Understanding Our Assurance of Salvation –
Why Saved Persons Can Not Lose Their Salvation
Jesus Christ laid down His life for you then, so that He could live in you today. He came so that we might have life. But how can we be sure that we have eternal life? What is the basis of our assurance of salvation? These are questions that most of us have asked at one time or another. God answers these through the testimony of His Word and through the testimony of His Spirit.
The Testimony of the Word of God
With that in mind let us turn to 1 John 5:11-13: “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”
Okay, what is God’s testimony concerning eternal life? The verse tells us that God has given us believers eternal life. Now, where is this eternal life found? It is found in His Son. So, what do you have if you have the Son? The verse says that He who has the Son has life. Now, what happens if you do not have the Son, what else do you not have? It tells us that he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. What then is eternal life dependent upon? Obviously, the Son of God – Christ Jesus. Why did John say he wrote these things to those who believe in the name of the of God? So that you may know with assurance that you have eternal life. So, if you have the Son, can you know, not hope for or wish, but know for certain that you have eternal life? Yes, absolutely, the verse is crystal clear regarding our assurance of salvation. God says He wants us to know that we HAVE eternal life. And the dictionaries definition of eternal is everlasting, existing for ever, endless and never ending (and not until we sin again as some preach going “in” and “out” of fellowship).
What tremendous truth these verses are, namely, that God has given eternal life to men, and that the source of this life is in His Son. Eternal life is not found in education or philosophy or science or good works or religion or the church. Eternal life is inseparable from Jesus Christ. This assurance of salvation comes through the Word of God. In other words, the Scriptures were written that those who believe on the Lord Jesus may have assurance that they are saved. There is no need of hoping or guessing or feeling or groping in the dark. It is not presumption for one to say that he is saved and know that he has eternal life.
For further evidence of our assurance of salvation let us turn to Hebrews 13:5: “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” What is the assurance of salvation for a believer in this verse? It’s obvious – Christ will never leave us nor forsake us. Based on this, is there anything we could do that would cause Christ to leave us? No, nothing.
Now, let me ask you this: What is the only thing that could cause the Spirit of God to leave you? You would probably say “Sin.” And what has God done with all your sins? They were all taken away at the cross never to be seen again – yes, all your past, present and future sins. Therefore, today, can your sin cause God’s Spirit to leave you? No, absolutely, not.
Let me elaborate on the sin issue a little more: The sin issue has been dealt with. God has already done something about sin. God reconciled you to Himself in Christ and He does not count your sins against you (2 Cor. 5:19). The writer of Hebrews gives us the full implications of Christ’s death for us. “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more. And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin (Heb. 10:17-18).” That point is emphasized even more in 1 John 2:2. “I write to you dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of His name.”
Let us be clear, God does not turn His back on you when you sin. He isn’t thinking about what you did wrong yesterday or today. He has already thought about it, and He sent Jesus to pay the just punishment for it. Jesus did it once and for all and with His last breath cried out from the cross, “It is finished.” This was a shout of victory. The work God had given Him to do was completed – mission accomplished. The debt had been paid in full.
God is no longer dealing with mankind on the basis of sin, regarding one’s salvation, in this the New Covenant in which we live in today. The sin issue has been dealt with. The punishment has been kneaded out. It is finished once and for all – so we are forgiven people. So, now we can connect with God. Now we can relate to God. Now we can enjoy one another. Now we can know God and be known by Him in a very personal way. God’s desire from the very beginning was for us to know Him personally. To walk in an intimate relationship with Him. That is why God created us in the first place so that He could have fellowship with us and that we can enjoy His company eternally. The New Covenant is nothing about religion, it’s all about a relationship. It’s the most exciting message that there is in the Word of God and when we get a hold of it, our lives are changed. Why? Because it’s the message about Jesus Christ, it’s the message that encompasses all that He did through His death, burial, and resurrection. It’s all about who He is as God in human flesh doing for us that which we could not do for ourselves. God gives us the freedom in Christ and changes our lives dramatically. It is absolutely life-changing – Christ Jesus living His life in and through us.
The greatest riches a person can have lie in possessing Him, Christ Jesus, who promises, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” My salvation is not depended on me. I don’t have the power to hold or keep my salvation. The only reason believers are going to heaven is not because they are able hold on, it’s because Christ Jesus holds on to you and will not let go, bringing all believers to glory.
