Assurance

PrayerMy brother in Christ, and new friend, Slimjim, over at The Domain For Truth has finished up his series on assurance.  It is a 10 part series and well worth looking at since most who call themselves “Christian” know so very little about this topic.  What is amazing to me is the fact that assurance is so obvious.  Just open your Bible to John 3:16 and it literally begs to be noticed.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

Please understand that I am not going to make an entire theological statement on this verse.  I am convinced that many people take it way out of context, but I do want to look at one part of it.  Take a look at the last 3 words and follow along.  “Have” is something you possess.  It is something you received in the past.  “Eternal Life” is, well, eternal.  If’n you can’t figure out what the meaning of “eternal” is, please consult a dictionary.  So, when you put that together, you “HAVE ETERNAL LIFE.”  But, one other thing I want to bring out is the fact that you have eternal life whether you are a Christian or not.  We are born into “eternity,” I like to say.  One form of that eternal life is in Christ, which leads to heaven, the other form of eternal life is outside of Christ and that leads to hell.  Either way, it is eternal, never ending, always ongoing.

My hope and prayer is that you will read through the links I have posted below and first, come to a knowledge of Jesus Christ by the working of the Holy Spirit in the regeneration of your heart.  Or, if you are already a Christian, that your faith will be strengthened and the assurance that is given to us will be more evident to you.

Here are the links to the 10 part series:

Assurance of Salvation Part 1: Why study on the topic of Christian assurance?

Assurance of Salvation Part 2: Foundation for Perseverance of the Saints

Assurance of Salvation Part 3: Perseverance means a Believer Endure

Assurance of Salvation Part 4: Objections to Perseverance of the Saints

Assurance of Salvation Part 5: Christians can Know that they are saved

Assurance of Salvation Part 6: Do you understand the Gospel?

Assurance of Salvation Part 7: Questions to examine ourselves Part 1

Assurance of Salvation Part 8: Questions to examine ourselves Part 2

Assurance of Salvation Part 9: Four kinds of people and the result of our testing in the faith

Assurance of Salvation Appendix: Test your faith Survey Questions List

Assurance

Prayer  SlimJim from The Domain For Truth continues with part 8 of his Assurance of Salvation series.  While reading through his outline, I was reminded of Walter Marshalls’ The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification (pdf version here).  In this day and age of easy believism where anyone who “walks the aisle” is a Christian, I can’t help but be confounded how a holy God, an almighty Deity, seems to have so little changing power in the lives of many of those who call upon His name.

Marshall states very early in this work:

The Lord is not at all loved with that love that is due to Him as Lord of all, if He is not loved with all our heart, spirit and might. We are to love everything in Him, His justice, holiness, sovereign authority, all-seeing eye, and all His decrees, commands, judgements, and all His doings. We are to love Him, not only better than other things, but singly, as only good, the fountain of all goodness; and to reject all fleshly and worldly enjoyments, even our own lives, as if we hated them, when they stand in competition with our enjoyment of Him, or our duty towards Him. We must love Him as to yield ourselves wholly up to His constant service in all things, and to His disposal of us as our absolute Lord, whether it is for prosperity or adversity, life or death. And, for His sake, we are to love our neighbor – even all men, whether they are friends or foes to us; and so do to them in all things, that concern their honor, life, chastity, worldly wealth, credit and content, whatever we would that men should do to us in the like condition (Matt. 7:12). This spiritual universal obedience is the great end to the attainment of which I am directing you. And, that you may not reject my enterprise as impossible, observe that the most I promise is no more than an acceptable performance of these duties of the law such as our gracious merciful God will certainly delight in and be pleased with during our state of imperfection in this world, and such as will end in perfection of holiness and all happiness in the world to come.

  This presupposes that we “do” something, which is out of step with current evangelicalism which emphasizes justification by faith alone, which I affirm, but nothing more, which I don’t agree with.  Sanctification is something that should be very real in the Christian’s life.  As I recently heard it said, sanctification should be the outworking of an incredible joy in our justification. Basically, if we are excited and understand our justification, we will be excited to grow and walk in our sanctification, which is something we do by the power of the Holy Spirit.

So, click the link below and head on over to The Domain For Truth and ask yourself some of the questions that SlimJim poses.

Assurance of Salvation Part 8: Questions to examine ourselves Part 2

I have also included links the the first 7 parts in case you might have missed any of them.

Assurance of Salvation Part 7: Questions to examine ourselves Part 1

Assurance of Salvation Part 6: Do you understand the Gospel?

Assurance of Salvation Part 5: Christians can Know that they are saved

Assurance of Salvation Part 4: Objections to Perseverance of the Saints

Assurance of Salvation Part 3: Perseverance means a Believer Endure

Assurance of Salvation Part 2: Foundation for Perseverance of the Saints.

Assurance of Salvation Part 1: Why study on the topic of Christian assurance?

Assurance

Most people in church’s today have very little assurance of their salvation.  For many years I was in the same boat.  I was constantly asking myself if  I had prayed enough, read my Bible enough, been at church often enough, etc.  I based my salvation upon those things instead of faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross.  What it boils down to is that you and I cannot do anything to merit our salvation.  Our sinful fallen nature makes it impossible to “do” anything for God.

Psalm 3:7-8 (ESV) – Arise, O Lord!  Save me, O my God!  For you strike all my enemies on the cheek; you break the teeth of the wicked.  Salvation belongs to the Lord; your blessings be on your people.

I used to read that and think that I could just arbitrarily call out to God and he would save me.  Yes, I do have to call out to God to be saved, just as everyone else does, but it is so easy to skip over the ramifications of verse 8 which states, “Salvation belongs to the Lord; your blessings be on your people.”  It is God who holds the blessing of salvation and he is the one that dispenses it to whomever He wills.

Oh, I hear the cries of anger that I would have the audacity to say that, but let me ask you something.  If I were to walk into a crowd of 100 people and choose 5 of them to give a gift of $100 to, who could say I was being unfair.  The money is mine (salvation belongs to the Lord) and I am free to choose who to give it too (your blessings be on your people).  God shares His common grace with everyone on the earth (see Matthew 5:45) which is way more than we rebels deserve, but his electing grace that calls us to salvation falls on those whom he has predestined before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4-10) and is according to his purpose (Romans 8:28-30).

Because I know that He has chosen me, ripped the stubborn, rebellious, calloused heart out of me and replaced it with a heart that desires to serve Him, worship Him and acknowledge Him as Lord of all, I now have an assurance that comforts me instead of having the torment of wondering about it.

In that light, I would like to continue to share the posts of SlimJim from The Domain For Truth on Assurance.  Part 6, entitled “Assurance of Salvation Part 6: Do you understand the Gospel?” is the latest post, but I’ve placed links to the 5 prior posts as well.

Assurance of Salvation Part 6: Do you understand the Gospel?

Assurance of Salvation Part 5: Christians can Know that they are saved

Assurance of Salvation Part 4: Objections to Perseverance of the Saints

Assurance of Salvation Part 3: Perseverance means a Believer Endure

Assurance of Salvation Part 2: Foundation for Perseverance of the Saints.

Assurance of Salvation Part 1: Why study on the topic of Christian assurance?

And a big Uhrah! to SlimJim.  NavyChaplainPraysWithMarines

Assurance

PrayerI made the first post on Assurance a little over a week ago and you can read it here.  Continuing the series are two new posts by SlimJim on a Christians assurance and they can be found at the following two links.

Assurance of Salvation Part 3: Perseverance means a Believer Endure

Assurance of Salvation Part 4: Objections to Perseverance of the Saints