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Believer’s Basics #10 – Assurance (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
The Truth Network Radio
November 24, 2022 6:00 am

Believer’s Basics #10 – Assurance (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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November 24, 2022 6:00 am

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Pastor Rick Gaston

If you claim to belong to Christ, you've got to try to live it as best you can.

Full assurance, full assurance will be yours. Now, I have to point out, full assurance is not essential for salvation. In other words, you can have your doubts, you believe in the Lord, but you still struggle. That doesn't mean all by itself that you're going to go to hell because you still struggle. But it is critical nonetheless.

It is critical for service. And now, here's Pastor Rick with part two of his study called Assurance in 1 John 5. When we are in great grief, I'm talking about when there's really nothing unusual taking place, things are relatively routine, and you're just not moved by holy things or the Holy Spirit. You should be concerned.

Every alarm in your mind should be ringing if that is the case. You need to get with the Lord and tell Him straight out that this is an issue that you will not settle for. Not to demand God to do something, but to place a demand upon yourself to get to the bottom of it before God. Because we know that He is long suffering, willing that none should perish, and aren't we glad He is long suffering?

Because if He were not, we would have been toast long time ago. And so, if I say, choose, if you choose to stop believing, you're lost. If you become a believer, then you choose to stop.

This rattles so many people. I know why some of them, because they're so locked into the doctrines of men, and others just get upset because they don't know why they're upset. They've been told this in the church.

What are you saying? What are you saying, I could lose my salvation? Jesus said it like this, if you abide with me, I'll abide with you.

I don't need any more than that. If I don't abide with Him, then what happens? Don't find out, because He says in John 15 verse 5, they're cast into the fire. I believe in the eternal security of the believer. I do not believe in the eternal security of the unbeliever. What is so complicated about that, when you come across such text that said, check yourselves out or maybe you're disqualified, or in our very text this morning that you may continue to believe.

And there's so many other places, it shouldn't be something that we are frazzled by. We love the Lord. Jesus said, no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

He said it through His man, the apostle Paul. No condemnation for those in Christ Jesus, and no salvation for those outside Christ Jesus, which is an offense to the world that wants to come to Christ on their terms as did Cain. And so assurance, what is it? It is the solid belief that you are truly saved from an eternal judgment, that you will be going to heaven. That you are a friend of God. That you walk with God. In spite of your shortcomings, in spite of your failures, in spite of your sins, He's made a way for you. God has interfered with your sin if you come to Him. You don't deserve this, but you can receive it.

And if you're too proud to receive it, then you won't get it. And so we are destined to be in heaven if we have faith in Jesus Christ. That is our destiny. That is where we're going. We are on the flight that is going to heaven.

That's what I want, and that's what I want everyone to want. Some, again, are not sure about this. It should not be. If you claim Christ as Lord, you should never doubt His work. We'll get to the sin part a little bit more as we move on. But, many just have the milk of faith. They come to the faith and they just have the milk.

They can't take solid food. God wants you to have solid food. If you live on milk, but have claimed Christ long enough, why do you keep a baby's diet?

Why do you not press on to the deeper things of the Word of God, such as scripture that we have this morning before us and many of the surrounding scriptures that are being used to drive the point home, again, like well-driven nails? We are to believe and we are exhorted to eat. We are exhorted to be sheep that feed in the pastures of the Lord. The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want. John chapter 10, Jesus said, I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go out and in and find pasture. You will be saved and you will feed, not on milk, but solid food.

This is what God wants and I believe that those Christians that are always fretting about their salvation, they never get off the baby food. And so you can't get strong that way. There are processes at work and you have to respond to them.

And if you don't respond to them, you won't mature. You won't be what you can be. If you do not believe you can be more in Christ, then you doubt Christ's work through his Holy Spirit. True Christian assurance is not a matter of guesswork. It's not, well, I think I'm saved. Well, I hope I'm saved. Well, I might be saved. I guess I'm saved. It is I am saved. I know where I am going.

I know who I believe. I trust his promises and I'm not backing away. It's your call. It's up to you. It's up to each and every one of us. That doesn't mean Satan will not come and attack you on this matter.

He'll attack you on anything he can attack you. Be ready for him through the word of God. How can we effectively live for Christ if we doubt his promises? How can you be used to preach Christ if you yourself don't believe it?

What benefit is there in that? God has assured those who love Jesus Christ and seek his will in all things. You catch that? It's not a scripture verse, but it's a statement built on scripture verses. God has assured those who love Jesus Christ and seek his will in all things that they will be saved. You may not get to his will because of your sinful flesh, but you still want it. You're hunger and thirst to do it his way, and you don't like that you do it the carnal way. It's what Paul talks about in Romans 8, O sinful man that I am, wretched man that I am. For me, I want to do what God tells me to do, but I find this flesh, this carnal nature, this sinful nature that I am born with and I can't shake in this life with me wherever I go, disturbing everything I believe.

What is going to be done about this, and where does he leave it? In the hands of God. Only God can settle this. Understanding who this God is means everything.

