Helpmewithbiblestudy.org

Assurance
(K. Payne)

Author's Bias: Interpretation: conservative
Inclination: dispensational
Seminary: Western (Portland)

Welcome to disciple making:

This series on disciple making is Booklet 1 – Essentials, which is part of the program Transferable Cross Training (TCT) developed by Dr. Karl Payne. The purpose of TCT is to help equip men and women to be effective disciple makers. The materials are field tested with various proof verses that can be memorized, and each lesson is focused on transferability. It is our desire is for those who accept the challenge of discipleship that, with or without a Bible and notes in hand, each individual who has taken the time to master the concepts and principles in this series will have confidence to comfortably and biblically respond to common questions and comments from friends or enemies of Christ. By God’s grace we can make a difference in eternity by being actively involved in the most important job assignment entrusted to mankind. For more information about TCT or obtaining the booklet series, see www.KarlPayne.org

Please remember that the uniqueness of this discipleship series is its simple transferability. It is the expressed desire of the author that students actually use these materials after completing each booklet, by sharing them with others in a manner consistent with 2 Timothy 2:2.

Have you ever had this thought or encounted this question:

"I don't feel that God is in my heart as I used to."

"I'm not worthy."

"Have I committed an unforgivable sin?"

"Sometimes I feel real spiritual and other times real dry."

Doubts like this can prevent one from a sustainable growing life with Christ. What distinguishes the growing Christian from the carnal Christian is the motivation of their spritual walk; one is motivated by God's promise and the other by their performance.

Let's illustrate this issue by examining a "spiritual" train.

Caboose - Coal Car - Engine

The Engine is symbolic of the fact of God's word.

The Coal Car is symbolic of your faith in the fact of God's word.

The Caboose is symbolic of how you feel about your faith.

When coal is fed into the engine, the train runs. This represents the growing Christian's faith life.

When coal is fed into the caboose, the train stops. This represents the carnal Christian's faith life.

The caboose is not needed, because it is not the object of your faith.

The engine is necessary, because it is the object of your faith.

"I realize there is a plan, a problem, a remedy and a response that must be acknowledged and acted upon for salvation from the wages of sin. But how can I know Jesus will really become my Savior? I don't deserve to be accepted and loved by God. How can I know for sure He came into my life?"

You're right - nobody deserves salvation. But the good news is that God's promised salvation is a free gift based on God's promise, not a reward based upon man's performance.

"For it is by grace you are saved, through faith - and this not of yourself, it is a gift of God - not of works, so that one can boast." (Ephesians 2:8, 9)

"God made Him [Jesus] who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Is it really possible to know we have salvation and will go to heaven if we were to die tonight?

"For the witness is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life, he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life." (1 John 5:11-13)

Yes, it is possible to know know you have eternal life.

Who are the ones who know they have eternal life?

Those who have the Son.

Who are the ones who know they have the Son?

Those, who upon hearing Jesus knocking at the door of their heart, respond by receiving Him as their Lord and Savior (Revelation 3:20).

How do I know He really came into my life?

Jesus said He was the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6). Since Jesus is the truth, He must always keep His promises. A Christian's salvation is as certain as Jesus' ability to keep His promises.

Did you ask Jesus to forgive you of your sin problem and become your savior, because you heard Him knocking at your heart? Then what do you know He had to do? (He had to forgive your sin and come into your life.) Who do you know you now have in your heart, based upon His promise? Jesus Christ! Since 1 John 5:12 declares that "He who has the Son has life, " you can know for certain that you have eternal life, because Jesus cannot lie.

REMEMBER

  • Think of COP - context, options, promise:
  • The context of verse 11 in 1 John 5:11-13 involves eternal life.
  • According to verse 12, there are only two options concerning man's eternal destiny. Either you have the Son and Eternal Life, or you do not.
  • God's promise in verse 13 is that those believing in Jesus Christ can know they have eternal life.
  • The million dollar question is: Do I have the Son? If I have the Son, then I have eternal life (v. 13).
  • Jesus promises to come into the heart and life the one who hears Him knocking and invites Him into their heart.
  • Because Jesus is the truth (John 14:16), and it is impossible for God to lie (Titus 1:2), He must keep His promise.
  • The train diagram clearly illustrates the relationships between the fact of God and His Word, our faith in the fact of God and His Word and our feelings about the fact of God and His Word.
  • Our salvation is based upon the certainty of God's promise, not our daily performance of feelings.

Karl Payne's personal note: I grew up in a home that would have been considered moral and ethical, but not religious. Both of my parents were teachers. Dad was a Mathematics / Science specialist for the Sacramento City School District and my mom taught grade school. My Dad would occasionally pray for our food, but we did not read the Bible or discuss religious topics. I decided my first Sunday of seventh grade that I had no real interest in church or Sunday school and informed my parents that I would no longer attend either. I assumed I was a Christian because I had been baptized as a child at my mom's request, but my primary interests were baseball, football and music.

