Salvation And The Knowledge Of It    (Part 4)           

Luke 1:77

God sends his servants out preaching the gospel to every creature - “To give KNOWLEDGE of salvation unto his people BY THE REMISSION OF THEIR SINS.” Much more could and should be said about this part of Zacharias’ statement than I will be able to get said in this brief space. Perhaps the Lord will allow me to come back to it another day. For now, let me show you just two things taught here by the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit here declares that God’s salvation is something that his people are caused to know in this world. I know that there are many who struggle with assurance. No doubt, some who will read these lines do. There are some who will tell you that it is not possible for us to know in this world whether or not we are “his people.” I would do nothing to discourage our weaker brethren; but I do want you to understand that the Word of God speaks about a salvation that God himself makes known to his people through the preaching of the gospel (Rom. 5:8-11; 2 Tim. 1:12; 1 John 5:11-13). If you are struggling with this matter of assurance, if you do not know whether or not you are saved, the problem is one of two things: either you are not saved, or you are looking in the wrong place for assurance. Assurance is not found in ourselves, but in Christ. My assurance before God is not based upon what I think, feel, know, or do. It is not even based upon what I have experienced. My assurance is my Savior! How could we ever be his witnesses, if we cannot determine whether we even know him? Peter speaks of us looking with confidence and hope for the coming day of the Lord (2 Pet. 3:12). But how could any mortal, sinful man anxiously await that great and terrible day of judgment, if he does not know that God’s salvation is his? Paul describes Christ’s coming as being a matter of blessed hope (Tit. 2:13). But how can it be called a blessed hope by a people who do not have an assured hope before God? This knowledge of salvation accomplished by Christ is imparted to chosen, redeemed sinners by the supernatural work of God the Holy Spirit in regeneration and conversion “BY THE REMISSION OF THEIR SINS.” The remission of sins is the release or dismissal from sins. When a sinner is born again, God the Holy Spirit convinces him of sin (his own), of righteousness (Christ’s), and of judgment (God’s judgment of sin in Christ). He gives the regenerate sinner faith in Christ. He also sprinkles, or applies, the blood of Christ to his heart and conscience. Thus he speaks in the heart, in the conscience, forgiveness, and remits or dismisses the ransomed sinner from sin (Heb. 9:11-14). This knowledge of salvation by the remission of our sins should be in every believing heart a fixed, unwavering, assured fact of life in Christ. Indeed, just to the degree that we trust Christ alone, having no confidence in the flesh, it is an assured fact. We have it (Eph. 1:7); and we live upon it, just as a man lives upon a piece of property that he rightfully owns. Thus it is written, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee” (Isa. 26:3).

Don Fortner