Assurance of Our Salvation
What the Bible Says About... | Assurance of Our Salvation
"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 5:13).
It is every Christian's desire to have assurance of salvation, and to have confidence and certainty that if Christ returns, or if death comes, he or she will go to heaven to be with the Lord Jesus. The apostle John writes in his first epistle to those who believe on the name of the Son of God, "that ye may know that ye have eternal life", and he presents nine different factors by which we can know we are in the Father and the Father in us, and that we do indeed have eternal life.
We may know that we have eternal life if...
(1) We believe on the name of the Son of God. There can be no assurance of salvation if there is no faith which truly confesses Jesus is the Son of God. John wrote to those "who believe on the name of the Son of God." He also writes in his epistle, "Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God... 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... Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God." (1 John 4:15; 5:1,5).
(2) We know Him and keep His commandments. John writes, "And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him... And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us... By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments." (1 John 2:3-5; 3:24; 5:2).
(3) We love God and not the world. John writes, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him... Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error... For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God." (1 John 2:15; 4:4-6; 5:4-5).
(4) We live in righteousness. "If ye know that he is righteous", writes John, "ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him... He that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil... Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God... Whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God." (1 John 2:39; 3:7-10).
(5) We love the brethren. John writes, "He that saith he is in the life, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light... He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love... If we love one another, God dwelleth is us, and his love is perfected in us... And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment... If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?"... 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." (1 John 2:9-11; 4:8-12,16-17; 5:1).
(6) We have the Spirit within us. "And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath give us..... Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit." (1 John 3:24; 4:13).
(7) We live as Christ lived. "He that saith he abideth in him", John writes, "ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." (1 John 2:6).
(8) We abide or continue in Christ. "Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life." (1 John 2:24-25; "that which ye have heard from the beginning: see 1 John 1:1-5). John also writes, "And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming." (1 John 2:28).
(9) We look and long for His coming. "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." (1 John 3:2-3).