Friday, December 28, 2007

Where There Is Doubt...Hope

All true believers may at some time doubt their salvation. That's just the way we are as flesh and blood. One writer said that we can no more expect perfect assurance than we can live perfectly. That said, I believe after many years of wrestling with this issue, that I am confident in the biblical path to true assurance.

First we must understand the fact that the Christian life is a journey. Philippians 3:14 says "Not that I have already attained all this or already been made perfect. But I press on to take hold of that for which Christ took hold of me." Christ took hold of him...and he presses on. The implication is that pressing on is the Spirit-produced sign that God has taken hold of him.

How we deal with falls into sin is one good discipline. Simon Peter handled this right. Just before Christ's crucifixion, Simon Peter makes a big to-do about how he is going to stick with Jesus even if all the other disciples bail out. Jesus told him he was going to deny Him three times. But in Luke 22:31 Jesus assures Simon Peter "But I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail. And when you turn back, strengthen your brothers." Praise the Lord, Peter did just that. After weeping bitterly about this, he went on to be the key figure in the early church. Wouldn't you just love for Jesus to pray for you as he did for Peter? If that is your desire, then you may well be assured.

It has been well said by John Piper that eternal security is a community project. Drawing from Hebrews 10:25, let us not give up meeting together, but encourage one another. Other believers play a HUGE role in our perseverance. This is because it is in the context of the church that we practice the "one anothers," use our spiritual gifts, and corporately worship. All of this brings the reality of the glory of Christ into much sharper vision than we may have on our own. If you love to be with the people of God to discuss the word of God, and to declare his glory, then take assurance. MORE TO COME.

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