Three Things Believers Should Know

Although there are more than three things a believer should know, what are three distinct traits should Christians should possess?

Assurance

The Apostle John wrote in 1st John 5:13, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” John was interested in helping people believe in the Son of God so that they would be saved but to know that they were saved. He wrote as if it was something “knowable,” and it is. We can know that we have eternal life because “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him” (Rom 8:16-17), so it is God’s will that we have assurance about our standing before God. It should be a know-so and not a hope-so belief. Jesus cried out, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me” (John 12:44), which of course is the Father, so there is the Holy Spirit that witnesses to our spirit, that we have believed in Jesus Christ and are the children of God, and since we believe in Jesus, obviously we belief in the One Who sent Him (the Father). The point is, we can know that we are saved, so having an assurance of our salvation is not only possible, it is commanded. Christ-followers are told that even if they die, they will live again (John 11:25-26), but for those believers who are living in sin, most will not have the joy of their assurance because they are grieving and quenching the Spirit by their sinning. Sin has a way of hardening our hearts, which is all the more reason to “exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (Heb 3:13). Sin is sneaky…it slowly desensitizes the believer, even deceiving them into thinking, “Well, at least I’m not like so and so,” and when you begin to trust in your own righteousness, look out! A fall is coming. It’s not others we are to compare ourselves too (2nd Cor 10:12). Our standard is Jesus Christ.

Let-no-one-deceive-you (3)

Sinning Less

If a believer claims to have no sin, then they are disagreeing with Scripture and with God (1st John 1:8, 10) because the context of this chapter is referring to believers, but even after a person is saved, they will still sin, in time, they will sin less…and less, but never reaching sinless-ness this side of the kingdom, but on the other hand, “let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil” (1st John 3:7-8). If you practice something, that means you are doing it fairly often, and if you practice it often enough, you might get good at it (even sinning!), so practicing sin means an ongoing participation in sinful activities, and if you’re practicing it, you must be enjoying it. It isn’t just an occasional falling into temptation which leads into sin that John is writing about. The Apostle Paul describes some of these sins as “sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal 5:19-21). Clearly, whoever is continually practicing these things is not inheriting the kingdom of God (1st Cor 6:9-10). This is not my opinion. It is what God’s Word says. It’s possible for the prodigal to fall into the pig pen, but the prodigal doesn’t stay in the pig pen. The pigs do and they love it. A believer can be in the pig pen, but a true believer’s conscience will trouble them to the point that they can’t enjoy it as much. Eventually, the prodigal gets out of the pig pen.

Practicing Righteousness

The Bible teaches that we are the righteousness of Christ, and He Who knew no sin became sin for us (2nd Cor 5:17), so our righteousness comes from outside of ourselves; it comes directly from God after we’ve trusted in Christ. We become new creations in Jesus Christ (2nd Cor 5:17), and new creations will do new things, and they’ll stop doing some of the old things they did because they know they’re wrong, so, “everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him” (1st John 2:29b). They practice righteousness, not sinless-ness, but “No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God” (1st John 3:9), and so “it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother” (1st John 3:10). Whoever continually practices sin will not inherit the kingdom and all who practice righteousness will enter the kingdom. It’s not an inherent righteousness but a new heart that gives them the desire to obey and this comes only by the power of the Holy Spirit. When we believe in Christ, we receive eternal life (John 3:16), just as Abraham believed God, and that was accounted to Him as righteous. That’s because Abraham practiced righteousness by obeying God’s commands (Gen 12:4; 15:6). Just as Jesus always desired to do the will of the Father, so should the children of God live to please the will of the Father, and the will of the Father is to believe in His Son, Jesus Christ, and trust in Him, and of course, obey what He commands. Obedience is practicing righteousness, although obedience is not the source of that righteousness.

