Sermon Prep on Assurance of Salvation, Faith, Works, and I John 3

Tomorrow night, I’m preaching at my church and my central text is I John, chapter 3. It’s an interesting passage and the core idea that I’ve taken away from it is that while salvation is of grace through faith, our assurance of salvation is through our works and that we abide in Christ and not in sin.

I’ll post more later, but if anyone has any thoughts I’ll be checking back in before I preach tomorrow night, so you have a prime opportunity to influence what is preached from a pulpit.

Any takers?

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  • http://unrelatedramblings.blogspot.com Sam

    My understanding of 1 John – without having seriously studied it – is that is *the* epistle of assurance, and the answer to questions regarding assurance of salvation.

    With one of his main purposes in writing stated in 5:13, John throughout the letter puts forth tests: 1:5-7, 1:8-10, 2:3-4, 2:9-11, 2:15-17, 2:24-25, 3:6, 3:9-10, 3:14-15, 4:13.

    In the context of chapter 3, I think v18-20 are especially re-assuring. I understand it as suggesting that performing loving actions is of more importance than simply professing love. Thus: worry less about whether you feel “full of love” for your brother, and worry more about ensuring you *act* in a loving manner, irrespective of your (ever deceitful) feelings at a given point in time.

  • http://unrelatedramblings.blogspot.com Sam

    My understanding of 1 John – without having seriously studied it – is that is *the* epistle of assurance, and the answer to questions regarding assurance of salvation.

    With one of his main purposes in writing stated in 5:13, John throughout the letter puts forth tests: 1:5-7, 1:8-10, 2:3-4, 2:9-11, 2:15-17, 2:24-25, 3:6, 3:9-10, 3:14-15, 4:13.

    In the context of chapter 3, I think v18-20 are especially re-assuring. I understand it as suggesting that performing loving actions is of more importance than simply professing love. Thus: worry less about whether you feel “full of love” for your brother, and worry more about ensuring you *act* in a loving manner, irrespective of your (ever deceitful) feelings at a given point in time.

  • http://thepreacher.cac2.net Charles

    Sam,
    Thanks for the comments. I definitely think there is a recognition that we never escape our wicked hearts and that sin is something we have to deal with, but he also makes clear near the end of the chapter that if our heart condemn us (if we know that we are false) how will we stand before God who knows all things?

    Anyway, I’ve got about 30 mins before the service starts. Pray that things go well.

    Thanks,
    Charles

  • http://thepreacher.cac2.net Charles

    Sam,
    Thanks for the comments. I definitely think there is a recognition that we never escape our wicked hearts and that sin is something we have to deal with, but he also makes clear near the end of the chapter that if our heart condemn us (if we know that we are false) how will we stand before God who knows all things?

    Anyway, I’ve got about 30 mins before the service starts. Pray that things go well.

    Thanks,
    Charles

  • http://musingsfromthehinterland.blogspot.com R.Sherman

    I’ve been out of commission and trying to catch up.

    I was wondering what you mean by “assurance.” Is it knowlege? Or, is it “maintenance.”

    Back later.

    Cheers.

  • http://musingsfromthehinterland.blogspot.com R.Sherman

    I’ve been out of commission and trying to catch up.

    I was wondering what you mean by “assurance.” Is it knowlege? Or, is it “maintenance.”

    Back later.

    Cheers.

  • http://thepreacher.cac2.net Charles

    Hey Randall,
    I mean more along the lines of knowledge. In the Christian circles I grew up in, it was quite common that when someone came to the pastor or youth pastor struggling with assurance of salvation, the answer back would be, “Well, do you remember a time in your past that you said a prayer? If so, you’re saved.” This line of thinking is pretty sad at best, and heretical at worst. I’ve heard of preachers signing a person’s Bible with the admonition to look at it when they questioned their salvation. “I was there,” writes the preacher, “I’ll testify to it.” To the best of my understanding, Scripture teaches that you are known by your fruit. If you are saved, you do not abide in sin.

    Understand also, I do not mean that a person who has reason to question their salvation is somehow clearly not saved. Lot had good reason to question his salvation, but he clearly was. So it is with others I would guess, the issue is that if we want to know that we are saved, we examine our lives and determine that we are not deceiving ourselves, but we don’t bank our salvation on the fact that we said a prayer.

    Thanks for asking for the clarification,
    Charles

  • http://thepreacher.cac2.net Charles

    Hey Randall,
    I mean more along the lines of knowledge. In the Christian circles I grew up in, it was quite common that when someone came to the pastor or youth pastor struggling with assurance of salvation, the answer back would be, “Well, do you remember a time in your past that you said a prayer? If so, you’re saved.” This line of thinking is pretty sad at best, and heretical at worst. I’ve heard of preachers signing a person’s Bible with the admonition to look at it when they questioned their salvation. “I was there,” writes the preacher, “I’ll testify to it.” To the best of my understanding, Scripture teaches that you are known by your fruit. If you are saved, you do not abide in sin.

    Understand also, I do not mean that a person who has reason to question their salvation is somehow clearly not saved. Lot had good reason to question his salvation, but he clearly was. So it is with others I would guess, the issue is that if we want to know that we are saved, we examine our lives and determine that we are not deceiving ourselves, but we don’t bank our salvation on the fact that we said a prayer.

    Thanks for asking for the clarification,
    Charles

  • http://bittersweetblue.blogspot.com Ariel

    I’ve been totally out of it as far as blogging goes, but – you are going to post the MP3 of your message, right? Preferably in iTunes. ;)

  • http://bittersweetblue.blogspot.com Ariel

    I’ve been totally out of it as far as blogging goes, but – you are going to post the MP3 of your message, right? Preferably in iTunes. ;)