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Assurance

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
March 30, 2021 12:00 am

Assurance

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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March 30, 2021 12:00 am

Do you ever struggle with assurance of salvation? Do you feel uncertain that God will forgive you on the last day? If so, the Apostle has a divinely inspired message you need to hear.

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Paul writes, and not only this, but we also exalt in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received a reconciliation, safety, certainty, and enjoyment. I believe that all three of those words could easily be categorically arranged under one word, a word that summarizes one of God's perfect gifts. It is a word that many people do not have.

It is a controversial word. In fact, it has created distinct denominations, simply assurance. Assurance. It's one of the most common questions that Christians ask.

Here at the offices of Wisdom International, it's our most frequently asked question. It might be phrased slightly differently, but the heart of the question is this, can I know for certain that I am saved? Do you ever struggle with assurance of your salvation? Do you feel uncertain that God has actually forgiven you and that He will accept you at the end of your life? If that's the case, I want you to know that the Apostle Paul has a divinely inspired message that you need to hear.

This is wisdom for the heart. Today, Stephen Davey has a message for you called simply assurance. Victoria who reigned over Great Britain in the late 1800s was an unbeliever, but yet very interested in the gospel. And we have notes written between her and others that indicate her interest. On one occasion, she was in a service at St. Paul's Cathedral and listened to a sermon that interested her greatly. And afterwards, she asked her private personal chaplain, is it possible for someone to know for sure that they are going to heaven when they die? Her chaplain responded by saying something to the effect, there is no way anyone can know that for sure. They had a conversation and the elements of that conversation were picked up in the news.

And in fact, they were recorded and reported in the court news. And it came to the notice of a pastor named John Townsend. After reading of Queen Victoria's conversation with her chaplain and the sad answer, the tragic answer she was given from him, he decided to send a note to her. That note has been preserved. He wrote this, to her gracious majesty, our beloved Queen Victoria from one of your most humble subjects with trembling hands, but heartfelt love. And because I know that we can be absolutely sure now for our eternal life in the home that Jesus went to prepare, may I ask your most gracious majesty to read the following passages of scripture? And he listed scripture for her to read. He said, I signed myself your servant for Jesus' sake, John Townsend. He then gathered friends about him and they began to pray with greater intensity for Queen Victoria's salvation. It wasn't long before he got a note from her. To John Townsend, I have carefully and prayerfully read the portions of scripture you referred to. I now believe in the finished work of Christ for me and trust by God's grace to meet you one day in that place he has prepared for us in heaven. Signed, Victoria.

Isn't that great? It didn't quite hit the news or our Western Civ books that we studied, but she became a believer in Christ. After she found Christ and his finished work on her behalf, she began carrying around a little booklet, copies of it to give away to people. She became a royal evangelist. The book that she would give away had the title, Safety, Certainty and Enjoyment. And she would give it away. Isn't that wonderful? These were the things that she had discovered in Jesus Christ.

Safety, certainty and enjoyment. Today we come to the end of our series on the perfect gifts from God in that first paragraph in Romans, Chapter five. And as I read this story, it struck me that you could easily outline these last three verses in that paragraph verses nine to 11 with these three words from Queen Victoria's little book.

You could safely and I believe accurately right into the margin of your text that you have with you. I trust these words. You could write in the margin beside verse nine the word safety.

Look at what it says. Much more than having now been justified by his blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through him. Isn't that a wonderful declaration of safety? You could write beside verse 10 the word certainty. Paul writes, For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his son, much more having been reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

What a great statement of certainty. In fact, Paul is using what we would call the greater to lesser argument. In other words, what he is saying in this verse is that if God could reconcile us while we were enemies of his through Christ's death, if he can do that much more than he can save us through Christ's life. Beside verse 11, you could easily write the word enjoyment, where Paul writes and not only this, but we also exalt in God through our Lord Jesus Christ. You remember how the paragraph began, inviting us to exalt to passionately praise God and now he will end it.

We exalt in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received a reconciliation, safety, certainty and enjoyment. I believe that all three of those words could easily be categorically arranged under one word, a word that summarizes one of God's perfect gifts. It is the word that Queen Victoria discovered. It is a word that many people do not have.

It is a controversial word. In fact, it has created distinct denominations. It's known in the phrase eternal security or one word, simply assurance. In these three verses, Paul will inform us of our wonderful assurance in Jesus Christ with three statements.

