Assurance…is what I believe everyone desires in so many areas of their lives. For instance; that my brakes will work at a critical moment, I will have enough money to last me for my lifetime, that the food I buy is safe, the doctor’s advice will work, the job I have will last and provide for my family. There are thousands. Name yours.
I was speaking with Derrick and Bosco, the Abiding Fathers’ directors in Rwanda this week about the mindset of the majority of the Christian community concerning their faith and beliefs. This country went through a genecide of major proportions in 1994 when one million men were killed. For the most part, the people, the families, are starting over, rebuilding. Something tangible in which to place their hopes has led many to trust Christ. This is very exciting and encouraging.
But like many throughout the world, they struggle with the doctrine of grace, and grace alone. This leads to a lack of assurance. Can I really be good enough for God to save me? Maybe I need to do good works so God will accept me. Sound familiar? When addressing this with them, I was led to write some notes for their use in helping their fellow men to deal with the central message of the gospel. I shared many verses on assurance.
Faith and the gospel
First, we can never be good enough? “In that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” I once had a believer share this with me. ‘You know, Bill, God doesn’t clean his fish before he catches them.’ We were all unclean, actually enemies of God when the grace of the gospel was made clear to us by the Holy Spirit.
I think it is vital to understand the three major beliefs in all of the world religions.
- Saved by works alone—Christ is unnecessary
- Saved by Christ plus works—Christ is insufficient
- Saved by Christ alone—Christ is all-sufficient
Where are you? Be very honest with yourself. Your eternal destiny depends on your answer. The gospel by which you are saved is actually ten words as found in 1 Cor. 15. 1-5. “Christ died for your sins and rose from the dead.” See, we were all dead in our trespasses. Spiritually separated from God—eternally! Until, Jesus took all our iniquities on himself on the cross, and declared, it is finished. And when that truth is revealed to anyone, our only response is—believe and receive.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Eph. 2.8,9). Could it be any clearer? A gift, received by faith. But Bill, where do our works enter in? The answer is right in the next 2 verses. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” We are saved for good works, not by good works.
Be assured of your salvation
God wants his people to be fully assured of their salvation so they may live victorious daily lives for his Kingdom. In Christ alone, the victory for your soul has been won; all you are doing now is fighting the battles for the hearts and souls of the lost, just like you were, until that day when we see him face to face.
He has justified us through the blood of Jesus, he is sanctifying us to become like Jesus, and he will glorify us when we are clothed in the righteous robes of Jesus. You see, it’s all about Jesus! May your assurance be in him alone, and may your works glorify him.