Blessed Assurance

February 23, 2018

 

BLESSED ASSURANCE 

        Text: 1 John 2:3-6

      

Fanny Crosby wrote the words of the great hymn
  “Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine.”

    The first stanza says:

               Blessed Assurance Jesus is mine,
               O what a foretaste of glory divine

               Heir of salvation, purchase of God,

               Born of the Spirit, washed in His blood.

    The refrain:

               This is my story, this is my song

               Praising my Savior all the day long.

 

    Is this your song?  Do you have the pleasure
of having a blessed assurance of your salvation?

 

The purpose of John's letter
          “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.”
1 John 5:13

    John desired for the believers in the early church to know without a doubt that they had received the gift of eternal life.

The Blessing of Assurance

       Comfort in the love relationship with God

       Cheerful in the midst of trials and tribulations

       Content in the circumstances of life

       Confident in the grace of God

             God’s got me!

Assurance of our salvation is truly a blessing of grace that God gives to His children.  By His assurance of His saving work in our lives we are blessed.
 

We are blessed with the comfort of a relationship with a loving heavenly Father

       1 John 3:1 "See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God"
 

We are blessed with cheerfulness in the midst of trials and tribulations...

      James 1:2 "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials"
 

We experience contentment in spite of the circumstances of life

       Philippians 4:11 "I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am".
 

We can rest secure and confident in the unchanging grace of God

       1Corinthians 15:10 "But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me".
 

We can know that “God’s got us, no matter what may happen.”

 

I too desire that you receive the benefits of sincerely knowing that you are saved.

But On what basis do we maintain our confidence in our salvation?

 

How do we know that we know Him?

  Objective Evidence: The Testimony of Scripture:

     God takes the initiative in drawing us to Himself

     God grants us faith by His grace

     God regenerates us by the Spirit

     God provides for our salvation in Jesus

     God keeps all He saves

           Do you BELIEVE this?

 

     First there are Scriptures that give objective evidence
in God’s work of salvation in us. 

 

God takes the initiative to draw us to Himself
      John 6:44  "No one can come to Me unless the Father who 
           sent Me draws him;"

 

God grants us the faith to believe by His grace

      Ephesians 2:8   "For by grace you have been saved through               faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God"
 

God regenerates us by the Spirit

      John 3: 5-8 "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
 

 God provides for our salvation in Jesus

       John 14:6 “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one   
            comes to the Father but through Me."

 

 God keeps secure all He saves

       John 10:28 "I give eternal life to them, and they will never
            perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand."

       If we are convinced of the trustworthiness of God’s Word, then we can be certain that God saves, and if we personally place our trust in His promises and truly believe then we are saved.

      The reformation teachers taught that we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, for the glory of God alone, by the authority of the Scripture alone.  This is the objective assurance of our salvation.
 

How do we know that we know Him?

    Subjective Evidence:  Our Attitudes and Behaviors

        1.  Do we keep His commandments

        2.  Do we love Him and are we compelled to keep His Word

        3.  Do we abide in Him and behaving as He did

                 Do you OBSERVE this?

But Paul wrote to the church at Corinth that we need “test ourselves”

    2 Corinthians 13:5 "Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?"

    When we examine ourselves, we search for subjective evidence that would assure us of our salvation.  This is what John writes about in this text.

    1 John 2:3-6 "By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.
 

     We must examine ourselves to see if we past these tests:

 TEST ONE: DO YOU KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS?

     John 14:21 "He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”

              

TEST TWO: DO WE LOVE HIM SO MUCH THAT WE ARE COMPELLED TO KEEP HIS WORD?

     John 14:23 "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him".

TEST THREE:  DO YOU ABIDE IN HIM TO SUCH AN EXTENT THAT YOU ACTUALLY ARE BEGINNING TO THINK AND ACT LIKE HIM?             Matthew 10:25  "It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher."

     

         Do you know that you have come to know Him?

 

 

     God does not desire that you live in fear and uncertainty.  Assurance of salvation is a benefit of His grace, so that we can live without fear, in perfect confidence of our future reward, and present empowerment by His Spirit to be more than conquerors.  Those who are recipients of this blessed assurance see the fruit of His Spirit in their lives.  They recognize God’s guiding hand in the circumstances of their life.  In short, they can see in their own lives, and experience in their own hearts, a foretaste of the glory divine that has been promised to them.
 

              Which one are you today:

Option One:  I can have confidence that I am saved because I went forward at an invitation, and prayed with the pastor, and even was baptized.  Even though my life shows little evidence of God in my life, I trust that He has forgiven me, and will accept me into His Kingdom just as I am.

               Depending on popular doctrine

Option Two: I have confidence that I am saved because I sometimes feel His presence in me, so I know He is there, even though it makes little practical impact on the life I lead.

               Depending on feelings and emotional experiences

Option Three:  I have confidence that I am saved because I (and others) can see the changes that He has made in me and I continue to see His mighty hand working in my life to conform me to the image of His Son. I don’t want the same things I used to want.  Now I love His Word and seek to apply it to my walk of faith, and daily seek to be led by His Spirit.

               Depending on the Spirit

Option Four: I have no confidence that Christ truly lives in me, because I neither see nor feel any evidence to convince me that He lives in me. 

 

There is great comfort in the Blessed Assurance that we belong to Him.  What is the evidence on which your confidence rests?

                     

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