Skip to comments.11 Biblical Tests of Genuine Salvation: Test #2 - Are You Sensitive to Sin?
Posted on 01/05/2013 7:35:55 AM PST by xzins
Test #1 of Series: 11 Biblical Tests of Genuine Salvation: Test #1 - Do you enjoy Fellowship with God and Christ?
Is It Real? 11 Biblical Tests of Genuine Salvation by John MacArthur - 11 Questions to help one see if they are Biblically Saved. Helps to Examine Their Faith with God's Word (2 Cor 13:5) to see if one is Biblically Saved. How Can I Know I Am Saved
- 2 Cor 13:5 (NASB) "TEST YOURSELVES to see if you are IN the FAITH; EXAMINE YOURSELVES! Or do you NOT recognize this about yourselves, that JESUS CHRIST is in you—unless indeed you FAIL the TEST?"
- 1 Cor 11:31-32 (NASB) "But if we JUDGED ourselves RIGHTLY, we would NOT be JUDGED. But when we are JUDGED, we are DISCIPLINED by the LORD so that we will NOT be CONDEMNED ALONG with the WORLD."
Test #2 - 11 Biblical Tests of Genuine Salvation: Are You Sensitive to Sin?
Let's go back to 1 John 1:5 and it's declaration in verse 5: "This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all." John was saying that the message the Lord sent to us is about Himself, specifically that He is absolutely sinless. The Greek text literally says there's not a single bit of darkness in Him. 1 John 1:6 Therefore, "If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth".
Light and darkness do not coexist. One drives the other away. John went on to develop that theme: "If we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us" (vv. 7-10).
Some people make some pretty amazing claims that hold no water. They claim to have fellowship with God--to be Christians (v. 6), to have no sin (v. 8), and even to have never sinned (v. 10). They think they are walking in the light when actually they are walking in darkness. It is characteristic of unbelievers to be oblivious to the sins in their lives. The individuals mentioned in verse 8 are not dealing with their sins because they think they've reached a state where they have no sin. But they are deceiving themselves. Those mentioned in verse 10 have never even confessed or acknowledged sin. With that attitude they are in fact denigrating God because God says "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Rom 3:23, emphasis added). Since unbelievers are so insensitive to the reality of their condition, human sinfulness is the right starting point in sharing the gospel.
Believers, on the other hand, "walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light" (v. 7). We walk a virtuous walk, and what's more, "we confess our sins" (v. 9). True believers have a right sense of sin. They know if they're going to commune with God they have to be holy. When sin occurs in their lives, they know it must be confessed.
John takes this teaching a step further in the next chapter. "My little children," he explained, "I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (v. 1). True believers realize they don't have to sin. But when they do, they know whom to go to--Jesus Christ, the believer's advocate. The intercessory work of Christ is one of the great trinitarian securers of our salvation. That's an encouraging reality to hang onto when confronted with personal sin.
The person who is truly saved is sensitive to the sinful realities in his or her life. That's the example Paul left us in speaking of his heightened awareness of sin's work in his own life (Rom 7:14-25). Consider how that applies to you. Are you very much aware of the spiritual battle raging within you? Do you realize that to have true communion with God, you have to live a holy life--that you can't walk in darkness and claim to have fellowship with Him? Are you willing to confess and forsake any sin in your life as you become aware of it? Do you realize you can choose not to sin--that you're not fighting a battle you're obliged to lose? But when you do fail, do you go to your divine advocate? Do you sometimes cry out with Paul, "Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?" (Rom 7:24) because you're so weary of the burden of sin in your flesh? If so, you are obviously a Christian. And since salvation is secure, you might as well enjoy it and be fully assured.
If you're a believer, don't worry - Satan, the Accuser of the brethren, will remind you constantly of your sin. But not the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit does not convict a believer of sin but of his RIGHTEOUSNESS because of Jesus' sacrifice (John 16:8-10). We are righteous not because of what we do but because of what HE did. "It is finished."
Romans 2: 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, 15 since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.)
But, more to the point, the Apostle John says "if we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves..."
Therefore, the Holy Spirit convicts our hearts of sin.
Jesus said in John 16: 7 But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; 10 in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. 12 "I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you. 16 "In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me."
It is for our good that God convicts our hearts of our sin. Our response is supposed to be that we "confess our sins" because "He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
That's the point! If you are NOT one of the brethren, Satan will leave you alone. What would be the point? If anything, he may do everything he can to make that person successful, just to show how "big a fool" a believer is. I've had people tell me that, I don't believe in God yet I make so much more money than you do, have a bigger house, drive a newer car...
