How to Be Saved and Know It
By Radio Pastor Perry F. Rockwood
Published by The Peoples Gospel Hour
1. The Trail of Death
As we begin this series of messages there is one text that sums up the whole matter which we are considering. Romans 5:12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”
In a certain village there lived a simple fellow whose coat presented a most curious appearance. All down the front it was covered with patches of various sizes, mostly large. Someone asked why the coat was patched in such an unusual way. He answered that the patches represented the sins of his neighbours. He pointed to each patch and gave the story of the sin of someone in the village, then went on to another until he had related the sins of all the villagers.
On the back of his coat, there was a small patch, no bigger than a penny. On being asked what it represented, he said, “Oh, that’s my own sin, and I cannot see it.”
This is the tragedy of the hour. So many cannot see their own sins. The average person does not want to believe that he is a sinner. However, God points out several important facts in our text: 1) Sin has entered into the world; 2) Death is the result of sin; 3) Death has passed upon all men; 4) All people and persons have sinned.
The Origin of Sin
The origin of sin is found in the Garden of Eden. We read in Genesis 3:1, “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”
Here we find Satan in disguise coming into the garden to tempt our first parents. He did so by casting doubts on what God said and then by casting reflection upon the literal words of God. The two questions Satan asked are the same two questions being asked today: “Are you sure God said that? Are you sure God will do what He says?”
All Have Sinned
First, what does God say in His Word concerning every person? Let us read Romans 3:9-23, “What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes. Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
Now as far as the sin question is concerned it really does not matter what education says or what philosophy teaches or what man says or what you yourself believe. The important truth is what God says in His Word. God says to you and me today: “There is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” You may be the mayor or alderman, a doctor or a lawyer, a politician, premier, teacher, nurse, mother or father, husband or wife, man or woman, no matter who you are–God says, you are a sinner. “There is no difference” no matter who you are, for God says you are a sinner.
You may argue and say, “Pastor, surely this does not mean that there is no difference between me and a thief or drunkard or murderer. In one important respect there is no difference. Let me illustrate.
Suppose that in order to join a particular branch of the army the regulation says that every member must be five feet ten inches tall. Here are three men who wish to join this regiment. The first man is only five feet tall. The second man is five feet, five inches. The third man is five feet nine and a half inches tall. Which one is accepted? The answer is that none of them is accepted. They all fall short of the required standard. One is only half an inch short while one is ten inches short and they all have failed to measure up.
Now God has a standard of righteousness and no matter who we are we all fail, we all come short. We are all sinners. Some people are down-and-out sinners. Others are up-and-out sinners. Some people are disgraceful sinners. Others are respectable sinners.
Let us hear what God says in His Word. It is not what we think or what man says but what God reveals in His Word:
Isaiah 53:6, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way.” This applies to all.
Matthew 19:17, “There is none good but one, that is, God.” None of you are God and therefore none of you are good.
Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” The heart of man is so wicked that we hear many who say, “Well, I am just as good as anybody else, and better than most people.” That may be so, but in God’s sight you are still a sinner and it is before God, not man, that one day you must give an account of your life.
Psalm 51:5, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.”
1 Kings 8:46, “For there is no man that sinneth not” (Also in 2 Chronicles 6:36). This is a verse that points its finger at every person.
Listen now to this statement about sin: “Man calls sin an accident—God calls it an abomination. Man calls sin a blunder—God calls it blindness. Man calls sin a chance—God calls it a choice. Man calls sin a defect—God calls it a disease. Man calls sin an error—God calls it enmity. Man calls sin fascination—God calls it fatality. Man calls sin infirmity—God calls it iniquity. Man calls sin luxury—God calls it leprosy. Man calls sin liberty—God calls it lawlessness. Man calls sin a trifle—God calls it a tragedy. Man calls sin a mistake—God calls it madness. Man calls sin a weakness—God calls it wilfulness.”
All Have Sinned
Now we have seen clearly what God says in His Word concerning every person. Romans 2:11 further substantiates these statements for it says, “For there is no respect of persons with God.” Here upon the earth men are often favoured because of their position or bank account or connections. But no man has any special favour with God. “For we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin” (Romans 3:9).