And the first statement revolves around our safety. That is this wonderful assurance that we have, first of all, been saved from somewhere. Namely, judgment in hell, the great white throne revealed in Revelation, the latter part. Look at verse nine again. He says much more than having now been justified by his blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through him. Now, there are several kinds of wrath or wrath of God given to us in the Bible.

In fact, there are probably a half a dozen that you could do in your own personal study. And I would encourage that if you're looking for a word to track through the scriptures, let me give you two of the kinds of God's wrath. First, there is immediate wrath.

Others have called it natural wrath. This is the penalty that somebody experiences when they sin. Not all sin results in immediate consequences. But if we think in terms of a person's lifetime, many sins bear consequences that are born through the course of a person's life.

It might be sexually transmitted diseases from those who are promiscuous. It might be the effects in the body that come from lust and greed and anger and lying and many more sins that do pay a price in our own bodies. We feel the effects of the sins.

In fact, Solomon wrote that even envy eats away at the bones of a body. This is the principle of reaping sin because you have sown sin, the immediate wrath of God. There is immediate wrath and there is secondly, ultimate wrath. This is what we could call eschatological or prophetic wrath. This is the wrath that will be unveiled during the reign of the antichrist, known as the great tribulation. This is the wrath of God that has poured out ultimately its fullest horror at the judgment of God over all of the nations and the casting of those who disbelieved into hell.

This particular kind of wrath, this eschatological wrath, is the wrath that Paul is referring to here in Romans chapter 5 verse 9. And notice what he promises us. We shall be saved from the wrath of God. Would you notice he did not say, and we hope to be saved from the wrath of God. Or we'd like to think we will be saved from the wrath of God through him. Or we're doing the best we can at this Christianity thing, hoping that we'll do enough good things to be saved from the wrath of God. No, he says we shall be saved from the wrath of God through him.

Why? Because we have been justified, past tense, we shall be, future tense, be saved from his wrath. So we are safe even now. It's interesting the word translated we shall be saved is what Greek students call temporal future. What it means is that you have something here and now. You do have it right now.

But it is something that you will experience in its fullest measure in the future. We are already safe now. The second word is certainty. We have not only been saved from something, we have been saved by someone. Look at verse 10. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his son, much more, here's the greater the lesser, much more having been reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. Would you notice that in this verse we are told something has happened because of Christ's death, and something has happened because of Christ's life.

Look at it again. We were reconciled to God through the death of his son, the latter part of the verse, we shall be saved by his life. You see, salvation has everything to do with the death of Jesus Christ, but it also has everything to do with the life of Jesus Christ.

It's all about Jesus Christ, period, his death and his life. The Bible says, Jesus, because he lives forever, is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them, Hebrews 7, 24 and 25. In other words, we are saved by Christ, the lamb of God who died, and we are kept saved by Christ, who lives to represent us. Just as we did not work to gain our salvation, so we do not work to keep our salvation. It is the work of Christ. Writing to Christians, the Apostle John said the same thing this way.

If a believer sins, speaking to believers, if a believer sins, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense, Jesus Christ, the righteous one, 1 John chapter 2, verse 9. You see, ladies and gentlemen, the person who believes that they can somehow lose their salvation understands, and even then, only incompletely, one side of redemption. The death of Christ has redeemed us. The life of Christ preserves us. We can come to this table with perhaps tears in our eyes, but smiles on our faces.

Why? Because his death guarantees our redemption, and his life guarantees our glorification. It points to the resurrection that will come. So the death of Christ has redeemed us, but the life of Christ preserves us. In other words, we are saved by his death. We are kept saved by his life. We are saved from somewhere. We are saved by someone.

The third word that Queen Victoria often shared with others was the word enjoyment. That is, we have been saved for something. Would you look at verse 11? And not only this, not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

So he says, rejoice. He began it that way, and he ends it this way. To rejoice in God, by the way, is the greatest of all human activity. What is the chief end of man?

The Westminster Shorter Catechism asked generations. Man's chief end is to glorify God and what? And enjoy him forever. Now we got the part about he died to deliver us and he lives to keep us saved, but we're really not sure about the chief end is to just enjoy him. Are you enjoying God?

Would you say that you are enjoying God? Paul would remind us that we have been saved from the penalty of sin and we have been saved for the praise of our Savior. In other words, we have been saved from the wrath of God. We have been saved for the worship of God and we exult, that is we with fervent, passionate adoration, praise God. We praise God. Praise God. You want to say that with me? Praise God. Somewhere between Baptist and Presbyterian in that one.

