And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.
It is important that we can have confidence in serving God. Can one know that he has eternal security? John wrote, "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). John wanted his readers to be assured of their salvation. Just as Christians in the first century could be sure of their security in Christ, so can Christians today.
There are two extremes to which one can go to when it comes to eternal security. One extreme is "one can never know that he is saved." The other extreme is "a believer can never so sin as to be eternally lost." Both of these extremes are wrong. A believer can so sin as to be lost. He can lose his inheritance. Paul, writing to Christians in the region of Galatian stated, "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace" (Galatians 5:4). Those Christians who were attempting to be justified by the law of Moses (which had been taken away and nailed to the cross - Colossians 2:14), had "fallen from grace."
Likewise, the Hebrews writer warned Christians, "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace" (Hebrews 10:25-29). There was a "sorer punishment. that awaited those who sinned willfully. There were forsaking Christ after they had received a knowledge of the truth.
Peter also describes the condition of some who had fallen away. "For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire" (2 Peter 2:20-22). After describing the condition of those who fall away, Peter then adds that it had happened unto them. Jesus warned, "They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away" (Luke 8:13), thereby showing that it is possible "to fall away." These verses show that salvation is conditional.
The possibility of falling away, does not imply the probability of falling away. One does not have to fall away. We should remember that God is for us - "What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us" (Romans 8:31)? He wants us to be saved. But we cannot walk contrary to His will and expect to remain in a saved condition.
We can know the truth. "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:31-32).
We can know that we are "in Christ." It has always been important to be in the God appointed place at the God appointed time. During the flood in Noah.s time, it was imperative to be in the ark when God said to be in the ark. Today it is imperative to be in Christ. All spiritual blessings are in Christ " Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3). Salvation is in Christ. Paul wrote, "Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory" (2 Timothy 2:10). One gets "into Christ. by baptism. Again, Paul wrote, "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:3-4). One can know whether or not he is in Christ.
We can know we are in fellowship with God. Some might ask, "How can I know that I am in fellowship with God, because I know that I am not perfect and I occasionally sin?" The truth is, all people sin from time to time. None of us are perfect. The apostle John addressed this problem. He wrote, "This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us" (1 John 1:5-10). One cannot walk in darkness and truthfully affirm that he has fellowship with God. However, if we walk in the light (the word of God) and as God's erring children confess our sins unto Him, Christ's blood cleanses us from all sin. John continued, "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. 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. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked" (1 John 2:1-6).
God is the Christian.s Father. John wrote, "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 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 3:1-3). As our Father, He seeks our best and surely grants us fellowship with Him.
We can know that we have eternal life. "And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son" (1 John 5:11). God gives us eternal life in his Son. John continued; He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 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 5:12-13).
This eternal life currently is in hope. Paul wrote, "In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began" (Titus 1:2). It is promised of God - "And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life" (1 John 2:25). Christ said that eternal life is in the world to come " "And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last first" (Mark 10:29-31).
Realize first that it is conditional. Jesus stated, "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit" (John 15:1-2). Second, believe in God.s love for you. Paul wrote, "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him" (Romans 5:6-9). Third, become a Christian by believing in Christ (John 8:24), repenting of your sins (Luke 13:3), confessing Christ and being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38).
Now as a Christian, you will need to feed on the word of God for spiritual nourishment and growth. Peter wrote, "Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby" (1 Peter 2:1-2). Jesus said, "But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4). Being a member of the church, it is a privilege and responsibility to worship God faithfully. Hebrews admonishes, "And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching" (Hebrews 10:24-25).
The apostle Peter gives us inspired directions on how to keep from falling and be sure of our eternal salvation. He wrote, "And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 1:5-11).
You can be sure of your eternal security. Jesus gives us this assurance " "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand (John 10:27-29). As long as we hear the voice of Jesus (the word of God) and follow Him, no one can pluck us out of the Father.s hands. God is greater than all. Paul was sure of his salvation. He wrote, "For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens" (2 Corinthians 5:1). This security can also be yours.
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