Summary: Details basis for assurance
Assurance. We all want and need it. Assurance that our doctor is competent; that our job is secure; that the foods we buy are uncontaminated; and most importantly, that our sins are forgiven and that we are right with God. We need the assurance Gerald sang about today.
Frances Crosby, who wrote that hymn, enjoyed that assurance even though a doctor applied a mustard plaster poultice to her eyes when she was only six weeks old, making her totally blind. Yet, she began writing hymns when she was 6. When she was 9, she wrote:
“O what a happy soul am I,
Although I cannot see,
I am resolved that in this world
Contented I will be.
How many blessings I enjoy
That other people don’t.
To weep and sigh because I’m blind,
I cannot, and I won’t.”
During her lifetime, Fanny Crosby wrote eight thousand hymns but “Blessed Assurance” is one of the most well known. God wants us to have assurance and that our assurance be founded on faith and what Paul calls, “confident hope.” But, what is our “confident hope?” And of what are we assured?
Let us check Paul’s words, “God has now revealed to us His mysterious plan regarding Christ, a plan to fulfill His own good pleasure. And this is the plan: At the right time He will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth. Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for He chose us in advance, and He makes everything work out according to His plan. God’s purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God. And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, He identified you as His own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom He promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that He will give us the inheritance He promised and that He has purchased us to be His own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify Him. Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for God’s people everywhere, I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope He has given to those He called—his holy people who are His rich and glorious inheritance. I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe Him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 1:9-20 (NLT).
I. BE ASSURED: WE ARE PART OF GOD’S PLAN:
A. “And this is the plan: At the right time He will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth. Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for He chose us in advance, and He makes everything work out according to His plan.”
1. Did you know that God chose you”
2. Did you know that you are a pleasure to God?
3. Did you know that God has written you into His will as an heir?
B. What is the impact of that?
1. We are not accidents of mindless, godless evolution.
2. We are here by Divine Design.
3. We have purpose and meaning and value.
C. God had a plan before creation. He was not forced from that plan by Christ’s rejection and death – that was the fulfillment of His plan. Paul wrote, “Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure.” Ephesians 1:4-5 (NLT)
D. If you are in Christ, you are part of God’s eternal purpose, His Divine design.
E. In a mythical garden the Gardner had daily visits with his many plants. His favorite one was a blue rose tinged with lavender highlights. One day the Gardener came to the garden and went directly to the rose bush. He said to the roses. “Roses, I am going to use you today.” They perked up, and said, “We are ready. Use us as you will.” He said, “To use you I must cut you from the bush.” “Cut …us… from...the...bush? Oh, not that! Use us but do not cut us from the bush!” The Gardener said, “I cannot use you unless I cut you from the bush.” Then the roses said, “Master, if you cannot use us other than to cut us from the bush.. then do your will and cut.” The Gardener had a plan for the roses. He took them and made a bouquet for a sick child in the hospital. And the roses rejoiced as they saw the joy they brought by surrendering to his plan.