Let's try it again. Praise God. Shout it out. Praise God.

That's fantastic. Would that our cities would echo with the sound of our praise, like the city of Ephesus that shook with the chanting of their allegiance to a false God. Would that our city would resonate with people who are convinced that God is good and he is worthy of praise. That they would see it in our lives. That they would hear it from our lips, from the lips of people who know, who know, who know that they have been redeemed because of the death of Christ.

Who know, who know as well, who know that they are kept saved by the life of Christ and they know where they are going, ultimately. I came across some time ago a funny story about Albert Einstein, the great physicist who was honored by Time magazine as man of the century, this last century. He was once traveling on Princeton by train and the conductor was coming down the aisle punching the tickets of those who were passengers and he got to Einstein and Einstein checked his vest pocket and it wasn't in there and he checked his coat pocket and it wasn't in there and the other coat pocket and he stood up and he searched his pants pockets and he looked on the seat beside him and in his bags he couldn't find his ticket. The conductor finally said to him, listen, Dr. Einstein, I know who you are.

We all know who you are. It's okay. You don't have to worry about it. You don't need a ticket. Einstein sat back down but he wasn't very relieved it seemed by the news. The conductor continued down the aisle punching tickets and as he was ready to move into the next car he happened to look back and there was the brilliant physicist on his hands and knees looking under the seats for his ticket. The conductor ran back to him and said, Dr. Einstein, don't worry. I know who you are. You don't need a ticket. It's not a problem. To which Einstein responded, young man, the problem isn't that you might not know me. The problem is I don't know where I'm going.

Can you identify with his pain? Well Paul in these last few verses has in effect given you your ticket. This is it. He has reminded us of who we are, where we have been and where we are going. And then he summarizes it by saying could we do anything less in light of this but exalt God with passionate enjoyment and excitement and fervency. We praise our God through Jesus Christ through whom we have received the reconciliation.

Why don't you stand with me. If the Ephesians for two hours according to Acts chapter 19 could praise God, their false God, why don't we for a few seconds do what we've just rehearsed. Stand with me and let's shout it out to our God. Praise God. Praise God. Praise God. Praise God. Praise God. My friend, you have been saved from somewhere. Don't forget it. You have been saved by someone.

Don't forget him. You have been saved to something. Don't fail to praise him for he is good. Hi this is Scott Wiley, the broadcast host here on Wisdom for the Heart. A while back Stephen and I sat down to record a discussion about assurance of salvation.

We want to play that discussion for you now. Here it is. This whole idea Stephen of assurance is still sometimes elusive for people. They still have concerns and worries and again you've written a very helpful booklet and we're going to make this booklet available today to anyone who calls us and asks for it. It's called Blessed Assurance. Can a Christian lose his salvation and I'll give you some information on how you can reach us and get this book but Stephen is there some help and advice that we can offer people in the time we have remaining?

Well I know people ask a number of questions related to this. Can God take away someone's salvation? Let me just say that if God takes away salvation that's going to require that God has failed. If God chose you and called you and redeemed you and immersed you into Christ's life, gave you the righteousness of Christ, sealed you with his Holy Spirit, for God to then take you out of his flock would mean he didn't complete his promises to preserve and sanctify and later glorify you in heaven. Well somebody might ask well can Christians you know lose their salvation by committing some terrible sin? Well the person or the church who holds this belief doesn't really understand the inability of mankind to save himself to begin with. They don't understand or accept the redeeming work of Christ apart from good works.

It is all of Christ. In other words if a person does not gain salvation by being good you might lose your salvation by being bad. Well of course people would say well then a Christian can just go and sin and sin and Paul that's why Paul added you know shall we continue in sin?

No God forbid. This belief gives us security. It doesn't give us a free pass to just go and live a sinful life. Somebody might ask and I've been asked this question Scott often well can Christians choose to return the gift of salvation?

In other words can they give it back? Well my friend Christianity isn't like a sweater you got at Christmas it doesn't fit you you know or you don't like it so you take it back. For those who believe that heaven has sort of this return policy they miss the truth that God is the initiator of salvation. We love him because he first loved us and a Christian can certainly backslide and disobey and even rebel against the Lord. In fact most of Christ's closest disciples denied him. The individual who claims to have been a Christian and is now happy with the world the flesh and the devil reveals not that he's given it back but that he never had it. Yeah that's really helpful Stephen because all of us know people who are in that category you know they maybe made a profession of faith at some point in their life and and now they're living with absolutely no regard for God and it does it causes confusion. Yeah somebody who came to life in Christ is not going to reach a point where they'd rather not have Christ at all. In fact in this little booklet I'm holding in my hand I give an illustration about our dog Patches that we used to have before she died.

