The Good Shepherd

I usually link all my verses, but had difficulty doing that this time. I have been able to link most of them one by one, but I’ll ask you to be Bereans (Acts 17:11) and take the time to check each one for yourselves.

Jesus gave His life for us in great love 

(Jn 10:11; 15:13).

I have had a number of one-sided ‘discussions’ recently. Not just here on Redeeming Moments, but also Facebook, all in some form arguing for loss of salvation, or accusations of one of not being saved. The thing I notice they have in common (whether Arminian, Calvinist, Lawkeeper or the confused), is that somehow, they do not recognize that they are including themselves in receiving salvation by their own works.

Calvinists, Arminians and Lawkeepers

The Calvinists argue for perseverance of the saints (their definition is that you will persevere if you were ‘really saved’ and you will prove it by your works). Consequently, you cannot really ever know for sure if you are saved eternally. That’s why people like John MacArthur, Piper, and R.C. Sproul have all admitted the uncertainty of their future when they die. That’s tragic to me, and the Word says otherwise.

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. 1 John 5:13

Arminians are somewhat similar to the Calvinists — they insist you will have visible fruit. How much seems to be subjective by the person, I’ve seen multiple viewpoints in that camp. But basically, they believe if you have the free will to ‘choose’ to believe, then you have the free will to walk away from that belief. They are just as uncertain of their final destination.

Law keepers are present in both camps whether they admit it to be so or not. They both are adding works to the equation of being saved. Some require a varying level of turning from sin, some even insist you turn from ‘all of your sin’ in order to receive the free gift of eternal life. They misunderstand what repentance means.

What happens when a person believes the gospel?

At the very least, they have forgotten or miss what happens to a person when they do believe, which is why they are on this hamster wheel of proof and self-inspection. The power is not in our ‘free will to choose’, but it is in the gospel itself (Rom 1:16-17; 1 Cor 1:17-18). The gospel is the power of God unto salvation. We are asked to believe it (John 6:28-29). We are believing Him for eternal life (1 Tim 1:15-16), to be saved from eternal death.

Eternal Life is Free!

Eternal life is the free gift (Rom 6:23; Eph 2:8-9). In fact, in Romans 5:15-21, it is reiterated 6 different times, that this gift of His righteousness, this everlasting life (via His righteousness) given to us, is free/without strings. 

ETERNAL LIFE BEGINS THE MOMENT WE BELIEVE

In Romans 4, it is made clear, we are only declared righteous by our belief (In Christ and Him crucified/resurrected).    

Romans 4 hones in on Abraham, the one the promises were made to.

It is clear, that if Abraham was somehow justified (even partially) by works, he would have something to glory about, but not before God.

His Word even asks, “What does the Scripture say?” (something we should always do), And it tells us the answer:

“Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him >for righteousness.” 

Vs. 4 informs us if one works, the reward (gift of eternal life) would be of debt, NOT >grace.

Vs. 5 assures us that the one that doesn’t work but believes on the One who justifies the UNGODLY, his/her faith is counted for >righteousness.

Remember, God commended His love for us while we were yet sinners. We were not righteous; we were ungodly sinners with no strength of our own (Rom 5:6-8pp). Isaiah 64:6 is clear, that any righteousness of our own is as filthy rags in His sight. Psalm 94:4 explains that the workers of iniquity boast in themselves. Exactly what we see happening with those who cry Lord, Lord in Matthew 7:15-25. They try to justify themselves to Him by their ‘many wonderful works’ done in His name. I am afraid for the many like this, that I have spoken to over the past few days. I don’t know about them, but as a believer I know I fall short every day. I am very grateful for what Paul shared in Romans 7:15-25.

Sin is present in this body of flesh

Sin still dwells in our flesh. And even when we do not want to – we sin. Paul recognized, that although he wanted to do good, there is a law of the flesh, and it wars against our mind. He gives us good news of the future when we will be delivered from this flesh. Remember, our mind serves the law of God, our flesh, the law of sin. So, if they are looking to their behavior to prove their salvation, they’re looking in the wrong place. Only one place to look (Heb 12:2). That is our Savior and His promise of eternal life, which He promised before the world began (Titus 1:2). And it is impossible for God to lie (Heb 6:18). So why do they still try to insist on a bilateral contract? It is an unconditional covenant. He swore by Himself only, and there is no greater (Heb 6:13).  

