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Assurance of Salvation

Hebrews 6:11-12
And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Intro:

1. Christians desperately need assurance. So many live in doubt and despair. Assurance is absolutely essential to carry on the work of God.

During the first part of the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, no safety devices were used, and 23 men fell to their deaths. For the last part of the project, however, a large net that cost $100,000 was employed. At least 10 men fell into it and were saved. But an interesting sidelight is the fact that 25 percent more work was accomplished when the men were assured of their safety!

2. Definition of assurance:

Worldview of assurance would be a peace of mind, meaning that all is well for the future.

Psychology would define assurance as a personality free of frustration.

Bible sets for this gift of assurance as a certainty, a knowledge, an assurance concerning one's personal relationship to God.

As a Christian God wants you to be assured of your salvation. You deserve to have an inner consciousness and confidence that a right relationship exists between you and God.

1 John 5:12-13 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

Isaiah 32:17 The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.

A simple illustration might help at this point. An expert driver of a racecar invites you to ride with him in a test of the car. You are afraid, but you have enough faith to finally get into the car. Whatever security the car offered was yours as well as his. You tremble at every turn, while he has the understanding, knowledge and experience to enjoy the ride. He had assurance -- you did not, yet both had the same security.

God wants you to be happy in Christ, to enjoy your salvation. He cares for you and gives assurance and peace to you.

3. There can be no peace without assurance.

4. The Bible is filled with admonitions for every believer to have full assurance and peace of mind and soul.

5. Can we know that we are children of God? Yes.

I. ASSURANCE COMES FROM GOD.

A. God's word gives assurance.

Romans 8:31-39
What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all-- how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died-- more than that, who was raised to life-- is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

OUR LORD'S "THREE CHEERS"!

1. In spite of circumstances (v. 35.)

The well-known Bible teacher and hymn writer Wendell P. Loveless wrote: "Have you ever noticed that when our Lord was here on earth in the flesh, He gave 'three cheers'?

First, in Matthew 9:2 He said to the man sick of the palsy, 'Son, BE OF GOOD CHEER; thy sins be forgiven thee.' This is the good cheer of pardon. It's the starting point of all-Christian life and experience.

The apostle Paul declared in Acts 13:38-39, 'Be it known unto you...that through this man (Jesus) is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him all that believe are justified from all things.'

2. In spite of uncertainty of present or future (v. 38-39.)

Then, in Matthew 14:22-27 we read what happened when Jesus sent His disciples in a ship to the other side of the lake while He made His way to a mountain to pray. In the middle of the sea the boat encountered heavy winds, but during the storm the Savior came to His followers, walking on the water, saying, 'BE OF GOOD CHEER; it is I; be not afraid.'

This is the good cheer of comfort. Multitudes today are still out on a stormy sea of disappointment, sorrow, and temptation. But while they are being tossed about by fears, Jesus also comes walking upon their sea; and in His perfect love and grace He calms and quiets their hearts.

3. In spite of tribulation

Finally, in John 16:33 Jesus exclaimed, 'in the world ye shall have tribulation: but BE OF GOOD CHEER; I have overcome the world.' This is the good cheer of victory."

B. The promises of God are as valid today as ever.

Titus 1:2
" . . . a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time . . . "

The promises of God are not dependent upon human resources.

Our modern world encourages us to look inward to gather strength for the challenges and opportunities of each day.

We are encouraged to refortify our belief in ourselves and our ability to win in life's battles.

We are encouraged to boast our egos by saying to ourselves: "You're okay. You can make it. Nothing is too great for you to conquer you if you believe in yourself."

This is humanism.

Our confidence must be in God.

B. To have the assurance we are speaking of we must take God at his word.

Acts 27:25 "Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me.

1. Sometimes it is difficult for us to believe. Gideon had difficulty believing God and taking him at his word.

Judges 6:36-40
So Gideon said to God, "If You will save Israel by my hand as You have said--"look, I shall put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor; if there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that You will save Israel by my hand, as You have said." And it was so. When he rose early the next morning and squeezed the fleece together, he wrung the dew out of the fleece, a bowlful of water. Then Gideon said to God, "Do not be angry with me, but let me speak just once more: Let me test, I pray, just once more with the fleece; let it now be dry only on the fleece, but on all the ground let there be dew." And God did so that night. It was dry on the fleece only, but there was dew on all the ground.

2. What God has done is a clue to what He will do.

Heb 6:16-20
Men swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.

3. Paul says we are complete in him.

Col 2:10
" . . . and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power."

4. Christians are made acceptable in the beloved the emphasis is on what God has done for us.

Eph 1:3-6
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved.

5. God will not allow us to become overwhelmed by difficulties.

1 Cor 10:13

Your difficulties in life have little to do with you security. Difficulties do not negate God's grace.

We must have faith in God.

C. The power of God gives us assurance.

1. Paul assures us that God can complete his work that he has begun in us.

Phil 1:6
". . . being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ . . ."

1 Peter 1:3
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

2 Peter 1:3
" . . . As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue . . . "

God wants to assure you that you are His child through faith in Jesus Christ.

John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
 

II. THE WORK OF CHRIST GIVES ASSURANCE.

A. Jesus finished the redemptive work He was sent to accomplish. When He died on the cross. He paid the total price to save all that will surrender their lives to Him.

John 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

John 17:2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.

Heb 10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

B. Christ intercession as our high priest gives us assurance.

1. The believer has access to God the Father because Jesus is our High priest --- interceding for his own.

Heb 10:19-22
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.

Heb 7:25-27 25
Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Such a high priest meets our need-- one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.

2. Why do we pray to God "in the name of Jesus Christ"? Why do most prayers close with those words?

1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

3. We have assurance because Jesus Christ is our advocate.

a. Christ speaks for us.

1 John 2:1 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense-- Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.

THE UNFINISHED WORK OF CHRIST

Robert Murray McCheyne once remarked, "If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies. Yet the distance makes no difference. He is praying for me!"

b. Satan accuses us.

Rev 12:10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.

c. Jesus is always faithful in defending His own when confession of sin is made in prayer.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
 
 

III. THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT GIVES ASSURANCE.

A. The Holy Spirit is at work in our lives.

1. The Holy Spirit indwells the Christian.

1 Cor 3:16 Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?

Romans 8:11
And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.

2. The Holy Spirit makes intercession for us.

Romans 8:26
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.

B. All these verse and more, give the "blessed assurance that Jesus is mine."

IV. ASSURANCE AFFORDS US PEACE.

A. The work that Christ has accomplished on our behalf is our means to peace.

Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

Ephesians 2:14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,

B. Peace of God comes as a result of committing all our anxieties to God through prayer.

Phil 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Phil 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Eph 1:2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Conclusion:

An elderly British minister had reached the end of his earthly journey. On the morning of what would become his last day, a friend remarked to him, " They tell me you did not sleep very well last night." "It's true," replied the aged Christian, "I did not sleep very well, but I rested gloriously; for I put my head down on three pillows--the pillow of infinite wisdom, the pillow of infinite power, and the pillow of infinite love. I had a beautiful night!"

Michael Faraday was a brilliant scientific genius of his day. As he was nearing the end of his life, a friend stood by him and inquired, "What are your speculations now?" "Speculations?" Faraday replied in astonishment. "I have none. I know whom I have believed. My soul rests upon certainties!"
 

 

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