How to Have True Assurance, Part 3

“How to have True Assurance” part 3 (of 3)

We have considered objective assurance (the promises of God) and subjective assurance (vital signs in the believer’s heart and actions). Now we will conclude this study by comparing the believer’s position and condition.

What is our POSITION in Christ? The Bible declares “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1). We stand in grace, not our own merit: “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this GRACE in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Rom 5:1,2). OUR POSITION IN CHRIST DOES NOT FLUCTUATE.

And what is our personal CONDITION? This depends on our daily walk. Will we reckon ourselves dead to the authority of sin and alive to the righteousness of God? (Rom. 6:5-11; Cf. 1 John 1:7-9; Eph. 5:18). Our response varies, so OUR CONDITION FLUCTUATES.

Does assurance reduce the believer’s incentive for godly living? Security in Christ–rightly understood–draws us closer to Him. “We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). The GOODNESS of God leads us to repentance (Rom. 2:4) and the GRACE of God teaches us to say “no” to ungodliness (Titus 2:11,12). As members of God’s family, we are disciplined by Him if we go astray (Heb. 12:6; 1 Cor. 11:29-32). The future Judgment Seat of Christ will reveal how we responded to the opportunities of our earthly pilgrimage. This evaluation will determine our rewards or lack of them (2 Cor. 5:10; 1 Cor. 3:11-15). So, the quality of our Christian walk it very important.[1]

True assurance inspires the Christian to a more devoted life of discipleship. Miles Stanford wrote: “… the believer who truly stands in the grace of positional security is the one who most fully fears God and hates sin. And he hates sin for what it is, not just for its consequences. Moreover, his is not a slavish fear; it is not the fear of losing God’s love, but of offending and grieving it … The truth of security holds the Christian firm in the midst of the process of growth. It is the insecure believer who is naturally unstable and flounders from one ‘experience’ to another, never learning and therefore never arriving at the truth. Resting in our eternal position frees us from the futile and sinful self-effort of trying to make our condition the basis of our security. Abiding in our eternal security in Christ gives the steadiness of faith necessary for the ministry of the Holy Spirit to carry on His gracious ministry within–that of dealing with self in crucifixion, and thereby causing us to ‘grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ’ (2 Pet. 3:18).” [2]

The secure believer is also more equipped to stand against the devil– “the accuser of the brethren” (Rev. 12:10). The disciple is assured of the protection of the spiritual armor of God. The belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of the gospel of peace, the helmet of salvation, the shield of faith, and the sword of the Spirit are ALL fortifications of spiritual security. Armed with such true assurance we can stand firm!

The practical value of assurance was illustrated during the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge in California. At the time it was to be the longest, highest, most expensive bridge in the world. Because of the dangerous conditions, however, construction proceeded slowly and the crew fell behind schedule. Someone figured out that insecurity hindered the workmen from concentration on their jobs. To remedy the situation, a giant safety net was suspended underneath the construction area. This innovative measure cost about a hundred thousand dollars. Yet because the risk of death was removed, the workman could focus on the project and the construction advanced at a much faster rate. [3]

Similarly, true assurance supports the believer’s walk with God. We live as those “accepted in the Beloved [Christ]” (Eph 1:6). Paul affirmed that God’s grace and love inspires our confidence in Him: “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: ‘For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.’ Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:32-39).

What a wonderful Savior and Keeper! Let us abide in the One who gives His people true assurance.   ~~~~

Notes:

[1] For a study on these issues, see Grace Note: “Motivations for Choosing God’s Best.”

[2] Miles J. Stanford, The Complete Green Letters” (Zondervan) p. 97.

[3] Leslie B. Flynn, “Come Alive with Illustrations,” p. 115.

JOYOUS THANKSGIVING!

Grace Notes (c) 2000 by John Woodward. Permission is granted to reprint this article for non profit use. Please credit Grace Notes and inform john@gracenotebook.com Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, New King James Version (c) 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Capital letters in Scripture quotations are for added emphasis.

November 21, 2003 (edited and reissued from from part 2 of September 4, 2000)

Grace Notes (c) 2000 by John Woodward. Permission is granted to reprint this article for non commercial use. Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, New King James Version (c) 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Capital letters in Scripture quotations are for added emphasis.

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Copyright, John Woodward. Permission is granted to reprint this article for non-commercial use. Scripture quotations (unless indicated otherwise) are from The Holy Bible, New King James Version © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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