demands a person must have a new life purpose and direction by following Jesus and teaming up with our fellow believers. He says we must join in …
The Great Commission lifestyle as a non-optional change and proof of eternal life.
Here is what John says, “… by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments” [1 John 2:3] That’s right, WE know God IF we keep His commandments! His commandments contradict everything this world tells us to do. So let’s think this through.
Many today only think of sinners as liars, adulterers, thieves, and murderers, but the “normal and nice” people are OK. But, that is why John continues by explaining this next area of evidence, obedience to God’s commands. John demands that Christians live and do way MORE than others! Our lifestyle is completely different than “normal” people.
From Christ’s own words, a Christian does not just stop lying and cheating, they also begin a whole new lifestyle of working on the assignments God gives them while He builds His Kingdom through them. These narrow road followers of Jesus are radically different than the average person, their life of righteous living overshadows and puts to shame the “normal way of life.” They have a new mission, new purpose, and new perspective.
Jesus said, “If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.” [Matthew 10:39]
But this is where many Americans, who think they are Christians, seem to be blind in this major area. They do not give up their lives for Jesus. They want to add Jesus, not replace their lifestyle with His way of life.
For example, like a pro football player changing teams, the born again believer changes coaches, uniforms, and playbooks. The real disciple leaves his old lifestyle, and changes direction to follow the Lord Jesus Christ in His great mission, and joins His team in a local church.
Jesus commands His followers to “Come after Me [as disciples—letting Me be your Guide], follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men!” [Matthew 4:19 (AMP)] The mission is clear. We must follow Jesus by reaching others and teaching them to follow Jesus also.
But the fake believer watches in the stands and is nothing more than a fan, while the real Christian gives up his life and is a player in the mission of Jesus! The believer enters the field and has a new purpose and is assigned a team position to work together with fellow Christians in a contest of eternal significance. And understand, this life is now and forever a battleground, not a playground. This means we all have a brand new perspective on why we are alive.
Let’s read the words of Jesus in Matthew 5…
“Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose.  I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved.  So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.  “But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven! [Matthew 5:17-20 (NLT)]
We know that Christ fulfilled the Law by becoming the sacrificial lamb and shedding His blood on our behalf, completing the ceremonial law forever. The New Testament or New Covenant was paid once and for all by Christ Himself dying on the cross, being buried, and rising again from the dead!
No works that you do will convince God to let you into His heaven because only Christ paid the price. This is the only place where “works” is evil. There is no need for any other sacrifices for sin, these laws are fulfilled by the sinless Jesus! No need for a temple or tabernacle for worship, nor any of its practices. No need for anointing oils, candles, shewbread, animal sacrifices, priests, robes, or the ark of the covenant. This is why Paul argues that being circumcised no longer has any spiritual meaning [1 Cor. 7:19; Gal. 5:21-23].
The curse of the law (all have sinned and the wages of sin is death) leaves everyone needing the salvation of Jesus. But in Galatians 3:13 (NKJV) the Bible declares our new freedom through the cross!
“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”).
But here is where many miss the truth, Christ also fulfills the Law in us by the grace He gives us through a new spirit capable of obedience to God. Yes our Lord also fulfilled another important prophecy about the commands of God.
Here are two clear statements from God’s Word. First God promised…
“I will give you a new heart and put a spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.” [Ezek 36:26-27 (NKJV)]
Then Paul explains that God’s amazing grace is given to Christians so “that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” [Romans 8:4 (NKJV)]
So This is Why The Evidence of Salvation is Also Obedience! Remember Jesus made it clear, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” [Matthew 7:21 (NKJ)]
The true saint actively does the will of God, he does not just believe in it in the way Americans think! Here is what Paul says, “Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” [Philippians 2:12-13 (NLT)]
Did you notice the words, “Work hard” because it reveals and proves your salvation?
But also he said “obeying God” because God empowers and makes it normal for a Christian to live consistently doing what pleases God.
Before we move to next thought, remember, we now know A complete change in lifestyle is an obvious proof of new life AND also “We keep his commandments” because the commands of God stand “until heaven and earth disappear.”
John says, “And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as he gave us commandment.” [1 John 3:23]
1/ What does it mean to “believe on the name of His Son”? How do we find out what that means? Again let’s look at the words of God.
First in Matthew 17:5 AMP God the Father says, “While he was still speaking, behold, a shining cloud [composed of light] overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, This is My Son, My Beloved, with Whom I am [and have always been] delighted. Listen to Him!”
Listen means to heed His words. And what did the Lord Jesus say to those who wanted to follow Him? The main message is given by Jesus and recorded back in the gospel of John, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” John 14:15 (NKJV)
This means to live in full obedience to Him, in spite of and often in contradiction to what all your friends and family say or demand of you!
Jesus makes this conflict clear in Matthew 10:34-39 (NLT)
“Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword. ‘I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.
