INTRODUCTION

Pages 133-135 of The Salvation Meter book describe the “A Believer has Knowledge of the Truth” test of salvation.  This test is in Chapter 6, which deals with a believer’s post-conversion spiritual condition.  This article at https://thesalvationmeter.com website is a revision of the discussion and questions in the book that pertain to this test of salvation.  There are two basic reasons I wrote this revision.

First, a sermon is never finished merely preached.  In the same way, there will always be ways to revise and improve the discussion of the “A Believer has Knowledge of the Truth” test of salvation.  Second, I hope this revision will assist anyone who reads, teaches or preaches, or merely considers the substance of this test to appreciate better the principles taught by this test of salvation. 

The “A Believer has Knowledge of the Truth” is a revealing test of salvation that indicates a person’s spiritual condition.  Here, in a broad sense, the truth is the fact that Jesus is the Christ.  In a more detailed sense, the truth comprises Christological facts that comprise those set forth on pages 42-68 of The Salvation Meter.  It is meaningful evidence of a lost condition if a person does not have knowledge of the truth.  On the other hand, it is meaningful evidence of salvation if a person has knowledge of the truth. 

REVISED DISCUSSION

1 John 2:18-21

The Apostle John presented the “A Believer has Knowledge of the Truth” test of salvation when he wrote 1 John 2:18–22 (ASV 1901), which reads:

18 Little children, it is the last hour: and as ye heard that antichrist cometh, even now have there arisen many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they all are not of us. 20 And ye have an anointing from the Holy One, and ye know all things. 21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and because no lie is of the truth. 22 Who is the liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, even he that denieth the Father and the Son.

John begins verse 20 by contrasting the lost people who left (see vv. 18-19) and the saved people in whom the Holy Spirit has taken up residency through Christ.  John then wrote that those indwelt by the Holy Spirit “know all things” (v. 20b) and “ye know” the truth (v. 21) about the fact that Jesus is the Christ.    

In verses 20-21, the ASV 1901 translates the three usages of the Greek verb oida as “ye know.”  Oida means to comprehend the meaning of something, with focus upon the resulting knowledge.  See Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). In Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition., Vol. 1, p. 379). United Bible Societies.  In these three usages, oda is in the perfect tense which is the verb tense used by the writer to describe a completed verbal action that occurred in the past but which produced a state of being or a result that exists in the present (in relation to the writer). The emphasis of the perfect is not the past action so much as it is as such but the present “state of affairs” resulting from the past action.  See Heiser, M. S., & Setterholm, V. M. (2013; 2013). Glossary of Morpho-Syntactic Database Terminology. Lexham Press.  A believer has existing knowledge, and that knowledge is of the “truth.”

The ASV 1901 translates the Greek noun alētheia as “truth.”  The Logos 9 sense is gospel of Jesus ⇔ truth – the good news about Jesus Christ, especially as a message that conforms to (and answers) the nature of reality.  It means the content of that which is true and thus in accordance with what actually happened—‘truth.  See Louw et al., supra at Vol. 1, p. 672.  In light of verse 22, the “truth” in its broader aspect is that Jesus is the Christ.  In a narrow aspct, the “truth” comprises Christological facts about Jesus.  Haas et al. (Haas, C., Jonge, M. de, & Swellengrebel, J. L. (1994). A handbook on the letters of John (p. 68)  United Bible Societies) writes:

For the truth see 1:6, but the reference here is to christological facts. This is shown by the next verse: the truth John’s readers know is the fact that Jesus is the Christ, as revealed in the Gospel.

Another commentator (Kruse, C. G. (2000). The letters of John (p. 104). W.B. Eerdmans Pub.; Apollos) agrees:

The truth to which the author refers in this context is the truth about Jesus Christ, that he is the Christ (Messiah), something the secessionists were denying and thus revealing themselves to be antichrists (2:22–23).

John taught that “no lie is of the truth,” which means if a teaching is true it comes from God.  If a teaching is false, it comes from the devil. Therefore, a believer can discern the truth that Jesus is the Christ. 

Expanding upon the truth that Jesus is the Christ, there are three Christological facts about the Person of Jesus Christ.  These three truths comprise the preexistence of Jesus Christ with God the Father, Jesus Christ is the “Son of God,” and Jesus is the Christ.  There are seven Christological truths about the role and work of Jesus Christ: (1) Jesus was sent into the world by God the Father, (2) Jesus came into the world to take away the sins of the world and destroy the works of the devil, (3) Jesus Christ had to 100% God and 100% human, (4) Jesus Christ had to live a sinless life, (5) Jesus Christ had to die a physical death, (6) Jesus Christ had to experience a physical, bodily resurrection from the dead, and (7) Jesus Christ had to ascend to God the Father.  Discussions of these Christological facts are on pages 42-68 of The Salvation Meter.

Conclusion

The “A Believer has Knowledge of the Truth” is a revealing test of salvation that indicates a person’s spiritual condition.  Here, in a broad sense, the truth is the fact that Jesus is the Christ.  In a more detailed sense, the truth comprises Christological facts that comprise those set forth on pages 42-68 of The Salvation Meter.  It is meaningful evidence of a lost condition if a person does not have knowledge of the truth.  On the other hand, it is meaningful evidence of salvation if a person has knowledge of the truth. 

QUESTIONS

1 John 2:18-21 teaches “A Believer has Knowledge of the Truth” test of salvation which raises the following questions for you to answer.  In answering these questions, please keep in mind the above three truths about the Person of Christ and the above seven truths about role and work of Jesus Christ.  There may be overlap between your following answers and those set forth with respect to the substance of a believer’s beliefs about Jesus Christ on pages 42-68 of the book.

Question 6-25:  What is your level of knowledge (e.g., excellent, good, fair, poor) about the truth that Jesus is the Christ?  Please explain your answer.  Are you satisfied with your current level of knowledge?  Please explain your answer.

Question 6-26:  Is your knowledge about the truth that Jesus is the Christ remaining the same, increasing, or decreasing?  Please explain your answer. 

Question 6-27:  Are you taking action to increase your knowledge about the truth that Jesus is the Christ?  Please explain your answers.

Question 6-28:  Do you believe you satisfy the “A Believer has Knowledge of the Truth” test of salvation?  Please explain your answer and include evidence that supports your answer.  Do you strongly agree, moderately agree, moderately disagree, strongly disagree or are neutral about the statement that you satisfy “A Believer has Knowledge of the Truth” test of salvation?  Please record your answer at Indicator 6-D of your Personal Salvation Assessment in the Appendix.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s