Let me leave you with this thought: If God said He would never leave you; how are you going to leave Him? Are you greater than God?
The Testimony of the Spirit
Let us turn to these key verses in Galatians 4:6-7: “Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.” Because we are sons, what has God sent into our hearts? The Spirit of God to indwell us. What does the Spirit call out? “Abba, Father.” What does this verse say that we no longer are? The believer is no longer a slave; he is not under the law. So, what are we? As a believer we are a son of God. Now, since we are sons, what else has God made us? Since Christ, as God’s Son, is the heir of all God’s riches, the born-again believer is an heir of God through Christ. All that God has is his by faith.
Now, with Scripture verifying Scripture, in Romans 8:16, what does the Spirit of God testified to our spirit that we are? It testifies that we are God’s children. “The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with the believer’s spirit that he is a member of God’s family. This is done primarily through the Word of God. As a believer reads the Bible, the Spirit confirms the truth that, because he has trusted the Savior, he is now a child of God. Now, what can we count on and what is the assurance that we have as children of God? That is explained in the next verse – verse 17: “Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and Co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we might also share in His glory.” Membership in God’s family brings privileges that boggle the mind. An heir, of course, eventually inherits his father’s estate. That is just what is meant here. All that the Father has is ours. We have not yet come into the possession and enjoyment of all of it, but nothing can prevent our doing so in the future. At Christ’s second coming when He returns to take the scepter of universal government in the Millennium (1000 year- reign of Christ Jesus on earth), we will share with Him the title deeds to all the Father’s wealth.
Most assuredly we read from Ephesians 1:13-14: “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession – to the praise of His glory.” This means that every true believer receives the Spirit of God as a sign that he belongs to God and that he will be kept safe by God until the time he receives his glorified body. Just as in legal matters a seal indicates ownership and security, so it does in divine affairs. The indwelling Spirit brands us as God’s property (1 Cor. 619-20) and guarantees our preservation until the day of redemption (Eph. 4:30). The Holy Spirit is like a down payment, a deposit, a validating signature on the contract. The presence of the Holy Spirit in us demonstrates the genuineness of our faith, proves that we are God’s children, and secures eternal life for us. What assurance – there is no way a born-again believer can lose his salvation because the Holy Spirit has given us that pledge that we will have an inheritance in heaven.
I would like to add much more to this posting, but I could see that this posting would be very lengthy and because of space constraints on Facebook I’ll close off here. Next week I will finish this off and continue along the same lines dealing with the false doctrine that a lot of the churches still adhere to and that is the “Fellowship Issue.” Going “in” and “out” of fellowship mainly based on a couple of verses of Scripture which are taken out of context. Satan has used these verses to torment many believers in the thought that there is no hope for them, and that they will be eternally damned because they committed an act of willful sin. Basically, dealing with the same issue and that is can a saved person lose their salvation which is totally a false teaching. So, I’ll deal with that next week.
Eternal Life – A gift, Available Now
In closing, as we have just read, our assurance of salvation is based both on the testimony of the Word of God and the testimony of His Spirit in our hearts. In whatever circumstance we find ourselves God’s Word continues to bear witness that “If you have the Son, you have life,” and the Spirit of God bears witness to our spirit that we are in fact children of God. You can KNOW with all assurance that you are saved.
Let me ask you this: “Have you come to Christ for life?” Jesus said, “I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly (John 10:10).” If you do not know for sure that Christ lives in you, you can invite Him to do so right now. The following is a suggested prayer.
“Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank you for dying for the forgiveness of my sins. Thank You for offering me Your life. I now receive Your life and Your righteousness. Come into my heart. Take control of my life and make me the kind of person You want me to be. Amen”
These words will not save you, there is nothing magical in them; anyone can repeat a sentence. It is when you believe with your heart and put your faith in Christ Jesus; that is what saves you. There is no magic formula in what to say or how to say it but it’s your attitude and expression of your heart that really counts.
If you were sincere when you prayed, believed in your heart, and put your faith in Christ Jesus, then the living Christ has come to dwell in you forever. You have been made alive together with Christ and you have begun the great adventure for which you were created as a child of God. Now you and I are brothers or sisters in Christ. Welcome to God’s family. Welcome to Christ’s body of believers.
Scripture says, “Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God (John 1:12).”
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