When I first became a Christian, I learned that writing in a journal as I read the Bible helped make clear what God had to say to me. I have been journal writing since 2001 and as I read entries from those early days, I’m surprised how much I have grown spiritually through the Holy Spirit guiding me. This entry was my first and they notes that I gathered from Bible Class and a church sermon. Just a disclaimer, there was a lot of editing of these entries.
The Bible Class
The lesson came from John 5:19-31. Verses 19-20 revealed the close bond there was between God the Father and Jesus Christ. This was so because they are One God, but two distinct members. With that in mind, it is important for us, as followers of God, to honor the Son, for to do we also honor God the Father.
In verse 24, Jesus explains the importance of taking His words seriously, for when we believe in His word, we receive eternal life and not be judged by our sins. The Apostle Paul expands on this truth in Colossians 3:2-3, explaining that when we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, we become dead to our sins and are shrouded in Jesus.
Jesus then adds in verses 25-29 what His role will be in the end times. Not only will He be the bringer of life to all who believe, but He will also be the One who will judge all the earth. This role was given to Him by His Father, therefore no one ought to question His judgements.
Next, we discussed the validity of Christ’s claim as the Messiah. The Jews in Jesus’s time were skeptical and demanded witnesses to verify His testimony. In the verses following verse 31, Jesus goes on to show that He had plenty of witnesses to confirm His claim.
The first of those witnesses was John the Baptist who proclaim to all the Jews that Jesus was the Son of God. The next were the very works that Jesus had done; His miraculous healing of people authenticated that He was sent by God and that He was God. The final testimony was the witness of God the Father which came in the form of His announcement at Jesus’ baptism and His revelation in the Holy Scriptures. Even with all theses witnesses, the Jews still rejected the One whom God had sent.
The message that the pastor gave was about the importance of having confidence in God. Why is it important to have assurance in the Lord? 1 John 5:9-12 reminds us that in Jesus there is eternal life; therefore it is important to believe in Christ to have life.
Having this eternal life should compel us to do God’s will without fear of persecution. 1 John 3:19-24 explains that this confidence in the Lord is not based on opinion but on objective truth. Once you are saved, it is impossible to lose your salvation. It is essential to have that assurance of your salvation; otherwise, your Christian walk would become burdensome.
What causes us to doubt our salvation? One of the causes is physical exhaustion; the work of God may cause fatigue and may produce doubt in one’s mind if they don’t see immediate results. Another cause is emotions, some may feel like their saved on some days and others they feel like they aren’t. The last possible cause is inactivity, some believers don’t thing they can do God’s work because of unconfessed sin in their lives. They feel like God hates them and therefore don’t believe they are saved.
How do we eliminate these causes of doubt? For the first cause, the solution is rest; rest and meditation on God’s Word. The Bible is your source of assurance; it reminds you that if you believe in Christ you are saved.
As for the second cause, we must remember that our emotions are very unreliable and express opinion, not truth. Again, rely on the Word of God to know the truth about salvation. Salvation is a choice and not an emotion.
For the final cause, the Bible again, reminds us that God loves all of us. If He hadn’t He wouldn’t have sent His Son to die for our sins. With that in mind, if there is an unconfessed sin in your life, confess it and turn away from it; and God will forgive you. That should motivate you to go out and serve God with confidence.