The Treasure of Assurance
Barbaranne Kelly, Guest Writer
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time (1 Peter 1:3-5).
This week as we have considered the treasures of the gospel, have you noticed that they don’t stand in isolation? Fellowship with God is impossible without forgiveness of our sins; forgiveness is out of our reach without Christ’s propitiation, God sent Jesus to be our propitiation because of his great love for us, and because of his sacrificial love, we abide in him, and he in us. Truth upon truth, they add up to one more treasure.
John emphasizes this treasure of the gospel; indeed, it was his purpose for writing: “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13). Those who believe in Christ not only have eternal life; we can be assured that we have it.
Assurance is an anchor of hope, for, without it, the believer is left adrift to be “tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes” (Ephesians 4:14). I myself fought against the wind and the waves early in my voyage with Christ, not realizing that in him I was secure. As I grew in my faith and in the knowledge of the Word, it became clearer that our Omnipotent God wouldn’t rescue me from death, only to leave me at risk. As my Lisa found herself sinking for lack of assurance, those who loved her urged her to tie herself to the mast of the gospel. Why would the Son of God die to give us life if we could fall back into death again?
How do the treasures of the gospel assure us of our eternal salvation?
We cannot be assured that the relationships we make today will last. But fellowship with God through the treasure of the gospel is for eternity.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever (Psalm 23:6).
When you and I forgive someone, chances are, we’ll hang onto the offense and pull it out the next time we’re wronged. But that’s not how God forgives.
As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us (Psalm 103:12).
If you were to begin at any point on the equator traveling east, no matter how many times you circled the globe, you’d never find yourself headed west. In this sense, the east and west never meet. That’s how far God removes our sins from us when he forgives us—we are assured that we will never meet them again.
When Jesus died as the propitiation for our sins, there was no expiration date on his redemption—it is eternal.
He entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption (Hebrews 9:12).
In blessed contrast to the temporary or untrustworthy love of people, God’s love for you is eternal.
The steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him (Psalm 103:17).
“Everlasting to everlasting” is the psalmist’s way of saying “from eternity past to eternity future.” You can rest assured that his love for you which began in eternity, will last into eternity.
The mysterious treasure of the gospel, which John calls “abiding,” is referred to by Paul as being “in” or “with Christ.”
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:4-7).
Beloved, because of God’s great love, you have been made alive, raised up, and you are seated in the heavenly places in Christ so that God might display the glories of the gospel for all eternity. We can be assured that abiding in Christ lasts eternally because it’s not about us—it’s all about him!
Through the Holy Spirit-inspired writing of John, we see that God wants us to be assured in our salvation, to know that we are forgiven, cleansed, beloved children who abide safely in Christ. Do you see what a tender gift this is from our loving Father? In the end, I believe my Lisa must have seen this. Whether she did or not, I do know that she is now with Jesus, a struggling child, storm-tossed and weary, at rest in the embrace of our mighty Lord. Nobody wanted Jesus more desperately than Lisa. Jesus has promised, that he will never leave or forsake those he came to rescue.
Gracious and loving Father, help me to know the truth, that Your truth would set me free from every fear and doubt which would cloud my view of my security in Christ. Lord, I believe; help my unbelief. Flood my soul with Your steadfast love and the assurance of Your faithfulness.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Barbaranne Kelly and her husband Jim are the parents of five of the neatest people they know, and now Barbaranne is the Grandmommy to THREE grandboys! In October, that will change to FOUR! Barbaranne and Jim are members of Christ Presbyterian Church in New Braunfels, Texas, where she leads a Bible study for women in the hope that she and they may have the strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge Enjoy and be inspired by more of Barbaranne’s writing at her blog.
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