Sermon #13 1 John Series
Text: 1 John 2:1-11
Subject: The Assurance of God’s Salvation
Date: Sunday Evening — June 17, 2012
Tape# 1 John 13
Readings: Lindsay Campbell and Merle Hart
The object of God the Holy Spirit in giving us the book of 1st John is that all who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ might have the blessed assurance of faith, the sweet assurance of God’s salvation (1 John 5:1, 10-13).
(1 John 5:1) “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.”
(1 John 5:10-13) “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. 11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He that hath the Son hath life; [and] he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”
Clearly, the purpose of this blessed epistle is that all who trust Christ may know that they have eternal life in him, an assurance that is to be had simply by faith in the Son of God. Yet, almost everything written on these five short chapters and almost everything preached from them seems to be designed to destroy assurance by turning our eyes inward, attempting us to find assurance in our own righteousness.
I want you to know the Lord Jesus; and I want all who know him to know that you know him. If you trust the Lord Jesus Christ, if you believe on the Son of God, I want you to live in the blessed assurance of faith, walking before God with an assured confidence of hope.
Proposition: If you would have assurance, a real assurance of salvation, an assurance that will give you peace in your own conscience, one thing is required, just one thing — Perfection.
That is the title of my message — Perfection. Our text will be 1 John 2:1-11.
(1 John 2:1-11) “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for [the sins of] the whole world.”
“3 ¶ And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”
“7 ¶ Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. 8 Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth. 9 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. 10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. 11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.”
You must be perfect and the love of God must be made perfect in you, or you cannot enter into heaven, you cannot be saved.
· The Lord our God is perfect and perfect in all his works. — “[He is] the Rock, his work [is] perfect: for all his ways [are] judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right [is] he” (Deuteronomy 32:4).
· Every sacrifice he receives is perfect. — “It must be perfect to be accepted” (Leviticus 22:21).
· Our dear Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, is a perfect Savior, made perfect by the things he suffered (Hebrews 5:9; 2:10; Isaiah 42:19).
· All who are saved by Christ God are made perfect by him. The Lord God himself says they are perfect (Noah – Genesis 6:9; Job – Job 1:1, 8; 2:3, 8, 20; Hebrews 10:14).
· God gives saved sinners a perfect nature that cannot sin (2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 John 3:6-9), — a perfect heart (1 Kings 15:14; 1 Chronicles 29:9), — causes his own to walk in a perfect way (Psalm 18:32), — keeps his saints in perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3), — and in the perfect day (Proverbs 4:18) brings every heaven-born soul to a perfect end (Psalm 138:8).
Chosen, redeemed sinners are perfected in holiness (2 Corinthians 7:1; Ephesians 4:12) when God’s love is made perfect in us by his mighty operations of grace in the new birth (1 John 2:5; 4:12, 18). Now, hold your Bibles open on your laps at 1 John 2:1-11, and let me show you how John speaks of this blessed perfection God gives to his own in Christ Jesus.
If you would have assurance, a real assurance of salvation, an assurance that will give you peace in your own conscience, one thing is required, just one thing: — The love of God must be perfected in you.
“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not.” — John’s message is clear. — Don’t sin! Sin is never to be tolerated by the heaven-born soul. Let all who are redeemed by the precious blood of Christ seek in all things the honor of our Redeemer. — “Whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Romans 14:23). Seek, child of God, to live according to the faith of the gospel God has taught you (Titus 2:1-14), and never be content until you sin no more.
Sin You Do
“And if any man sin…” — Read the “if” as small as you wish, it still reads “when.” The fact is you do always sin. All God’s saints in this world are sinners still; and they all know it (Romans 7:14-25). Sin is mixed with all we do. Anything to which I put my filthy hands, I defile. Even our most perfect deeds of righteousness are filthy rags before the thrice holy God (Isaiah 64:6).
“And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for [the sins of] the whole world.” — Blessed be his holy name forever, when God’s saints sin, Christ is our Advocate with the Father, ever present to plead our cause before the throne of grace. And he is an effectual advocate. He always prevails in the court of heaven. Those for whom he pleads can never be charged with sin (Romans 4:8), because he made atonement for our sins and put them away by the sacrifice of himself (Romans 8:1-4; 33-34).
(Romans 8:1-4) “[There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
(Romans 8:33-34) “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? [It is] God that justifieth. Who [is] he that condemneth? [It is] Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.”
