Christian Assurance In An Uncertain World

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Christian Assurance  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  42:10
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Lord. We thank you again for these wonderful times and we can lift our voices and song. What A Joy, it is to reflect and dedicate this Sunday to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We ask your blessing on the remainder of the service. Give me wisdom as I teach your word. It's in Jesus name. We pray. Amen. May be seated. And a couple of other announcements that I had forgot to do. And make earlier today, number one, is the college group is going to be meeting out at the Long's house. Rich, and Susan are rich. Could you raise your hand and Kay, the tall arm? They're in the back. We're going to be meeting at what time rich. Okay soon as church is done we're going to be heading out to your your Warehouse if you don't know directions Emily and I Know Rich certainly knows so grab one of us at the end of the service so that we can help you out or you can follow us there when we go. But all the college students are invited to this college lunch, this is where we're going to be this Easter, we'd love to have you there and, and it's just going to be a fantastic meal in in time of Fellowship together. So that'll be after the service at the Longs house and grab me or Rich if you need directions there. And lastly, if you had those surveys completed, we're going to have a couple of people, just walk through the aisles to collect those. If you could just hand them out, maybe fold them in half hand them out. And if you haven't completed it, yet you can. And don't get a chance to hand it to them. You can always drop it in the offering box there on the back of the wall, just folded in half slip it in the back and that offering box and that will be just fine.

Okay, so if you would please turn with me in your Bibles today. To the letter of 2nd Peter.

I'm going to read this morning from the first 11 verses as we consider Assurance this morning Assurance of face and especially as we consider Insurance of faith in light of the resurrection of Jesus Christ because certainly we don't come to celebrate this morning wondering if the resurrection was the probability, was a hypothetical thing that happened in the past. We come to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ because we are certain of it. We are certain of the work that he accomplished on the cross, we are certain of the time that you spent in the grave and we are certain of the Resurrection when Jesus Christ Was Made Alive and resurrected from the dead. And if we consider Insurance Assurance, I'd like to read these first 11 verses as we kind of introduce and read what we're going to be look. Over the next 12 weeks. So II or Peter write this in a second letter beginning and verse 1 Simon Peter a servant and Apostle of Jesus Christ to those who have obtained, a face of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior. Jesus Christ May Grace and peace, be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus. Our lord is divine calling his granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and Excellence by which you had granted to us. His great is precious and very great promises. So that threw them, you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue and virtue with knowledge. And now, Edgewood self-control and self-control with steadfastness and steadfastness with godliness and godliness with brotherly, affection and brotherly affection with love these. Qualities are yours and are increasing. They keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord. Jesus Christ for whoever lacked these qualities is so nearsighted. Is he blind having forgotten that she was cleansed from his former sins? Therefore brothers be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election. For if you practice these qualities you will never fall for. In this way, there will be richly provided for you and entrance into the Eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. And it is with these words that Peter rights of great Assurance, Assurance of what God has done in his people through. No faith in Jesus Christ. And not only does he display an assurance of faith. But he exhorts the church to make that calling and election. Sure. That Assurance is not just something. We know we have it is something. We know we have, but it's something we continually seek out. It's something that we continually Endeavor to understand more and more and more and certainly has the Christian matures and grows in faith and grows in Christ that Assurance of Salvation deeply Richins, their walk with Christ and their peace and contentment and comfort in this world. I titled this series and this message Christian Assurance in an uncertain world because if we look at the world around us and consider everything that is going on, it's pretty certain that there is much uncertainty in the things around us and what we see happening all over the country and all over the world. Now, there are typical signs of uncertainty that are in the world things that Hugo okay, we understand that that is something that we cannot know for sure like the environment we can predict that winter summer spring and fall are going to come, we know that those come but we never know how severe the winter is going to be or how significant a drought might be. We never know when a storm could absolutely destroy. A congregation destroy a population. It can be wonderful one moment and the next moment life-threatening. So we can never be fully certain of the environment. We can never be fully certain what is happening in the economy as much as we might Hope For Love what we have. Now, we realize that tomorrow, everything can change, there's a level of uncertainty that we have. Even with the economy. We see that there is uncertainty with the government. We see that there is uncertainty with relationships, we see that there is uncertainty that even those who We cherish most. We never know when my breath will be the last one or someone I love when they will breathe their last. And sometimes those moments of death, come upon us at the snap of a fingers finger, so we can never be fully certain there are areas in the world where we understand that. But then when we look a little deeper, we can say there's a sense in which things that should be, certain are now uncertain for many people, things that we should say. That is an absolute certainty are now left up to question, so there's something someone should be assured about their now leaving to question. For example, the world is teaching that no one can really be assured about something as basic, as, as gender but there are parents now who are questioning how do we raise our child? Do we paint their room specific color? Do we make a gender-neutral? Because we don't know what our child is going to choose. As far as their gender that doctors would ask questions. Would you like me to mark the sex now with the birth of a baby? Or would you like to wait until that is established by the child? And if this is difficult, even for the parents, how much more. So for those poor children or used for wrestling with themselves, what is my identity something as certain as biological sex is now left to question. We can look at an unexpected pregnancy, where young woman today, has to discern in question whether that baby in her womb, is truly a living thing or if it's just a fetus never before his, that had to be a serious question. But now young, ladies are having to ask is this really a life in my womb when there's this level of uncertainty.

