I had the opportunity to talk with a young lady after worship yesterday who is dealing with a lot of spiritual issues. In tears, she said to me that she felt lost. I asked in what sense she meant that and she told me that it seemed she was adrift at sea without any direction. Remembering that on another occasion she had told me she had trusted Christ, I asked her about her relationship with Him. She said, “I thought I had trusted in Jesus, but there has been nothing in my life to give evidence of that.”
I remembered back to John’s teaching in chapter 3, verse 6 [see commentary here]: “No one who abides in Him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known Him.” As we talked, she was right — there had been absolutely no transformation in her life since she “prayed a prayer.” She still was unable and/or unwilling to give up the lifestyle choices she had made that were leading to destruction.
I suppose the good thing about this is that she continues to feel drawn at this point. She still feels the tug of conviction, but she doesn’t have that ever-important element that John describes in the reading for today: the inner testifying of the Spirit of God that we are children of God. The transforming work of love is carried out in our lives and we, then, “have confidence for the day of judgment…”.
I have great hope that she will truly come to trust in Christ because of the evidence that He is drawing her in to Himself, but when there is no transformation and no inner testimony of the Spirit that we are saved, there can be no justification.