Conclusion

This is not intended to be a diagnostic tool to be used on others or whoever’s sitting next to you, as you elbow them in the side, and say, “Hey, that’s you!” This is only intended to give the believer assurance and it to be used as a self-diagnostic tool, spiritually speaking. We are commanded to examine ourselves to see if we are or are not in the faith (2nd Cor 13:5), and if we are in the faith, we will be doing what Jesus commands us to do (Matt 25:34-39), but if some are not doing anything for Him (Matt 25:40-46), then some will be ashamed at His appearing for failing to do what He commanded us to do (Matt 28:18-20; John 13:34-35; James 1:27, etc.). The Apostle John writes, “And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming” (1st John 28). If you don’t abide in Him, it’s not only a little something you can do for Him, but a great big nothing (John 15:5)!

Article by Jack Wellman

Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is host of Spiritual Fitness and also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.

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  • Iain Lovejoy

    Do you accept what Romans 10:13 says, that everyone who calls upon the Lord will be saved? If so, it must be the promise of God that is the assurance of salvation, not a spiritual audit of whether we believe the correct theological positions, display the proper confidence in salvation and sin sufficiently little or act sufficiently righteous to qualify. How can anyone be “assured” of salvation under those circumstances?

    • Alex Voon

      To understand this text in Romans 10:13 Paul was quoting OT scripture in Joel 2:32 And it shall come to pass
      That whoever calls on the name of the LORD
      Shall be saved.
      For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance,
      As the LORD has said,
      Among the remnant whom the LORD calls.

      In Romans 10:13, Paul did not stop nor ends there, but continue writing on with his intended context – How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
      (16) But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “LORD, who has believed our report?
      Context of Paul is those who calls on the name of the LORD must also obeyed the gospel.
      “Among the remnant whom the LORD calls, there shall be deliverance”
      It is the remnant whom the LORD calls who will calls on the name of the LORD. They will obey God and Shall be saved because ; Mat 7:21 – Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Obedience is required of whoever that calls on the name of the LORD.

      • pud

        Krap only a lunatic would or could buy into

        • Richard Price

          Nice try Pud they are standing thier ground ,Reality…. how does that word fit , what actually is Real Pud my friend ? Jesus was a fully realized being a God Man , his words are interpretations perhaps of exploratioms about the nature of this reality as the Jews saw it , they used the word God to denote this depthe of being which few people can fully appreciate , something is happenign something which enables us to transcend our limited self sense ,perhaps this helps a littl more, yes relgion does have this effect on people even me and I do attend church , but would consider myself more a msytic , to believe is good but to question also , not to infer from outside knowledge but go within and see for yourself , who am “I” ?

          • pud

            I’m not your friend I’m your enemy.

            Real is what can be demonstrated, measured, shown. Try that with any of your absurd “claims” and mystical superstitious nonsense…go on…try…demonstrate one thing.

            To “believe” is idiocy

          • If Jesus didn’t know the day nor the hour of his alleged return and God is said to be omniscient, then how can Jesus be God ? Also, if God doesn’t exist, how can Jesus be God?

    • pud

      It’s all BS….hello?

    • jamesparson

      I made fun of the holy spirit once. Matthew 12:31

      • Iain Lovejoy

        Well that’s you doomed, then…
        Actually, this appears to bea misunderstanding of the passage due to its translation from Greek to English. In Greek the word for “forgive” simply means to ignore or let go, so it’s not saying that you can never again get right with God having done so, only that slandering the spirit of God present in the world as a manifestation of evil must be corrected and dealt before being forgiven rather than simply ignored.

  • Miranda

    Truly Gods generosity and mercy is shown deeply in-between your first two points – first the Assurance we have as a believers despite the indisputable fact that we continue to sin (second point). And you really hit on a key idea in your third point of practicing righteousness – perhaps one of our greatest sins, that I think we all do unintentionally as Christians at some stage is to credit our own obedience as earning righteous and/or becoming complacent in our Assurance.

    Oh and Pud I’ll save you the time – here is what I expect you’ll say copied straight off your previous diatribes – still praying for you Luke 23.34.

    “There aren’t three things believer should know, You KNOW NOTHING…you “believe” nonsense a silly story book written by superstitious ignorant no name religious apocalyptic lunatics for gullible lunatics to be brainwashed with.

