THE TEXT: 1 John 3:19–24
And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. 20 For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. 21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. 22 And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. 23 And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment. 24 Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us (NKJV).
I. SUMMARY OF THE TEXT: GOD DESIRES FOR YOU TO HAVE ASSURANCE
II. YOUR ASSURANCE MAY BE “SHAKEN, DIMINISHED, AND INTERMITTENT”
Westminster Confession 8.2: Of Assurance of Grace and Salvation
True believers may have the assurance of their salvation divers ways shaken, diminished, and intermitted; as, by negligence in preserving of it, by falling into some special sin which woundeth the conscience and grieveth the Spirit; by some sudden or vehement temptation, by God’s withdrawing the light of His countenance, and suffering even such as fear Him to walk in darkness and to have no light: yet are they never utterly destitute of that seed of God, and life of faith, that love of Christ and the brethren, that sincerity of heart, and conscience of duty, out of which, by the operation of the Spirit, this assurance may, in due time, be revived; and be the which, in the mean time, they are supported from utter despair.
Reasons We May Lack Assurance
III. HOW TO CULTIVATE ASSURANCE
1. Attend to the means of grace
2. Look inward and repent of any sin
3. Turn outward in service and love