I ponder these people, I do care about them. Do they believe they do not sin in word, thought or deed? Do they not recognize unkindness, pride, anger, dishonesty — even being undiscerning as a sin in their lives? Have they asked their spouses if they sin? How much is acceptable?

Got Word?

As I get to know more of His Word, I recognize sin every day in my own life. The entrance of His Word has a way of enlightening everything — such as little dark corners, even in our minds (our understanding – Ps 119:130). Remember how David asked God to Search him and his heart and thoughts to see if there was any wicked way in him? (Ps 139:23-24).

His Word is what need to be washed in, sanctified by, renewed and transformed by — if we will take heed to it (Eph 5:26; Jn 17:17; Rom 12:2; Ps 119:9). Our feet need washed by Jesus (and other believers), as we walk through this world. They get dirty. And we all need Jesus and His Word all the time. I have experienced many of these people brag on how they know His Word inside out, how long they’ve been a believer, what ministry they run, or what seminary they’ve attended. 2 Corinthians 10:12 has good advice regarding that. They seem unwilling to examine the Scriptures you present and instead argue by sharing links, books or their favorite teachers.

I had a pastor tell me he had the Word ‘down pat’, which was his reasoning for the use of the occult like Mess-AGE ‘bible in contemporary language.’ Those who think they have the Word ‘down pat’, make me think of a cold spouse who has been with a mate for decades. They think they ‘know’ them, but their motives may never have been right, so consequently, although they have knowledge of them, they may never have known them intimately or even at all. Same with His Word, they may not have come to Him that they might have life, (John 5:38-40), because His Word was never abiding in them. Or they may not have the right attitude regarding it (2 Tim 2:15; Is 66:2). God considers His Word very important and so should we (Ps 138:2).

Whose Righteousness?

Back to how we attain righteousness. Romans 4:6-8 continues with David and how blessed we are when God imputes Christ’s righteousness to us without works, saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.  Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. (see also Eph 2:8-9; Titus 3:4-7).

Does this passage in any way suggest He will not impute sin to us only as long as we behave? Or does it come upon us when we trusted in the finished work of His Son?

What about Abraham? When was he declared righteous? We are reminded in vs 9-10 it was well before he was circumcised. It was when he first believed God.

Is it wrong to believe we currently possess eternal life? Absolutely not. Many places in Scripture show us otherwise, which I’ll share. But just like Eph 2:8-9, vs. 16 says “Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed…” Which is why when Jesus was asked what they could do in order to work the works of God, Jesus answered and said, “This is the work of God, that you BELIEVE on Him whom He has sent.” (Jn 6:28-29)

2 Corinthians 5:18-19, reminds us we are reconciled to God by Jesus Christ, who is NOT imputing our trespasses to us.

How many sins were paid for in advance?

In Colossians 2:13-15, we are told it is Christ who blotted out that which was against us, contrary to us, and ‘took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross’. It is His work, not ours that makes us ‘not guilty’ in His sight.

When we believed we are born again of an incorruptible seed, the Word of God (1 Peter 1:23). We are born of His Spirit, just as it says in John 3:5-8 — we must be born of the Spirit. When we believed, being born of the Spirit is what happens (Eph 1:13-14). We are children of promise, and those who are born of the flesh persecute those born of the Spirit from then until now (Gal 4:29-30). The Scripture tells us, ‘cast out the bondwoman’ (being justified by the law on Mount Sinai). Don’t let people convince/bewitch you, that you can lose your salvation if you do not finish in the flesh that which began in His Spirit (Gal 3:1-5).

His Spirit saves us to the uttermost (Heb 7:25), because when we believed, we were delivered from the power of darkness and placed into Christ’s Kingdom (Col 1:13). We were sealed by His Spirit when we believed (Eph 1:13-14; 4:30), and we will remain sealed until the day of Redemption. We shall not come into condemnation, BUT we have passed from death (eternal) unto life (eternal) – John 5:24. Our new man is sinless, incorruptible. 1 John 3:9 says we do not sin. But Romans 7 again says we do sin, but it is our flesh that sins and will until the day we are delivered from this body (Rom 7:24-25; 8:11; 1 Cor 15:50-55). See more on the two natures of a believer here.