    How can you know you have eternal life! Tell me how you KNOW what is true…what methodology do you employ to actually KNOW something is true. What evidence do you have that this Spirit exists, can you empirically demonstrate even one of your lunatic beliefs is true! There is no evidence to support a jesus ever existing!”

    – Sound about right?

    • Alex Voon

      Our own obedience and doing what the law of Moses that Jesus commands us to do is the righteousness that we do.
      Mat 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
      What is your righteousness, Jesus is talking about here?
      Jesus here meant, Our own obedience and doing what the law commands us to do is the righteousness that we do (perhaps not as earning righteousness). Without which ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. Therefore we must obey and keep the law of Moses. The Church idea of the law of Moses is done away with is wrong.

      Paul teaches on the law of Moses;
      1 Cor 11:2 – Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you. Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just (or righteous) and good. But took leave of them, saying, “I must by all means keep this coming feast in Jerusalem;[fn] but I will return again to you, God willing.” And he sailed from Ephesus.
      John teaches;
      Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.
      If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.
      “He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous[fn] still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.
      Most important is what Jesus teaches;
      Mat 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
      20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
      Paul or John Cannot teach against what their saviour, Jesus teaches.

      • pud

        Run along and stone some adulturers and insolent children now…run along and do the lords work

        • Alex Voon

          You misunderstood the principles of the laws of God. Each one of all the laws of God is subject to Love God and love others as you love your own self. The laws serves as a guideline to how one should love and treat others as we would treat ourselves. No man would wish others to treat him cruelly. But to curb crimes we need to have strict laws to punish evil doers. Back then there is a judicial system like today to justify punishment i.e. proven guilty. But injustice and corruptions is the problem. Jesus showed mercy to sinners ;
          John 8:4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
          5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?
          6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.
          7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
          8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
          9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
          10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

          There is No one who is without sin. Not even one is worthy to stone her. It is the same today, God would have mercy upon the sinners but He expect repentance from us all. Today, Jesus is still merciful to us all. Criminals have repented and turned to Jesus.

          • pud

            LOL…And you KNOW this hog trough of ridiculous supernatural claims are true how? You don’t.

            There is no such thing as “sin” and there is NO historical extrabiblical evidence to support a single absurd claim you and/or your Bronze Age book makes….NONE It’s all made up nonsense for the credulous, gullible and simple minded.

          • How is it loving to execute incorrigible children?

          • Alex Voon

            Where did you find God execute incorrigible children?

          • “Whoever strikes father or mother shall be put to death.” (Ex.21:15). “Whoever curses father or mother shall be put to death.” (Ex.21:17)

            If someone has a stubborn or rebellious son who will not obey his father and mother, who does not heed them when they discipline him …then all the men of the town shall put him to death. ” (Deut.21:18-21)

          • Alex Voon

            This is the grace of God that is Jesus came to save us from the punishment of sin.
            John 12:47
            And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.

      • Sam Andrew

        “Therefore we must obey and keep the law of Moses. The Church idea of the law of Moses is done away with is wrong.”
        Interesting, so out of genuine curiosity is your position that the Torah is still in full effect as Gods requirements upon Israel? And if so then what role, if any, do you consider Jesus to play beyond simply re-iterating said Torah and its principles?

      • stone homosexuals, stone adulterers, stone incorrigible children, execute people picking up sticks of the Sabbath. What kind of morality is this?

        • Alex Voon

          That is the laws given for the government of Israel. Corruption by the authorities is the major issue. God will not execute judgement unjustly but corrupt men will abuse power.

    • pud

      Good job…maybe there’s hope for you yet!

      PS..nothing fails like prayer so save yourself the effort

  • See Noevo

    “The Apostle John wrote in 1st John 5:13, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.””

    And some verses that precede 1 John 5:13:
    “By this we KNOW that we love the children of God, WHEN we love God and OBEY his commandments.
    For this is the love of God, that we KEEP his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.” [2-3]

    • “Know”

      How does subjective religious certainty amount to knowledge?

      • See Noevo

        If you come to a Stop sign and chose to stop, is your stopping
        a subjective or an objective thing?

        And is your knowledge of your stopping a subjective or an objective thing?

