Can I Know for Sure?

by Jeffrey W. Hamilton

Text: I John 5


I.         Salvation means forgiveness of sins, but it also means a better life on earth and spending eternity with our God in heaven - Luke 18:29-30

            A.        Such a gift is immeasurably valuable - Matthew 13:44-46

            B.        We should not be anxious - Philippians 4:6-7

            C.        See the confidence of Paul - II Timothy 1:12

II.        Too many see God as someone trying to get rid of people at the least provocation.

            A.        God desires all to be saved - II Peter 3:9

            B.        For those who follow Christ and not the world, there is no feeling of condemnation looming on the horizon - Romans 8:1

            C.        Rather we should overflow with hope - Romans 15:13

            D.        Our faith is our assurance - Hebrews 10:22-23

            E.        We look forward to the end - Titus 2:11-13

            F.        So where does our confidence come from?

III.       Assurance comes from what is written and not from what is felt

            A.        Written so that we might believe and from there have eternal life - I John 5:13

            B.        Feelings are uncertain - Proverbs 28:26

                        1.         But God’s Word is permanent - I Peter 1:25

                        2.         It doesn’t change

            C.        Feelings bring about worries

                        1.         Our feelings, our hearts, might condemn us, but God is greater than our hearts - I John 3:20

                        2.         If we don’t spend our time condemning ourselves, we can have confidence - I John 3:21

            D.        Feelings can bring about false confidence

                        1.         Paul had a good conscience, but he was once lost - Acts 23:1

                        2.         The Pharisee thought he was right with God - Luke 18:11

                        3.         What may look right to us can be totally wrong - Proverbs 14:12

            E.        That is why God’s word is to be our guide - Psalms 119:105

                        1.         It is the truth that frees us - John 8:32

                        2.         Knowledge given to escape the pollution of the world - II Peter 1:3-4

IV.      Confidence comes from God and not from man

            A.        Many feel safe because someone told them they are safe. It isn’t based on what they know from the Bible, most have rarely read the Bible - Acts 17:11

            B.        Our trust cannot be in men. We have to do our own work - Philippians 2:12

            C.        After all false teachers abound - I John 4:1

            D.        It is the Spirit who assures us - Romans 8:16

                        1.         How?

                                    a.         Many assume it is a feeling or a still voice inside.

                                    b.         But we have already seen that feelings are not used by God as a guide

                        2.         The Spirt gave the Scriptures - II Peter 1:19-21

                        3.         It is that word which builds us and gives us heaven - Acts 20:32

                        4.         Two witnesses

                                    a.         The Spirit - Ephesians 1:13-14

                                    b.         Our spirit - I John 5:10-11

            E.        What does the Spirit teach men to do?

                        1.         Jesus took care of the problem of sin - I John 4:9, 14

                        2.         Salvation is only found in Jesus - John 14:6; Acts 4:12

                        3.         Using the Ethiopian Eunuch as an example

                                    a.         Learned of Jesus and what is commanded - Acts 8:35-36

                                    b.         Believed what he learned - Acts 8:37

                                    c.         Confessed that he believe - Acts 8:37

                                    d.         Was baptized in water - Acts 8:38

                                    e.         He left rejoicing because he was certain of his salvation - Acts 8:39

                        4.         Notice how little delay there was. Have you obeyed the Spirit as the Eunuch had done?

                                    a.         If not, then there is reason for your lack of confidence

                                    b.         But there is no reason to remain so - II Corinthians 6:2

                                    c.         In baptism our sins are washed away - Acts 22:16

                        5.         Are you a changed person, a new creature? - Romans 6:3-4

                                    a.         Don’t be glum, do something about it - II Corinthians 7:10-11

V.        Confidence comes from walking in the light and not living in fear

            A.        We cannot walk in sin and expect to be close to God - I John 1:5-7

            B.        It means keeping His commands and following Christ - I John 2:3-6; 3:24

            C.        Staying in righteousness gives confidence - I John 2:28-29

            D.        We purify ourselves from sin - I John 3:2-3

            E.        We see it in our changed attitude toward brethren - I John 3:14

            F.        We see it by overcoming the world - I John 5:4-5

            G.        But God is not expect us to live perfect lives - I John 1:8-10

                        1.         Sin remains a problem in the world - Romans 3:23

                        2.         We may slip, but we don’t lose confidence – unless we give up

                        3.         Paul worked at remaining faithful - I Corinthians 9:27

            H.        God is for us - Romans 8:31-34

                        1.         He is not out to get us - I Peter 5:10

                        2.         We can come before God boldly - Hebrews 4:16

                        3.         He wants us to succeed - I John 5:20

            I.         But judgment is based on what we do - II Corinthians 5:10

                        1.         Grace overcomes sin, but we cannot remain in sin - Romans 5:20-6:2

                        2.         As God told the Israelites - Ezekiel 18:30-32

            J.         But we don’t have to live in fear of being cast out, we have to continue to strive - II Corinthians 5:9

                        1.         Our love for God drives out fear - I John 4:17-19

VI.      Where do you stand? Are you building confidence or does fear have you paralyzed?

Based on an article by Allen Webster

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