Sermon #1053 Miscellaneous Sermons
Title: BLESSED ASSURANCE
Text: Romans 5:1-2
Scripture Reading: Luke 15:11-24
Subject: The Assurance of Faith
Date: Sunday Morning – November 22, 1992
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” What blessed confidence, what blessed assurance these words express! And that is my subject today – Blessed Assurance.
When I think about this matter of assurance, as a believer, a pastor and a preacher of the gospel, I am faced with two problems, two facts that I have to deal with.
1st, There are many people in this world, probably some people sitting here, who enjoy the assurance of salvation who have never experienced the grace of God in Christ. They claim peace, but they have no grounds of peace. They delude themselves with a false peace. Many live and die being fully persuaded that they are saved, only to wake up in hell under the wrath of God (Matt. 7:21-23). They base their assurance upon something in the past, a time, a place, an event, an experience when they began to believe, and they are sure they are saved.
Illustration: Bill Duncan – Joe Kirk – Bobby Smith – Betty Willis
There are many who enjoy the assurance of salvation who have never experienced the grace of God.
2nd, There are some who have been saved by God’s grace but have no assurance of faith in Christ. It may be that some of you now find in your heart faith in Christ, repentance toward God and love for the Savior, but you have never confessed Christ as your Savior. Because you lack assurance that your faith is real. You have had no climatic experience that you can point to and say, “There I began to trust Christ.” Salvation is not always a climatic experience. It is sometimes a gradual thing. We do not all experience the grace of God alike. The need is the same and the grace is the same, but the experience is different.
Illustration: Compare Mark 8:22-25 with Mark 10:47-52!
If you now trust Christ, if you now repent of your sins, if you now love the Lord Jesus Christ, it does not matter when or where you began to do so. If you trust Christ you are born of God! You are an heir of God! You have eternal life! I urge you to confess Christ today. I hope that this message will be used of God to give you “the full assurance of faith” that speaks peace to the hearts of God’s elect.
Men and women spend a lot of time debating and arguing about who is saved and who is not saved, who knows God and who does not know God, who will be in heaven and who will not be there. John Newton once said, “When I get to heaven I am sure that I will be greatly surprised by three things:
1. Many will be there whom I never thought would be there;
2. Many will not be there whom I was sure would be there; and
3. Most surprising of all, I will be there!”
It is not our business to sit as judges over men and decide who is saved and who is not.
Illustration: David Adkins!
We do not have the ability to examine a man’s heart! That is God’s prerogative alone (I Sam. 16:7). We must each examine ourselves and determine whether we are in the faith (II Cor. 13:5).
It is possible for a person to know whether or not he is saved (I John 5:10-13).
· Peter Did – “Thou knowest that I love thee!”
· Paul Did – “I know whom I have believed and am persuaded…”
This is my great desire (Phil. 3:8-14).
1. I want to win Christ!
2. I want to be found in Christ!
3. I want to know Christ!
4. I want to be conformed to Christ!
5. I want to attain unto the resurrection of the dead with Christ!
I want what only God himself can give. I want an assurance of hope, assurance of confidence, and assurance of faith that is built upon and arises from the Word of God. Do you? If you do, give me your attention. I’ve got a message from God for you. I’ll give it to you in these four points:
I. Three Things are Essential to Knowing God, Being Saved and Entering Into The Kingdom of Heaven.
I am talking about essential things now, three things are essential to salvation.
A. A New Nature!
Our Lord said, “Ye must be born again… That which is born of the flesh is flesh; that which is born of the Spirit is spirit…Ye must be born again!” But how? How is a person born again? Where does this new nature come from?
I am not talking about a religious profession, a decision for Jesus, or a doctrine. I’m talking about life! A New Life! A New Heart! A New Will! A New Nature! This is not the work of man (I Cor. 2:14), but the work of God alone (II Cor. 5:17 – “Behold I make all things new” (Rev. 21:5).
1. We are born again by the Will of God (John 1:11-13; Rom. 9:16).
2. We are born again by the Spirit of God (John 3:5-8; 6:63).
3. We are born again by the Word of God – The Seed of Life (James 1:18; I Pet. 1:23-25).
When a person is born of God he is made to be a partaker of the Divine Nature. He has a new nature (I John 4:6-8; 5:1).
B. A Perfect Righteousness!
Now listen – what men call righteousness is not righteousness. (Luke 16:15). God demands perfect righteousness, perfect holiness. “It must be perfect to be accepted” (Lev. 22:21).
· “Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:20).
· “Follow peace with all men and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14).
· Christ is our Righteousness! (Rom. 10:1-4; Phil. 3:9; Jer. 23:6).
C. An Atonement for Sin!
“Without shedding of blood is no remission!” (Heb. 9:22). “It is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul!” (Lev. 17:11).
1. God demands satisfaction for sin.
2. There is no way for satisfaction to be made other than by a Substitute.
3. Christ, our Substitute, has made satisfaction for our sins; and he is the only one who could (I Pet. 3:18; Isa. 53:4-6, 8-11).
4. Believing on Christ we receive the atonement (Rom. 5:11).
These three things are essential. Without them, no one can be saved – A New Nature – A Perfect Righteousness – An Atonement for Sin.
II. Secondly, I want you to see Why These Things Are Essential.
This is not the mere whim of a preacher a speculative point of theology, or the requirements of a religious creed.
