Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Inner Witness Of God

Temple Baptist Church - 4-29-2015
1 John 5:9-13


A.  For the past few weeks, I have been preaching from the first 13 verses of chapter 5.  I have not continued to send out an outline because these verses are tied together and it is a message that is progressive.

B.  These verses deal with the blessed assurance of the believer which is a part of his/her birthright.  God wants all people to be saved and wants all believers to be assured.  You will never be useful either to or for God until you have salvation settled in your heart. 

C.  The greatest attack of Satan upon God’s people is that of assurance.  He questioned God in the Garden of Eden and cause Eve to fall into that spiritual trap.  Through the ages, Satan has continued to use the same tactic on believers. 

D.  Verse 9 speaks of the witness of men.  I believe that the witness of man is a very valuable thing. 

1.  We have often heard people referred to as being godly, faithful, loving, etc. because these can be outward expressions of an inward reality but they can also be characteristics of what we would call good, moral people who are spiritually lost.  Men may say that they think you are saved or lost.  They could be right or wrong. 

2.  There are a lot of people that I believe with all my heart are saved.  Their spirit bears witness with mine, their lifestyle is moral, they love people, they are faithful, etc.  I could be right and I could be wrong!

3.  There are many that say they are saved that I think may be lost.  Their lack of a spirit that bears witness, their total lack of spiritual life, they do not love the church—the Lord—the Bible—God’s people, they have never been faithful, etc.  I may be wrong or I may be right.  I am glad that God is the Judge!

E.  The Witness of God – this is the “acid test” for salvation.  What the witness of God is not a feeling, it is an absolute!  What is the witness of God?  Verses 9-11 define the witness of God as being the record of His Son.

F.  Verse 10 says that the believer has the witness of God in himself/herself.  What is the inner witness? 

1.  What the inner witness is not. 

a.  It is not a feeling.  Many people will say, “I think I am saved” or “I feel like I’m saved” or “God has been with me all of my life” or “God has helped me, therefore, I am saved.” 

b.  It is not even the Holy Spirit telling you that you are saved.  I thank the Lord for the blessed Holy Spirit.  He dwells within the believer but the believer can still have doubts at times concerning his/her eternal life.

c.  The inner witness is not assurance of salvation.  Some people think that you are lost if you doubt your salvation.  If you will notice again with me in verse 13, John is writing to those who were evidently having some doubts about that.    There are people who will tell you that they are saved that are actually lost.  I will explain this last statement with our text. 

2.  What the inner witness is. 

a.  The inner witness is a saving faith that agrees with the witness of God.  What is the witness of God?  It is found all through these verses but especially in verses 6-13.  The inner witness is a faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ. 

b.  Verse 6 shows the fulfillment of the prophecies of His coming.  Jesus Christ, Almighty Jehovah God, was manifested in the flesh and was the Propitiation for the sins of all mankind. 

c.  Verse 7 shows the agreement of the trinity in heaven concerning the prophecies, purpose, propitiation (the finished work of the gospel: death, burial, and resurrection), and priesthood of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

d.  How do you know you are saved?  You are saved when you believe the record that God gave of His Son.  It is what we trust!  Jesus Christ died for our sins and that finished work, called the gospel, is sufficient to give us eternal life.  You can add anything you want to these verses but I stand alone on the finished work of Christ! 

e.  We saw that Biblical belief in verse 1 is always followed by good works in verses 2-5.  That shows the changed heart and life of the repentant sinner.

3.  Salvation is as simple as that! 

a.  And, yet, it is so simple that people miss it!  You can pray 1000 prayers and remain lost in your sin!  A prayer will not save until the heart has believed.  Read Romans 10:9-13.  Too many have prayed “the prayer” and remain lost because they either did not have a good understanding of what God’s record was or did not understand that you must believe unto salvation according to the record that God gives.

b.  Too many preachers deal with people’s doubt by having them to pray another prayer.  When a believer doubts, I want to know why.  If they have asked the Lord into their life and meant it, then the answer is not to repeat the process.  I have found that the problem normally lies in the area of faith.  They are not doubting what God did for them, they are doubting themselves.  Salvation is an act of God, not an act of man!  We do and will fail but His promises are “yea” and “nay!”

c.  How do I know that I am saved?  I have anchored my soul in the finished work of Christ: the record that God has given of His Son!  I have anchored my soul in the Word of God!  Paul said it all, “For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.”  (2 Timothy 1:12) Paul’s salvation was incorporated in one word in Acts, chapter 9:  Lord!  He knew Jesus Christ during our Lord’s public ministry.  He knew the innocence of Christ; he knew of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ; and he found it hard to “kick against the pricks!”  In that word “Lord” we find repentance, surrender, and faith!

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