Blessed Assurance – Jesus is Mine!

   Have you ever taken a walk through an old cemetery? (I love to do this!) If you do, take time to read the headstones and observe family history within a row of markers. In some places, without any prior knowledge of people personally, you can, in a matter of minutes, find yourself caught up in the sufferings and hardships others have gone through. You realize that in past generations people seemed to be more conscious of the realities of life and death – suffering, loss, loneliness and the haunting realization that life is uncertain … death is sure … and eternity is where we are all headed! It is here, among these reminders of truth and reality that, if we are quiet, we hear in our spirit that inner voice that calls us to be ready, to be sure we are prepared for the inevitable … an unavoidable encounter with the Living God. It is toward this appointment that the apostle John devotes much attention in his first epistle.

   The beloved disciple John is a very intentional writer, and he desires his readers to clearly know his purpose for each letter. In each of his books we find somewhere in his personal remarks his reason for writing. Whether it was to praise a faithful brother, or to expose a professing believer who had misrepresented the gospel, or to assure his “children” of his love for them and his joy in hearing that they walk in truth.
   In John’s gospel account, his purpose is for us to know (to comprehend and understand by faith) the deity of Jesus Christ, and find that through believing in Him (firmly clinging to, relying upon and totally trusting His faithful sacrifice on the cross) we may inherit eternal life (20:31). When he writes the epistle of I John, he addresses in several passages his intended purpose for these writings, and then sums them all up in 5:13 saying, “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.” In other words, the gospel of John was written so men could be saved and the epistle was written so that we could know we have been saved!
   John’s literary technique is to use contrasts. Throughout the letter he is comparing — light to darkness, truth to error, life to death and you see the earmarks of what it means to be born of God. These patterns along with the phrase “we know” give us the foundation for the doctrine of assurance.
   As we approach this most important of all subjects, facing the realities and certainties of death and life, let us ask God to search our hearts. After all, the answer to these questions determines our destiny for all of eternity and therefore requires our utmost attention and honesty. Let’s take earnest heed to Paul and Peter’s warnings in their writings:

Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves.  II Cor.13:5

Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure II Pet.1:10

   When I ask someone to complete this project, I encourage them to get alone with God with a notepad, pen and their Bible. To begin by praying, asking God to clearly reveal to them either through conviction that they have never settled their eternal destiny with Him, or to confirm and give confidence to them through the scriptures that they have indeed been “born of God.” To realize that through the Word of God and the witness of His Spirit they can have confident assurance of their relationship with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom.5:1). Keep in mind, no human being is capable of giving us this assurance since only God can see our hearts. But indeed God can, and I believe longs to, give you that blessed assurance that Jesus is yours and you are His!
   Could I encourage you, as you investigate the fruits or evidences of eternal life mentioned in I John, to open your heart to God and ask Him the following question …
Is this true, or has this ever been true in my life?

Remember this foundational truth:

Spiritual birth produces spiritual life which produces spiritual fruit!

It may not appear to the same degree in each of us, Jesus said, “some thirty … some sixty … some hundredfold” … but there will always be fruit where eternal life has been granted. Church history reveals that our Christian forefathers were not hesitant to ask of professing believers that there be “credible evidence of regeneration” in their lives.

   Keep in mind as you seek God that the Bible does not tell us to examine our testimony (i.e. – what I did, or said, or where I was at the time, or what I prayed – these are all past tense) but the Bible does exhort us to examine ourselves – present tense. In other words, you should be able to put your life “under the microscope” – the light, scrutiny and magnification of God’s Word and see “life” – credible evidence of regeneration. Clear evidence that you have indeed been born of God, translated out of the kingdom of darkness and into His glorious light, transformed from death into life, regenerated by the quickening power of His Spirit into sons and daughters of God.

As you read, ask yourself this question: Is this true, or has this ever been true in my life?

A child of God lives a life patterned by obedience.

…. we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. I Jn. 2:3-4

   This wonderful word, to “know” Him means to know and to be known. It involves a two way perception because of a relationship. It represents the most intimate level of knowledge and is used as a Jewish idiom for the deepest level of physical intimacy between and a man and woman. Adam knew Eve his wife. Gen 4:1

• Do you know Jesus and are you known by Him? Is this demonstrated through a lifestyle of obedience to the scriptures? Yes ___ No ___

• Are you known as one who walks in the light – that is, you attempt by God’s grace to live up to what God has asked of you as His child? Yes ___ No ___

A child of God demonstrates a genuine desire to do the will of God through a God centered, separated lifestyle.

