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Expert Evidence of Salvation

By Matthew Black, Pastor

Text: 1 John

Date: Wed., March 18, 2009, 7pm (Marks 7-11)


Tabernacle Baptist Church

7020 Barrington Road

Hanover Park, Illinois 60133


Introduction:  Open your Bible to 1 John 5:13.  We are considering the evidence of God’s work in the heart.  You know when God has entered into a person.  He’s the most merciful, wonderful, holy Being in the universe. If He takes up His abode in you, you know it.

So many struggle whether they are truly a believer.  Well, now is the time to get that assurance.  You do not want to die without assurance. 

Again, the summary verse of the entire book is found in 1 John 5:13, “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”.

[Prayer for Guidance]

Mark 1: A True Christian Delights in the Intimate Fellowship of the Lord

1 John 1:3-4, “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.”


Mark 2: A True Christian is Sensitive to Sin

I John 1:5-6, “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” The wording here in the Greek is emphatic. It is a double negative and literally reads, “God is light and in him, NO, not a trace of darkness at all!” Verse 6 therefore says, “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth”.

We confess our sins (1 John 1:9)! We have an Advocate, Jesus Christ the Righteous (2:1).

Mark 3: A True Christian Practices Righteousness

1:5-8, “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

2:1, 3-6, 24b, 29, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not…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. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked… 24b If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father…29 If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him”.

3:3, 6-10a, 24a, “And every man that hath this hope [the Second Coming] in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure…6 -10a Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil…24a And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him”.

5:2-3, 18 “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous... 18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.”

The closer you get to God, the more sinful you will feel.  You will be like Isaiah—in Isaiah 6:5, “Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.”

Does that mean a Christian can be sinlessly perfect? I have wished that this could be the case. Yet while the Christian will not arrive at entire sanctification in this life, he can say with John Newton (1725-1807), the former slave trader who was converted and wrote Amazing Grace:

I am not what I ought to be. I am not what I wish to be. I am not what I hope to be. Yet I can truly say, I am not what I once was. By the grace of God, I am what I am.[1]

Mark 4: A True Christian Will Not Live for This Present Evil World

John tells us in 2:15-17: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh [PLEASURE], and the lust of the eyes [POSSESSIONS], and the pride of life [PRAISE OF MEN, POPULARITY], is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”

The moment you were born again, you stopped living for PLEASURE, POSSESSIONS, AND THE PRAISE OF MEN, OR POPULARITY.  Your ultimate pleasure is in Christ. Your possession is Christ.  You seek His kingdom and lay up treasure in heaven. You know all this is passing away. And you know popularity is like the fleeting wind.  You are on earth to please Jesus Christ.

Mark 5: A True Christian Eagerly Awaits Christ’s Return

1 John 3:2 “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is”.  The believer is excited about Christ’s coming.  He doesn’t get too discouraged about sickness or poverty.  He’s going to get a new body.  He’s going to inherit the universe.

Mark 6: A True Christian Has A Deep Affection for Other Christians

A Christian has a deep affection for other Christians.  Because Christ lives in us, we love all who are indwelt by Him. John says that the person who can hate his Christian brother is blind and walks in darkness.


1 John 2:9-11, “He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. 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”.


1 John 3:16, “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”

So many define love as a feeling.  The Bible defines it as an event.  John says:

1 John 4:10, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins”.

Spiritually alive people have a deep affection and respect for all the saints and look to them for help in restoration when they have fallen. Our Lord gave us this evidence when he said, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35). He says again, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another… If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us” (1 John 4:11a, 12).

Mark 7: A Christian Suffers Rejection because of His Faith

Every true Christian should expect that his new pattern of life will rejected in some way by the world. The apostle John says we should not be surprised: “Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you” (1 John 3:13).

Jesus said, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you” (John 15:18).

There are times that your love for Christ will turn your own family against you.

Jesus taught us that following Him comes with a price. That price is a thorough rejection by those who do not know Him.

Matthew 10:34-39, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35  For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36  And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. 37  He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38  And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 39  He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”



Each year, lists come out of the most popular people in the world. I always scratch my head when professing Christian leaders make the list. I cannot see Paul on one of those lists had they existed in his day. He taught us that we should have a different expectation. “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). D. L. Moody put it best:

The man that is popular with the world is not a friend of Jesus. You cannot serve two masters. The world hates Christ, and if you are a friend of the world you cannot be a friend of His. You may be sure that something is wrong with you when everybody is your friend.[2]

If the world hates God, we should not marvel if it hates us who are indwelt by Him. Indeed, Jesus said all true believers should rejoice when persecution comes:


Matthew 5:11-12, “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you”.

