Assurance of Salvation: What It Isn't, What It Is, and How You Can Be Certain That You Are Saved
This week I have been musing over just one question – that of True Faith vs False Faith, about who is 'truly saved' and who are just fooling themselves.
This whole train of thought began after an incident where some people, who considered themselves to be very mature Christians, acted in a way which I thought totally violated the Spirit of Christ. This incident set me thinking about the question of: What Is A Real Christian? Or True Faith vs. False Faith or: Can you genuinely think you are a Christian and yet still wind up in Hell?
In Luke 18 there is a parable about a Pharisee and a publican. The Pharisee is certain of his favor and standing with God - but Jesus clearly does not consider him to be a true believer. On the other hand the tax-gatherer (publican) is ashamed of his lack of spirituality and cannot lift his eyes to Heaven - but goes home justified!
And in Matthew 7 a group of miracle workers, prophets and exorcists, a large group apparently - because Jesus says they are 'many', stand before God and to their immense surprise are told "Depart from Me, I never knew you, you workers of iniquity!". Hmm.. It seems they thought they were saved, they were even in the ministry!
This really set me thinking about the question - how can we know, for sure, that we are saved?
I came to the conclusion that assurance of salvation is not based on emotions, cognitive knowledge, spiritual experiences, human affiliations, ecclesiastical positions, traditions, or works but rather is based on the visible, verifiable signs of the presence of the New Nature: which is Christ in us the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27).
I spent a long time in 1 John looking at the signs of a true believer: Faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, agape love, the presence of the Holy Spirit in one's life, righteousness, obedience to Christ's commandments, practical Christian living reflected in a loving lifestyle, and a clear conscience that results from a good life.
The original devotional is quite brief and does not cover all that the PowerPoint does - it is still quite useful however.
I then worked a bit more on it and produced the Powerpoint, I have saved it as a PowerPoint 97-2003 so it should work with most PowerPoint viewers. Its a simple presentation and you are free to use it in your sermons and bible studies
There is also the PowerPoint as a PDF file