The doctrine of assurance of salvation is an essential Christian doctrine and this series of lessons looks at specific ways by which we can be assured of our salvation in Jesus Christ.
In the first lesson we learned that we can be assured of our salvation because we are safe and secure in Jesus’ and God’s hands. That lesson helped us build a stable and secure foundation regarding assurance of salvation.
The second lesson taught about two tangible evidences of our salvation, first how the Christian’s heart is changed and renewed and second how in light of our changed heart we bear fruit in service to God for His glory.
Nevertheless perhaps you still have questions or doubts regarding your salvation?
In this third and final lesson we will learn how we can be sure of our salvation because we are drawn and chosen by God. We will look at salvation as a process and by looking at it as such we will gain a wonderful and profound appreciation for it and a confidence in it that is steadfast.
In an effort to take hold of assurance of salvation, it is of tremendous help that you reader comprehend the process of salvation, specifically what goes into salvation. Have you ever thought about that?“…what goes into salvation. Have you ever thought about that?”
It’s ok if you have not for no one comes to Jesus with a theology degree, in fact it is the faith of a child that is best. However when you become a Christian it is important to look into what has changed in your life and to learn how that change took place in the first place.
For example maybe you have just accepted an offer for your dream job, or have gotten accepted into your dream college. That’s great but how did you get there? There was no doubt a process.
It is the same with salvation. It is great to look back and see how you became a Christian and more so if you are having doubts about it the reflection and understanding of its workings will help you rest in God.
The beauty is that God makes His plans clear when we seek to know about Him, His will and what He has done in our lives.
When you look at the process of salvation you gain a grand appreciation of not only your salvation but of God Himself. To put it another way, you only understand just how much you are loved when you understand how much someone else loves you and no one loves you as much as God. In fact His love is an eternal love, it is out of love that He draws us to Him for salvation in the first place.
3) The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.Jeremiah 31:3 (KJV)
God’s love is everlasting, it existed even before you were born. Additionally, it exists forever after you are saved for it is lasting for all time and it is His love for you that compels God to draw you to Him in the first place.
You see God exists out of time as do His attributes such as His love for you. We will look more into this later but reader know that you have been loved since even before you were born and that this is what moves God to draw you to Him and to save you.
Sometimes however this can be difficult to not just comprehend but to accept. Feeling as if you are too bad or too far gone or being unable to understand how you can be loved this much can keep people from God and can also cause Christians to doubt their salvation. Reader, know that God’s love is eternal, that He seeks you and most importantly not just you but all men…
32) And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.John 12:32 (KJV)
Jesus spoke these words to His disciples describing to them the reasons for why He had to die. You see Jesus was God’s way by which all could come to be saved. He is the key and is the way, the truth and the life as we have seen in other sermons.
Jesus draws all men to Him, salvation is fully impartial in that it is for all. Therefore do not let feelings of inadequacy or guilt stop you from accepting His gift of salvation or from resting in it for salvation does not discriminate. He saved you because He wanted to, because He loves you!
16) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17) For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.John 3:16-17 (KJV)
This is the gospel distilled to its purest message, God sent His only Son Jesus to die for you for only He could pay for your sins. For God so loved the world…there is no one left out of His love or from His offer of salvation.
Now not all will come to be saved, many will reject Jesus, but the condition is there that if someone is drawn to God and responds then salvation is there for them ready and waiting.
Salvation is an intentional process by God because of His love for us. This is why He draws all men to Him. It is an active process. How though does God draw us to Him?
20) Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.Revelation 3:20 (KJV)
Drawing can be manifested in the form of God knocking at your hearts door. Think about this in terms of your personal life, when someone knocks at your house’s door your curiosity is piqued. “This is the gospel distilled to its purest message, God sent His only Son Jesus to die for you for only He could pay for your sins.”
The longer and more they knock the more you cannot deny the visitor’s presence and the more curious you become. Still, it can be scary to answer the door, but notice that when you answer God that He will come in to you and eat with you, He will fellowship with you. He has not come to condemn you but to rescue you from condemnation. He has come to save you!
Reader when you were saved God came to you and you heard His voice and allowed Him to have fellowship with you for the very first time. What exactly does it mean to hear God’s voice for salvation? How does hearing God’s voice apply to salvation and faith?
17) So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.Romans 10:17 (KJV)
Saving faith happens when we hear and respond to God’s message, be it through the written word or through the gospel being preached by someone. Note that this someone does not have to be a preacher, it can be any Christian from a family member to a friend or even a stranger.
Every time the gospel is shared a seed is planted in your heart and a knock takes place at its door. This is because the gospel is not present without the Holy Spirit working and active in the sharing.
Sometimes the knock is so loud we know straight away that we need to answer it and we jump and open the door right away. That is the salvation of St. Paul.
