This devotion is a monthly ministry of the Pee Dee Baptist Association, comprised of 32 Southern Baptist churches in Dillon and Marlboro Counties. For more information call 774-8062.
Featured this month is Rev. James Smith, the pastor of East Dillon Baptist Church, Dillon.
The Splendor of Salvation
1 John 5:10-13
How often have you heard someone say, “I hope,” “I think,” “I pray” I’m saved? As you study the Word of God, you will find that nothing is more unscriptural than the teaching that a person cannot know if they are saved until the judgment.
Being saved and sure is one of the many splendors of salvation, and it’s the privilege of every believer. Together let’s examine some Biblical truths about being saved and sure.
Before we can be sure of salvation …
1. We must have the experience of salvation. Salvation is not a state of mind; it is not a memory committal of a creed; nor is it a church or denominational alignment. Salvation is an experience!
This means being convicted of our sins. This conviction must commence with recognition of sin. What does this mean? Well, it’s two-fold.
We must recognize sin’s reality. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Today, men want to talk about disease, disorders, and disfunctions, but they don’t want to face the fact that sin is real.
We must recognize sin’s results. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin IS death …” This is not speaking of physical death, but eternal death, spiritual death, eternal separation from the presence and person of God.
Not only does conviction commence with the recognition of sin’s reality and results but, also, this conviction must climax with repentance from sin. Now, what is true repentance? It is honestly facing our sins as we are instructed to do in Romans 3:10-20, and it is humbly forsaking our sins as we are taught in Luke 13:3 and 5. We must face the truth through our love for Jesus’ reality that we are sinners. “Repent” means “to change one’s mind.” We see the pain it brings God, and the damage it does to mankind, so we forsake it.
The experience of salvation not only means being convicted of our sins but, secondly, this means being converted from our sins. Conversion is appreciating Christ’s love (John 3:16 and Romans 5:6-7). Conversion is accepting Christ’s life
(1 John 5:12). And, conversion is acknowledging Christ’s lordship (Romans 10:9).
You make Him Lord, Ruler, and Authority of your life.
So, before we can be sure of salvation, we must have the experience of salvation. 2. But also, we must have the evidence of salvation. If one is truly saved, there will be evidence – there will be fruit.
There will be the evidence of Jesus’ life in us. This will be evidenced within us through the desire to live a separated life (1 John 2:15), also through the desire to live a sacrificial life (Matthew 16:24-26), and through the desire to live a seeking life (Matthew 28:19).
In true salvation not only is there the evidence of His life in us, but also there will be the evidence of His love in us.
The Lord’s love will be manifested in and through us in two very clear ways. First, through our love for Jesus’ commandments (John 14:15 and 1 John 2:3-4). Secondly, it will be shown through our love for Jesus’ Church. Now, this doesn’t simply mean just attending services at the church. It means loving the church’s members (John 13:35); it means loving the church’s ministers (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 and 1 Timothy 5:17-18); and it means loving the church’s mission
(2 Corinthians 1:27-28), caring for each other.
In conclusion, it’s tragic but true that thousands who live in America have no legal proof that they are citizens of this great country. They have no birth certificate. But it is even more tragic that thousands have their names on church rolls, but they have no real proof that they are citizens of heaven because (1) they have had no experience of salvation and (2) they have no evidences of salvation.
What about you?