Thursday, February 26, 2009

Assurance for Christians

What does a child need to be assured of? They will be taken care of by loving parents? They will have enough food to eat? They will be kept safe from predators? I think every child in this world should be assured of these things. Obviously, we don’t live in a perfect world, so sometimes the weakest among us are taken advantage of.

We as Christians are the children of the most high God. He is described as our Father in scripture. As His children, He has assured us of many things, and since He is perfect, He is able to fulfill all these promises.

Assurance of Salvation:

First off, we have assurance of our salvation. 1 John 5:11-12 says:

11 And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

The devil will whisper to the believer, “You don’t really think you are saved simply by receiving Christ as your savior, do you? That can’t be all there is.” This simply isn’t true. This passage tells us that God has given eternal life to those who have the Son of God as their Savior.

We need a savior because of our sins. Isaiah 59:2 says, “But your iniquities have separated you from your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.” Human efforts always fail to reach God. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Jesus paid the penalty for our sins on the cross. “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit” (1 Peter 3:18).

Passages on assurance:

·         John 20:31, John says he wrote his gospel, “[so] that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”

·         Romans 5:8 says, “but God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

·         Jesus said, “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” (John 5:24).

o   We presently have everlasting life, we will not come into judgment in the future, and when we accepted (past) Christ, we passed from death into life.

·         John 10:27-29: “27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.”

A sign of our salvation is a changed life. The Holy Spirit will begin to sanctify those who are in Christ, giving us new desires and awareness of our sins. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

 

Assurance of Answered Prayer:

Satan also attacks us by causing us to question the effectiveness of our prayers. He will tell you prayer really doesn’t change anything. That simply isn’t true. As Christians we have the unique privilege to speak to our God through prayer. God wants us to commune with Him in prayer. Philippians 4:6 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”  Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
-John 16:24

We should feel free to ask God to meet all our needs, as it says in Matthew 7:7-8, “7 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”

We must follow the commandments of God if we are to expect answered prayer. Jesus said in John 15:7, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” We also should make sure we are praying according to God’s will, “14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:14-15).


 

Assurance of Victory:

The devil will also try to convince us that we have no power over our sin. Memorizing this verse will help you combat this attack from satan.

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
-1 Corinthians 10:13

·         2 Thessalonians 3:3 says, “But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.

·         Hebrews 4:15 says, “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.”

o   Jesus was tempted just as we all are. He knows what it is like to be tempted. He did not sin, however, making Him the perfect sacrifice to cleanse us from our sins.

God provides us ways out of our temptations.

·         Prayer as seen in the Lord’s prayer

·         His word, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You” (Psalm 119:11)

·         Faith:  1 John 5:4-5 4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our[a] faith. 5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”

·         Submit to God and resist the devil: James 4:7, “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”

Assurance of Forgiveness:

Even though victory over sin is ours, we will pass by the escape route provided by God. We are assure that we will even be forgiven of those sins

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
-1 John 1:9

·         We need to recognize that we do sin. 1 John 1:8 says, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” Then in verse 10 it says, “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”

·         Psalm 38:18 says we should be in anguish over our sin. We should hate sin and avoid it at all costs because of what it cost Jesus on the cross!

God forgives us:

·         Psalm 86:5, “For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.”

·         The basis we are forgiven is, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7)

·         We no longer need to feel guilty for the sins committed in the past because Hebrews 10:17 says, “He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

Assurance of Guidance:

You may have questions about your futures. Maybe you’re wondering where God is leading you and what He wants you to do. God promises to lead us as we rely on Him completely. He knows our needs and in His wisdom and power He will lead you where He knows you need to go.

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,  And He shall direct[a] your paths.
-Proverbs 3:5-6

God tells us His will in His word as it says in Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.” Here are some other verses to consider:

·         Romans 12:1-2, “1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

o   God’s will is described here as perfect.

·         Wondering what works God wants from you? (John 6:28-29 NLT), “28 They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?” 29 Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”

 

Sola deo Gloria!

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