Summary: A message on having the peace of knowing we are saved (assurance) It is a possibility and a priority, but in some cased it can be a calamity when it gives peace to someone claiming to be a Christian while living in sin.
SALVATION FROM A TO Z
Website: Yahoo search homeorchurchbiblestudy.com bob marcaurelle
Copyright 2005 by Bob Marcaurelle
2014 Revision by Bob Marcaurelle
ASSURANCE OF SALVATION
1 Jn. 5:13
“These things I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so you may know that you have eternal life”
2 Pet. 1:10
“Be eager (diligent) to make your calling and election sure.”
2 Tim. 1:12:
“I know in whom I have believed and I am positively persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have commit¬ted unto Him until that day”
These verses tell us three things; (1) We can have peace and assurance about our salvation. (2) A true believer may not have this assurance. (3) God us to have it. Adrian Rogers used to say: God does not want us to have a think so, hope so, maybe so, salvation; but a know so salvation.
NOT A NECESSITY
John writes to those who "have eternal life" so they might know they have it. Some who stress a vivid, memorable conversion experience, go on to say that if a person does not know he is saved, he probably is not. There song is, “I was there when it happened / And I guess I ought to know.”
This not only goes against John’s vwords but it harms weak believers. They end up trying to have some experience they cannot conjure up and spend their lives tortured by doubt..
We are not saved through strong faith or assured faith but through faith. Jesus, the object is the One who saves. If we trust an experience with the strongest of faiths we are not saved. If we trust Him with the weakest of faiths we are.
A. H. Strong says, “It’s getting into a boat that saves us, not our comfortable feelings about the boat. The boat is what saves us. Spurgeon pictures two men crossing an ice covered lake at night. On is scared and crawls over inch by inch. Another drives across as fast as he can in a wagon pulled by four horses, singing all the way. They both get across because each put their faith in the ice. The strength of the ice saved them whether their faith was weak or strong.
THE REALITY OF ASSURANCE
Lutherans, Roman Catholics (who make their church the arbiter of salvation) plus all denominations that teach we can lose salvation deny that anyone can know it. Some say they should not know because this might encourage them to sin- The truth is a believer can sin all he wants to; but since we are changed believers we don’t want to. sin. In fact we are distressed, like Paul (Romans 7:14ff) because we sin more than we want to.
THE PRIORITY OF ASSURANCE
The Bible makes assurance a priority. An entire Bible Book (1Jn.) and he Holy Spirits command through Peter to make our calling sure mean that God wants us to have assurance.
1. Assurance gives us peace
It is having peace about our eternal destiny. There are few burdens more unbearable that to believe in heaven and hell and wonder if we will make heaven. Satan has a field day when all we think about is our condition. We need to be out doing the will of God. A worried believer will waste his energies thinking about his own spiritual state. He will be a spiritual hypochondriac obsessed with his own ailments, doubts, questions, conflicts and corruptions (J. C. Ryle).
2. Assurance makes us strong
In the face of temptation we say “greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world” (1 Jn. 4:4) In the face of trouble we say “trouble produces character” (Rom. 5:3, 4). In the face of death we say, “I will fear no evil for Thou art with me” (Ps. 23). In the face of eternity we can say with Paul:
2 Cor. 5:1
“We know we have a building from God, eternal in
the heavens, not made by human hands”
We grow strong in our prayer life, saying,
“Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and full assurance of faith / Let us hold fast and retain without wavering (Ampl.), the hope we profess, for He who has promised is faithful.”
3. Assurance helps our witness
1 Pet. 3:15
“Be ready at all times to give an account to anyone who asks you of the HOPE that is in you; but do it with humility and reverence.”
A doubting believer will not even want to talk to others until he is sure about himself. And if he does witness, he will be a poor example of what he is trying to give. This weary world is waiting and longing for some words of hope and certainty. I like a dogmatic pilot who says we will get home safely.. I like a dogmatic surgeon, not one who hopes he can help me. To give people hope we need to give them something solid to stand on.