8 Minute Read

Be Still

To the best of your ability, get rid of all distractions. Take a couple of minutes to breathe deeply, to quiet yourself in the Lord’s presence. Then, prayerfully ask the Lord to speak to you in this time and let Him know that you will be listening and will make whatever adjustments He will reveal to you.

Today’s Bible Reading:

Hosea 1:1–3:5
1 John 5:1-21
Psalm 124:1-8
Proverbs 29:5-8

Listen to the Lord

Slowly and reflectively read the following verses and listen to what God will say to you through them. Then, consider writing down any insights He reveals to you.

1 John 5:13 (NLT): “I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life.”

Reflections from Scripture:

The Apostle John did us a huge favor in the Gospel of John and in the letter that we call 1 John. He told us why he wrote those works.

Why did he write his Gospel? So that people could have the information they needed to believe in Jesus and receive eternal life.

John 20:30-31 (NLT): “The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name.”

The Gospel of John was written so that people could be saved. So then why was 1 John written? So that folks can KNOW they are saved.

1 John 5:13 (NLT): “I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life.”

We live in an era in which people base their salvation solely on whether or not they “said a prayer.” That’s it. There is no expectation of profound conviction (godly guilt and grief) at the point of salvation. There is also no serious expectation of developing the habit of Bible study, faithful church attendance, a growing conviction of sin, a pursuit of holiness, or a growing love for the Lord. Salvation has been reduced to a mere prayer.

On a side note, we are never told to pray in Scripture in order to be saved. Further, we never see anyone in Scripture praying to be saved. The fact that those two previous sentences seem so strange to us testifies to the fact that we need to get back to Scripture. While there is certainly nothing wrong with saying a prayer to be saved, it is technically a moment of belief in Jesus that saves us, not the prayer.

Let’s get back to the point of this post. How do we KNOW we are saved?

When we read 1 John, we realize that our assurance of our salvation is based upon life change. Simply put, when Jesus saves us and comes to take up residence in our hearts, things are going to change. He will begin the work of making us more like Him.

To be clear, we are saved by grace. There is nothing that we can do to be saved. We cannot earn it, and we certainly don’t deserve it. We simply receive it as a free gift (Ephesians 2:8-9). But, true salvation is marked by a changed life as Christ takes ownership over us, and we become more like Him (Ephesians 2:10).

What changes will occur? How will we think and behave if we are truly saved? Just read 1 John. That’s why it was written.

Spend Time in Prayer

Lord Jesus, thank You for my Bible. While there is much around me that presents itself as good and right, Your Word ultimately clarifies what I am to believe and how I am to live. I am incredibly grateful that Your Word is so clear on how I can be saved and how I can know that I am saved. So, with my Bible being the ultimate source of truth for faith and practice, I commit to being a serious student of it the rest of my days. Help me, Holy Spirit, to understand it and apply it. I pray this in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on Facebook or Twitter.

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash