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Gospel Series: Assurance of Salvation - an Examination

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Assurance of Salvation - an Examination

Though once saved, always saved, there should be the question as to whether the "once saved" actually occurred in any individual case. Thus Paul questioned the Corinthians, "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you— unless, of course, you fail the test?" 2Cor 13:5 The major theme of the epistle of 1John is Assurance of Salvation, where John lays out much of the examination of which Paul mentions. Given the inevitable correlation between one's salvation status and one's lifestyle, the assurance of salvation is to be proportional to the degree to which one behaves as a child of God should.

Consider the Thessalonians of whom Paul said, "For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you" 1Th 1:4  How did Paul know that God chose them? What was the basis of Paul's assurance of the salvation of the Thessalonian Christians? He goes on to say, "because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lordin spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia— your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God,  and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead— Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath." 1Th 1:5-10 Paul's assurance of the salvation of the Thessalonian Christians was based upon the evidence of their change behavior and attitudes. Such thing we should all expect of those who claim to have come to know Christ, and lacking such evidences should call into question whether such people are merely posers.

The Gospel Series

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