Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Test #4 Do you acknowledge Jesus as the Christ?

1 John 2:21-23 reads as follows:
"I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth.  Who is the liar?  It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ.  Such a man is the antichrist - he denies the Father and the Son.  No one who denies the Son has the Father:  whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also." NIV
Remember that John is not writing to unbelievers, but to Christians.  (John wrote his gospel so "that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that be believing you may have life in His name." - John 20:31 NIV)  "I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do," leads off this particular passage.  It would appear to me that the early church was fighting off those who would say that Jesus was merely a prophet, a good man, a moral teacher, but certainly not the Christ.  John goes on in verse 26 to say, "I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray," and in 3:7, "Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray."

How does this apply to our assurance of salvation?  Let me build a little more on the "Jesus as Christ" theme first.  John 14:6 reads, "Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me."  Paul affirms the "one way" in Romans 5:17, "For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ." - NIV, emphasis mine.  The writer of Hebrews affirms this as well in 9:27,28, "Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him." - NIV.  My point?  Jesus is the only way to God, He is the Christ (Messiah).

The question still remains, what does admission of His role as sole way to the Father have to do with assurance of my salvation?  Read the following from Matthew 16:13-17:
"When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, 'Who do people say the Son of Man is?'  They replied, 'Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.'  'But what about you?' He asked.  'Who do you say I am?'  Simon Peter answered, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.'  Jesus replied, 'Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by My Father in heaven.'" - NIV, emphasis mine.
The only reason you assent to His role as Messiah is because the Father has revealed it to you!  That's why you can have assurance!  He called you, you didn't "figure out" that He is the Christ.  Jesus says this about Himself, "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me - just as the Father knows me and I know the Father - and I lay down my life for the sheep.  I have other sheep who are not of this sheep pen.  I must bring them also.  They too will listen to My voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd." - John 10:14-16 NIV.  [Remember our discussion of "know" from the Greek "ginosko"?  This is an intimate knowing, more than a mere sensory observation.  This is the "know" between the Father and Son, one not shared between the Father and those who are not His.]

Conclusion:  Jesus is THE way, THE truth, and THE life; no one is going to the Father except through Him.  You don't "get it" that He is THE way, THE truth, and THE life unless it is revealed to you by the Father through His Holy Spirit.  Because you call on Him as Messiah, Christ, Savior you have the assurance of your salvation.  You didn't call Jesus Savior on your own!  His Holy Spirit within you did and does!  Your assurance is about Him and not you!

Father if I in anyway misrepresented Your word today, please forgive me.  Convict us by Your Spirit of what is true.  Remind us that how we "feel" about our salvation from one day to another is not what matters.  What matters is You, the fact that You don't change, that truth is not subject to emotion, that You called us and secured us in You for all eternity.  I love You, Father.  In Jesus' name, amen.

1 comment: