Wednesday, October 13, 2010

"....that you may KNOW..."

My pastor is currently doing sermons on a range of requested topics until we get into our next book study (2 Timothy?). The last two were especially invigorating to me due to my current spiritual state/challenges. The topics were "Assurance" and "Christian Liberty"

I don't have my notes on me, but I'd like to suggest 1 John for anyone struggling with assurance. He gave us five points from the text so that we who "... believe in the name of the Son of God...may know" (1Jn 5:13) we have eternal life. He warned us not to look at these points as things to do to earn eternal life, but rather to see if these things were present in our lives. Four of the points were as follows, if I'm remembering correctly.
  1. Growing intolerance/enmity for the world (not the physical earth, but rather all cultural/societal world views that defy and/or seek to replace God and the law of God). 1 Jn. 2:15 and following
  2. Growing aversion to sin. 1 Jn. 3:1-10
  3. Love of the brethren/fellow brothers and sisters in the faith (not just in word but in deed). 1 Jn. 3:11 and following
  4. Desire to glorify God through practice of avoid sin/keeping commandments. 1 Jn. 5:1-5
I'm sure the last one must be faith in the person and work of the biblical Christ (outlined in 1 Jn. 2:18-25, 5:6-12), but I'm unsure.

So then, if we see this fruit in our lives, we can have some assurance that we've been born again. If we do not see this fruit we can still, as long as we have breath in our lungs, throw ourselves at the mercy of God (if we've actually realized our need for Christ's sacrifice, his holiness and our utter sinfulness). Funny how even in challenging us to examine ourselves, God still offers us mercy and grace through Christ. That's good news.

I really did love how he stressed that DOING these things doesn't earn salvation. Still figuring things out, learning things and seeking to understand God's grace. 

Anyway this was written in haste, so please excuse any typos...

God be with you.

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