Today, I listened to part 2 of a 5 part sermon series by Paul Washer called Biblical Assurance. In the sermons, he breaks down 1 John into 10 tests that will help one know for sure that they are indeed saved and indeed a Christian. Part 1 covered the 1st test. If we proclaim to be Christians yet we live a life of habitual sin, we walk in darkness. To walk in the light is to walk according to what we know about the character and will of God which is revealed through His Word. If our lives contradict what we know about God, then we walk in darkness. Those that walk in darkness are not in Christ.
Part 2 covers the 2nd test, referring to verses 8 – 10 of 1 John.
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
1 John 1:8-10 ESV
Paul Washer pointed out that John repeatedly refers to what we say. “If we say” this and “if we say” that and “whoever says” are all throughout 1 John. What we say means nothing. I can say that I am a pro basketball player, but that means nothing if there is not something in my life that backs up what I am saying. The same goes for our professions of Faith.
In elaborating on the text, Brother Washer explained that the Christian will be sensitive to sin in their life. Their sensitivity will cause them to be broken and repentant. This in turn drives them to confession which leads us to being cleansed by God. Our hearts must be open and receptive to Biblical correction though. If the Lord uses someone to point out our sin to us, our response speaks volumes. If we’re defensive and immediately deny it, we call God a liar. The proper response is to accept the correction and confess that sin before God. What is confession ? Paul explained that the Greek word means to “speak the same thing”. In other words, it’s agreeing with what God points out to you that you are. When the Holy Spirit points out our sin, if we say that it isn’t true, we call God a liar. Let’s say that I have a lust issue (Praise God I do NOT… purely His grace). If the Holy Spirit points this out to me, I can respond 1 of 2 ways. I can either agree and say, “Lord, this is true. I have a problem with lust”, or I can say, “I do not have a problem with lust”. The 1st response is confession. The 2nd is denial, the denial that verse 10 refers to – If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. Godly people acknowledge the sin in their lives and the Lord deals with them.
For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah. I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah.
Psalms 32:3-5 ESV
And we shouldn’t be discouraged when the Holy Spirit so graciously points out our sin. God is not against the believer; He is FOR the believer. He WANTS to help you; He doesn’t want to leave His child hanging. He is not like man; what He does is pure, righteous, and right. Jesus forgives us and consequently removes our guilt. We have a beautiful Savior who is just and righteous and faithful. The Word of God says that once we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of them. We must remember this; this sets us free! We don’t have to mope around and feel like, because we have sinned, we have to wait to go before our Lord. His Word says that once we have confessed it, He forgives us. He’s faithful and true. He does not lie. If we don’t behave as though we believe this, we paint Him to be a liar. To call someone a liar doesn’t say that they lie. That’s an action. To say someone’s a liar defines their character. If we ignore our sin as if we don’t have any, we call God a liar because He makes our sin known to us. We must be careful of that. When the Holy Spirit points out our sin to us, we have to make sure we don’t harden our hearts. Accept the correction, acknowledge the sin, confess it, and realize His forgiveness and cleansing.
So… with that said, can we live / talk / dress / act like the world and be okay with it ? Can we laugh at the things nonbelievers laugh at ? Can we watch things that contradict the character of God and be okay with it ? If so, there’s a problem. If you don’t have a problem with dressing how the world dresses, being profane like the world, living like the world… you’re not in Christ.
This sermon of Paul’s definitely assured me and gave me such peace. I pray this entry offers peace to the saved. I pray it grants unrest to the soul that thinks it is saved and is not.
Grace and Peace.