There's uncertainty now about what you say, what you text, what you post the belief you stand on because and what they call the cancel culture, no one is fully sure that if they say something, then it could completely ruin them, they could lose their job. They could lose their education, they could lose everything that they love most things that were once. So, obvious, now ambiguous as we see the world, marred with uncertainty and it's Christians, we can come into a fellowship, each Sunday morning. We can come into a fellowship with a Brothers and Sisters in Christ anytime throughout the week. And we can be absolutely certain and sure of the face, and the hope that we have in Jesus Christ, which gives us so much more clarity about the areas of uncertainty, that the world spend, so much time, being anxious over worrying about being depressed. And I believe that we can safely say that uncertainty breeds fear. It breeds anger and it breeds division in the heart of those for wrestling. So significantly, with the issues of this world. And I think if we look back over the last year and consider covid-19 consider the elections, how much more uncertainty is in the hearts and people now a year later because of how much has changed in the world. And not only that, we see how much fear has gripped. The heart of the population is they live in the fear of covid-19, or even if we look at the political climate, how much Division and how much anger has come from the political climate That uncertainty has bread fear. It has bread anger and it has bread Division. And yet when we hear those words that is not, what is in the heart of the Christian because the fruit of the spirit is love is joy is peace is faithfulness gentleness, kindness self-control.

That's the fruit of the spirit within the Christian so that the uncertainties of the world though they can rest heavy on our shoulders, do not ultimately rule our hearts because Christ is The Sovereign, King who sits on the throne of our heart. And the more we are assured of who he is, the more we are assured of our faith assured of his death assured of his resurrection, assured of the life, we have through faith in him. The greater we're going to be able to understand his promises. The more we'll be able to walk through this life with endurance with perseverance with strength with hope.

Just considering the last year going to ask a couple of questions. How has the instruction sea of the world impacted you over the last year? Has anxiety, worry, depression. Struck you at any point over the last 1214 months.

Have you developed a few more gray hairs?

At this, last year, shaped your walk with Christ. Has it grown, your walk? Has it diminished your walk? Are you walk fluctuated throughout this time?

See the work Lourdes fully aware and Sovereign over. What's happening in this world.

No matter what happens around us, God uses the circumstances to build his church to strengthen his people.

but in order to experience that building in order to experience that growth of Christ within our hearts,

It's more than just knowing it's doing. That's what Peter says here in his second letter and first 10. Therefore brothers be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election for if you practice these things, You will never fall so that when we feel the pressure of the world, the anxieties of the world, the depression sink, over our soul, we do more than just sit there. We press into Christ remind ourselves of his promises. We plead with him.

