This Sunday I preached Matthew 7:21-23, which is easily one of the most solemn texts in all of Scripture.
Martyn Lloyd-Jones said of these verses: “These, surely, are in many ways the most solemn and solemnizing words ever uttered in this world, not only by any man, but even by the Son of God Himself. Indeed, were any man to utter such words we should feel compelled not only to criticize but even to condemn him.”
This is because Jesus’ words reveal an unsettling truth: many who profess to know Christ will not enter the kingdom of heaven. They believe they are following the narrow path to life, but they are actually walking down the broad road toward destruction.
This is absolutely terrifying because our eternal destination is at stake.
A chill should run down our spines whenever even imagine hearing Christ’s word: “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.”
I’ve already written on if we are able to lose our salvation, but the question still remains: how can we know that we are saved?
Paul Washer seeks to answer this question in the third book of his Recovering the Gospel series, Gospel Assurance and Warnings. In the book, Washer looks to John’s first epistle as containing tests for evaluating whether our faith is real or false.
In 1 John 5:13, the apostle states, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.” This means that the purpose of 1 John is to help us KNOW that we have eternal life.
Below you will find 12 tests that Washer pulled from 1 John for evaluating our walk with the Lord.
With an open Bible and an honest heart, use God’s Word “to see whether you are in the faith.” (2 Corinthians 13:5)
Test 1: We know that we are Christian because we walk in the light (1 John 1:4-7). Our style of life is being gradually conformed to what God has revealed to us about His nature and will.
Test 2: We know that we are Christian because our lives are marked by sensitivity to sin, repentance, and confession (1 John 1:8-10).
Test 3: We know that we are Christian because we keep God’s commands (1 John 2:3-4). We desire to know God’s will, strive to obey it, and mourn our disobedience.
Test 4: We know that we are Christian because we walk as Christ walked (1 John 2:5-6). We desire to imitate Christ and grow in conformity to Him.
Test 5: We know that we are Christian because we love other Christians, desire their fellowship, and seek to serve them in deed and truth (1 John 2:7-11).
Test 6: We know that we are Christian because of our increasing disdain for the world and because of our rejection of all that contradicts and opposes God’s nature and will (1 John 2:15-17).
Test 7: We know that we are Christian because we continue in the historic doctrines and practices of the Christian faith and remain within the fellowship of others who do the same (1 John 2:18-19).
Test 8: We know that we are Christian because we profess Christ to be God and hold Him in the highest esteem (1 John 2:22-24; 4:1-3, 13-15).
Test 9: We know that we are Christian because our lives are marked by a longing and practical pursuit of personal holiness (1 John 3:1-3).
Test 10: We know that we are Christian because we are practicing righteousness (1 John 2:28-29; 3:4-10). We are doing those things that conform to God’s righteous standard.
Test 11: We know that we are Christian because we overcome the world (1 John 4:4-6; 5:4-5). Although we are often hard pressed and weary, we press on in faith. We continue following Christ and do not turn back.
Test 12: We know that we are Christian because we believe the things that God has revealed concerning His Son, Jesus Christ. We have eternal life in Him alone (1 John 5:9-12).