I. John 5:1,14
The object of faith is not Christianity as a system, or the Bible as a book, but Jesus Christ as a living, abiding Personality, (Rev1:18) declares “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.”
God’s people are to be assured that they have eternal life, “You that believe.” To believe on the Name of the Son of God in John‘s day was to take up the shame of the Cross.
It is not written, “Believe and be saved, ” but “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” (Ac.16:31).
The faith that does not take hold of Christ is a dead faith, To be assured of salvation we need more than faith in things, we must believe in Christ and all his works.
The apostle Paul said to the jailer at Philippi, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.” He was a heathen. Faith was the first essential step.
To the Jews, on the day of Pentecost, already believing Peter’s statement, he said, in answer to the same question, what must we do to be saved “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Ac.2:38),
Yet the heathen jailer was not ready for this. Faith must first be wrought, and then that faith leading to the acceptance of Christ. (1.Co.1:18) Declares “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”
Let me say many are blind to the true beauty of Jesus’ personal character; to the true dignity of his nature, to his power over the sick, the lame, the dying, and the dead. they see not the bearing of the work of atonement on the government of God, they believe not in his resurrection, and his present state of exalted glory.
The Jailer faith would save, because it would be the power that would lead him to follow Christ,
Let us note (Ac.10:43) “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?”
Let us look at the blessing that are to be assured of. “Eternal life.” This is something different from, and something better than, mere eternal existence.
Devils know about eternal existence, but they know nothing experimentally. There are four things clearly unfolded concerning eternal life.
Eternal life in Christ stands for the sum of all good, here and hereafter. It stands for, eternal life is the gift of God, eternal lifebelongs to those who are Christ’s, eternal life is a present possession according to (Eph. 2:6) “And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:”
From the phrase here used of sitting, and of sitting together in Christ. As believers we shall certainly partake of the same kingly state and dignity, of the same honour and glory, of the same delight and pleasure, of the same rest and tranquillity, of the same state and security with Christ in heaven. He hath made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
There are distinctive signs and marks of eternal life and they are, faith, righteousness, love and joy where these are, the person is surely born of God and has the gift of eternal life.
The Spirit of God, contain the fullness of joy and glory that is yet to be revealed. “The fruit of the Spirit of God is, love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Gal.5:22).
Let us note the Blessedness of Being Assured. “Ye may know.”This word “know” is a favourite one with John.
In these few verses (13 to 20) he makes use of it seven times. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ and don’t know that you have eternal life, “ye may know.”
It is not only a possibility, but it is your privilege to know. This assurance is needful for the comfort and joy of salvation. This is what the apostle Peter stated in (Ac). 2:15 “For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:”
Note the words of (Isa. 28:11) “For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people”
Let us look at the words in (Ac.2:3,4) “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
How can we thank God for the gift of eternal life, if we are not sure that we have it ?
Note What Paul ask the followers of John the Baptist in (Ac.19:2) “He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.”
Look at the Ground of this Assurance “These things have I written unto you.. .that ye may know.” Assurance does not come through any special revelation from Heaven, apart from the written Word. “He that hath the Son hath life” (v.12).
These words, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and penned by the apostle, are for you who believe, that ye may know that ye have eternal life, (Heb. 3:14) “For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;”
For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;
Our faith in Christ Jesus is our foundation on which all our peace, comfort, and salvation is built.
The minister’s great work is to set Christ forth in all his glorious fulness, to represent him in all his offices, as a glorious object for the eye of our faith to look unto, and fix upon.
Let me say, no true church can be elevated which does not embrace and hold the true doctrines respecting Jesus Christ, those which pertain to, (1) his incarnation, (2) his Divine nature, (3) his instructions, (4) his example, (5) his atonement, (6) his resurrection, and his ascension.
The reason why no true church can be established without embracing the truth as it is in Christ Jesus, is, that it is by him only that men can be saved;
If this were not held fast to the end, Christ, in his saving influences, could not be held fast; and no Christ Jesus, no heaven (Mt. 24:13) “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved,”
Lk. 21:18 says, there should not a hair of the head perish; we shall be saved. A hair of the head, or the smallest part or portion, is a well-founded expression, denoting the certainty and completeness of our salvation, “He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
He who has Christ in him, has the well-founded hope of glory; and he who is found on that great day with Christ in his heart, will have an abundant entrance into eternal glory (Re. 11:12)tells us “And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.”
Not to receive this testimony is to make God a liar, and rob your soul of this blessed confidence, “he that believeth not God hath made him a liar,