Other times we are skeptical, scared or not ready, we need to know more, we are not convinced yet and that is ok. Also reader if you do not have a “radical” salvation testimony its ok, if it took you time that is ok too. Don’t compare your salvation story with that of another, simply rejoice with them and that you are both now brothers or sisters in Christ. The gospel and salvation are radical in and of themselves, if your salvation testimony is simple be glad in that.
Now then faith comes by hearing. Simply put you have to have something to believe in, and what is more not something but someone (Jesus). You have to be presented with the gospel message. Think about it, who presented it to you? Maybe you read it on a tract, maybe a friend invited you to church, any number of things are possible but at some point you heard from God.“Every time the gospel is shared a seed is planted in your heart and a knock takes place at its door.”
God uses all sorts of means and people to draw people to Him and He does it for good reason…
14) But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.I Corinthians 2:14 (KJV)
Because our hearts are darkened and we cannot discern spiritual things on our own we need to hear from God and hear His message.
This is because we are fallen creatures and slaves to sin. It’s the great infection of mankind and only God can provide the medicine to make us well and restore us to Him forever more.
People do not naturally seek after God, He has to initiate the process by which we will be saved. Yes people have desires for something such as finding the answer to the meaning of life and that is a good start, yet they must still hear of God and from God, they must be drawn to God by the Holy Spirit and that comes through His word and message be it by others, books or by preaching.
Reader it comes down to whatever the Holy Spirit uses to cause you to realize your need for Jesus as your savior and that you must believe in Him for salvation. Whatever or whomever it is that God uses to speak to you is what He uses to draw you to Him for salvation.
Being given unto Jesus by God means that we cannot come to Jesus for salvation unless enabled to by the Holy Spirit. Wherever the gospel message is then the Spirit is there and enables us.
What is paramount to understand is that your salvation reader was an active and intentional process. We have seen that God knows us before we are born. We have seen that salvation is for the world (all men) and that God desires that all would come to be saved because He loves us with an everlasting love. We have seen that He draws us to Him through His word and gospel.
This only serves to underscore the fact that salvation is all of grace and not of any human effort except the response of accepting His gift of salvation.
While it is up to the individual to respond to God’s gift of salvation it is truly wonderful to know that the road to us getting saved was planned and motivated by God. This let’s us rest in Him and know that salvation is not something to blindly believe in and that it is something resulting not in our power but by Gods power. It takes the pressure off.
That is true faith reader, it is not blind faith for God tells us all about the process of salvation in His word. This process gives substance to our faith, we have not just God to believe in but His love for us, His drawing us towards Him, the death of His son for us on the cross for us and His active involvement in our lives.“Salvation is an active and intentional process. He draws us to Him through His word and gospel.”
God could have easily said just believe and trust me and left it at that, but He includes all these magnificent details in scripture for us to give us an appreciation, love and confidence in Him. He gives us these things for clarity and so we can understand Him.
Ultimately Christianity is reasonable, it is not a fairy tale devoid of any logic, it is an intentionally acted out reality in our lives.
Why does God do all of this for us? Because He loves us? Absolutely! But there is more, it is because we are chosen by Him. That is the ultimate expression of His love.
3) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
4) According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
5) Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
6) To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.Ephesians 1:3-6 (KJV)
We see here again that God knew us before the foundation of the world. We see that salvation is according to the good pleasure of God’s will. And we see that it is God’s grace that gets all of the glory in salvation.
Now then some of this begs a lot of questions regarding free will vs. determinism. I want to put that to rest here. My view as God has revealed it to me is that God knows what we will choose and decide.
It is a perfect interplay of God’s sovereignty and man’s free will. We cannot understand all of salvation’s complexities this side of heaven however what we can know is that salvation has a purpose and a process and this process gives us something wonderfully tangible to believe in and have confidence in. God works, we respond.
Yes, not all will accept God but for those of us who have we are the fulfillment of His grand design for mankind and for us as individuals. Subsequently we can say with cheerful reverence and joy that we are His sheep and that He knows us.
27) My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
28) And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.John 10:27-28 (KJV)
Reader if you are saved you have heard God’s voice and responded, God knows you and you follow Him.
They key then in the matter of assurance of salvation is to focus on the following. You know you have heard God’s voice and you know that He knows you, but make sure you follow Him. How do you do this? Accept Him and His plans for you. Accept what He has given you…
32) Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.Luke 12:32 (KJV)
Reader lay aside all wrestling with assurance of your salvation. Fear not and replace fears and doubts with the simple fact at face value that God your father, your shepherd, the one who drew you to Him, the one who saved you did all of it out of His good pleasure to give you the kingdom and eternal life. All you must do now is enjoy Him forevermore!
As we conclude this series I hope it has been a great help to you. Salvation is a truly supernatural and amazing thing. There is so much to take in and to appreciate about it. May we always praise God and spread His message to the ends of the earth. Amen!Subscribe (RSS)