We'd give her a bath our daughter would give her a little bath this little beagle and she'd scrub her down and you know just replace that odor of manure that she would get from that horse pasture behind her house with the smell of shampoo and as soon as she finished you know scrubbing her little dog Patches would head outside run into that pasture and roll around in that dried manure it was clear that she really preferred the smell of manure to the smell of shampoo. Well John the Apostle describes people who are a lot like our dog he says they went out from us but they were really not of us if they had been of us they would have remained with us but they went out so that it would be shown that they were not of us that's first John 2 in other words they really preferred the smell of sin the manure of sin rather than the company of Christ and the aroma of his redeemed bride. Now that doesn't mean you're not gonna waver that doesn't mean you're not gonna sin but it means that you're gonna love Christ and you will be miserable as a believer should you choose the smell of the manure of sin. Yeah in fact Stephen you just reminded us earlier in this sermon from first John if a believer sins we have an advocate with the Father in other words we have this one who speaks on our behalf through the work of Jesus Christ. You know it's helpful to remember friends that when Paul wrote this letter Buddhism had already reached the Mediterranean world and the question of Buddhism is the same question asked by every other religious system on the planet am I good enough to go to heaven or Nirvana or wherever religion asks am I good enough to reach perfection the Catholic asks am I good enough to get out of purgatory the Jew asks am I good enough to make it to paradise the Mormon asks am I good enough to reach the third heaven well by the time Paul was writing this letter to the Romans the Buddhist was asking am I good enough to reach Nirvana. Friends pen these words into the margin of your mind our confidence is never in ourselves it is in God which is why the Apostles wrote and again what John wrote is significant he who has the Son has life he who does not have the Son of God does not have life these things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life so that you may know not hope so think so maybe so know so that you have eternal life and maybe you're thinking well I doubt I doubt my salvation I know I'm trusting in Christ alone but I but I still doubt well in this booklet that Scott's going to tell you how to get for free I tell a little bit of the story of Henry Drummond who preached in 18 in the 1880s and in 1887 he preached a wonderful message entitled dealing with doubt and here's the answer that he gave Jesus Christ never failed to distinguish between doubt and unbelief doubt says I can't believe unbelief says I won't believe doubt might be honest unbelief is obstinacy doubt is someone who is longing for light unbelief is longing for darkness loving darkness rather than the light this is what Christ attacked this is what the Apostles preached about but for the doubting questions of the Apostle Thomas Phillip Nicodemus and many others who came to Jesus asking that their greatest questions be answered Jesus was very generous when Thomas came to him having denied the resurrection and stood before him expecting scathing words and a tongue lashing for his unbelief they never came they never came and said Jesus Christ showed him the facts the answer to unbelief is faith the answer to doubting is facts you can't produce faith and those who do not believe but you can provide the facts for those who do so we base our our security on the facts of scripture and the teaching of Christ and his apostles friends when you're thinking about things like salvation and whether or not you can lose your salvation you need to remember to base your beliefs firmly in the scripture it's possible that fear and anxiety might creep in and allow that to control us or maybe it's the opinion of people or the teaching of a particular church that causes us to have doubts God's Word has the answers you're looking for here at Wisdom for the Heart the basis of our ministry is to help you know what the Bible says understand what it means and apply it to your life this topic of assurance is no exception as we've been mentioning today Stephen has written a booklet entitled Blessed Assurance it's available today free of charge all you'll pay is the cost of shipping for us to get it to you you can call us today in the office at 866-48-BIBLE or here until 4 o'clock pm eastern time once again that's 866-48-BIBLE or 866-482-4253 if you can't call us today you can go to our website later in the evening and you'll find this resource there go to wisdomonline.org once you get there you'll find the link at the top of the page that says store click there and in the search button you can type either blessed or assurance or blessed assurance and this resource will be available to you by the way even if assurance of salvation isn't something you struggle with it's a good idea to have a resource like this because it'll help you as you're interacting with others who have this struggle again it's 866-48-BIBLE or wisdomonline.org thanks so much for being with us today for the next three days we'll be bringing you messages to prepare your heart for easter join us back here tomorrow for more wisdom for the heart you
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-06 03:41:18 / 2023-12-06 03:51:11 / 10

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