Today, Monday August 16
Do You Have a False Assurance? 1 John 3:24
“Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.”
1 John 4:1-2 “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God…”
I cannot stress the importance of today’s Bible study here in 1 John 3 & 4. In John 3 we were told about three things that we could know so that we would have genuine assurance of our salvation. We know and have experienced God’s love in Jesus Christ (v. 16). We know we are the truth because we have confidence that we can pray and get our prayers answered (vs. 19-22). And we know the abiding presence of God because of the Holy Spirit whom He has given us (v. 24).
It is important to note that verse twenty-four introduces us to chapter four where in the very first verse we are warned not to believe every spirit. “Beloved, do not believe every spirit…”. In other words, it is very possible to have a false assurance that you are saved and that you are in fellowship with God. There is only one Holy Spirit who is one with God! But there are many false spirits who are of the evil one and in the world.
If you genuinely have been saved, God’s Holy Spirit comes into your life. Before salvation you have the “spirit of life” in you. But that “spirit of life” does not have God’s presence abiding it. That’s why before salvation there is a big “hole” in your life. A void and emptiness that nothing in this world can fill. I’m sure you, like myself, tried to fill that emptiness with religion, with pleasure, with good works, with material things, with friends and so on. But when you laid your head on the pillow at night, and all was quiet, that emptiness and void was still there.
The Scripture tells us that at the moment of our salvation the Holy Spirit comes into our spirit and bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God. “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Romans 8:16).
John is warning us in these first verses of chapter 4, that we need to test the “spirit” that is giving us the assurance of our salvation. Because it is possible that there is a spirit that is telling us we are saved because we go to church, we do good deeds, we have been baptized, we treat others kindly, and generally we are pretty good. This is a false spirit that is keeping us from realizing our true condition. This spirit is not telling us who Jesus really is and that He is the only hope of our salvation.
Jesus made it very clear in John 16, that the Helper, the Holy Spirit He would send would teach us and lead us to Jesus. “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.” (John 16:13-14)
It is my prayer today that you will make sure your salvation is based on truth and not on a false assurance that comes from a false spirit.