To once again, open our hearts to The Wonder of life.

The world can look at everything that's happening. Consider all the uncertainties that are happening around him or her and ask if there any hopes in this world. Is there any purpose in life with all that's going on? everything we know turns to Ash, Can there be genuine lasting sustained? Hope peace and comfort in this life. For the Christian. We answered with an absolute. Yes, they're can cuz our hope is not in the things of the world. Our hope is in Jesus Christ. And his resurrection, that he conquered sin and death and has set us free, so that we look to him as he strengthens us in this life. I want to give a brief definition of assurance and this comes from Sinclair Ferguson. And when she writes assurances the conscious confidence that we are in a right relationship with God through Christ, it is the confidence that we have been Justified and accepted by God in Christ. We generated by his spirit and adopted into his family and that through faith in him, we will be kept for the day when we meet our Lord and savior. Assurance of faith knowing that we have been Justified accepted regenerated and adopted into the family of God and that God will bring us as his children safely to his Heavenly Kingdom that we consider insurance. This is not a doctrine that we hear often talked about today. And yet About four hundred years ago. It was a significant Doctrine in the church. Something that pastors would spend weeks upon weeks, talking about writing about and it is Rich with wealth and understanding of the Christian Life and what it means to walk in faith and be strong and Christ. Even when the world is crumbling all around to know that there can indeed be joy and be hope and I can be comfortable and when we see all the uncertainties of the world around us Thomas, Brooks with the pastor in the 1600. She wrote a book called heaven on Earth not because on Earth we can have everything we want. But because on Earth we can understand and know who Christ is and realize the fullness of Our Hope in him. So that our hearts can be at peace, the heart can be content, no matter what is happening. There was another author Thomas Jones and he's from the 1800 and he communicated in his book on Assurance of faith that surely no one on earth could have so much happiness as the Christian who has well-grounded certainty. That the Triune God is his salvation and not to live is Christ. And to die is gain. These great authors and writers attached certainty of Faith Assurance of Faith to a life of happiness and contentment and joy, a display of those fruits of the spirit. They say that Assurance of faith is related to those very things of the gospel and that it ought to be cultivated and Assurance is something indeed that we can cultivate and growing and understand.

and while it was so imprecise than those 1617, we don't hear it talked about much today with your talked about a little bit. If I say Christian Assurance, Assurance of Salvation, you understand what that means? But in some circles to even talk about insurance of faith, can sound presumptuous. Eric Enterprise, how can anyone even know that they genuinely are saved? Is that even a real possibility? Because there is so much uncertainty because there is so much sin. Can anyone truly know that there is certainty that if we were to die today? If you were to die today, you would be in heaven with Jesus Christ.

Some would say that it's an impossibility even to know or understand assurance. Others will attach assurance. to a prayer to an experience to say well I did that and because I did that and check the box, that means I could be assured One of the areas of assurance that these Puritans these writers of the 1600 went into such great detail, was, was the idea of false assurance. Got something to say you can't be fully assured because there's just too much uncertainty and then you have other to say, well if you just do this you can be fully assured and then you've got the Puritan going. We got to look at what scripture says about what Assurance means. And there are many out there who think that because they did or said something that's the Box they need to check in order to go into the kingdom of heaven. So they went into great detail talking about folks surance Why would a pastor come up and want to make his congregation doubt about their insurance?

That's not the way to ask it if you more. Pastor has so much care and love for his congregation that it would break his heart to think that anyone sitting in the room, could be sharing the gospel and have a false Assurance of their faith. So, he preaches Faithfully so that they might hear so that they might understand the greatest gift that someone could receive in the pews is that they realize their Assurance has been false. Because if that is the case, that is Christ opening up their hearts that they can know him fully and Faithfully for the first time and have that genuine Insurance. Why would they emphasize false Insurance? Because of their love and care for the congregation? That none could slip by and sit in these seats. And never know the phone is a few Christ is