Loving him for his, again, interference in my life against sin. At some point, what God promises, not what our doubts dictate, must prevail. If you're ever going to be assured of your salvation and useful because of it, then you're going to have to, at some point, lay hold of the promises. It is normal for all Christians to know that they are saved. It is normal.

That is what's expected of us. It's not something like, wow, there's a rare Christian, he's sure where he's going. I mean, there are other religions out there that tell you, there are leaders of their religion that will tell you, no man can know that he is saved until he is dead.

Well, what good is that? There's a lottery or something? I mean, God did not leave us with a roulette wheel? It's not spiritual roulette. It's a promise of God. It would not be a God of love if he said, watch this, I'm going to keep them paranoid and panic-stricken all the days of their life.

You know, this is the thing. You know, I hear some people that go to church, well, the word's not preached there, but I like the people. Well, that's a contradiction in terms because if the Lord is your shepherd, again, he leads you to green pastures, not dirt fields.

He wants you to feed on his word so that you can be useful to not only him, but to yourself. You know one of the challenges of public preaching is? You've got to go at living what you preach with everything you've got. Otherwise, it becomes an exhibition. It is no longer a platform for God's word.

It is a stage for human beings. Well, my rule is this. If it's so for the pastor, it's so for the pew. If you claim to belong to Christ, you've got to try to live it as best you can. And full assurance, full assurance will be yours. Now, I have to point out, full assurance is not essential for salvation. In other words, you can have your doubts. You believe in the Lord, but you still struggle.

That doesn't mean by itself that you're going to go to hell because you still struggle with the doubt. But it is critical nonetheless. It is critical for service. It is critical for your own peace. It is critical for those around you.

Confusion and uncertainty, they are counterproductive. The gospel came to the believers at the church in a place named Thessalonica. It came to them in much assurance. 1 Thessalonians chapter 1. For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance.

In much assurance. And this, where he says it came in power, reading or words won't save you. It is the action because of the words that bring about results. The Christian life is supposed to be characterized by a people who are trying to act upon the words, not just read them or know about them or agree with them, but who are actually again putting their boots on the ground, if you will, to get things done.

They've not only put on the tool belt, but they are using the tools in the belt. The New Testament speaks of full assurance, of hope, of faith. Hebrews chapter 10, let us draw near to God. Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith. Hebrews 10, 22. Do you have that?

Ask yourself. It's not wrong to say, I've got it. It is everything right for the Christian to say, yeah man, I have it.

I believe, I have received, and I am not doubting it. Not only has he promised it, but I want what he promised. And he wants to give what he has promised. And I will not trample his promise, I will not question his character, I will not say you're lying to me, you're toying with me. I feel like an old southern preacher there. I'm just doing this and doing that.

Man, I've arrived. Blessed assurance for those who love God and the Savior of the New Testament. 1 John chapter 5, the one we're in, verse 1, whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God. And everyone who loves him who begot also loves him who is begotten of him.

And I've got some criticisms for how John writes, and when I get to heaven maybe you can talk to him about it. But he is essentially saying in verse 1, whoever believes in Jesus Christ is joined to the Father and the Son. Jesus Christ, sole source of our salvation. 1 Timothy chapter 2, for there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ, through him and no other. And anytime you have somebody come along and say, yeah well you can also, you have the voice of the devil.

There is no you can also. And what about all those, we have to stop and say this, what about all the people who haven't heard the gospel? God will do the right thing.

That's really none of your business. If they have not heard the gospel and it's not your fault, in other words you haven't withheld it. If they have not faith, they're born in a place where the gospel has not yet reached, God will do the right thing. Don't be the fool and charge God with injustice. But for those who have the light, it is very clear and there are no exceptions that we know of and we are to preach it as it is given to us.

And if they don't like it, then they don't like his word, which is why Satan attacks the word and makes you, the Christian, think that it's not trustworthy. But you can't believe the Bible. Pseudoscience, fake science, we hear a lot about fake news, well there's a lot of fake science too. Or maybe I should, there's really no fake science, there's fake scientists and their message is just that, fake. They have philosophies about science. There's nothing philosophical about science. Science deals in the facts of creation. And when you begin to have theories about it, it stops being science.

It may be philosophy built on science but it's still philosophy nonetheless. And to come along and say, well I don't like the word of God, I don't believe in it and it's not true and you have nothing to back that up with, makes you an incredible witness to me. And so, coming back to our consideration about this thing called assurance, this blessed assurance, is Jesus Christ to you, every bit God the Son and Savior of your soul. Is Jesus Christ to you, God the Son, and every bit the sole Savior of your soul. If he is, then you are saved. Do you believe that he died for sinners, which all men are, all men have fallen short of the glory of God. We are all sinners, we all need a Savior. Do you believe that he died on a cross for you and rose again in demonstration of his power and authority and fulfillment of his prophecy. Romans 10 verses 9 and 10 give us a recipe for salvation or convert for converts. If you confess with your mouth, Paul writes, the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Well do you believe this? He continues. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

And it's got to be genuine. True believers, not make believers. So you say, well I hear these messages and I still doubt. Now what if you talk to God about this?

