This article is a part of an extended series of articles. If a particular statement seems to be lacking sufficient support or clarification, we encourage you to go back and read the previous articles, as well as commit to reading the following articles as they are published. Thank you for your patience.
AN INTRODUCTION TO THIS BRAND NEW SERIES
This is the first installment in a brand new series of articles addressing “The Doctrine of the Assurance of Salvation.” This series will seek to faithfully and thoroughly teach the doctrine of assurance by working through the entirety of First John, verse by verse. Our readers can expect new installments in this series every single week. My personal promise (Pastor Joel) is that by the end of this series, every genuine believer who participates will experience radical growth in their confidence in the love of God for them. If you have wrestled with doubts about your salvation, rest assured, you've come to the right place.
“My personal promise is that by the end of this series, every genuine believer who participates will experience radical growth in their confidence in the love of God for them.”
3 COMPONENTS OF CHRISTIAN FAITH
Throughout the book of First John, the apostle highlights three key components of authentic faith:
- Knowledge: Understanding of Biblical Doctrine
- Ascent: Agreement with Biblical Doctrine
- Trust: Reliance on Biblical Doctrine
True Christianity is not merely a system of thought. Rather, it is an authentic faith in Christ, which requires knowledge, ascent, and trust. True Christianity is a supernatural experience that is rooted in a personal and biblical revelation of Jesus, realized in an intimate relationship with God and his people, and displayed by a fullness of joy which powerfully compels genuine obedience.
“True Christianity is a supernatural experience that is rooted in a personal and biblical revelation of Jesus, realized in an intimate relationship with God and his people, and displayed by a fullness of joy which powerfully compels genuine obedience.”
3 TESTS OF CHRISTIAN FAITH
Throughout the book of First John, the apostle brings together three primary tests of authentic faith:
- The Doctrinal Test: Biblical and Personal Faith in Jesus Christ
- The Relational Test: Love for God and his People
- The Moral Test: Obedience to God's Commandments
The Apostle John regularly shows that each of these three tests all have at least one thing in common: New life in Christ. Therefore, we should view these tests as three vital signs of what it means to be spiritually alive. If a person has received new life in Christ, these vital signs will inevitably point toward that reality. While it is true that these vital signs will grow stronger over time, if there is no evidence of these signs at all, a person should possess serious concern for whether or not they have genuinely been born again.
However, the Apostle John's purpose in presenting these tests of spiritual vitality is not meant to cause his readers to walk away with crushing hopelessness. To the contrary, John's overarching purpose in writing his letter is to assure those who have truly been born again. John's thesis statement can be found in 1 John 5:13: “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may KNOW that you have eternal life.” It is one thing to receive eternal life, but it is quite another to “know” that you have received eternal life. It is not the will of God that any of his children should continually struggle with doubts concerning their salvation. Certainly, there are legitimate reasons to doubt, and John lists several of these reasons in his letter. However, God's will is that each of his children would grow in spiritual maturity, and as they grow, that they would also grow in assurance of his great love for them.
“It is not the will of God that any of his children should continually struggle with doubts concerning their salvation.”
AN EXCITING NEW ANNOUNCEMENT!
Effective immediately, Right Response Ministries will be airing brand new episodes of our most popular show/podcast, “THEOLOGY APPLIED,” every single week! Our vision for “THEOLOGY APPLIED” is simple: To demonstrate the perfect sufficiency of Scripture by providing clear instruction for how Christians can practically apply biblically faithful theology to every area of their lives.
To date, Right Response Ministries has only produced new episodes of “THEOLOGY APPLIED” every other week. Although we are incredibly excited about airing new episodes on a weekly basis, this new transition will significantly increase our ministry's workload. In short, we are stepping out in faith. Through much prayer, we have decided to commit to more than we can presently accomplish. We made this decision because we wholeheartedly trust the Lord to move on the hearts of individuals like you to generously provide the necessary resources in order to make this new endeavor sustainable. To that end, we sincerely thank you for your continued prayers and generosity.
Would you prayerfully consider partnering with Right Response Ministries by giving a one-time donation or becoming one of our Responders?