NASHVILLE (BP) – This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with Lifeway Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, Lifeway publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.
This week’s Bible study is adapted from the Bible Studies For Life curriculum.
Bible Passages: 1 John 5:1-5, 11-13, 18-21
Discussion Question: When have you had a warranty that really paid off?
Food for Thought by Blake Gideon*:
We value guarantees, but how do we know if a religion actually delivers on what it promises? Many religions claim to offer people a way to God, but how do you know you will actually reach God or attain eternal life?
- Islam teaches that paradise awaits those who are obedient to the practices of Islam, but it offers no guarantee that a Muslim has obeyed enough to “make it.”
- Hinduism says reincarnation might eventually get you to enlightenment. However, if a Hindu thinks he will be continually reincarnated, how can he possibly know he’s ever reached enlightenment?
- Even cults that include a belief in Jesus add an element of works to what is required to go to heaven. What they cannot offer is any assurance that you’ve done enough to reach heaven.
The Christian life points us to Christ as the only path to salvation and a relationship with God. We can add nothing to it! When we simply trust what Christ has done, we can be assured of a relationship with God.
John presented a triad of assurances: the assurance of our faith, the assurance of our love, and the assurance of our obedience. The first of these — faith — is based on what we believe. If the object of our faith is wrong, then everything else will be wrong. It is impossible to be filled with the Spirit of God and His love if the object of our faith is an erroneous view of Christ. Everything rises or falls on Christ.
The evidence that Jesus is the Christ is overwhelming. For example:
- Jesus pointed to Himself as God in human flesh (John 8:58; 10:30).
- Jesus was explicitly identified as God by the apostles John and Paul, two men who encountered Jesus (John 1:1; Romans 9:5; Philippians 2:5-6; Colossians 1:15; Titus 2:13).
- Jesus was described with divine attributes: omnipresent (Matthew 28:19-20), eternal (John 1:1-2), omnipotent (John 5:19), omniscient (John 16:30), and unchanging (Hebrews 1:12).
- Jesus manifested divine prerogatives: He forgave sins (Matthew 9:2) and raised the dead (John 11:38-44).
Jesus accepted divine worship and honor (Matthew 14:33, 28:9).
All these truths and many more point to Jesus as the Christ. Consequently, those who trust in Him are born of God.
God is faithful in His Word to encourage believers in our assurance. He does not want Christians limping along in uncertainty. Twice in the short epistle of 1 John, John referred to believers as conquerors (1 John 4:4, 5:5). God wants our lives to match our new identity. We are no longer lost enemies of God; we are conquerors in Christ, and we can know we have eternal life because God’s Word says so.
Jesus Christ, in His great love on high, has embraced you, opened His arms to you, and keeps you eternally secure. You can be sure of your salvation when you have trusted in Christ.
Bible Studies for Life
Bible Studies for Life connects the Bible to life for adults, students and kids. Bible Studies for Life helps individuals and groups know God’s Word through trustworthy content, creates biblical community through engaging and conversational group studies, and helps people engage the culture missionally by unpacking what the Bible says about real-life issues. More information can be found on the internet at www.biblestudiesforlife.com.
*Blake Gideon is senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Edmund in Edmund, Okla.