The other side of the picture is this: Are you willing to believe what God says He will do about sin and the sinner? People so often say: “God is a God of love.” Yes, He is! But He is also a God of justice and righteousness. Many people think that God is like a grandmother who overlooks sin or ignores sin or forgets about sin. What saith the Bible?
Romans 2:2,3, “But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?”
Galatians 6:7, “Be not deceived: God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
Romans 6:23a, “For the wages of sin is death.”
Ezekiel 18:20, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.”
Numbers 32:23, “And be sure your sin will find you out.”
Hebrews 9:27, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”
God makes plain in His Word that without salvation and without Christ we are living “…having no hope, and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12). It reminds me of the story of Napoleon as he started across the desert on one of his long marches. The hot sun beat down on the hot sand, and the light and the heat reflected, making the men pant for water as they marched day by day. In their fierce thirst they looked everywhere for water, but the wells were dry and no water could be found. Then they looked ahead and saw a beautiful lake of water, but as they ran, the lake ran. As they got nearer, the lake receded and seemed farther away. It was not a lake at all. It was a mirage in the desert. It was a cheat. It was a delusion.
Listen to me today. To live in your sin condition without Christ is but a mirage in the desert. Life is a cheat without God. But God has provided the waters of life in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. He bore in His own body your sins on the Cross. Will you today turn from your sin and trust Christ as your own personal Saviour?
2. Life’s Greatest Preparation
Our text for today is found in Amos 4:12, “Prepare to meet thy God.”
In our last message we pointed out the reality and universality of sin. Whether we consider sin as a TRANSGRESSION, overstepping the divine boundary of good and evil—or INIQUITY, a definite act of doing wrong—or ERROR, departing from the right—or MISSING THE MARK, failure to meet God`s standard—or TRESPASS, your will in opposition to God`s authority over your life—or LAWLESSNESS, which is spiritual anarchy—or UNBELIEF, doubting God and His Word— Let us notice that the word “prepare” has to do with the present. Most people plan some day to get ready for Heaven. But it is quite possible they could be too late starting. Just as we know what it is to miss the train, or to be late for school, or to allow the insurance to lapse, or to put off seeing the doctor until it is too late, or to fail in examinations, we may also make the same mistake with regard to meeting God. Sin is real and leads to death and Hell for all who refuse the salvation which is provided in Christ.
Many years ago the Grand Trunk Railway, realizing the danger at every crossing, offered a prize of $2500.00 to the person who would suggest the best three words to be used as a warning for railway crossings. The winner chose the three words which you have often seen: “Stop! Look! Listen!”
However, these words that are worth $833.33 each, mean nothing at all for the safety of those crossing railroads unless they are obeyed, unless people stop, unless people look, and unless people listen. What value is the word “STOP” if they do not stop? What protection does the word “LOOK” give if they do not look. What help is the word “LISTEN” if they will not listen.
Now God says to every one of us “Prepare to meet thy God.” But what purpose are these words if they are not obeyed? The life-boat cannot rescue the ocean-tossed sailor if he is not willing to enter in. The dragger men cannot save the miners if they refuse to come out. Likewise, God cannot help you in your sinful state if you fail to listen and refuse to obey.
“Prepare to meet thy God.” We all know what it means to prepare. Young people prepare for their education. Men prepare for their life’s occupation. Couples prepare for their marriage. Preparations are made for business. People prepare for their vacations. Preparations are made for retirement and old age. Yet the most important preparation of all is being neglected. All these other preparations are in relation to time. Our preparation to meet God is in relation to the eternal and affects both time and eternity. “Prepare to meet thy God.”
Let us notice that the word “prepare” has to do with the present. Most people plan some day to get ready for Heaven. But it is quite possible they could be too late starting. Just as we know what it is to miss the train, or to be late for school, or to allow the insurance to lapse, or to put off seeing the doctor until it is too late, or to fail in examinations, we may also make the same mistake with regard to meeting God.
There is only one time for you to prepare to meet God and that is now. There are no tomorrows in God’s program. “Today if ye will hear His voice, Harden not your hearts” (Heb. 3:7,8). “Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2). “Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth” (Prov. 27:1).