No one. We talked about insurance. If a smoke most usually it's applied and attributed to that eternal security that we have that question. If you were to die today, where would you go? Are you 20% certain? You'd go to heaven. 50% $79 100%. We can call that security. Are you, are you sure if the security that you have and hoping that is certain of your faith in Christ? And that is certainly a part of assurance but it's not the fullness of what Assurance of faith is. It's a part, but not the fullness. Because as we understand the fullness of assurance of faith, we see how it affects the Christian in there every day today. Walk in life, don't ask a couple of questions about insurance and number one, is this, what does the Bible say about Assurance of faith? We mentioned before that some people think it's presumptuous or arrogant we mentioned before some believe that you can have it. What is the Bible say about assurance? There's two things, number one, but the Christian can possession the Christian can possess and have the fullness of assurance of faith. And number two, But the Christian must pursue it. Now, that's probably that latter part something that we had not really thought about pursuing the fullness of our Assurance in faith. And yet, we read in Scripture that the Christian must pursue the fullness of their Assurance. If a bus, just look real quickly, what the scripture says Number one, the Christian can possess it and the letter of John. His first letter is a whole letter dedicated to how you can understand. And know you're sure it's a fake, there's a number of tests, as some have put it through first John. So that the Christian can know. And I want to take us just to kind of his final Capstone statement about the Christian and knowing their salvation and I'm going to be reading from 1st, John chapter 5, Verses 11 through 13.

This is what John Wright chapter 5 verses 11 through 13. And this is the testimony that God gave us eternal life and this life is in his son. Whoever has the son has life, whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you. Who believe in the name of the son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. That you may question, not that you might have some Assurance but that you may know That you have eternal life. What is the Bible say about Christian assurance? That you can know with certainty that you have eternal life? That's the first part. The second part that the Christian must pursue it. Cuz it's not just that the Christian knows and has a sherance that they are saved. But in their walk they pursue that Assurance of Faith. They grow in it. And I'm going to flip us back to 2nd Corinthians Chapter 13, Verse 5 in. And this is a scripture that we often recite or quote during communion you'll hear this, and then you'll be familiar with these words. But, alright, to this examine yourselves to see whether you are in the face test yourselves or do you not realize this about yourselves that? Jesus Christ is in you unless indeed, you fail to meet the test. Was Paula, Jordan. Christian test ourselves. See, if you're in the faith, evaluate your life. Measure yourself up to the Holiness of Christ. Measure yourself up to his promises, measure yourself to his commands. See if indeed you are in Christ. He says, examine yourself. So that like John mentioned, you might know.

