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Wednesday: Testifying with Assurance — 12 Comments

  1. My assurance is through the knowledge of God and Jesus Christ and trusting in their promises.
    2Peter 1:2-8

    2 Peter 1:2–8 (ESV): 2 May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
    3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Amen!(27)
    • Good question Maurice - what is salvation?
      I believe that the same passage that gives me assurance answers that question.
      Salvation is being saved from corruption and evil desires to become partakers of the divine nature.

      2 Peter 1:2–8 (ESV): 2 May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
      3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of evil desires. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

      Amen!(9)
      • And that is a good answer too. The emphasis that we sometimes forget when talking about salvation is the significance of Salvation now. Once we understand that salvation is about the present, it loses that "cargo cultist" perspective we often attribute to it.

        Amen!(12)
          • The term "cargo cultism" originated in the Pacific Islands after World War 2 where the idea gained traction that if the islanders maintained certain rituals then a highly developed technological nation would one-day return to their islands and shower them with modern technology and riches. The local islanders had seen a glimpse of this during the American occupation of the islands during the war, and expected the Americans to return bringing with them their advanced technology.

            By extension, the term "cargo cultism" is used by critics to describe Christians' adherence to doctrine, ritual, and lifestyle in the expectation that they will be ready when Jesus comes. In our language describing salvation, the second-coming, and eternal life we often unintentionally give critics the material they use to bolster their description of Christianity. While I do not want to discredit the idea of eternal life etc, I try to emphasise the point that salvation is as much about the present as the future. That is why I ask the question, "What is salvation?" If we can only describe it in future terms, it is quite possible that we have a limited view of what salvation really means.

            Amen!(21)
  2. Most of us a comforted by the assurance of salvation, but sometimes that assurance leads to what is seen as arrogance. How we communicate our assurance to our unchurched friends is of paramount importance.

    I went to a Seventh-day Adventist relative's funeral not so long ago where many of the attendees were either ex-Adventists or unchurched folk. Naturally I expected the ususual expressions of assurance about the hope that we have and the promise of the resurrection. However the minister officiating recognised that he had a captive audience (who walks out of a funeral service) and he preached for 45 minutes on the state of the dead, the resurrection, and eternal life. Every proof text on the topic was quoted and explained in detail. It was quite plain that the funeral was being used as an opportunity to push Adventist doctrine rather than comfort the bereaved.

    While there was nothing wrong with the content of the message, the way that it was delivered was "push" rather than "pull". There were many extended family members in that audience that day that we had not seen for years. Carmel and I wanted to make up for those years and extend the invitation to renew our contact again. Funerals can be a time to renew long lost relationships with family members who no longer feel engaged with the church. It is the interaction at a personal level that has the potential to bear fruit.

    We have the assurance of salvation. How to we express that assurance without being arrogant? And in that context what is salvation?

    Amen!(22)
    • I wasn’t sure which of your comments I should comment on, but I completely agree with all of them. I think if we are trying to convince someone that they have salvation, it is futile. Doubt is always knocking at the door. If instead, we introduce them to the Jesus who brings salvation, there will never be doubt.
      I John 5:12 spells it out pretty well; Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son does not have life.
      That is what our focus should always be. We can have that life now, we don’t have to wait until Jesus comes. When people experience the peace that comes from knowing Jesus, they will never question whether or not they are saved.

      Amen!(4)
  3. I am the Lord, I change not......ye are not consumed.

    Testifying with assurance.

    Many people leave the church for many reasons. One of the reason is finding happiness and being happy in our present world. Happiness lies in Jesus now on earth. Many Christians present Christ as a thing of the pass, or something of the future. For example, some christian says we should not have anything now because all of our riches are in heaven so we must choose to live poor now, then when we go to heaven Christ will give us all the riches. This is a myth of the christian, instigated by Satan lies. Jesus wants us to have everything he offers us now in this present world. Salvation and eternal life begins now on this earth. Many Christians do not even know what is the purpose of Jesus taking us to heaven. My brethren, heaven is a vacation, our vacation home. Although earth is in this state, Jesus wants us to live in his word, be happy and share his love with those we meet everyday and accept the things we cannot change because he alone can change things. We Christians must live like the people of the bible. Some he calls to live like Peter, Paul, David, Sampson, Solomon, Mary, Hannah etc. We a pilgrims, but pilgrims must eat, live, and be happy with ourselves and neighbor while the fruit of the spirit is dwelling in us.