Keep His Commandments
“And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” — If we would have assurance of this boundless free grace, of this great salvation in and by the Lord Jesus Christ, we must keep his commandments. How do we keep his commandments? The only way any fallen child of Adam can keep the commandments of God is by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (John 6:28-29; 1 John 3:23; Romans 3:31), who kept the commandments for us as our Representative (Romans 5:19) and satisfied all the justice of God by his sin-atoning death as our Substitute (Romans 3:24-26; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:13).
(John 6:28-29) “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”
(1 John 3:23) “And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.”
(Romans 3:31) “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.”
(Romans 5:19) “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”
(Romans 3:24-26) “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth [to be] a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, [I say], at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”
(2 Corinthians 5:21) “For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
(Galatians 3:13-14) “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”
“But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.” — The assurance of salvation arises from the love of God being perfected in us. The word “perfected” means “finished, fulfilled, completed.” The eternal love of God for his elect comes to its intended end, its fulfilment, its completion when it is shed abroad in the hearts of chosen, redeemed sinners by the Holy Ghost in the new birth (Romans 5:1-5).
(Romans 5:1-11) “1 ¶ Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only [so], but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”
“6 ¶ For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. 11 And not only [so], but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” (Romans 5:1-11)
It is this “perfect love,” the love of God reaching its intended end in our salvation, which “casteth out fear” and will give redeemed sinners “boldness in the day of judgment” (1 John 4:17-18).
(1 John 4:17-18) “Herein is our love made perfect (Margin – God’s love with us is made perfect), that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”
It is this revelation of the love of God in Christ that brings faith in Christ by the power and grace of God the Holy Spirit (Galatians 4:6-7). Blessed river of love, ever flowing from the throne of God, making glad the City of God, springing up in our souls unto everlasting life!
“He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” — The love of Christ shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost constrains us to live for his glory in this world. This love of God revealed in us, assuring us of God’s salvation by Christ Jesus, is that which inspires devotion, compels consecration to Christ, and constrains us to live for him who loved us and gave himself for us (2 Corinthians 5:14-16; 1 Corinthians 6:11).
(2 Corinthians 5:14-16) “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: 15 And [that] he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. 16 ¶ Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we [him] no more.”
(1 Corinthians 6:9-11) “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”
Believers are not under the rule of law, but the rule of love. We are not motivated by fear of punishment or promise of reward. It is the knowledge of the love of Christ that motivates and governs our lives. Knowing that Christ redeemed us, we are assured that when he died, we died in him (Galatians 2:20). And we rejoice to know that Christ died for us that we who live in him might forever cease to live unto ourselves and live unto him who loved us and gave himself for us.
How did our Savior walk in this world? He lived and walked as a man utterly consecrated to God, entirely submissive and obedient to the will of God, loving and serving the children of God (John 13:15). Oh for grace to follow his example! Live for God, my brother. Live for God, my sister (Titus 2:1-14). To live for God is to live for the benefit of his people. (Ephesians 4:32-5:2).
(Titus 2:1-15) “But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: 2 That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. 3 The aged women likewise, that [they be] in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 [To be] discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. 6 Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. 7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine [shewing] uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, 8 Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you. 9 [Exhort] servants to be obedient unto their own masters, [and] to please [them] well in all [things]; not answering again; 10 Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.”
“11 ¶ For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. 15 ¶ These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.”
(Ephesians 4:32-5:2) “32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
“5:1 ¶ Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.”
The old commandment of the law and the new commandment of the gospel is the same: — “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.” Faith in Christ is the evidence of salvation (Hebrews 11:1; 1 John 5:1, 10). Brotherly love is the fruit of faith (1 John 2:7-11).
(1 John 2:7-11) “Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. 8 Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth. 9 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. 10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. 11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.”
This love which is the fruit of faith is not some imaginary universal love for all men. No man loves all men; and to pretend that he does is to declare that his love is utterly meaningless and useless, for it does nothing for the vast majority of men. That love which is the fruit of faith in Christ, the fruit of God’s love made perfect in us, is the special love of brethren, loving them as brethren, as members of Christ’s body, as one with Christ and for Christ’s sake.
Is the love of God perfected in you? Is it perfected in me? Are we born of God? Are we in Christ? Then let us…
“Adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. 11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” (Titus 2:10-14)
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