The Spirit baptizes us into the body whether Jew or Gentile. There is one body, and one Spirit. One Lord, one faith, one God and Father of all of us (believers), who resides in us (1 Cor 12:13; Eph 4:4-6; Rom 8:9). We have His Spirit again until when?

He will never leave us nor forsake us (Heb 13:5). Believers in Him are instantly made members of His Body (1 Cor 12:20-25), each one necessary. Ephesians 5:25 on reminds us that Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us (the church). Why? That He would sanctify us, cleanse us by the washing of the water by the Word, so we would be presented to Him as a glorious church without spot, wrinkle, or any such thing (keep reading). Verse 30 reminds us that the members of His body are of His flesh and His bones. Who will tear us out of His body and unseal His Spirit? Who will unwash us from His blood that we were purchased by? (Rev 1:5; Acts 20:28; Eph 2:13). Seriously friends, what was His blood washing you from? Only past sins?

Positional Sanctification

How are we positionally sanctified? Hebrews 10:10 says we ‘are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ ONCE for all. Verse 14 says by this one offering He has perfected FOREVER those of us that ARE sanctified (Heb 10:10,14). Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our faith (Heb 12:2), keep your eyes on Him. We are kept by His power, not any of hours (1 Pet 1:5), and we are complete in Him (Col 2:10). We will be confirmed unto the end (1 Cor 1:8). Remember always, it is Christ who is the end of the law for righteousness which is solely by faith in Him (Rom 10:4Rom 3:22Rom 5:192 Cor 5:21).

Believers are a gift to Jesus

When we believe, we are given to God’s Son Jesus, and every one of us (believers) will be raised in that last day, because He said so (John 6:39-40; 17:11,24). John 10:29-30 reiterates we were gifted to Jesus, and that no one can snatch us out of His hand — The Good Shepherd will not lose one.  Just knowing his name, they should know, He will not lose one. They do not believe Him evidently. They argue (some not realizing) that they are doing the same thing as Satan in the garden. “Yea Hath God said?”

Colossians 1:13 says we are put into His Kingdom. What kind of twisting is this to say we can remove ourselves from His hand? Nope, sorry. Once you are His, you cannot take yourself out of His hand, He would lose you if so. 

1 John 5:13 is clear, we can KNOW we possess eternal life. I am baffled, what do these people think they were saved from? I was saved from the penalty of my sins (which is eternal death – Rom 6:23), by receiving by belief upon Him, His free gift of eternal life. What do they think the free gift is? What do they think ‘never perish’ means? What do they think when He says we will never be cast out? What do they think of Christ’s righteousness that it is not enough?

I was made alive (eternally) in my spirit, by His Spirit (Eph 2:1; 1 Pet 3:18) when I believed. I became His child (John 1:12-13). Adopted, made accepted in the beloved by Him (Eph 1:5-6, Rom 8:15Gal 4:5). I am healed by His stripes, established and guaranteed (1 Pet 2:24; 2 Corinthians 1: 21-22Eph 1:13). For all these things I give thanks to the Father, the ONLY one who made me qualified for the inheritance that is incorruptible, undefiled, doesn’t fade away and is reserved in heaven for me, and all who have believed upon Him as their Savior (Colossians 1:12, Acts 26:18, Ephesians 1:14,1 Peter 1:4).

Remember, it is not hard. His Yoke is easy, His burden light. Don’t let these wolves or those who are deceived, corrupt your minds from the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Cor 11:3-4), don’t bear with them.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30

I am reminded that nothing can separate me from His love (you either if you are ‘in Him’).

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors (same word as overcomer-like a super overcomer) through him that loved us.  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom 8:33-39

Flee from these people. Stay close in His Word (John 8:31-32), so you will not only become a disciple but so you can answer the enemy ‘it is written’ (as Christ did in the Wilderness).

Love you all in Christ.

13 Responses to “The Good Shepherd

  • Wonderful post, Holly. It is so needed, so many wolves out there. I wish they would just believe what the Word of God says, instead of it being about what so and so says. What do they do with passages like 1 John 5:13, John 10:29-30, John 6:47 when we are told to believe on him whom he has sent, as you said in John 6:28-29.