    Amen!(5)
  4. “Do you have assurance of salvation in Jesus? If so, on what do you base it? Why do you have that assurance? Where is it found? On the other hand, if you are not sure, why are you not sure? How can you find that assurance?”

    Yes.
    My assurance is based on my relationship with Christ, the greater my relationship with Christ, the greater my assurance that I abide in Christ, the greater my assurance of salvation. Oh yes assurance is always there available, I must choose it, going through the door. Christ says: “Behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it.” No sword guards the way through this door. Voices from within and at the door say, Come. The Saviour's voice earnestly and lovingly invites us: “I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich.” Revelation 3:8, 18. So now I know where my assurance is found, how can I find it?

    Consecrate yourself to God in the morning; make this your very first work. Let your prayer be, “Take me, O Lord, as wholly Thine. I lay all my plans at Thy feet. Use me today in Thy service. Abide with me, and let all my work be wrought in Thee.” This is a daily matter. Each morning consecrate yourself to God for that day. Surrender all your plans to Him, to be carried out or given up as His providence shall indicate. Thus day by day you may be giving your life into the hands of God, and thus your life will be molded more and more after the life of Christ.

    Seek and you shall find Christ. Abide in Christ for in Him you have assurance of eternal life.

    Amen!(6)
  5. @Maurice Ashton.
    I agree with you. Funerals sermons should be used to "pull" rather than push. It should be used to remind everyone that death though painful (to those left behind) is not the end. Assure them of the hope of the resurrection made possible by God who loves us so much that He wants us to be with Him. Many times the messenger is the one that turns people away from the message. If we should note how Jesus presented the message and follow His way many more souls would be won.

    Amen!(5)
  6. Thank you for clarifying the term 'cargo cultism' in your reply, Maurice. I can certainly understand the critic if he sees Christians adhering only to doctrinal or ritual behavior as a preparation for the return of Jesus, but I cannot see them being critical of a caring, compassionate lifestyle by Christians.

    I Googled definitions of 'Salvation':
    - "Preservation or deliverance from harm, ruin, or loss."
    - "Deliverance from sin and its consequences, believed by
    Christians to be brought about by faith in Christ."
    - "Deliverance from the power and effects of sin."
    - "The act of saving or protecting from harm, risk, loss,
    destruction etc."
    - "In Christan religion, salvation of a person or their spirit is the state of being saved from evil and its effects by the death of Jesus on a cross."
    Meriam Dictionary's definition:
    "In religion and theology, salvation is the saving of the soul from sin and its consequences. It may also be called deliverance or redemption from sin and its effects. Depending on the religion or even denomination, salvation is considered to be caused either only by the grace of God (i.e. unmerited and unearned), or by faith, good deeds (works), or a combination thereof. Religions often emphasize that man is a sinner by nature and that the penalty of sin is death (physical death, spiritual death: spiritual separation from God and eternal punishment in hell.)"

    One can easily see that even the definitions provided by the linguistic experts do not uniformly define the term 'Salvation'.
    What does the Scripture say about 'Salvation':
    Eph. 2:8-10 - 'For by grace are ye saved through faith, ... it is the gift of God.'
    Why would someone want to believe in the Gospel message?
    Eph. 5:8-10 - 'For YE WERE sometimes DARKNESS, but now ARE YE LIGHT in the Lord; walk as children of LIGHT: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and thruth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
    Those that believe can 'see' the darkness and want to come into the 'LIGHT'.

    Today's lesson provided all the Scripture references to help understand one's Salvation from the darkness of this world (ALL that is included in this darkness) and by believing the Gospel Message, to come into the Light of the Heavenly Kingdom.

    It starts with believing that there is a God who loves His Creatures, and Jesus to be the Son of God; that He was send to us to provide the 'Way and the Light' by which we come out of this world's darkness into the spiritual Light of our Creator Father if we believe. Those who believe in Jesus' Gospel will walk by Faith in this New Gospel Light.

    Our FAITH is based on BELIEVE, our BELIEVE-based ACTIONS demonstrate WHAT we BELIEVE. Our experiencal(action oriented) walk by FAITH is supported by enough experiential evidence to merit the continuation of what we believe in is beneficial to ourselves as well as others.
    As we walk by Faith, the Spirit of the Word of God is forming in us the new, spiritual nature; acceptable in the eyes of the Lord and fit to live here on earth as a testimony to His Mercy and Grace, as well as in the Kingdom to come.
    No one can argue with the believer over what he/she chooses to believe or tell him/her that the believe is false. One cannot proof or disprove BELIEVE; we chose to believe and have Faith in what we believe - this is SALVATION.

    Amen!(3)

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