Byron Yawn There are two great threads in the Bible: Law and Gospel. The Law is threat, judgment, demand, obligation and condemnation. The Gospel is promise, mercy, grace and redemption. In the first we are required to do but cannot. In the latter we are given and not required. The Law is duty. The Gospel…
It seems unnatural to separate how we feel with what we know as it relates to our assurance of salvation. For many, the pursuit of assurance has been primarily a task of evaluating feelings, actions, and emotions. While this method seems sufficient and natural, it will inevitably demonstrate itself ineffective against the overwhelming faithlessness that we are so prone to have. But, as we will see below, making the separation between the grounds for our salvation (the objective reality) and the evidence of our salvation (the subjective reality) is the only way a Christian can find true peace.
At the core of this discussion, the intended use of 1 John, is confusion over the means vs. evidence of salvation. Many pastors, by prefacing the fact that they are focusing on the evidence of salvation and not the means, free themselves to speak in must-do terms. A standard is quickly brought forth for every believer to stand against. It would seem that this means vs. evidence is the loophole of Christianity. It is through this gap that pastors can mandate reformed lives, better practices, and godly living. Therefore, the believer is given a set of tasks to complete in order to confirm true repentance.