So many people of our day are “tomorrow” people. Tomorrow is not written on your calendar. Tomorrow is written on Satan’s calendar–not God’s. Tomorrow is the key to the treasure chest which nobody owns. Tomorrow is but a dream.
God says, “Now it is high time to awake out of sleep” (Romans 13:11). “Turn ye now from your evil ways” (Zachariah 1:4). “The true light now shineth” (1 John 2:8). God says, “All things are (now) ready” (Matthew 22:4). The yesterdays are taken from us. The tomorrows are not in our hands to possess. Today is the day!
A man once said, “Tomorrow I’ll decide for Christ.” That night he was killed. A young girl once said, “Tomorrow! Tomorrow is the day of our wedding.” That night she was dead. A man once said, “I’ll wait until the special services start next Sunday.” But next Sunday he was already two days in the grave.
The steamship CENTRAL AMERICA, on a voyage from New York to San Francisco, sprang a leak in mid-ocean. A vessel, seeing her distress signal, came to her side. The captain of the rescue ship asked, “What is amiss?” “We are in bad repair, and going down, lie by till morning,” came the reply. “Let me take your passengers on board now.” But since it was night and so difficult to get passengers off in the night, he replied: “Lie by till morning.” Once again the captain of the rescue ship called, “You had better let me take them now.” Again the answer came, “Lie by till morning.” About an hour and a half later her lights were missed, and the CENTRAL AMERICA had gone down, with all on board losing their lives because it was thought they could be saved better at another time.
Everyone of you ought to thank God that you are still alive, in your right mind, and that God has spared you to this moment when you can now prepare to meet Him. Tomorrow’s sun may shine upon your grave. Today’s date may be written upon your tombstone. Do not procrastinate any longer. God wants to save you now.
In preparing to meet God, how wonderful it is to read that the work for our salvation has already been accomplished for us by God’s Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Sin is described in the Bible as a debt. Matthew 6:12 says, “Forgive us our debts.” We have all accumulated many debts of sins. Suppose you can be held responsible for only ten sins a day. This would average 3650 a year. In twenty years the offenses would be 73,000. In eighty years the sins would amount to 292,000. And of course this number is low. We are all under debt, a debt we can never pay.
But there is a way that every one of us can be free of this debt. God says He will accept as payment in full, the crimson coin of Christ’s blood.
The Bible teaches that Christ died for our sins. Our deliverance from this sin debt is made possible through the death of Jesus Christ. He died for you and me. Christ met the claims of God’s law which stood against every sinner, by dying for the sinner in his place. When Christ cried from the Cross, “I thirst”, He did so that we would never thirst. When God forsook Him on the Cross He did so that we might never be forsaken. Christ who knew no sin was made sin for you and me that we “might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21).
On Calvary’s Cross Christ also cried, “It is finished!” Now the word “it” refers to the work of Christ bearing your sin and mine. He declared that the “it” of Isaiah 53:6 was finished which says: “The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” The “it” of 1 Timothy 2:6 was finished which says, He “gave Himself a ransom for all.” The “it” of Revelation 5:9 was also finished which says, “Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.”
“It is finished,”
“It is finished,”
My salvation full and free;
Jesus paid the debt for sinners,
When He died on Calvary.
Ebenezer Wooten was an Englishman, and an earnest but eccentric evangelist. Many years ago he held meetings in a tent on the village green of Lidford Brook. The last service had been conducted, the crowd was leaving, and the evangelist was busy taking down the tent. A young fellow approached the preacher and rather casually asked, “Mr. Wooten, what must I do to be saved?”
“Too late!” said the evangelist, in a matter of fact way, as he glanced up at the enquirer. “Too late, my friend, too late!”
This startled the young man, driving away every vestige of indifference. “Oh, don’t say that, Mr. Wooten! Surely it isn’t too late just because the meetings are over?”
“Yes, my friend,” answered the evangelist, looking his questioner straight in the eye, “it’s too late! You want to know what you must DO to be saved, and I tell you that you’re hundreds of years too late! The work of salvation is done, completed, finished! It was finished on the Cross; Jesus said so with the last breath that He drew! What more do you want?”