Mark 8: A True Christian Wants to Confess the Lordship of Jesus Christ to Every Creature

1 John 2:23, “Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.”

1 John 4:15, “Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.”

1 John 5:1, “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God…” Is Jesus Jehovah in human flesh, the Christ, the mighty God, God with us?  Does that make you worship?

Jesus essentially said the same thing, “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32-33).

A true believer not only believes that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ, the Ancient of Days come in human flesh to redeem guilty sinners, but each believer has the deep desire to confess the Person of Jesus Christ boldly. The Apostle Paul said in Romans 10:9, “that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved”.

No genuine Christian can stand for the Name of Christ to be degraded. The born again child of God wants to confess Jesus Christ to every creature.

So many are saying that Jesus is A WAY.  No!  Jesus Christ is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” no one can come to the Father except through Him (John 14:6).

In our day of pluralistic religion, it is of utmost importance for the Christian to confess that Jesus is the Christ, the exlusive way to the Father.


Mark 9: A True Christian Sees Answered Prayer.

One who is genuinely born again has such a union and closeness with the Lord that he is constantly breathing out prayers to God and seeing those prayers answered on a continual basis.

No longer are we an enemy, a child of disobedience, or a child of wrath. We are now an heir of God. We cry out “Abba, Father”.

1 John 3:21-22, “Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight”.

1 John 5:13-15, “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. And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him”.

Listen, if you are connected to God by the new birth, you will have answered prayer. God is a prayer answering God. God is not reluctant toward any one of His children. If God cares for the little sparrow, how much more will he hear your cry if you know Him?

Mark 10: A True Christian Discerns Between Truth and Error

1 John 4:1-3, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world”.

True believers have the God-given discernment capability to tell when someone is teaching falsely about the person and work of Jesus Christ. A person without God’s indwelling presence cannot discern the things of the Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 2:14) and is often drawn into error.

The Christian has a contempt for so-called Christian teachers that are well received by the world.  John says of the false teachers of his day:

1 John 4:5-6, “They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.”

There are many false teachers in our day that hover just under the radar screen. T.D. Jakes is a Oneness Pentecostal who denies the Trinity and teaches the heresy of modalism, i.e. the Father is the Son and the Spirit. The persons of the Godhead are not distinct persons in Jakes’ theology.

Joel Osteen and Billy Graham teach the heresy of evangelical inclusivism, i.e. that Jesus is not the exclusive way to the Father. They believe that Muslims, atheists, Buddhists, etc., will all have a second chance to be saved through Jesus Christ on Judgment Day if they have followed the light around them while they were on earth.

Many who claim to be evangelical Christian teachers are nothing more than wolves in sheep’s clothing. Joyce Meyer, Kenneth Copeland, and others from the Word of Faith movement teach that Jesus Christ ceased to be God while He was on the cross among many, many other well-documented heresies.[3]

A true Christian has his eye out for false teaching. Some professing Christians will accept anyone who has claimed the name of Christ, whether they be Mormons, Jehovah’s witnesses, Oneness Pentecostals, or inclusivists. The list of heresies could be cataloged in an entire book.

1 John 4:5-6, “They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.”

Mark 11: A True Christian Experiences the Comforting Presence of the Holy Spirit.

“Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit” (1 John 4:13).

The true Christian is God’s very own child. Through the working of the Spirit of God in our hearts we have the assurance that we are the children of God. Paul says “because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father” (Galatians 4:6).


We used to be ruled by the “prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2), but now God is your Father! You can cry to Him “Abba, Father”. Now we have “received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15). 


In salvation, we are given a new heart and SEALED by His Spirit (Ezekiel 36:26-27).  To seal you forever, God gave you His Spirit.   The Spirit gives us assurance that we are God’s possession for He puts His seal of ownership on us. Ephesians 4:30, “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” God has taken possession of me by the Spirit of God. He’s given me the Holy Spirit who is as Ephesians 1:14 says, “the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory.”

Through the Spirit, Christ’s presence is within me, and He says, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). What comfort this is for the true Christian.

Conclusion: If you have these signs of the Spirit, then rejoice. You will share the eternal glories of heaven as a joint heir with Christ. You will walk the new earth and see a creation without the curse of sin! A true Christian experiences the comforting presence of the Holy Spirit.



[1] John Newton. As quoted in Mark Dever’s Nine Marks of a Healthy Church (Wheaton: Good News Publishers, 2004), 104.

[2] D. L. Moody. The Greatest Sermons Ever Preached (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2005), 180.

[3] See Hank Hanegraaff. Christianity in Crisis (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1993).

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