Have you get to the bottom of it with him? Or do you dismiss it and romp off the play and do other things afterwards? Because it's really not that important to you. It should be the most important thing that there is if you've not settled it. God has spoken to his children and he gives us this assurance of salvation. He promises eternal life in his word. The Bible is central to faith. That's why we know these things because God has spoken.

I don't have any problem with that. He can hang the sun in the sky and leave it where it is to do what it does and not burn us up or crash into something or double park. Then he's got a lot of power.

And I don't have, I really don't need anybody to tell me that. All I have to do is look up at the sky. I mean there's just so many things in creation that scream out the presence of God. The beginning of this letter John says in chapter 1 verse 1, That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and our hands have handled concerning the word of life. John is saying God became a man and when he did that we were with him. We saw him. We touched him. We heard him speak.

We watched him. He is the word of life. Peter went on to say in his letter, and if you don't believe our testimony we have the more sure word of prophecy. We have the scriptures that have called it before it's happened.

Nothing like this on earth and we've laid this out for you to examine it yourself. Chapter 20 of 1 John chapter 5, I said chapter 20, I meant verse 20. And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding that we may know him who is true and we are in him who is true in his son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

I mean John just does, he just puts it out there. No Christian should be doubting themselves before the throne of God. Satan again will exploit your sin. You commit a sin, he seeks to exploit it. God says I've forgiven you. Satan says no, not you, not this one.

You've crossed the line this time. Nobody is as messed up as you are. Nobody knows how messed up you are but you know the voice of the devil. He's got his word too.

It's all lies though. And the only way that you can neutralize it is through scripture. I worked in a lab supply company of some years back and one of the workers in the warehouse knocked over a bottle of acid and they got a little burned but not much. Whatever splashed on them did damage. So there's this acid all on the floor and what they did to clean it up is they set the building on fire.

No they did not. They brought baking soda on it, a lot of baking soda and it neutralized the acid. And this is what we have to learn as Christians that the scripture neutralizes the acid of Satan, that which would do harm to us. That is why it is the sword.

It cuts through the junk and you're either going to cleave to that or you're going to fall to the lie. So don't cave to his challenges against these things because he challenges them. God doesn't say, oh well then let's take 1 John chapter 5 verse 20 out of the Bible because Satan's challenged it.

Let's just take it away now. Satan wins. Trust God. Trust his word. Suppose, suppose an angel appeared to you to tell you that you're a born of God and your salvation is sure. Would you be more inclined to believe that angel's testimony than the word of God? You shouldn't be.

You should not be. It is what God has spoken. That is what he has protected. In spite of all of the difficulties that go with the word of God and the theologians wrestle with these things, some evil theologians, a theologian is simply someone who studies God and some righteous ones and they argue about commas and capitals and things and they should. But at the end of it all, they all get the message. The evil ones reject it, the righteous ones accept it. And it's just like that because there's too much to it to overrule the things that are apparently confusing.

The truths, the things that are not confusing overrule everything else because they are that potent, that strong. 1 John 5 again, verse 18, And the wicked one does not touch him. In the face of sin, he can't touch you. That verse deals with the very sins that deal with us and yet at the end he closes with that verse, the wicked one doesn't touch him.

You may feel his heat, you may hear the wind of the sword whiz past your head, but he doesn't touch you. 1 John, well John's Gospel, chapter 1, one of the most classic verses dealing with this subject, But as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in his name. And of course that believe in his name is everything the prophets have said about him and everything the apostles have said about him.

It is sufficient, it is enough. John's Gospel, chapter 5, verse 24, Most assuredly I say to you, he who hears my word and believes in him who sent me has everlasting life and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. I started off this morning saying, When you die, where are you going, heaven or hell? That's a question that can be settled right now. No one should have this doubt. Why do some people act like coming to Christ is going to a funeral?

Well, in some ways it is. Your old nature is dead and gone, but that's a funeral you won't attend. It's going to a banquet. You're going to a feast.

There's a place reserved for you in glory when none of the things that hound us in this life exist. And you either accept it or you reject it. The call is yours to make. If you want God to treat you with respect, he will. He will respect your decision.

If you decide against him, he will respect that. He has a place for people. He has a place for people who reject his word.

And you don't want to go there. It is, in a way, on the GPS subscription. You can find it by rejecting and accepting the wrong things and the right things of the word of God. Thanks for joining us for today's teaching on Cross Reference Radio, the daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville in Virginia. We hope you've been blessed by this Believer's Basics series, exploring the fundamentals of what it means to follow Christ. If you'd like to listen to more of this series or share it with someone you know, please visit crossreferenceradio.com. We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast, too, so you'll never miss another edition. Just visit crossreferenceradio.com and follow the links under radio. Again, that's crossreferenceradio.com. That's all for today. We hope you'll tune in next time to continue studying the word of God, right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-27 10:35:42 / 2022-11-27 10:44:54 / 9

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