Then and there the truth dawned upon the young man. There was nothing for him to do to finish the work that the Lord Jesus Christ had perfected at the Cross. That is, nothing for him to do but to fall upon his knees and accept the Saviour and His finished work of grace.
Dear sinner friend of mine, this wonderful offer of payment for your sin throws upon you the solemn responsibility of accepting or rejecting it. There is no other way to be saved. God has no other Saviour. Will you receive Him into your heart by faith? Now is God’s time to make this decision. Close in with Christ now while it is the accepted time.
If you still His call refuse,
And all His wondrous love abuse,
One day from you He’ll sadly turn,
Your bitter prayer for pardon spurn.
“Too late, too late,” will be the cry,
“You let your day of grace go by.”
3. God’s Way of Salvation
Our text is found in John 1:11-13. “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name. Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
The Bible reveals two ways which people are following to get into heaven. One way, the true way, is God’s way. It is described in Romans 3:17 as “the way of peace”; in Acts 18:25,26 as “the way of the Lord”; in 2 Peter 2:2 as “the way of truth”; and in 2 Peter 2:21 as “the way of righteousness.”
The Bible declares that there is another way. “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Prov. 14:12). There are so many popular ways today filled with lost multitudes all over the land, such as the way or morality, the way of respectability, the way of religion, the way of churchianity, the way of baptism, the way of christening, the way of confirmation, the way of penance, the way of confession, the way of “doing the best I can”, the way of good works, the way of self improvement, the way of reformation, the way of self, the way of education, the way of philosophy, the way of false isms and cults that crowd the streets.
Little wonder then when we speak to people about the way of salvation, that so many have asked, “How can I know which is the true way? There are so many different ideas and so many religions.” But there is one difference between God’s way of salvation and man’s way, and that difference is found in a Person, the Lord Jesus Christ. You will notice that man leaves Christ out of the centre of his way. You will discover that the modern false cults and isms demote Christ to a mere man and add something to what He has already done for your salvation and mine.
Now in studying God’s way of salvation let us notice at the beginning that we become children of God through a supernatural birth. Jesus said to Nicodemus: “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Jesus also said, “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again” (John 3:7).
It is God’s desire to have spiritual children who will love Him and enjoy His presence. Just as a mother travails to bring forth her children, so Christ, through the travail of the Cross, made possible the begetting of spiritual children. Isaiah said of Christ, “He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied” (Isaiah 53:11). Through the sufferings and death of Christ on the Cross as He shed His blood, He accomplished the work that was essential for our new birth.
In John 1:13 we read that we are born (again), “not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” God’s children are not born of blood, that is, not by natural reproduction nor of human ancestry. Paul said to be Jews who thought they were children of God because they were the natural descendants of Abraham, “They are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children” (Romans 9:6,7).
There are many in our day who believe that they are Christians because their parents are Christians. But human parents cannot produce spiritual children. God says that we are “by nature the children of wrath” (Ephesians 2:3). We cannot become children of God through natural birth.
“Nor of the will of the flesh.” We cannot become God’s children through our wills, through our own self-effort. No amount of self-effort could make us a member of the Royal Family. One must be born into that family and this is something beyond our human power.
“Nor of the will of man.” No human can make me a child of God. Men may make me a lodge member or a church member or a club member, but no man or group of men have the power to make me a child of God.
“Which were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, BUT OF GOD.” It is only through the supernatural power of God that we can become the children of God. Salvation is of the Lord.
The Bible says that “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself” (2 Cor. 5:19). When Christ died on the Cross, shed His blood, God’s justice was satisfied. The Lamb of God has borne and carried away the sin of the world.
“Not all the blood of beasts,
On Jewish altars slain,
Could give the guilty conscience peace,
Or wash away the stain.
But Christ, the heavenly Lamb,
Took all our guilt away;
A sacrifice of nobler name,
And richer blood than they.”
The Cross-work of Christ is sufficient for our salvation. It was a definite work done FOR us. We cannot save ourselves. It is only through Jesus Christ that we can come to the Father and have our sins forgiven.
