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What would it take for you to feel secure? Would money do it? Health? Fame? What about possessing the certainty of God’s promises to you? That is my most valuable possession. How about you?
What assurances of eternal life do you have? Believers possess full assurance of salvation, gain complete joy because of salvation, and can abide in Christ.
The way to be saved is by believing that Jesus is the Christ. If you have persistent doubts about your salvation, you’re probably not saved. But if you’ve made this declaration and you know in your heart it is true, by faith, then you have been born of God.
Whether you are a believer or not will greatly influence how you interpret and understand the Bible. To the degree you doubt whether you are saved, you increase the chance that you’ll interpret the Bible incorrectly. That’s because only believers have the Holy Spirit and the only way to understand the Bible is through the Spirit. You won’t be able to put your confidence in the words of truth if you can’t even know for sure that you are saved.
Believing Confirms You Can Feel Secure
1 John says clearly that once you cross over to being a believer, you can know with confidence that you have eternal life. Several verses in chapter 5 drive home that you can feel secure.
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God.
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. And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.
We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.1 John 5:1, 13, 14, 18 ESV
When you are confident in Jesus, you believe He will listen to you when you pray. If you are born of God then:
- You won’t keep on sinning.
- God will protect you (and keep you from continuing to sin).
- The evil one can’t snatch you away from God’s hand (John 10:28-29).
Joy Results When You Feel Secure
John, even earlier in Chapter 1, provides a formula for having complete joy: to have fellowship with the Father and the Son. Jesus is the life made manifest, the eternal life. To know Jesus is to secure life for all eternity (John 17:3).
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us—that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.1 John 1:1-4 ESV
Abiding Keeps You Secure
1 John 3:6 makes it clear that those who keep on sinning (with a hardness of heart and without repenting) never had salvation. If you have any doubts also consider verses 5:1 and 5:13.
No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.1 John 3:6 ESV
The entrance into the Christian life is all or nothing. Only believers will be with Christ forever. This will keep some people out of the kingdom of God. However, it also means that once you are in, you will remain in, because God is the one who has the power to keep you secure.
If there is a way to lose salvation, the only way would be not believing and trusting in Jesus Christ. God promises you eternal life as long as you keep in your heart the gospel message which you heard when you became a Christian (see 1 John 2:24-25). This should be the very thing we as believers are eager to do.
Matt Pavlik is a licensed professional clinical counselor who wants to see each individual restored to their true identity. He has more than 20 years of experience counseling individuals and couples at his Christian counseling practice, New Reflections Counseling. Matt and Georgette have been married since 1999 and live with their four children in Centerville, Ohio.