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it: but he who does the will of God abides for ever. I Jn. 2:15-17

We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him. We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. I Jn. 5:18-19

   Have you made a clean break with your past? The scriptures teach that one who is born of God becomes a new creation in Christ. Do you find yourself still in love with the same old things? Has there ever been in you a repentance from dead works, a turning away from the things of this world that so dominate the value system of unregenerate men?
   Has there been in you a change of mind that brings about a change in lifestyle and choices? That is what repentance is. John the Baptist, when speaking, was not afraid to ask for and give examples of repentance in the lives of those who would claim to follow God. Change is what he called for … “if you have more than you need, give some away. When doing your job as a tax collector treat people with equity. As a soldier, don’t treat people violently, don’t falsely accuse, and be content with your pay.”(Luke3:8-14) In the very culture in which they lived, John said their lives should be different than their culture, not conforming to the rest of society, but being transformed by a different way of thinking. Repentance will be evident in one’s life.

• Is new life evidenced in you by the things you spend your time with and your money on?         Yes ___ No ___

• Has knowing and doing the will of God, even if it costs you friendships and changes in lifestyle and activities, become of utmost importance to you? Yes ___ No ___

• Can you honestly say there are no habits that control you that you would not eagerly give up should God ask you to? Yes ___ No ___

• Can you say that you are grieved by the wickedness of the world and no longer live under the sway of the devil? Can you say that you have separated from those things that hinder a walk of holiness and are now set apart for God’s use alone? Yes ___ No ___

A child of God is capable of knowing and receiving the truth as taught by God.

But ye have an anointing from the Holy One, and ye know all things. I John 2:20
But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you: I Jn. 2:27

   One of the wonderful blessings of being born of God is the ability to understand spiritual truth. God will actually teach you truth from the Bible because He is the author of the scriptures and takes upon Himself the duty of leading you into truth. Jesus said the truth will set you free! When you are born of God, He places the Holy Spirit in you to be your teacher. He indwells you in order to reveal Christ to you in the scriptures, to lead you into all truth, and to glorify Christ through your life. (John 16:13-14)

• Can you say that you know what it is for the Holy Spirit to be your teacher? Can you read and understand spiritual truth in the Bible that unregenerate men cannot? (I Cor.2:14-16)                 Yes ___ No ___
• Do you know what is to have a desire to read the Bible? Does God show you areas of need and give answers for your spiritual life because of what you read in His Word? (I Pet. 2:2)       Yes ___ No ___

A child of God practices righteousness (right living before God), and is capable of living an upright life by God’s power within?

If you know that He is righteous, you know that every one who practices righteousness is born of Him. I Jn. 2:29

• Can you honestly say that you delight in living an upright life that is different than what you desired and fulfilled before coming to Christ? Would others who knew you “before Christ” in observing you now be able to give witness that there is an unexplainable difference in you?           Yes ___ No ___

A child of God lives a purified life because
of his hope in God.

… we know that when He (Jesus) is revealed, we shall be like Him … And every man who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as He is pure. I Jn. 3:1-3

   One of the first evidences that someone has come to faith in Christ will be a God–given desire to be pure. Peter urges us to add to our faith, first of all, virtue. It was virtue that came forth out of Jesus and brought healing to those in need. Everyone who comes to Christ, no matter how clean their life may have been before, is in need of an ongoing purifying work that only God’s Spirit can bring. The realization that we will soon be face to face with The One called Faithful and True, Who in righteousness will judge and make war, Whose eyes are like a flame of fire (Rev.19:11-12). This realization sets before us a standard to be purified even as He is pure!

• Can you say that you possess an inherent desire to be pure in your daily behavior? Are you quick to confess sin whenever God reveals it to you? Yes ___ No ___
• Do you know when God’s Spirit is convicting you of impure thoughts, wrong motives, and attitudes toward people and situations that are displeasing to your Heavenly Father?            Yes ___ No ___

A child of God does not continually, habitually practice sin.