The story is told of a preacher who, while travelling on a train, noticed a very nervous boy. He seemed so distressed that the preacher introduced himself and asked if he could be of help. At first the boy would not talk. But later he told his story. Some months before he had quarrelled with his father and had run away from home. Homesickness and heartache had overtaken him. Now he was returning. He had written, “Mother, if it is all right for me to come home, tie a white rag on the limb of the pear tree in the front yard. I’ll see it as the train goes by. If it’s there, I’ll get off at the next station. If it isn’t there, I’ll keep going, I don’t know where.” As they were approaching the home the boy said, “We’re almost there now and I’m afraid to look.” The preacher told him to lean back and close his eyes. “I’ll look for you,” he said. In a few moments the preacher said, “Son, there’s your home. There’s a white rag on every limb of that tree!”
Those white rags testified to the loving forgiveness of a father’s heart toward a wayward boy. Likewise, every sinner is invited to come to Christ. The Bible says in Isaiah 1:18, “Come now, and let us reason together saith the Lord: Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Our sins can only be cleansed through the precious blood of Christ.
Notice John 1 verse 12, “But as many as received Him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.”
In order to have our sins forgiven we must receive Christ as our Saviour into our hearts. Salvation is the free gift of God.
To receive Christ is a simple act of faith. Here is a young couple ready to be married. The minister asks the man, “Do you receive this woman to be your lawful wedded wife?” Likewise he asks the woman, “Do you receive this man to be your lawful wedded husband?” Neither one has any difficulty in knowing what he means. They take each other as husband and wife. It is a definite act of faith. To receive Christ is to take Him by a definite act of faith. Has there been a time in your life when you have personally received Christ as your own Saviour? If not, or if there is any doubt about it, why not do so now? This is God’s moment of salvation for you.
You will notice that this verse says that to receive Christ is the same as believing in His name. “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” I hear people all the time say, “Of course I believe on Jesus.” “I believe the Gospel.” But do you believe? I agree that most everyone living in our nation believes in their head certain facts about Christ–they believe that He was born, that He is God’s Son, that He suffered, that He died, that He rose again. But head knowledge is not true belief. If we truly believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour then we are most willing to receive Him as our Saviour. It is not hard for a young lady and young man when they believe on one another to receive one another. If you truly believe today from your heart in what Christ has done for you on the Cross then you will be anxious to receive Him as your own Saviour.
Let us notice finally that this verse also tells us that He gives us the POWER or RIGHT to become His children. By divine right we are His children. It is not because of who we are or what we have done or what we are doing but by virtue of our faith and our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ whose Cross-work was sufficient for our salvation.
Yes, and it is for “as many” as receive Him. It applies to all. The door is wide open. None is excluded. It includes you. Have you entered in? Have you received Christ? There is only one WAY to God and that way is Christ. Trust Him today and receive Him as your own personal Saviour. Then on the authority of God’s Word you will be saved and have eternal life.
4. Full Assurance
“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God” (1 John 5:13).
The reason why so many people doubt their salvation is because they fail to believe God. They have no faith in God’s Word. George Mueller once said, “Faith is the assurance that the thing which God has said in His Word is true, and that God will act according to what He has said in His Word.”
What is faith? It is believing
That God’s promises are true;
Gladly taking what He offers,
Knowing that it is for you.
What is Faith? ‘Tis simply trusting,
Leaning on the Mighty One;
Putting all your weight upon Him,
Yielding all to Him alone.
What is rest? ‘Tis faith reclining
In the Everlasting Arms;
Doubts removed and burdens banished,
Perfect peace amid alarms.
Our text for today does not say, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may hope that you will have eternal life.” Our text does say, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may KNOW (K-N-O-W, not ‘hope’ that you have, not ‘will have’, but KNOW) that ye HAVE eternal life.”
You may ask, Is there such a great difference? Yes. It is just the difference between KNOWING that you HAVE and HOPING that you WILL HAVE. Here are some tramps down by the railway yards talking. One says, “I hope some day to have a million dollars.” Another says, “I hope I will have two million dollars.” Still another says, “I hope I will have five million dollars.” Now let us take a trip to a business office in New York City. One man says, “For this new factory we shall need fifty million dollars at once.” Mr. Ford says, “I’ll put up fifteen million.” Mr. Rockefeller says, “I’ll put up twenty million.” Mr. Eaton says, “I’ll put up fifteen million.” Together they put up fifty million dollars. If you say to these men, “I hope you will have this money,” they in turn will say “But we have it now.”