but if you fail to meet the test, that is the eye-opening call. To the unbeliever to set aside upon Christ and believe. And then we have in 2nd Peter that we read this morning a little earlier and first-hand. Therefore, brothers be all the more diligent and that is an imperative or command that Peter is exhorting. This church to be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election. And you do that by the qualities, that he mentioned that to your face, you add virtue and virtue, knowledge and knowledge self-control, and self-control steadfastness and steadfastness godliness and godliness brotherly affection, and brotherly affection. Love, how do we grow in our Assurance? We add these qualities. We pursue these qualities daily. so that we see God working in us and even if one lacks assurance, they pursue these qualities cuz this is what God commands. And I just want to make a quick Point here is we talked about insurance versus salvation. A loss of insurance does not mean a loss of Salvation, someone who is Sade can be very low on their insurance. But the fruit of Christ in the heart that has been made new through faith in Jesus Christ, even if they lack Assurance, their heart desires. To follow after Christ and that's one of those. Those tests that the old Puritans would talk about is even if you're lacking Insurance, are you striving after Christ seeking to love him? Seeking to honor him. Does your life, reflect? What God calls us to do. Number two. Question 2, does Assurance of Faith affect the believer does it matter? Whether someone has fullness of assurance or a much lesser assurance? And the Puritans would often write about those with lesser Assurance, being those of week or face those with more fullest of assurance being those with a full and robust face, know what up quote to you from Joel beeke who's an expert in puritan Riders, and I would recommend if you write his name, anything you can get on him read because he is such a man of a rich, understanding about the word of God. And he did his hold doctoral dissertation on the fullness of assurance and he has some great material. But he said this. About Assurance in about how it affects the believer. The week believer versus the strong believer and he wrote there is weak Faith, which possesses little Assurance. There is strong faith, which possesses full Assurance. Both the weak in faith and the strong and Faith have the same object of Faith. The Lord Jesus Christ. As he is revealed in the gospel, A Savior and Lord. He illustrates this by saying a prisoner can see the sun through a small hole in the prison wall and through prison window. A free man walking in the open-air will also see the sun. But there's a great difference between these two men. What is in prison when is free? But the object of their site is the same, the Sun. And so it is with Believers some weak Believers in their spiritual condition often feel as if they are in prison. And yet their eyes are looking out. The prison window through the opening of The Prison Walls, they are gazing at the sun of righteousness and do they feel bound their heart and open and expectations still goes out to him he is the object of their face. Those however you have more Assurance walk in the liberty and joy of the Gospel with their heart, fixed more habitually and thoroughly on Christ. Their spiritual health is much more robust and their Joy more full. So he Likens that one of of weakness of Faith being captured, Burdened. They're looking at the sun, they're looking at the right place, but it's like they're in the cell versus the one who has the fullness of surance that is walking and freedom with a robust and great faith. I considered Peter through this because we can look at even his life is he drew and is he walk through Insurance. Certainly Peter was the one who claimed who Jesus Christ was, he was the strong disciple, the one who would walk by Jesus. The one who said, I'd give my life for Christ and yet we remember what happened on that day. When Christ was captured when he was taken, when he was being beaten and tried remembered, what happened to Peter Three times, he denied, Jesus Christ. It's not that he didn't know who he was, but his faith. In his fullness of assurance, was not near what it would be in a few short days. Because his Peter then was forgiven and called. Once again, to Ministry, we see the fullness of insurance. and what's neat, is that the man who denied Christ wrote this letter, And this is kind of his final letter. We read in a few injured verses 12 through 15. That this is the last letter Paul's computers going to ride and this is what he wants the church to know when I go this is what I want you to know. And in that he's talking about the fullness of assurance of faith. And in their, he's knows that his body is going to be put off, he's going to die and it's going to be a martyr's death, this time his fullness of assurance of faith. Leads him boldly to his death. He's not running but he's walking boldly in that direction.

What a wonderful assurance.

The believer can have. And how is this applied? Then that's question. Number three. How do we apply? This certainly know that we can have security talked about that. What does it look like? What does it mean to have that fullness of assurance?

And it's how the promise is in, command in command of God, impact our life. Surely I can say do you agree with this promise and we would all say yes. Do you agree with this command? And we would all say yes. But we look deeper and say okay with we all agree that this promise we all agree with this command. How does that impact your life now? That's what the fullness of assurance does. Let's consider for example, Jesus's command. Therefore I tell you do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink nor about your body, what you will put on. Do we agree with this command? Yes. Do we believe this command? Yes. How does this command impact you now? How did that come in Impact you? The last 12 months?

Because is our Assurance, gross. The last, we prioritize, the things of this world. The more we prioritized Christ is our insurance grows and we would share in that rich and robust faith. We don't just believe this promised as promised Comforts us. It gives us Comfort. It gives us hope it gives us joy. That is what the fullness of assurance brings about in the life of a Believer. Well, let's look at the promise Romans. 5:8. Shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. Do we agree with this? Yes. But how does that impact you right now? The love of God. So great that he would send his son to die for us. How does that impact you

when the world seems to be against you when your spouse is angry at you, when a relationship begins to fail, when things around begin to crump,

The God's love with so great.

He would die for you even while you were an enemy. what love what Comfort would hope that promise give so that even when we feel unloved In This World rebuked by this world, That is secondary to the hope that we have in Christ so that in the worst of situations.

