Summary: Doubt can hinder our walk with Christ. We don't have to allow it to!
Doubt has the unique ability to keep us from fully living especially when doubt produces fear. This is a truth about life in general and especially in regards to the Christian life. There have been many and will be many more, maybe some of you in this room, who will find yourself at the end of your life and you will wrestle with the regret of not living out your faith in Christ to the full. Most of the people I counsel with in this area express that the number one reason why they did not live a full out life of faith in Jesus Christ is because the enemy had succeeded in leading them into the darkness of doubt regarding God’s love for them and the security of their salvation. Their doubt regarding their salvation and God’s love for them resulted in fear that led them to living a “safe” life and if we know anything about Christ’s purposes and plans for His people it is defiantly not a call to “safe” living.
My prayer today as we hear from God’s very word is that we will LET GO OF DOUBT and live fully in the security of God’s love and care for us.
THE BASIS OF THE CHRISTIAN’S CONFIDENCE
GOD IS FOR US. What are “these things” that Paul is referring to? I believe that, at the very least, he is referring to ROMANS 8:28-29 that summarizes the wonderful grace that we have received in salvation. God knew us in advance. Chose us as His own. Justified us by His grace. Planned for our transformation to make us more like Jesus to magnify and exalt His supremacy among us. Secured our future glorification with Him in eternity. In response to all of this Paul says: IF GOD IS FOR US WHO CAN STAND AGAINST US?
GOD IS FOR US AND PROVIDES WHAT WE NEED.
ALL THAT IS NECESSARY FOR US TO BE SAVED HAS BEEN PROVIDED. The Book of Romans makes abundantly clear that salvation is impossible to receive apart from the saving work of Jesus Christ. Sinful people on their best behavior could never do enough to merit a justified, right and accepted standing before our perfectly holy God. God, knowing this, did not simply “wash His hands” of the depraved human race but in love gave His very Son to us to live the life we could not live and to die the death that we deserved to make a way for sinful men, women, boys and girls to be completely forgiven and set free of their sins and now, being forgiven in and by Jesus, we have been given heaven as our eternal reward. God provided all that was necessary to save us from ourselves and eternal separation from Him in hell because of our sins.
ALL THAT IS NECESSARY TO LIVE THE LIFE WE HAVE BEEN SAVED IS PROVIDED. Being that God has provided all that was necessary to save us it should come as no surprise to understand that God has provided all that is necessary to live the life of the saved. Those who promote the prosperity gospel, which is not gospel at all, love verses like this and teach that Jesus wants to give us riches and materialistic increase and that is not the case whatsoever. What the Scriptures are teaching us is that, having been saved from a life of sin and sinfulness, the life that we have been saved to is a life of godly righteousness and everything necessary to live this life of righteousness is provided for us by God in Christ through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. Think about it! Jesus taught that His people will be those who love unconditionally, forgive freely, serve others tirelessly, love their enemies, pray for their persecutors, worship passionately, give generously, share the Gospel intentionally, live purposefully, take radical steps to remove sin from their own lives, and we could go on and on. Jesus has defined and demonstrated the righteousness that would define His people and calls us likewise. When we think about the high calling we have received in Christ to practically pursue and live out on earth the righteousness we have received in Christ we see this as a human impossibility. How in the world can we live this way? The answer is found in our passage and reveals that everything we will, have or will ever need to live out the high and righteous calling we have received in Christ Jesus is given to us by God Himself. He knew that we would never, in our own strength, be able to live out this new life in Christ so He gives us Himself by way of the Holy Spirit to live within us and change us from the inside out. God has given all that was necessary to secure our salvation when He gave His One and Only Son and graciously gives us everything necessary to live out the life that we have been saved to. HOW CAN I UNCONDITIONALLY LOVE SOMEBODY WHO IS CONDITIONALLY UNLOVEABLE? HOW CAN I FORGIVE SOMEBODY FOR DOING THE UNFORGIVEABLE TO ME? HOW CAN I SACRIFICIALLY SERVE OTHERS AT MY OWN EXPENSE? HOW CAN I BE SO GENEROUS WITH MY RESOURCES THAT OTHERS ARE SHOCKED? The answer is in, through and by the power of the Holy Spirit who has been given to us! If we find obedience difficult to come by it is likely due to the fact that we are striving for obedience in our own power rather than in Jesus’ strength. He has not saved us to a life that we cannot live. He has saved us to a life that we cannot live on our own. Therefore, we must depend on Him and cry out to Him to put in us what He calls from us. This is what Paul was getting at when he wrote PHILIPPIANS 1:6. When obedience in a particular area seems hard do not doubt His provision to provide all that is necessary for righteousness.