The Holy Spirit convicts ("reproves") unbelievers of sin. "He will reprove the world of sin...because THEY do not believe in me" (John 16:8-9). On the other hand, the Holy Spirit does not convict the believer of sin, but of the believer's righteousness because of Jesus. "He will reprove the world of righteousness...because I go to my father, and YOU see me no more (John 16:8, 10).
If we are going to "earnestly contend for the faith that was once delivered to the saints" (Jude 3), we must "rightly divide the word of truth" (2 Tim 2:15).
Romans, the definitive book on the gospel of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, makes it crystal clear that the only true righteousness is God's righteousness, not our righteousness (Rom 1:17, 2:21-22). Righteousness is a gift from God through Jesus Christ. Romans 5:17. We are not righteous because of what we do but because of what He did. We don't earn it - he earned it for us.
Hebrews also hammers home the truth of the New Covenant in His blood: "for I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more" (Heb 8:12). ALL of your sins, past, present, and future were judged and completely condemned on the body of Jesus Christ on the cross. God exhausted his full wrath and condemnation of all of our sins, past, present, and future on His son on the cross. There is no more wrath or condemnation left for you and I. Otherwise, God is an unjust God. It would be unjust for God to judge you or condemn you because of your sins because He would be committing double jeopardy - condemning the same sin twice - once on Jesus Christ on the cross and again on you. God will not do that because God is a just, holy, and righteous God.
It is, therefore, not God's will for you to go around remembering your sins because "their sins will I remember no more." When we do otherwise, we fall from grace (Gal 5:4) and discount righteousness judgment of God. The perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ for us was ONCE and FOREVER for ALL of our sins, past, present, and future (Heb 10:12,14).
The sign, therefore, of a believer who is living and growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18) is not his remembrance of sins which the blood of Jesus has completely wiped clean, but his remembrance of the gift of righteousness and the abundance of grace by which he reigns in life (Rom 5:17).
"What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?"
This life is so very temporary.
John Mcarthur believes that God selects people to be saved. He does not believe a person is saved by faith.
What things is he referring to? Those things he has just written. So, it's not possible that his letter did not include Christians he consider his "little children".
John 16: he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin , because they believe not on me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged .
He reproves the "world". He also loved the world so much he gave his only son. We are part of the world.
Moreover, "Of righteousness" is directed to "Ye" (You all) who would see Him no more". That is, the disciples/apostles to whom he was then speaking.
Do you believe that you do not sin?
I think it was Meatloaf that sang a song about looking for an Original Sin.
Often. My family is reading the Book of Job right now, and I find myself thinking that his friends are making sense. Job is often mentioned as the original example of "When bad things happen to good people ...," but looking in my own heart, I have to wonder, "Which good people are those?"
Without God's forgiveness, which we could never earn, we'd all deserve to be toast.
Of course I sin, but in the New Covenant in his blood, God declares, "their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more" Heb 8:12. As the gospel of the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ declares and as I have repeatedly said here, ALL of our sins, past, present,and future were thoroughly judged 2000 years ago, God exhausting all condemnation of ALL of our sins on His Son. Our sins were transferred to the Lamb of God and His righteousness was transferred to us in a divine exchange by His AMAZING grace ("It is finished").
So you and I sin, but we are already forgiven. You may ask, like those who asked Paul, "Shall we therefore sin that grace may abound?" (Rom 6:1). But Paul's answer was, "Sin shall no longer have dominion over you, for you are no longer under the law but under grace" (Rom 6:14). Grace, not the law or self effort, delivers us from the bondage of sin.
Amen to that! The Holy Spirit does not convict the believer of sin... but Satan does. Haven't you ever heard that quiet voice that says something like "You, saved? Gimme a break! Have you forgotten when you _____ and _____ (fill in the blanks)?" So, it is not God's will for us to go around remembering our sins, but there's a certain shady character who is glad to be reminding us on a daily basis. Ignoring him could be one of the ways we "contend for the faith".
So guess what? What will Satan do now? The only thing he can do - go back to trying to condemn you - he doesn't have anything else. The gospel (and we if we believe the gospel) hit(s) and destroy(s) the very nerve center of the enemy's nerve center. That is why he fights so hard against the gospel of grace - it is truly "the power of God unto salvation' (delivering and setting us free).
I think you are referring to the doctrine of being preordained. The Bible declares the Holy Spirit chose us before we chose Him [Jesus].
This does not eliminate free-will, rather it shows God, who created time, forenew any/all events [otherwise prophesy does not exist either!] including your particular moment of salvation. It’s simply two sides of the same coin or as I like to say, there’s only one reality.
If you believe in His work on the cross you are saved.
For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.(Hebrews 10:1,2)
God bless you my FRiend. I’m excited about the revolution in the Body of Christ - the latter day rain of the gospel of grace which is the demonstration of power of God and not in the wisdom of man.
We must be careful of these people and what they teach and should avoid them.