On June 17th, 1970 I became a Christian while attending a youth retreat sponsored by Young Life, a Christian ministry focused upon reaching high school students. The two biggest hurdles I faced in that decision both related to honest assumptions. My first assumption related to what I had understood it meant to be a Christian. I assumed that I was a Christian because I had been baptized. Christians get baptized, I had been baptized, therefore, I was a Christian. I also thought that heaven, if it was real, was attained by being a nice person. I reasoned that since on a moral and ethical scale which had the Pope on one end and Hitler on the other, that my live style was closer to the Pope's than Hitler's, thus making me a shoe in for heaven if God was fair.

The second assumption I had made related to education. In eighth grade my science teacher told our class that "religious people were mental cripples who needed a crutch to get through life." I was very impressed by this teacher and took to heart what he said. In the eleventh grade, my physiology teacher told our class that "educated people believed in evolution." As I grew older my education had become more important to me. As a result of several teacher's comments I assumed that it was not possible to think deeply and still be a Christian. Religion in my mind was therefore something for nice people who were not too concerned about an academic education. My first assumption was to confuse churchianity with Christianity. Churchianity represents men and women making their best efforts to reach up to God and receive His approval, based upon their individual efforts to be found worthy in His eyes. Biblical Christianity is a message explaining how God has chosen to reach down to mankind through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, providing salvation by His grace as a free gift to all who believe, in spite of our unworthiness. Religion is essentially a message of man reaching up to God. Christianity is a message detailing how God has reached down to man. Religion exalts man. Christianity exalts God. I had received just enough religious training to confuse religion with Christianity and had rejected an honest consideration of Christianity in the process. My second assumption was to confuse naturalism, dialectical materialism and the suppositional baggage assumed to be true by both philosophical world views, with actual empirical data and good science, which provides conclusions based upon testing, observation and repetition rather than wishful thinking and naturalist / atheistic suppositional indoctrination.

On the 17th of June, 1970 at 8:00 P.M., I listened to a gentleman clearly explain that God's plan is that I have eternal life (John 3:16, John 10:10, Romans 5:1), but that my problem with sin (to miss the mark in word, thought or deed) had separated me from Him (Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23). This sounded more like bad news to me than good news. He went on to say that God had provided a remedy for my sin by sending His only son Jesus Christ to die on a cross as a payment for my penalty (2 Corinthians 5:21, Philippians 2:4-10, 1 Timothy 2:5, Romans 5:8, John 14:6, Ephesians 2:8-9), but that it was absolutely necessary for me to respond to His remedy for the remedy to be effective (John 1:12, Romans 10:9-10, Revelation 3:20). I bowed my head in that room and quietly asked Jesus Christ to become my Savior and Lord. Jesus came into my life and has made me a new person, from the inside out (2 Corinthians 5:17). That was nearly thirty-one years ago. Knowing Jesus is more than religious activism or academic curiosity. It is a real relationship. Spiritual maturity is a process (1 John 2:12-14) that should continue to develop and grow as long as we are alive.

God used a Campus Crusade for Christ high school ministry to teach me that aggressive, reproductive Christianity (2 Timothy 2:2) should be considered normal Christianity. Sincerity is necessary for Christian living, but it is not sufficient for impacting our world for Christ (Matthew 28:18-20, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, 2 Timothy 2:15, 1 Peter 3:15). He has used several godly men, seminary and nearly twenty-five years of serving in church ministry to teach me that making disciples means far more than leading people to Christ and asking them to pray and read their Bibles. It is impossible to give what you do not have or share what you do not know. When people tell me that their Christian faith is boring, what they are really telling me is that they do not pray, they do not study and they do not give away what they have been given. The Christian life is an adventure that is exciting to live and share. To judge Christianity by people who sit on their hands, criticize others and turn a living faith into dead religion is to misrepresent Biblical Christianity. Christianity was never meant to be lived as a passive spectator sport.

Dr. Karl Payne, at heart, is an apologist who loves to train and equip Christians for spiritual service and warfare (Eph.4:11-16). He enjoys preaching, writing and retreat / conference / seminar speaking. He derives his greatest pleasure tackling the challenge of teaching Christian workers, interns and budding preachers / teachers at both the Bible College and Seminary levels. In addition, he has co-authored two books: A just Defense and Cross Training through Multnomah Press.


Copyright © 2006 Helpmewithbiblestudy.org. All rights to this material are reserved. We encourage you to print the material for personal and non-profit use or link to this site. Please do not distribute articles to other web locations for retrieval or mirror at any other site. If you find this article to be a blessing, please share the link.