    As for the two natures. Verses like 1 John 3:9 used to make me stumble. I couldn’t grasp what it was saying, but as I read more of the passages that used to make me afraid, like Matthew 7:13-14 and the Lord Lord passage, and 1 John 3:9, I know that my new nature is without sin and it is only because of this rightoeusness of God that I am going to heaven. Thanks be to God for saving me.

    I am in Christ, always secure, never to be lost. My walk with Christ is stronger on other days, I still sin in word, thought and deed, and so does everyone else if they are honest with themselves, like Paul was honest in Romans 7. But I want others to have that peace that He gives us, and it’s only when we submit to His righteousness because salvation is nothing to do with our performance.

    If only people would just believe God, and not these false prophets, but I guess that’s the spiritual warfare blinding people from the true light of His Word that frees us from the shackles of works for salvation. How could I give anyone good news if it’s based on my works? I could not.

    • If only people would just believe God…

      I’m with you Helen. I wish they would stop listening to these people for their sake as well as any they may turn around and mislead. I think getting to know the ‘whole counsel’ (Acts 20:25-32) is where I stumbled less over those passages. Some did indeed make me fear, but as I got closer to Him, and trusted Him more (I believe Lord, help thou mine unbelief), I was able to look at the Scriptures, talk to Him, go over context, etc. And as our friend Johninnc over at expreacherman says (paraphrased), if it isn’t consistent with Grace and the majority of other Scriptures, then it isn’t what we think it is.

      The gospel was not good news. People like Paul Washer, John MacArthur, et al, preach an impossible standard. I think on what Jesus said in the Woe chapter (Matt 23) vs. 13. Speaking to the Pharisees, Scribes and Lawyers, He said, “But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.”

      That’s exactly what these ravening wolves do, and so it’s what I contend for as long as He is willing.

  • Madeline Lybarger
    4 months ago

    So thrilled to get this post.Ever once in awhile we
    “Ex-ers” of Calvinism, Armininism, etc., tend to
    fall back into our “works”.Even though we know the
    truth in God’s word; that conditioned lie from the
    “Old man” seeps in.Thats why it so important to keep
    in His Word.Thank you Holly! 💕Madeline

    • Madeline, so true.

      And the bewitched too. I was not into either, but when I attended a Christian High School, I got my first introduction to those things. Fortunately, I had a solid Bible Background even at the young age I entered. But it still has a way of getting a foothold, as Satan does. Seems like when we’re settled in His Word, others come in to preach, Yea hath God said? Some deceived, some deceivers. Always proof texting, never willing to look at the whole counsel of God.

      One thing I am very thankful for is even as tiring as some of these spiritual battles get, getting steeped in His Word and prayer is the one thing we need to choose to do to get revived and strengthened. (Lk 10:38-42 and Ps 119:25,28 below)

      My soul clings to the dust;
      Revive me according to Your word.

      My soul melts from heaviness;
      Strengthen me according to Your word.

      Love in Christ, thanks for commenting Madeline!

  • Hey Holly!

    I just wanted to chime in again in support of your defense for the gospel. Like you, I see some “trends” in those who want to add to the gospel. Some might not know that Christ in the gospels speaks under the old covenant (the new covenant in His blood, not His birth). I think many people understand Him as talking to modern day Americans, telling people how to behave. What He is really doing is talking to Jews under the old covenant who think they are safe (believe they are keeping the Mosaic law completely) and reminding them that they are in fact in peril under the old covenant, and they need to flee to Him for safety. That one fact changes how everything that He says is to be understood. Secondly, they fail to recognise that almost everything He says is a quote/paraphrase of an old testament passage, which when understood helps us know what Christ means. For instance, one verse brought up by someone criticizing your site was Philippians 2:12/13 “work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure”. Taken the way he was quoting it, one had to be afraid of the Lord, without assurance of eternal salvation. This is a quote from Jeremiah 33: 8-9 ” And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity by which they have sinned against Me, and I will pardon all their iniquities by which they have sinned against Me, and by which they have transgressed against Me. 9‘And it shall be to Me a name of joy, praise, and glory before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear of all the good that I do for them, and they shall fear and tremble because of all the good and all the peace that I make for it.’ That verse is saying that the Lord will unilaterally forgive their sin, bring them back to the land following captivity, and the Gentile nations will fear and tremble because of the GOOD and the PEACE that He would bring to undeserving Judah! This trembling is the “willful obedience” referred to in Jacob’s blessing of the Gentiles, not fear of damnation. God’s love and faithfulness to His word would make Gentiles turn to Him for salvation! One more an I will be done :-). Luke 14:25-35 is a common passage that is often headed in most translations “counting the costs”, and this passage is seen as this: Don’t come to the Lord unless you are willing to understand how much work is ahead of you” as if that could be done in the first place anyway – but it adds works as a maintenance of salvation. This is a quote from Isaiah 5 and 27. In the passage in Luke, a King comes against another, and realizes he has only half the troops of the other king, and therefore can’t win. He then “asks for terms of peace”. In the traditional interpretation, this is the sinner that can’t do the work ahead of him, so he gives up – he can’t handle the costs of salvation (which of course is free). So, in other words, according to that wrong interpretation, the king asking for peace is a negative – he should have pressed on. This is completely backwards. Isaiah 27 says this:

