My Fitness

Friday, June 19, 2015

how I have assurance

[addendum: Check out this very insightful message from Wayne Grudem that speaks to this very topic! ]

"If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."

If a train was coming as you stood on the tracks would it be nice to say nothing and let it hit you or to say something like "you shouldn't stand there" even though it might not seem nice to tell someone what to do?

(The links are to Bible verses just so you can verify that I'm not making this up.)

God loved all people enough that he sent his son, Jesus, to die and that if you believe in him you will have everlasting life. John 3:16
Everyone has sinned. And that sin, no matter how small, keeps me from God. Romans 3:23
But even though I am sinful and before I even did anything good, Jesus Christ died to save me. Romans 5:8
For sin to be erased, someone has to die. God chose Christ Jesus. And he offers to let us choose Christ Jesus, too. Romans 6:23
Jesus lived a perfect life and was sinless. But on the cross where he died he supernaturally transferred our sins onto himself so we would not have to die. 2 Corinthians 5:21
If I confess with my mouth that Jesus is Lord, meaning that he governs all people, places, and time and should be obeyed with submission and followed in ernest, and believe in my heart that God raised him from the dead, then I will be saved. Romans 10:9-10
This promise is available to everyone from Mother Teresa to Hitler, and even to me. Romans 10:13
Simply repeating a prayer and reciting verses does not save me. Matthew 6:7 
Because everyone knows a politician who says one thing and does another and can attest that empty words are meaningless. Ephesians 5:6

So how do I know that I am saved?

Belief by itself is useless. Demons believe in God but they do not submit to him. James 2:19
So there must be some action that I can see in myself. James 2:17
While there is nothing I can do to make God love me more or to earn my salvation, the Spirit works in me doing good deeds. James 2:18
I have been saved by grace and not by doing things. Salvation is a gift not a wage. Ephesians 2:8
With humility, I submit my will to God so that my salvation will be worked on, that is, that I will be perfected. Philippians 2:12   and Philippians 1:6
I have been given the guarantee of salvation because of the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life. Ephesians 1:13-14
Evidence of my salvation comes from the Spirit enabling me to persevere. Matthew 10:22
Since I confess my sin, I know he forgives me. Confessing means more than just speaking empty words, remember. 1 John 1:9
He's already saved me because of his mercy and his Spirit renews me and changes me from doing those sins to doing his good deeds. Titus 3:5
Even if I did do good works trying to earn salvation, it's useless because my good works aren't good enough. Ever. My best deeds, Mother Teresa's best deeds, are still like used toilet paper. You can't clean anything with filth and pollution. Isaiah 64:6
It impossible to come to salvation, lose it, and then become saved again. If my actions are contrary to the Bible, then I must not actually be saved. Hebrews 6:4-6
But since Christ has already died to save me from my sins and paid for my sins, then what if I mess up and sin? I start with knowing the above verses and that I have not been condemned. Romans 8:1
And from there I know that even if I sin, if I find my heart drawn to repentance and to make things right, this is due to the working of the Holy Spirit in me. I will keep messing up for as long as I'm on earth, but the Spirit will continue to change me and remake me to look more like Jesus. Romans 1:1-17
I know my repentance is genuine and not empty words. I have bad days but am supernaturally drawn to confess and restore. Can I then just sin more and more with the intent to confess? No, this isn't genuine and shows a lack of the Spirit. Romans 5:21-6:4
This temptation alone doesn't reveal the lack of the Spirit. But following sinful desires and making a lifestyle of sin, does. Any part of myself that is revealed to be ungodly I am willing to lay aside and deny in order to submit to God and have him reign as King over me. Jesus even promised that I would have to do this. Luke 9:23
Rather God has prepared good works for me to do in his name for his glory. And I seek to do those. Ephesians 2:10
There are many people in EVERY church and every denomination who claim to be Christians but even to the outside world their actions betray that they are not as they claim. Titus 1:16
Simply doing enough good deeds to outweigh my bad deeds is not enough to show the presence of the Spirit; as that shows that I'm trying to justify my bad deeds and overcome them with good. But like I said before even my good deeds aren't good enough. I cannot perfect with good deeds that which God has attained for me through his supernatural sacrifice. Galatians 3:3
No one can say (and mean it truly) that Jesus is Lord (as in deserving of full submission, denial of self, and full worship) without the Holy Spirit working in him. 1 Corinthians 12:3
I can know I have eternal life because I believe in word and action and inward reflection in the Son of God, that is, Jesus. 1 John 5:10-13
I practice righteousness and practice denying my sinfulness and not celebrating my sinfulness and this shows me that I have been born of him, Jesus, who is righteous. 1 John 2:29

This is the Good News of Jesus: He died, was buried in a tomb, and was raised three days later having paid for our sins. 1 Corinthians 15:1-10 Even Paul says that his good deeds are the work of the Holy Spirit!
It is GOOD news that we have new birth that is imperishable! 1 Peter 1:22-25
So go be baptized if you have been born again! John 3:5-6

How do I know I am not among those who cry, "Lord! Lord!" but God says, "Depart from me. I never knew you."? We will know ourselves by our fruit. You can do good deeds apart from the Spirit, but all these things I've written will attest to the truth you have in you. You can choose to ask God to take you off the train tracks, or as Jesus gave a similar parable, you can choose to build your life on the solid rock of Christ or stay on the tracks and build your life on the shifting sands of feelings, philosophy, religion, or good deeds: Matthew 7:20-27

I didn't do this by myself. And you can't do it by yourself. If you find yourself questioning, that is wonderful as it means you are looking at the train tracks instead of just being assured that attending your parent's church is saving you. Belonging to a certain demographic, organization, city, or political party has nothing to do with salvation. Salvation belongs to the Lord. Taking communion or being baptized doesn't save you, rather saved people do those things. You can deceive people but you can't deceive God. You can try to save face in front of me but what good is that if you lose your soul? If I say I believe all of the above, do you think I would somehow rejoice in you going to hell? Nope. Not a chance. I am the worst evangelist. But the Good News is that you don't have to stay on the train tracks if you just ask God to move you. (Unfortunately in this analogy you can't move yourself. You have to ask God to move you off the tracks. All analogies fall apart at some point.) 

Maybe you need convincing that you are even on the tracks or that anyone is on the tracks? I encourage you to check out these videos. That might seem boring or take too long, but you should probably do it before you get hit by the train. This is serious. This is the most serious thing you have ever come across. Being Southern, being Baptist, being Catholic, taking communion, being baptized at any age, going on a missions trip, serving enchiladas to a priest, donating time or money to the church, having parents who are good, or anything other than YOU having faith in Jesus will NOT SAVE you. I share this for you. I get nothing out of it except another adopted sibling (we call each other brother and sister because we become children of God).

The Basic FOUR SPIRITUAL LAWS article:

Other references: