That You May Know Assurance
1 John 5:13
July 27, 2014
Everyone wants a sure thing.
- Bettors at a horse track are (vainly) searching for certainty.
- Couples standing at the altar of marriage would like a guarantee of a successful union.
- Parents would like a guarantee that the training they are giving their children will produce successful children.
- College students want to know that their degree will result in a high-paying, satisfying job.
- Workers want to know that if they work hard at their job, they will receive the rewards of promotions and raises.
- Business owners want guaranteed costs and profits.
- People at the gym want to know that their sweat and sacrifices will produce better and longer lives.
- Product salesmen promise their products will work as long as guarantee says.
But then there is reality, isn’t there? Horses lose, marriages end in death and divorce, children become wayward, college graduates work for minimum wage in dead-end jobs, workers work hard without reward, businesses fail, workout warriors die young, and light bulbs guaranteed for 750 hours of life burn out in three seconds.
There are no guarantees in life. There are no sure things. There may be things that are highly probable, but there really are no guarantees and certainties.
But the apostle John says that there is a guarantee for believers — “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13). There is a guarantee that you possess the life God promises for believers in Christ.
But not all believers have assurance of that great and sure promise, as J. C. Ryle noted,
“…be it remembered, the poor believing soul may have no full assurance of his pardon and acceptance with God. He may be troubled with fear upon fear, and doubt upon doubt. He may have many an inward question, and many an anxiety–many a struggle, and many a misgiving–clouds and darkness–storm and tempest to the very end.”[Holiness: Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties, and Roots.]
Yet God offers hope of assurance to the believer through the pen of John. God makes His salvation of us sure and certain, and we can know that certainty.
Those who believe in Jesus Christ can be sure of their salvation.
This is a great truth, as Steve Lawson has written,
“The greatest thing in the world is to be saved. The second is closely related. It is to be absolutely sure that you are saved.” [Absolutely Sure, 19.]
In this verse there are four (certain) realities concerning assurance:
- Assurance is a Confidence for All Believers
- Assurance isn’t for All People
- Assurance is Based on Christ’s Work
- Assurance is About a New Kind of Life
Download the rest of this sermon on 1 John 5:13.
The audio will be posted on the GBC website later today.