The Commandment Test
And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth His word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him. He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked (1 John 2:3-6).
I wonder if John had been in a testimony meeting where somebody was bragging about being saved—saying he was, but his walk and his talk did not get together. If you say you are saved, it is absolutely going to show up in your life. You are going to be keeping the commandments of God. You do not keep the commandments of God in order to be saved; you keep the commandments of God because you are saved.
This presents a serious problem, because not one of us has always kept all of God’s commandments. I haven’t since I’ve been saved, and you haven’t since you’ve been saved. Yet the Bible says that we know we are in Him in that we keep His commandments.
Both the problem and the solution are found in the word keep. It is actually a mariner’s word. In the apostles’ day, sailors navigated by the stars. And a sailor setting his course by the stars was said to be “keeping the stars.” It was his intention to sail by the stars.
To keep God’s commandments, then, means to use the Word of God as the Guide for our lives. It is the desire of every child of God to live by His Word. While we may be blown off course, distracted, or confused, the goal of our lives is to keep the commandments of God.
Ever since I gave my heart to Jesus, there has been a deep, divine, radical change; and there is in me a burning desire to live for God. And there should be in you, too, if you are saved.
This is not to say that I don’t sin anymore. The difference is that before I got saved I was running to sin; now I am running from it. And if I fail, I turn right around and start running away again.
The commandment test says: if you can willfully and knowingly sin against the will of God with no conviction, no compunction, and no remorse, you need to get saved. A lot of people say, “Well, I walked down an aisle somewhere, and I got saved. I know I’m just an old backslider now, but I’m still saved and going to heaven.”
No, you are not. If you are living that way—high, wide, and handsome—and it does not break your heart, then you do not know the God of the Bible.
The Companion Test
“We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren” (1 John 3:14). When I am saved, I want to be right with my Father, and I want to be right with my brother.
But there are some who would say, “Well, I’m saved, but I have no use for the church.” But the Bible says if we love Jesus, we are going to love what Jesus loves; and Jesus loves the church.
The word saint (singular) appears in the Bible only five times. The plural appears nearly 100 times. Now, going to church will not make you a Christian any more than going to the garage will make you an automobile. But when you realize that you have been bought by the blood of Christ, when the Spirit of God comes into you, you receive a new nature, and you are going to keep His commandments and love the brethren.
The Commitment Test
The greatest and strongest test is the commitment test. All of the others grow out of it. “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself. . . . These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God” (1 John 5:10, 13).
In the Bible, the words believe and commit are the same word. Concerning Jesus, it says, “Many believed in His name, when they saw the miracles which He did. But Jesus did not commit Himself unto them, because He knew all men” (John 2:23-24). They said they believed in Him, but He did not believe in them. He knew that they were just miracle-mongers. He knew that they were not true believers.
Biblical faith is not just an intellectual exercise. You do not believe about Jesus, you believe in Jesus. You commit yourself to Jesus.
I did not believe about the plane that flew me from Augusta to Memphis; I believed in it. I committed myself to that airplane. I did not just say, “Those things can fly. I’m going to Memphis. I believe it can fly. I believe that man is a good pilot. I have confidence in the airline.” No, I got on board and entrusted that pilot and that aircraft with my life. He who commits himself to that plane flies to Memphis. And he who commits himself to the Son of God lives forever with Him. I committed myself to that plane. He who commits himself to the Son of God is the one who is saved. Have you done this?
Notice it doesn’t say, he who has believed; it says He who believes. It is always present tense. Have you ever asked someone, “Are you saved?”
They say, “Yes, I’m saved. I remember walking down the aisle when I was nine years old, giving my hand to my pastor and my heart to Jesus Christ. Now, I may not be living for God right now, I’ll admit. But I know I’m saved, because I remember what I did when I was a nine-year-old boy. I remember believing on Jesus Christ.” The Bible never uses such an experience as proof of salvation. It never points back to some time when you believed on Jesus Christ.
I even hear people say, “If you cannot show me the place and the moment when you received Jesus Christ, you are not saved.” That is not biblical. The Bible never says you know when or if you are saved by something you remember in the past. It says, “He that believes.”
I am not saying there is not a time when you received Christ. There was a day. Absolutely. But that is not the test. The test is, do you believe in Jesus Christ now? Are you trusting in Him today? Is there evidence in your life today that you are the offspring of the living God? That is the proof of your salvation.
A Closing Plea
My friend, have you given your life to the Lord? Do you have the assurance that if you were to die right now, you would go straight to heaven? If not, please let me tell you how you can be saved.
Admit Your Sin
First, you must understand that you are a sinner. The Bible says, “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
Second, you must understand that you cannot save yourself by your efforts. The Bible is very clear that it’s “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us” (Titus 3:5).
Again, “By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Acknowledge Christ’s Payment
Third, you must believe that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died for your sins. The Bible says, “God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). That means He died in your place. Your sin debt has been paid by the blood of Jesus Christ, which “cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
Accept Him as Savior
Fourth, you must put your faith in Jesus Christ and Him alone for your salvation. The blood of Christ does you no good until you receive Him by faith. The Bible says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).
Have you ever taken this all-important step of faith? If not, I urge you to do it right now. Why? Because Jesus is the only way to heaven!
Speaking of Jesus, the Apostle Peter said in Acts 4:12, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
Jesus Himself said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me” (John 14:6). It couldn’t be any clearer than that.
Are you willing to offer the following prayer to God today?
“Oh, God, I’m a sinner, I’m lost, and I need to be saved. I know I can’t save myself, so right now, once and for all, I trust You to save me. Come into my heart, forgive my sin, and make me Your child. I give You my life. I will live for You as You give me strength.”
If you will make this your heartfelt prayer, God will hear and save you! Jesus has promised that He will not turn away anyone who comes to Him in faith (John 6:37). He will make you a child of God, if you will turn to Him (John 1:12).