Tuesday: Assurance in Christ (1 Thess. 1:5)
avatar

Read 1 Thessalonians 1:5. How do we gain the assurance that we are right with God? What three evidences in the lives of the Thessalonians indicated to Paul that they were right with God?


Verse 5 begins with “for” or “because.” In this verse Paul details the grounds for his conviction that the Thessalonians were “chosen” by God (1 Thess. 1:4). He is also underlining further reasons as to why his prayers are so filled with thankfulness (1 Thess. 1:2). Paul rejoices at the real-life evidence that the Thessalonians have responded to God and that He approves of them.

Paul begins the verse with rejoicing at a visible and outward sign of the Thessalonians’ position before the Lord. Their acceptance of the gospel was not merely a mental assent to teachings or doctrine. Their daily lives exhibited the presence and power of God. In everyday church life, things were happening that could be explained only as divine intervention. Prayers were answered and lives changed. The reality of their faith was being manifested in their works.

How does one know that the Holy Spirit is present and real in one’s life and in the local church? See Gal. 5:19-231 Cor. 12:1-11.


The “fruit” of the Spirit is powerful evidence that God is actively working. Things like love, joy, and peace can be faked only for so long, but in the day-to-day stress of relationships within the church, the genuine is eventually sifted from the false. When the Holy Spirit is a living presence, things that are not natural to sinful human beings start to become natural. Christians find themselves doing acts of grace and kindness that would not have occurred to them before. Paul saw plenty of evidence that the lives of the Thessalonians had been changed by the supernatural working of the Spirit.

For Paul, the final evidence that God had chosen the Thessalonians was their deep conviction and inner assurance that the gospel was true and that God was real in their lives. Though such convictions don’t prove true in every case, strong assurance that we are right with God usually accompanies the genuine gospel.

How much assurance of salvation do you have? On what, in the end, must that assurance be based?

Share Button

Comments

Tuesday: Assurance in Christ (1 Thess. 1:5) — 12 Comments

  1. Oh faith so important. It was the main object of my prayers last night. In the USA we are a highly anxious people because we have no faith in God. We spend millions of dollars on antidepressants and cause a lot of addictions (Benzos) trying to get rid of anxiety which God gave us so we know that we need more faith. Faith comes by hearing the word of God and that includes hearing how God has worked in others lives as well as us recounting how God has acted in our own lives.
    PS I am a mental health nurse.

    Like(0)
    • Thank you, Gina, for that reminder.

      I think faith is another word for complete trust. When we trust God completely--that He will be with us and bring us through whatever happens, we will no longer be anxious. In that way, faith is the antidote to anxiety.

      Of course, as a nurse, you also know that biological factors often contribute to anxiety. A simple lifestyle, as God designed, will deal with that factor of anxiety.

      God wants us to be happy, holy and healthy--not anxious!!

      Like(0)
  2. Thank you ssnet.org for the quarterly lessons online... I am worshiping along with the brothers and sisters on the website attached. Thank you for such a wonderful and important study.

    Like(0)
  3. Concerning the assurance of salvation the lesson asks, "On what, in the end, must that assurance be based?" Should it be based on what we see in our lives? In my opinion, in part yes but we need to be very careful with that.

    One of the things the lesson points to is the gifts of the spirit in 1 Cor 12 but we need to also understand that the Corinthians were abusing those gifts, especially tongues. So, in their case basing assurance on what they were doing would be misleading. Besides scripture boldly states that, "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice" (Rom. 7:18-19 NKJV). What Paul says here is consistent with other scripture such as Isa 53:6; Isa 64:6; Isa 6:5; Job 40:4 and Job 42:6; Ps 51:5, etc. In spite of their status before God they all saw themselves as sinners. Even Ellen White recognized the problem when she described the thoughts of the righteous during the seven last plagues:

    As Satan accuses the people of God on account of their sins, the Lord permits him to try them to the uttermost. Their confidence in God, their faith and firmness, will be severely tested. As they review the past, their hopes sink; for in their whole lives they can see little good. They are fully conscious of their weakness and unworthiness. Satan endeavors to terrify them with the thought that their cases are hopeless, that the stain of their defilement will never be washed away. He hopes so to destroy their faith that they will yield to his temptations and turn from their allegiance to God. (Great Controversy, p 618.3)

    In this quote Mrs. White was talking about the 144,000 not common sinners like you or I. What she says Satan will do to them he is constantly doing to each of us. He is getting us to look at ourselves rather than Jesus in an effort to discourage us.

    So, while it is true that, "you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory" (Eph. 1:13-14 NKJV, see also 2 Cor 5:5), we should also keep in mind that one of the jobs of the Holy Spirit is to convict of sin (Jn 16:8) which can become rather discouraging especially when Satan uses it to his advantage. To me, therefore, we should simply accept the promises of God, "looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith" (Heb 12:2 NKJV) knowing that He is in the process of sanctifing us. It is by beholding Him (2 Cor 3:18) and accepting His promises (2 Pet 1:4) that we are sanctified. Our assurance, therefore, is by faith in Him and what He has done and is doing for us - not what we do and see in ourselves.

    You know, what is so surprising about the Corinthian church is that in spite of all the corruption that was in that church Paul still said to them, "To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours" (1 Cor 1:2 NKJV). Sanctified - past tense - still His people in spite of the problems that had to be corrected. Now that is assurance!

    Like(0)
    • The way I see it, in the end our assurance of salvation must be based wholly and completely on Jesus Christ. When we throw ourselves on His mercy, He will not fail us. Changes come about in our lives as a result of salvation. They are not the basis of our salvation. Only Christ is.

      I like your last paragraph, Tyler. :) I agree!

      Like(0)
  4. My take on this would be basing our assurance of salvation on what Christ has done for us, what he does for us and what he will do for us. This is experiential though. We are beings (in His creation) that are capable of reflecting. The true reflections that we conduct on who Christ has been, is and will be to us helps us understand our assurance. Experience is opposite to intellectual knowledge.

    My premise of discussion is opposite still to the science in religion that wants to dismiss God's omniscience. God knows all though he might have not experienced sin. But it is essential that we know (understand) and experience God's hand in our lives and we will be more than ready to wait for Him to still lead us in the unknown (humanly).

    Like(0)
  5. The life of a Christain is naturally manifested and the evidence is seen by anyone who comes in contact with him without any word of notification from him. The thoughts and motives are refine by the Holy Spirit which enrich him with: JOY, PEACE, LOVE, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS etc. When we let the power of the word of God we hear each day remain in our mind, we become changed and transformed to what God really wants us to be.

    Like(0)
  6. Does 1 Corinthians 12:1–11 mean? e.g verse 4. There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all?

    Like(0)
  7. The Thessalonians inspire me for they not only heard the gospel but lived it not in a false way but with sincerity and ernestness which was manifested in their works of faith and their endurance in times of suffering..

    Like(0)

What do you think? If you like a comment, just [Like] it or post a thoughtful reply. Please provide a working email address and your real first AND last name to have your comment published.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.