        • This is a completely meaningless comparison. A stop sign you can see. God, you cannot. A subjective religious certainty is NOT the same thing as objective evidence,

          • See Noevo

            “A stop sign you can see. God, you cannot.”

            But many people could see Jesus Chr…
            Oh, I forgot.

          • You are assuming that either Jesus is God are he represents an accurate view of God. If these things are not true, then it is irrelevant that people could see Jesus.

  • pud

    1. To “believe” without evidence is delusional
    2. Nothing you “claim” can be demonstrated
    3. Trusting in an ancient book written by ignorant savages is the height of stupidity, credulity and gullibility

    There, I fixed it for you.

    Oh and I should add…Your jesus dictator that commands you to be his slave and puppet under penalty of eternal suffering never existed and you can offer absolutely no evidence to the contrary..

    cheers!

    • Chasity

      In all “due” respect, if you believe “there is no sin…”
      Then how can believers adhere to a “ghastly IMMORAL cult…”
      Immoral means the opposite of MORAL. 1 can not exist w/out the other…

      Also, you sure have an OBSESSION w/spewing your distaste for (according to your numerous statements/comments) “an ancient book written by the ignorant” to “indoctrinate the gullible and ignorant…”
      If there’s no relevance to this “ancient book” and it’s txt then why commit so much of ur time and energy into refuting it?!?
      Since you’ve noted countless times over the past weeks how supremely intelligent you are. Beings only “gullible, simple-minded lunatics” could follow such “nonsense…”
      Is your intellect greater than that of Newton, Boyle, Faraday, and Maxwell ?
      (BTW~Those are histories “fathers” of modern-day physics.)
      Or Louis Pasteur, maybe your wisdom is greater than that of Blaine Pascal ?
      ~You know, one of history’s greatest mathematicians…
      Even Albert Einstein was not an atheist, although modern-day atheists claim he was. If one would take the time to educate themselves on his writings about “faith” and science. It’d be blantantly obvious he believed in a “Creator.”

      This “ancient book” has withstood the test of time. It’s writings HAVE been historically documented! Use what sacred time you’ve got left on earth, to education yourself! In all honesty, only a fool would be swayed by your uneducated view(s) on this matter.

      Oh and God Bless!

      • pud

        Newton also “believed” he could turn lead into gold and that there was a secret mathematical code hidden in the bible….One can be genius in one thing and still be a lunatic.

        It doesn’t matter what anyone “believes” what matters is what is true and can be demonstrated as such.

        There is NOTHING in your absurd fairy tale book that is “historically documented” other than the names of a few places and characters. I challenge you to demonstrate your claim for all to see here….

        PS..over 90% of all current scientists are non believers in any superstitious nonsense. They no longer are under pressure to belong to your cult by religious institutions that compelled them to adhere to your idiocy. You had the power once and the world burned and suffered…you don’t now and I make it my job to guard against you ever getting it back

      • Sam Andrew

        “This “ancient book” has withstood the test of time. It’s writings HAVE been historically documented” You know I know a few Muslims who say exactly the same thing about the Quran – the fact a book has been believed in for many centuries by various people, no matter their education, is not an argument for its validity, otherwise one would have to accepts the Quran, Bhagavad Gita, Tao Te Ching as equally valid and truthful. The best that can be said is, unsurprisingly people (Newton and co. listed) regard as sacred texts what their parents and society have traditionally regarded as sacred texts through accident of history (hence the Gita is sacred in India where it originated, the Bible in Europe where the Jewish Diaspora was largely located etc.), it is part of their cultural baggage and has nothing to do with whether it is true or not.

      • Sin is a religious construct. We don’t believe in sin. There is moral evil in the world but this is established on rational and empirical grounds, not on an alleged holy book.

        This holy book is full of contradictions and immorality.

  • pud

    7 things “believers” in your ghastly immoral cult should know…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlsSX7Se1MI

    • JRene

      Glad you shared this. I wonder if any of the cult followers have the strength to watch it and process its key points. I’m thinking not.

  • pud

    See if any of this rings a bell…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URr0O9aHW38