• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Samuel A CainOn that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ (Matthew 7:22-23 ESV)

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21 ESV)

Have you been born again by the Spirit of God? Do you have assurance of your salvation? Based on the Word of God and the evidence in your life, can you give good reason for your assurance? Many who say they are saved have a false assurance of their salvation.

There will come a day of judgment when some will be horrified to learn they are not saved at all. There are people who are not saved but confidently believe that they are saved. Their assurance is a false assurance. This may be because they hold to a false doctrine or believe that if they live good lives, they will enter Heaven. We are all in danger of being the dependent of a false salvation and false assurance. This is because false assurance is based on unscriptural ideas. For instance; today many people believe in salvation by death. All you have to do to get to heaven is die. They believe that if they do enough good deeds they will be saved, but salvation is by grace alone. Many speak of their salvation as a past tense experience. In the meantime they live in disobedience to God. Easy assurance is a serious problem today. In Matthew, Jesus warns first century Christians not to take their salvation for granted. (Matthew 7:22-23 ESV)

As mentioned above, salvation is by grace alone, but not by a grace that is alone. Arthur W. Pink writes:

“It is only in proportion as the Christian manifests the fruit of a genuine conversion that he is entitled to regard himself and be regarded by others as one of the called and elect of God. It is just in proportion as we add to our faith the other Christian graces that we have solid ground on which to rest in the assurance we belong to the family of Christ.”

false doctrinesThe assurance of saving grace should be seen in our actions. Evidence is seen in holy living and produces a permanent transformation in the nature of the individual who has been born again. There is an immense abyss between assumption and assurance. I am not advocating that works help to save you. Salvation is by grace alone through faith in Christ alone. I am saying that good works are a product of salvation not the cause. Paul is concerned enough over this issue to write:

“Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” (2 Corinthians 13:5 ESV)

All of us need to be careful and not allow our egos to get in the way of making an accurate assessment of our Christian lives. James advises us:

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.” (James 1:22-25 ESV)

Idle hearers are self-deceivers; and self-deceit is the worst deceit in the end. When hearing the Word of God, we should look to it for advice and instruction, and when we study it, there will be a change in our spiritual lives. Those who meditate on and then walk in the Word of God shall be blessed.

3 Responses

  1. Most people I have talked to about assurance take pride in having no assurance, and they think that I am prideful to have assurance. But I think it is better to have no assurance than a false assurance. Our assurance of course must rest in what God has done for us, not in what we have done.
    Thank you for this great article. This topic is most important. I pray that many will read it.


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