God's word Comforts us and where there is comfort. And when there is peace, there is endurance to walk Faithfully in his ways and his commands. And today, we have the wonderful opportunity to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This insurance of faith can be had by the Christian because of that Resurrection.

We want to make sure that our insurance is real that our insurance is known that we have indeed placed our faith in Jesus Christ. Because before Resurrection Sunday, there is Good, Friday. Good Friday is the day that we look at the death of Jesus Christ. We look at the evil of man to subject the perfect righteous, holy Son of God who never done anything wrong. To crucify him in the worst possible death. Not only did she experience the fullness of man's evil, but he experience the fullness of man giraffe. Please God to crush his son on that day.

The crush is perfect righteous. Holy son. So that

when we put our faith in Christ, he becomes our substitute. Please God to crush his son because he loved. The people. The please Jesus to be crushed by the father.

So that she could become that ultimate sacrifice.

We have to look at the cross. We have to consider.

Is God. Was willing to crush his perfect righteous. Holy son. How much more willing is she going to be how much to crush those who have rejected? Those who have sinned,

And no person. Can say that they are as righteous as Christ at best. We can say we are sinners. If God was going to crush his perfect, son. How much more so His creation that has rebelled against him. That's what's at stake here? But Jesus died on the cross so that we wouldn't have to experience that rat, Jesus cry, my God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Jesus died. So that we wouldn't have to experience being forsaken by God, experiencing the fullness of his wrath, he died so that we could be assured that we have life in him. And when he was crushed, when he was buried when he died, he was raised again. On the third day, call Corrine The Power of sin and death, so that we might have life in him. Matthew 20:28, Jesus says the son of man came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many. 2nd Corinthians for our sake, he made him to be sin who knew no sin. So that in him, we might become the righteousness of God. And lastly, 1st Peter 2:24, he himself, bore our sins in his body on the tree that we might die to send and live to righteousness by his wounds. You have been healed. Are you assured of your salvation? Have you believed in Jesus Christ? When's the last time you examine yourself?

Are you distinct from the world? Does the Life of Christ in you, make you different from the evil and violence of the world. Do you show the fruit of salvation? We examine so that we might know We examined so that we might set our hearts once again. On Christ and be comforted by his mercy, and his grace, and his forgiveness, or for the first time, we said our eyes on him and believe so that we might know life fully for the first time.

Spurs do gave an illustration. About walking out into the night sky into the night after being in a bright building and went first. When you begin to look up at the stars you just see a few. What is your eyes adjust? You begin to see more and more and more and more stars and he likened, those stars to the promises of God, the hope and the wonders of God. The so often we live in a sense of the artificial light in that artificial light blinds us from the Wonders and the Glorious Promises of God. But when we take the time to speak out our Assurance to make our calling an election sure we get out of the the artificial light. We set ourselves on top of a mountain where there is nothing but darkness and we looks fully on to the night sky, what do we see happen? we begin to see stars pop out of nowhere, and before we know it that once black sky is glittered with billions and billions of stars in the fullness of assurance of faith in the Christian, Reveals those wonderful Promises of God.

And this is what we get to look at over the next 11 weeks. Those wonderful Promises of God as we develop the fullness of our Assurance. Let's pray. Lori's father. You have said that you showed your love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. There is no greater gift that we could ever receive eternal life through your son. Jesus Christ with peace with Comfort Inn with joy. We have because he died on the cross in our place. Now, after being placed in the grave, he was raised on the third day. Thank you, that we would have trusted in Christ will never know the pain, the Separation, The Forsaken assassin, the wrath of Jesus experienced on the cross. Because he became our substitute. Knowing what Jesus and Jordan accomplished on the cross. We might know that we have eternal life.

And may we be all the more aware of the vileness of our sin and the punishment that it deserves in order that we might turn and set our eyes on Christ. To live for him to walk in his ways to set our division tires and affections upon him. And see the many wonderful and beautiful promises that you had given to us in the scriptures. We pray these things in Jesus name. Amen.

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