The difference between hoping you will have and knowing you have, is the difference between being a tramp and being a millionaire. The tragedy today is that all over the nation there are too many tramp Christians and not enough millionaire Christians.
Often I ask people, “Are you saved?” They reply something like this, “I hope I will have eternal life” “I hope I’ll get to heaven.” “I hope so.” “I am trying.” “I am holding on hoping to get there.” “I am doing the best I can.” “I hope that after I walk my best I’ll be saved.” stop it, friends. That is no way to talk. Ah, here’s the apostle Paul. “Paul, are you saved?” “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).
Here in America people speak of belonging to some denomination. In Scotland they often use the term “persuasion.” A young man was recently saved and they asked him, “And what persuasion are you?” He had never heard the term before so he replied, “I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38,39). I can truly say “Amen” with that young man for this, too, is my persuasion. It doesn’t really matter what church or chapel or assembly you belong to if you are persuaded that He is able to keep that which you have committed unto Him against that day.
I know I am saved. I am saved because God says so in His Word. In John 3:16 we read, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but Have everlasting life.” When God says I have everlasting life because I believed on Christ, I trusted Christ, I received Christ as my Saviour, then I am willing to believe Him.
In 1 John 5:9 we read, “If we receive the witness (testimony) of men, the witness (testimony) of God is greater.” We all believe the testimony of men. I go to the phone, call long distance to a paper company that does not even know me. I order a ton of paper to print Gospel tracts. The company promises to ship the paper and we promise to pay for the paper within thirty days. Each of us believes in the testimony of man. The Bible says here, “if we believe the witness (testimony) of men, the witness (testimony) of God is greater.” So few of us are willing to take God at His Word. The testimony of the Bible is yea and amen in Christ Jesus.
I remember some time ago counselling over twenty persons who had taken a stand for Christ. One middle-aged lady could not believe that we could know for sure we are saved. The following conversation took place;
“May I ask you this question? Are you married?” “Yes, I am.” “Fine, now prove it to me. Tell me how you know you are married.” “I don’t know” “What, do you mean to tell me you are married and do not know it? How long have you been married?” “Twenty-six years.” “And you cannot prove it?” “Well, I have a husband.” “Oh, yes, and I have a family.” “Isn’t that lovely! But you know it is possible to have a family and not be married. Do you have a marriage certificate?” “Oh, yes, that’s it, the marriage certificate is the proof.”
Yes, and just as the marriage certificate is the legal proof for marriage, so the Word of God is our proof that we are saved and have eternal life. May I ask you this question: “How do you know you own your home?” The deed certified and registered is your legal proof of ownership. So the Word of God certified by the Holy Spirit is the proof and assurance that we have, right now, eternal life. On the basis of God’s Word we know that if we should die now we would go to be with the Lord which is far better.
But we have still another proof that we are saved and know that we are saved. In Romans 8:16 we read, “The Spirit itself (Himself)_ beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” In Galatians 4:6 we also read, “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” In other words, the Holy Spirit witnesses to the reality of our salvation which we have in Christ.
How does the Holy Spirit make witness? If I could see you now some of you would be nodding your head in agreement; others would be saying “Amen” to the truth of God’s Word; others would be rejoicing in heart because of what the Lord has done. Friends, that is the witness of the Spirit of God.
Our salvation is a result of what the Lord has done for us. Our assurance is based on believing what God says in His Word. Some time ago in Toronto a little child was standing in the centre of a busy traffic circle. She stood for a moment hardly knowing where to go. Suddenly a policeman appeared. She put her hand in his and together they reached safety. The traffic was moving quickly in the rain and it seemed as though she would be injured. But it was all right, for her safety depended, not upon her hold of the policeman, but upon his hold of her. So it is by faith that our hand must make the connection, and when that takes place, it is His hand henceforth that will never let us go.
O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in Thee;
I give Thee back the life I owe,
That in Thine ocean depth its flow
May richer, fuller be.
If you are not saved, or not sure of your salvation, why not today, right now, turn your eyes upon Jesus, trust him as your Saviour, and believe what God has said in His Word.