Whoever has been born of God does not sin; for His seed remains in him: and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God …  I Jn. 3:9-10

   What an incredible blessing it is to not be able to “get away with sin!” Can you recall those wonderful times when God gave you such a sensitivity to wrong that you could not live with sin reigning in your body? Does sin bother you quickly after being committed or perhaps even while in the midst of it, or do you seem to not really be troubled much about it until a preacher declares it to be wrong, or until someone else comes long and points it out to you? Because God is holy, He will not tolerate that which is unholy in the lives of those He has redeemed.

• Can you honestly say there is no sin habit that you cannot get freedom from? Is there an urgency in your spirit to be done with sin? Do you find it is a grievous thing to continue in sin? Yes ___ No ___

• Knowing that our Heavenly Father “chastens every son that He receives,” are you convicted by God and chastened by His loving hand when you disobey? (Heb. 12:6-8)    Yes ___ No ___

A child of God has a genuine love for the brethren that is demonstrated through undeniable selfless service.

We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. …
Whoever hates his brother is a murderer: and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. I John 3:14-15

• Can you say that by your heart motivation as well as your actions that you demonstrate a genuine love for God’s people? Do you readily “lay down your life” in practical everyday ways to minister to the needs of other believers? Yes ___ No ___

• Do you live in such a way as to put the interests and needs of others ahead of your own and are you quickly convicted when your life demonstrates selfishness versus the God-like quality of serving others? Yes ___ No ___

A child of God is indwelt by the Spirit of God.

And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us. I Jn. 3:24
By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because he has given us of His Spirit.      I Jn. 4:13
The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God. Ro. 8:16

• Can you say that as you consider the scriptural evidence required by God of being born again that you have a perfect peace in your heart? (Rom. 5:1) As the Holy Spirit sits upon “the witness stand” of your heart to testify of the condition of your heart and life, does He indeed bear witness with your spirit that you are a child of God? Yes ___ No ___

A child of God openly confesses Jesus Christ to be Lord, the Son of God.

And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world.
Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.               I Jn. 4:14-15
Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God … I Jn. 5:1

   We are living in a day in which it is not “politically correct” to acknowledge Jesus Christ as the only way to God. There are many who would even say that you are being divisive to state such a thing. However, Jesus Himself was very clear in stating, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father, except through Me.” (Jn. 14:6) It is very clear in scripture that only through confessing Jesus Christ to be the Lord can anyone be saved. (Mt. 10:32-33; Rom. 10:9; Phil.2:11; I Jn.4:3)

• Can you say that you freely and without apology confess Jesus Christ to be the Lord of your life and the only begotten Son of God? Do you firmly believe in your “heart of hearts,” as Jesus Himself declared that He is the way, the truth, and the life … that there is no other name under heaven given among men whereby you can be saved? (John 14:6, Acts 4:12) Yes ___ No ___

A child of God experiences personally the overcoming power of God.

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith. I Jn. 5:4

• Would it be true of you that you know the overcoming power of God in relation to the influences of the “world,” the lost community around you? Can you say that the effect of the cross in your life has broken the draw of the world system for you? (Gal. 6:14) Yes ___ No ___

• Is there in you a pattern that reflects the fact that you are a stranger and pilgrim in this world and that by faith, you live for another world? (I Pet. 2:11-12) Yes ___ No ___

A child of God lives with a deep inner confidence and assurance that he possesses eternal life.

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, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. I Jn. 5:13

• Can you say as you take this examination that you have that deep inner confidence only God can give that the one true and living God has redeemed you and lives in you right now giving you the assurance that you belong to Him? Yes ___ No ___

If these things are true in you, then rejoice and praise God with assurance that you can testify together with John:

He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.               I Jn. 5:12
And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true, and we are in Him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.
I Jn. 5:20

If these things are not true in you, then remember:

Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved. Rom. 10:13

Dear Friend, you can cry out to God in prayer wherever you are for salvation and forgiveness of your sins. God will hear, He will forgive, Jesus will become your Savior and Lord!  If you do this, or God gives you assurance of eternal life through this journey,  please let us hear from you! We would love to rejoice with you in your own …                                            Blessed Assurance that Jesus is Yours!

 * Note – All scripture references are from the New King James Version of the Bible.

Tim St.Clair  –  tim@aaarm.org
AAA Revival Ministries

One Response to Blessed Assurance – Jesus is Mine!

  1. Diane Connery says:

    Thank you so much for this “test”. I struggle daily in my walk. I have been praying to have more strength, power and widsom in my daily walk. If no one else read this, know in your heart that you have helped me. Thank you and I love you all.