Sunday, April 26, 2015

P3 How do I know I'm a Christian? Christians love to pray, love obedience and to be with God's people

1 John 5:13 - "These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life."

Assurance of salvation is the Christian's level of confidence in knowing that they know that they know they are saved. In today's blog we continue by noting three additional fruits, or grace driven attitudes that should be evident in the person's life who claims Christ as their own. So far in this series we have noted the following ways one can assess their level of assurance of salvation:

1. Do they hate sin
2. Do they love closeness with God more than comforts in life
3. Do they love the word of God

Today we continue by noting three other things that true believers in Jesus Christ will typically love.

True Christians love to approach Christ in prayer
1 John 2:1 tells us: "My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous". What is an advocate? An advocate is someone who is willing to represent our concerns to one who can do something about it. Knowing that God can hear me, and knowing that I can hear God, can make prayer transform into something that I look forward to. Note what David states in Psalm 42:3: "My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; When shall I come and appear before God?" David could not wait to pray. True Christians will grow over time to appreciate Christ in prayer.

True Christians love to obey God
1 John 2:3 notes - "By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments." Do I find obeying the Lord a drudgery or a delight? Undoubtedly Christians experience up and down times in their Christian walk, where some days seem easier to obey God than others. Yet it is in the area of following the Lord's leading where I truly gain the confidence of assurance. For if I walk out the light God grants me in a given area of obedience, God pledges to grant me greater light to walk by (please compare 1 John 1:7-8). It has been well said by older saints that we are saved by grace alone through faith alone apart from works. However, following our committment of faith, we are being saved by a faith that is never alone. 1 John 5:3  plainly states: "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome."

True Christians love being with other Christians
1 John 2:10-11 makes this observation - "The one who loves his brother abides in the Light and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 11 But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes." The verbs underlined in this verse indicate a "continual, ongoing, persistent attitude". More often than not the Bible measures the genuineness of one's love for Christ by how much ongoing love they have for other Christians. Why? Because loving the brethren gives us practice for loving those who are not Christians. If anything, loving other Christians is the most basic level of expressing God's love to other people.

Unless hindered by circumstances out of one's control (such as illness or emergency), the Christian ought to make church attendance a priority. Grace-driven motives makes church attendance not a matter of a check-off list item, but rather an event whereby I reinforce my love for Jesus by being around other Christians. Hebrews 10:25 states - "and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near."

Come back tomorrow, dear reader, as we will look at further assurances of salvation described by 1 John. May the Lord bless you this Lord's day.

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