Tuesday, January 30, 2024

If You Have To Look At Your Life To Know You're Saved, It Proves You're Not

1st John 3:24, "And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us."

Every born again believer has a relationship with Christ. Demons acknowledge there is a God, but they are not saved (James 2:19). The Apostle James in James chapter two is warning about not becoming a respecter of persons (James 2:1). If a man professes to be a Christian but does not help a brother in need who asks for some food during time of need, James says that that man's faith is dead (James 2:15-20).

It is important to understand that James is not writing about salvation here. He is writing about our manner of life validating our faith in the eyes of other men, not God. In the Epistle of Romans, Paul writes about being justified by faith in the sight of God (Romans 4:1-7). James is speaking about being justified by works in the sight of man, not God. Many preachers foolishly apply James chapter two to salvation, corrupting the Holy Bible and casting stumbling blocks before the people.

The demons acknowledge that there is a God, but they are still damned. James is simply teaching that our talk talks and our walk talks, but out walk talks louder than our talk talks. Again, James is not speaking about the new birth (justification), he is talking about discipleship (sanctification). Faith without works is dead in the eyes of our fellow mankind, but dead faith is still faith. One's faith may be dead, but it still exists.

Eternal life is a free gift (Romans 5:18). To truly be a gift, nothing can be required in exchange. The new birth is not a trade, it is a gift. We simply take a gift by faith, not by anything we need to do, which would be works. Every lost sinner who puts his or her trust in Jesus as their personal Savior is immediately sealed and indwelt with God's Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9; 1st John 3:24; Ephesians 1:13-14). That new believer has a relationship with God as His redeemed child. That is one's POSITION in Christ.

How a believer chooses to live after saving faith is one's CONDITION in Christ. A man's condition may be atrocious in Christ (e.g., Lot, Samson and Solomon), yet he is saved and his position in Christ is safe and secure by faith alone (1st Corinthians 5:5).

Pastor M.R. DeHaan (1891-1965) said it very well:
"There is a vast difference between coming to Jesus for salvation and coming after Jesus for service. Coming to Christ makes one a believer, while coming after Christ makes one a disciple. All believers are not disciples. To become a believer one accepts the invitation of the Gospel, to be a disciple one obeys the challenge to a life of dedicated service and separation. Salvation comes through the sacrifice of Christ; discipleship comes only by sacrifice of self and surrender to His call for devoted service. Salvation is free, but discipleship involves paying the price of a separated walk. Salvation can't be lost because it depends upon God's faithfulness, but discipleship can be lost because it depends upon our faithfulness." —Pastor M.R. DeHaan, “Hebrews”; Zondervan Publishing House; 1959 (p. 117)
The Epistle of 1st John teaches that the acid test to know (1st John 5:13) whether we are saved or not is the presence of the indwelling Holy Spirit. If a man can sin without any conviction whatsoever from the Holy Spirit, then something is wrong. The Bible warns that if God never chastises you when you sin, you're not saved (Hebrews 12:6-8). The Holy Spirit convicts me all the time about my sinning (Proverbs 3:12).

Many hellbound false prophets do "many wonderful works," and they prophesy (preach) in Jesus' name (Matthew 7:21-23). Cornelius fasted, prayed, gave alms to the poor and feared God (Acts 10:1-3), but was still hellbound in his sins. Cornelius didn't get saved until Acts 10:44. So we cannot determine if someone, or even our self, is saved by examining our life. The $64,000 question is: Do you have the indwelling Holy Spirit?

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