    I have no wrath.
    Should someone give Me briars and thorns in battle,
    Then I would step on them, I would burn them completely.

    5“Or let him rely on My protection,
    Let him make peace with Me,
    Let him make peace with Me.”

    Here, God offers to the Gentile nations attacking Israel to either continue and perish, or appeal to Him for peace and He will grant it! So, taking Luke in this context, Christ is encouraging people to Stop! to Cease from trying! – and to turn to Him for forgiveness! This passage then means the complete opposite of those who would use it to add conditions and commitments as a condition of salvation.

    I know I talk too much, but I want to encourage all who are defending the simplicity of the gospel.

    Take care, John

    • John, I always appreciate your input. Too often people can’t just look at simple context, and ask ‘what kind of salvation/deliverance’? They see the word saved/salvation and instantly think eternal life.

      They seem unable to distinguish between discipleship passages and passages that speak to eternal life. We know His Word cannot contradict itself. His Word is truth. May these dear people who the Lord desires not perish, come to understand the truth. We can share the truth of His Word and pray for them to come to a knowledge of the truth, since He was a ransom for them too. But if not, I’m reminded what Paul said about those who corrupt the simplicity that is in Christ.

      He said he would continue doing what he was doing, to cut off the opportunity of those who were pretending to be apostles but were deceitful workers, pretending to be ministers of righteousness, just like their father (John 8:44). I’m pp 2 Cor 11. Anyways, may the Lord continue to build us up in His Word of grace (Acts 20:32). And may that help us discern between good and evil (Heb 5:12-14). God bless you John.

  • Thank you Holly for this article. So very much needed In these times such as most of us have never experienced in our lifetime. The evil one wants to shake and confuse us. His Word is our best defense for each of us personally to help us to keep holding fast to the Truth. God bless your work done in love for Him and for the lost and believers secured by faith in what Jesus did for us.

    • Debbie, so true. So many are suffering now, some far more than others. Russia, Ukraine, China, Shanghai and other places especially right now, Sri Lanka, Africa, Pakistan, and so many other places. Literally a matter of life and death, persecution, starvation, and more. Because He first loved me…

      Love you, Holly

  • Excellent article, Holly, as always. I’m always baffled by so-called Christians who simply can’t accept salvation as a gift. Ephesians 2:8 states very clearly: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” I’m a simple woman who tries to apply common sense to things that I believe. When I read the aforementioned Scripture, my mind goes back to each birthday gift that my parents gave me each year of my life as long as they were alive. My parents never gave me a list of things that I must do or not do in order to earn that gift every year. All that was required from me was the fact that I was their child, just as we who believe in the gospel of Christ are reborn and become God’s children and are given the “gift” of eternal life which was bought and paid for in full by the shed blood of Jesus Christ. A person can’t lose or forfeit the gift of eternal life because that gift and our souls belong to God the very moment we first believe. The gift was not ours to give nor ours to lose.

    • Diana, always so happy to hear from you. When you used the word ‘simple’, I was reminded of 2 Corinthians 11:3-4

      But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

      I am baffled too, but I think they have listened to their false teachers so long, and they haven’t checked to see if His Word says what they say it does (Acts 17:11).

