Summary: Introductory Comments 1.
1. Baptism is a special time. Reminds of of God's promises and our faith. It lets us consider the wonder of life as seen in a little baby.
2. Almost 180 years ago, a little baby girl was born. She was born a healthy baby. After only 6 weeks, she suffered a slight cold. The cold caused an inflamation in her eyes. The family doctor was out so another person came in his place. He recommended they apply some flaxseed to her eyes. The result was tragic - she became permanently blind. A lifetime of blindness because of this one mistake.
3. She could easily have lived a life of resentment. But instead, Crosby’s life was a life that was filled with joy. we hear her joy in the hymn that we just sang. Listen to the words agian. READ. I love to sing them - they are so powerful. They reflect a strong confession of faith, of assurance of faith, and a joy beyond compare. Stress "foretaste of glory divine, perfect delight, happy and blest, filled with His goodness, lost in His love"
4. Crosby wrote over 800 hymns. Rather than experience pain and suffering, she was able to rejoice.
5. The secret to her joy and her faith are found in Blessed Assurance. We see two things - the delight she had in God and the assurance sher had of her salvation.
6. Today we see how these two things - delight and assurance - are closel;y related. And as we do, I ask you do you have the assurance that all will be well, that one day you will be in heaven? And do you have the delight that Crosby had?
1. We might say that Crosby delighted in the Lord because she had assurance. To delight is to be glad, to have joy, to make mirth, and to rejoice. She could rejoice because, as we just sang, Crosby had a strong faith in God, in His goodness. She knew that she was cleansed of her sin and that one day she would be in heaven with God. The joy she experienced in this life was but a foretaste, an appetizer of the joy she would experience in heaven.
2. Do you share the assurance that Crosby had? That we just sang about? Do you believe in the promises of God, promises we heard God made again today as we baptized Kyle James? Is this just a human ritual or is this a sign of God’s love and His calling to us to believe in Him? If you have this assurance, you can be glad and you can delight in the Lord.
3. I want to examine a different aspect to the relationship between assurance and delight this morning. I just said that we delight because of teh assurance we have, but we also have assurance because we delight.
4. As your pastor, I desire so much for you to live in the joy of an assurance that enables you to live in joy and hope, no matter what your circumstances.
5. But, also, I want to ensure that your assurance is well-founded. That you do not think that you are saved when you are really not. And what I hope to explain is that it can be the fact that we delight in the Lord that can be the source of our assurance. That we long for God and the things of God. That God is more important to us than anything else. Let's see how this works.
6. Jesus tells us:
Mat 7:21-23 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'
7. These words of Jesus were spoken to those who thought they were saved but were really not. Some of them proclaimed God’s word and even performed miracles. Yet their assurance was not well-founded because their faith was not genuine.
8. Jesus says that only those who "do the will of my Father" will enter the kingdom of heaven. This makes it sound that the only way we get to heaven is by obeying the law of God. That we can work or earn our way into heaven. But as we saw last week, God does not just look at the outside of a person, what He does. He looks at the heart. He looks at why we do what He calls us to do. He does not come to us and say "John, you came to church each week, you were a good person, therefor enter into my rest." No, He looks deeper than that.