What do Christians know? According to 1 John 5:18-20, they know three things: We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him. We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true—even in his Son Jesus Christ. … Continue reading What Christians Know (1 John 5:18-20)
According to 1 John 4:13-18, the subjective experience of the Holy Spirit, the objective truth about the Savior, and our effective action in the world are three grounds for assurance of salvation. In a previous Daily Word, I discussed subjective experience and objective truth. Today, I want to take a close look at 1 John 4:16b-18 and discuss effective action in the world. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this … Continue reading Grounds for Assurance, Part 2 (1 John 4:16b-18)
How do we know that we are truly Christian? One of the most haunting passages I have ever read in the Bible is Matthew 7:21-23: [Jesus said:] “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” The reason … Continue reading Grounds for Assurance, Part 1 (1 John 4:13-16a)
Mike McKinley, Am I Really a Christian? (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2011). $12.99, 160 pages. Matthew 7:21–23 may be one of the most difficult passages of Scripture for Christians to contemplate. There, people asked Jesus, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?” (Evidently, they were Pentecostals, like me.) Instead of commending them, however, Jesus said, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers.” These people were self-deceived about the authenticity of their Christianity. In Am I Really a Christian? Mike McKinley outlines five things … Continue reading Am I Really a Christian?