Summary: Look at this phrase, “protected by the power of God through faith” (1 Peter 1:5) (Material adapted from Dr. Jack Cottrell's book, "Set Free")
Sometimes when we are in an airport, observe the difference between passengers who hold confirmed tickets and those who are on standby. The ones with confirmed tickets read magazines, chat with friends, or just sleep. The ones on standby hang around the ticket counter, pace and fret, fret and pace. The difference is caused by assurance. Confirmed ticket holders have assurance that they will get on the flight. Those on standby have no such assurance.
Some Christians believe that they are always on standby, no assurance of salvation. “Always trying, never sure”- They deny assurance altogether. Blessed assurance= Never assurance, I just don't know, if Jesus accepts me into his kingdom, oh no!
Those who hold this view live the best Christian life they can, fighting against sin and immersing themselves in good works of all kinds; yet they never experience the assurance, peace, and joy that comes from knowing they are saved. “If Judgment Day were to be held this very moment, would you be saved?” Their answer would be something like, “I hope so but one can never be sure.” Some go to this extreme when they reject the eternal security idea. They mistakenly equate blessed assurance as “once saved, always saved” and so reject any confidence in their salvation in Jesus. Arrogance to say with confidence that we are going to heaven (like a relative who one time said, "I've got God in my back pocket", not wise, need to avoid this kind of arrogance). Many times those who struggle with assurance are laboring under the old idea that we are saved by our works, by being good enough. Those who think this way most often are conscious of their sins and their unworthiness of heaven, and thus are filled with fear and anxiety about death and the final judgment. The best they can hope for is to die in church while praying prayers for forgiveness. Now, such lack of assurance does not mean these Christians are lost, but it does mean that they are missing out on the joy and peace that assurance brings. This “always trying, never sure” approach to assurance has as much biblical support as “once saved, always saved.” Both extremes must be rejected.
The best approach to assurance is summed up in the phrase, “Simply trusting, fully forgiven.” This phrase acknowledges the fact that the Christian is completely, 100% forgiven (justified) by the blood of Christ. We are completely free from the condemnation for sin. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,” Romans 8:1, NIV. Assurance of salvation is based on the first part of the double cure (justification) rather than on the second part (sanctification). The Christian is a forgiven person, even though he is not a perfect person. The biblical approach to assurance is summed up here: we “who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:5, NAS95. This emphasizes God’s faithfulness and the Christian’s faith as essential elements in assurance.
Thesis: Look at this phrase, “protected by the power of God through faith”
Protected by the power of God
This stresses God’s faithfulness. We can be sure that God will never leave us nor forsake us. We have all the resources we need to protect us, shield us, guard us, keep us, from our enemies that want to rob us of our salvation. These resources include the indwelling Holy Spirit, the Bible, prayer, and the church. The greatest resource of all is God’s own faithful and unfailing love. This love is a firm basis for assurance, according to Paul in Romans 5:1-11, read. Our hope, or assurance, will not be disappointed because God’s love with all its effects has been poured out into our hearts (vs. 5). “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8, NIV. God’s love gave us the cross, and our faith in His cross brings justification; and because we are justified we are in a state of objective peace with God (vs. 1). We are no longer his enemies but have been reconciled to Him and are now His friends (vs. 10). Having been justified by faith, we are actually standing in- are positioned in- the saving grace of God (vs. 2). The result is that we have “hope of the glory of God,” a hope that causes us to “exult” or rejoice (vs. 2). Our lives are full of joy, and we are “happy on our way to heaven”, as Brother Don DeWelt liked to express it. A key word here is hope. Must know that biblical hope is not like wishful thinking. “I hope I find a winning ticket for the Power Ball lottery this week”. Biblical hope is a feeling of certainty, not uncertainty, and thus is equivalent to assurance. We rejoice in the “assurance” (confidence) of the glory of God (5:2).