      They do seem to have trouble with ‘free’ and ‘gift’ and often they don’t seem to also understand ‘faith’ or ‘believe’ on Christ and His work for us. They use all sorts of other terms, and often don’t even include ‘believe’. They ‘make Him their Lord and Savior’, or ‘pray to receive them into their hearts’, or ‘commit their lives to Him’. Trouble with these sayings is we don’t find them in Scripture. Once I started ‘seeing’ that again, I wondered how I had been misled. God’s armor contains the admonition to shod our feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace. I think it is as much for us as for others. A reminder of what the simple good news is.

      When we believe, we are given/gifted to Him. I wish people would understand, we belong to Him. We will not be lost. We cannot lose that which is eternal and sealed <3

      Love in Him!

  • Sam Furches
    2 months ago

    Hi Holly,
    Thank you for all the hard work and dedication that goes into your writings. I truly appreciate your gift for sticking to the simplicity of the Gospel and cutting through so much of the added craziness.

    One question that I would like you to address that I struggle a bit with is concerning whether or not one can forfeit salvation?

    I firmly reject the concept that people can bounce in and out of salvation based on works or committing sin or backsliding etc.

    I also firmly reject Calvinism with its erroneous teaching on election and limited atonement. Christ clearly draws all men and we either choose to believe or not believe in the pure gospel.

    Can one not however, after believing, choose to not believe any longer and turn from the faith?
    There are things I used to believe in very strongly that I choose not to believe in anymore.

    Why does the nkjv translate 1 John 5:13 with the addition of “and that you may continue to believe”? Is there no possibility of someone who firmly believed in Jesus at one point choosing to reject the Gospel and walk away from it all ? If so does that person go to heaven anyways even though they repudiate all belief in Jesus now?

    • Hi Sam, thanks for your kind words. My commitment is to just always be faithful with His Word, not my take, but His Word Here is my simple take on 1 John 5:13, which I actually believe is a better translation in that instance because of the parsing/tense. It is not added, but actually how it is in the original. You can look up the tenses on many of the online Bible sites that have the words in Greek and parsing available.

      We have faith of different types. Once we believe, we have to remember eternal life is a free gift, a done deal. We can forfeit our faith, become apostate, and will have consequences in this lifetime and loss in the next. But at that point we still belong to Christ, given to Him by the Father, He says He will lose none (Jn 10:28-29), so are we able to snatch ourselves out of His hand? (I don’t think so one bit).

      We are sealed with His Spirit until the day of redemption (Eph 1:13-14; 4:30). Nowhere do we ever see an unsealing, seals were permanent, and the King says it won’t be removed until our bodies are redeemed. The Spirit is our guarantee.

      So what is John saying? These people were already believers who were led astray (we believe historically by gnostics — although it is not said). Because they were led astray, some believers were walking in darkness instead of the light (or not walking in the Spirit and fulfilling instead the lust of the flesh, like those in Galatia).
      So, the purpose of the writing of this book is stated in several places — in John 1, about their joy remaining full, fellowship with God (and others) by admitting wrong, and also so that they would know whether they were walking in darkness or light, and I believe so their faith would be strengthened in who He is, and that they are overcomers because they believed. In Romans 8, where it says, we are ‘more than conquerors’, it is the same word as overcomer, and is like saying super overcomer. Anyways, I believe John (in 1 John 5:13) is telling believers why he wrote them. I see it this way, let me word it the way I understand it to be meant.

      These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, (eternally secure believers) that you may know (once again be reassured) that you have (currently possess) eternal life, and that you may continue to believe (that your faith may continue to grow) in the name of the Son of God.

      Believers can doubt, be led astray, their faith made shipwreck, we see it in all over the epistles. So, the Word of God is there so that our faith may be strengthened (Rom 10:17). If our shield of FAITH is built up by the Word of God so that we can quench the fiery darts of the enemy (Eph 6:16-17). This is why we need to continue to be in His Word (Jn 8:31-32), His Word is the way that we answer the enemy (It is written – as Jesus did in Matt 4). It’s why we have the Scriptures, so we are thoroughly furnished/equipped for every good work.

      Hope that helped, but if you still have questions, I’d be happy to answer further. Love in Christ.

    • Acts 14:22 (just came across it in another study), how they were exhorting the disciples to ‘continue in the faith’. We all need to be continually exhorted and built up through His Word and fellowship with others.

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