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. Galatians 1:8-9.
Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver?...even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you...Be not afraid, only believe...Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom...To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne...Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?...this is the work of God,that ye believe on Him whom He has sent...be found in Him, not having your own righteousness...therefore...submit yourselves unto the righteousness of God...if ye do these things ye shall never fall. (Isaiah 50:2,Isaiah 46:4,Mark 5:36,Luke 12:32,Rev 3:21,1 John 5:5,John 6:29,Phillipians 3:9,Romans 10:3,2 Peter 1:10))
I think Ecl was [pot-stirring by] quoting MacArthur out of context. MacArthur and his ministry, Grace To You, are completely Biblically founded afaik.
People get all tangled up on the predestination thing. Ephesians and Romans both indicate predestination but that does not exempt salvation by grace through faith and in no way changes the gospel of grace. It simply means, “No man can come to me (Jesus) except the Father draw him” (John 6:44). In other words, God does it all - we can’t take credit for anything. He gives us the desire to call on him and gives us the faith to believe (by faith OF Jesus Christ Romans 3:22).
OK, but if this is his stuff, he’s mixing law and grace, something the gospel of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ does not do.
I’d say, yes, Ecliptic was out of context, but MacArthur?, no way. Listen for yourself at oneplace.com - good site has lots of christian ministry and sermons from lots of different sources...
Totally agree and well stated!
Ro 6: What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
So, we both have sin in our lives.
The only real questions should be, (1) Are we happy with that or are we not?, and (2) Are we proud those sins hung Christ on the cross, or do we lament that evil we had done?, and (3) What does it mean if we take his grace for granted?, and, finally, (4) Does not caring about our sin mean we might have missed the boat?
Look at your questions. They're all about YOU. You're looking at YOU. The devil wants you to look at YOU. YOU will never be perfect.
What is the basis of our hope and salvation? Does it have anything to do with ourselves? No. "Having begun in the Spirit are we now made perfect by the flesh?" Galatians 3:3. Our hope and salvation has everything and only to do with Jesus and what he did. God isn't looking at YOU. He's looking at his perfect sacrifice, the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. Because His sacrifice was perfect, you are perfect. "As he is, so are we in this world." 1 John 4:17. Stop looking at YOU. "Look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith." Heb 12:2.
The shadow of Jesus was the animal sacrifice in the old testament. The priest, the judge of the sacrifice, never inspected the one bringing the sacrifice. But the priest very carefully inspected the animal that was to be sacrificed to see if it was perfect. God doesn't look at you. He looks at the perfect Lamb of God, His Son, and is perfectly satisfied. You and I are therefore free.
It's like you're coming to the priest and wanting him to notice how sorry you are for your sins and all the things you're doing to show your sincerity. But God never ordained the priest to inspect the one for whom the sacrifice was being made, only the sacrifice itself. In the same way, God doesn't inspect you as you, he inspects Jesus as you. We are accepted by grace though faith in his Son, nothing else. Adding your little bit is bringing in "another gospel" which scripture curses TWICE (Galatians 1:8-9) and calls "falling from grace" (Galatians 5:4). So to allow the blood of Jesus its effective work and grace to flow in your life, we must relinquish self-righteousness and self effort.
Care should be taken not to mistakenly identify any spirit which convicts us of our sin as not being righteous.
God the Holy Spirit interrupts us when we sin, but also deceiving spirits will accuse us of our sins.
When in fellowship after we return to fellowship by 1st John 1:9, we may continue to grow in Him and we likely will not be preoccupied with our past failings, but as we grow, we also will be better able to identify in ourselves how we have scarred our souls from worldly and carnal thinking which is not by His Plan.
In spiritual warfare, fallen angels have more than accusation as weapons against believers.
Our souls are scarred by many worldly and carnal temptations which demonic influence may attempt to thwart our operations and growth in Him.
True, if we remain in faith in Christ, we can persevere and there is no temptation greater than that which may be resisted, but we are frequently tested before we continue to advance.
And that's what "justification" is. "Just-as-if" I never sinned. That's how effective His one-time sacrifice and His blood is.
In my 40+ years of being a believer, I've never known the victory and freedom I know now by refusing to allow condemnation, because God accepts me and will never condemn me.
Of course it's looking at me. The Apostle Paul instructs us to examine OURSELVES. He doesn't ask me to examine YOU.
This is what Paul says:
2 Cor 13:5 (NASB) "TEST YOURSELVES to see if you are IN the FAITH; EXAMINE YOURSELVES! Or do you NOT recognize this about yourselves, that JESUS CHRIST is in youunless indeed you FAIL the TEST?"
"Unless indeed you fail the test" is evidence that the Apostle believed it was possible to fail the test of having a genuine faith.
So, for you to look at you is entirely biblical.