Your enemies will be right in your own household!’ “If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine.
If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. “If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.”
Friend, This means your new lifestyle and focus is the Kingdom of God, and all the rest of life is secondary to this passion and narrow road of obedient discipleship.
Let me clarify this idea for you. In Matthew 22:37-40 the Lord commands, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.”
Then John the Baptist explains in John 3:36 (NLT), “And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.”
So we must love God and prove it by obeying Him, this is what believing means!
But Christ is not finished! we must also LISTEN further to God the Son said in Matthew 22 because he did not just command us to love God but also to love people!
2/ Believing on the Son also means obeying His command to love our neighbors!
39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
You must understand the Christian fulfills all the foundational commands from Christ in the new lifestyle of the Great Commission, which is MORE, WAY MORE than the Law ever demanded.
We love our neighbors through the great mission that we all are commanded to join in by God Himself. “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen.” [Matthew 28:18-20 (NKJV)]
Make sure you thoroughly study the Gospels, Matthew through John, listen and fully establish your life on the commands Jesus gave to all His disciples. Why should you? Paul makes no bones about it by saying, “who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.” [Titus 2:14 (NKJV)]
We do His good works and the GREAT COMMISSION is the focus and purpose of His good works! The abundant life Christ promises those who follow Him is a life so filled with His love that they fulfill His mission with zeal and passion. Paul says they are fervent, ardent, devout, committed, dedicated, hard-core, enthusiastic, eager, avid, vigorous, energetic, intense, and fierce [zealous] to reach the world with the Good News of Jesus. These words are interchangeable with zeal!
Does that describe you?
Remember in 1 John 2:5, John declares, “But whoever keeps His Word, truly the love of God is perfected in Him. By this we know that we are in Him.”
And Paul agrees and wrote in Romans, “Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.” [Romans 6:16 (NLT)]
He continues by saying, “And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.” [Romans 6:18-20 (NKJV)]
This means that you are either a slave to God and living right or stuck in sin, and the hypocrite always hopes for heaven and desires freedom from God’s laws. But the saint strongly desires freedom from sin.
But if you think God gives you freedom from the law, then I have to ask you, why would God help us rebel and disobey His commands?
From Romans 6, we know that disobeying and ignoring God’s commandments is lawlessness. So, refusing to submit to the law, the commands of the Lord Jesus, is rebellion against God’s authority over us. Just like an American citizen is required to obey the laws of the land or suffer the wrath of the government, men are required to serve the living God.
And it seems there is great confusion today over what Christianity is. False grace is a false doctrine that says that Jesus died to free us from the law of God. But true grace says Jesus died to save us from sin so that we have the new power to obey God’s law.
“Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him.” [1 John 3:24a] This does not just mean having a friendly relationship. It means literally living inside and together with God’s Holy Spirit. The Phillips translation makes 1 John 3:24 clear, “The man who does obey God’s commands lives in God and God lives in him, and the guarantee of his presence within us is the Spirit he has given us.” The born again disciple has the Holy Spirit literally living inside their soul. This again is the fulfillment of God’s promise and the guarantee of obedient living.
“For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.” [1 John 5:3]
The Greek words used here “show what ‘the love of God’ (1 John 4:9, 12) in the objective sense is, not mere declamatory boasting… but obedience to God’s commands, “that we keep on keeping (present active subjunctive as in 1 John 2:3) his commandments.” This is the supreme test.” – Word Pictures in the New Testament.
And Barnes agrees in his commentary…
“This constitutes true love; this furnishes the evidence of it. And his commandments are not grievous. Greek, heavy-βαρεῖαι; that is, difficult to be borne as a burden. See Matthew 11:30. The meaning is, that his laws are not unreasonable; the duties which he requires are not beyond our ability; his government is not oppressive. It is easy to obey God when the heart is right; and those who endeavour in sincerity to keep his commandments do not complain that they are hard.”
“All complaints of this kind come from those who are not disposed to keep his commandments. They, indeed, object that his laws are unreasonable; that they impose improper restraints; that they are not easily complied with; and that the Divine government is one of severity and injustice.”
“But no such complaints come from true Christians. They find his service easier than the service of sin, and the laws of God more mild and easy to be complied with than were those of fashion and honour, which they once endeavoured to obey. The service of God is freedom; the service of the world is bondage. No man ever yet heard a true Christian say that the laws of God, requiring him to lead a holy life, were stern and “grievous.” – Barnes Notes on the New Testament Explanatory and Practical.
Well, that was a lot of info, but do you pass this test? If not, stop right now and make a change. Repentance starts with getting real with God and yourself.
And remember, there are things we can disagree on, but you cannot disagree with the Bible over your salvation and eternal life. Unless you allow God through the Bible to direct your faith and beliefs you will be lost forever. God so loves you He gave His Word to be clear and concise to prevent you from being confused and miss His gift of eternal life.
If you do not know how to repent and follow Jesus contact us immediately!