A. The very Character of God and Heaven Demands These Three Things – (Ps. 24:3-4).
B. The unchanging, Holy Law of God Requires These Things (Gal. 3:10).
C. The Holy Justice of God Demands to be Honored and Satisfied (Ex. 33:6-7).
D. All Three Of These Requirements (A New Nature – A Perfect Righteousness – An Atonement for Sin) Are Fully Met in The Lord Jesus Christ! (I Cor. 1:30).
1. Christ our Spiritual Life (Col. 1:27; 3:4).
2. Christ is our Righteousness (Rom. 5:19; II Cor. 5:21).
3. Christ is our Sin Offering (Heb. 10:11-14).
“From whence this fear and unbelief?
Hath not the Father put to grief
His spotless Son for me?
And will, the righteous Judge of men
Condemn me for that debt of sin,
Which, Lord, was charged on thee?
Complete atonement Thou hast made,
And to the utmost farthing paid
Whate’er Thy people owed.
Nor can His wrath on me take place,
If sheltered in Thy righteousness
And sprinkled with Thy blood!
If Thou hast my discharge procured
And freely in my room endured
The whole of wrath Divine:
Payment God cannot twice demand,
First at my bleeding Surety’s hand,
And then again at mine!
Turn then, my soul, unto thy rest;
The merits of thy great High Priest
Have bought thy liberty:
Trust in His efficacious blood,
Nor fear thy banishment from God
Since Jesus died for thee!” Toplady
III. Thirdly, These and All Other Spiritual Blessings Are Ours In Christ Jesus As The Free Gift of God’s Grace (Eph. 1:3-12).
A. All the Blessings of Grace are In Christ!
B. All the Blessings and Benefits of Grace are Ours By Faith in Christ (Eph. 1:13-14).
C. Works have Nothing to Do With Grace! (Rom. 11:6; 4:1-8, 16-25).
· Grace is Free!
· Grace is Received by Faith Alone!
· The Faith that Receives Grace is The Gift of Grace!
Can you believe? Can you rest in Christ alone? If you can, if you do, you have been saved by the grace of God (Eph. 2:1-10).
IV. Fourthly, let me wrap this message up by addressing this question. It is a question that I ask myself and a question I hope you are asking – How can I Know That I Am Resting In Christ Alone?
How can I know that I am born of God, that I have a new nature, that I have the perfect righteousness of Christ, that I am washed in his sin-atoning blood?
A. I ask myself – Has The Holiness of God and The Law of God Slain Me, Shut my Mouth, and Destroyed My Righteousness? (Rom. 3:19).
Illustration: That’s what Happened To…
Job (Job 40:3-4; 42:5-6).
Isaiah (Isa. 6:1-8).
Saul (Phil. 3:7-8 – “Dung”).
Do I really believe that my righteousnesses are filthy rags in God’s sight? Adam and Eve could not be clothed with the skins of God’s providing until God had stripped them of their fig leaf aprons! And I cannot come to Christ until I can come saying –
“Nothing in my hands I bring,
Simply to thy cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress,
Helpless, come to Thee for grace!
B. I know that “It is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment.” I know that I must meet God in judgment! Realizing that awesome fact, I ask myself. Where and In Whom Do I Hope to Find Acceptance With God in That Day?
Where shall I stand? What my hope? What is my claim to Glory? Christ Alone!
1. He is my Ransom!
2. He is my Mediator!
3. He is my Righteousness!
Bold shall I stand in that great day,
For aught to my Charge shall lay,
While through Thy blood absolved I am
From sin’s tremendous guilt and blame?
4. Heavenly glory is the reward of grace!
C. When my heart is heavy, when my conscience is bleeding, when I am aware of my sins and my guilt, where do I run for peace and assurance? Where do I find relief?
…To a Profession of Faith?
…To my Experiences?
…To the Duties of Religion?
…To Signs, Tokens and Evidences of Grace?
No! I run to Christ as he is revealed in the Word of God!
Illustration: Charles Wesley’s Hymn – The Frightened Bird!
Jesus, lover of my soul, Let me to thy bosom fly,
While the nearer waters roll, while the tempest still is high.
Hide me, O my Savior, hide, till the storm of life is past;
Safe into the haven guide, O receive my soul at last!
Other refuge have I none, Hangs my helpless soul on Thee:
Leave, O leave me not alone, Still support and comfort me:
All my trust on Thee is stayed, All my help from Thee I bring;
Cover my defenseless head with the shadow of thy wing.
Thou, O Christ, art all I want, more than all in Thee I find;
Plenteous grace with Thee is found, Grace to cover all my sin;
Thou of life the Fountain art, Freely let me take of Thee,
Spring Thou up within my heart, Rise to all eternity!
D. One more question – Can I stand Confidently and Steadfastly In The Person and Work of Christ? (Gal. 5:1-6).
1. I do claim His Righteousness!
2. I do look to Christ alone for Atonement!
3. At all times, I come to Him!
4. My labor and service to God is not for acceptance with him, but because of my acceptance with him in Christ – It is a labor of love and a service of gratitude (II Cor. 5:14).
5. I have not yet been moved away from the hope of the gospel (Col. 1:23); and by the grace of God I never shall!
Christ is my Assurance (II Tim. 1:12). This is Blessed Assurance! (Rom. 5:1-2).