|Now this is Protective Security!|
I felt the affrontive stare. I remained confident bearing down looking for more accepting faces; but one. One rejected the words. After the lake-side sermon not all were content. The singular-one came to correct the words. He asserted “Pastor Cliff, we are saved by grace not by works. It is a free gift.” Not having time, I couldn’t reaffirm the message or clarify, although I’m sure he was dug-in. He is a good guy with an incomplete message and like others, are incidentally damning others through inoculation from salvation through an over-simplified, partial Gospel message. I confess I was in that state for quite awhile too. Many walk in a false assurance.
When I was first taught, I too believed as He. I would argue with Mormons and Catholics, asserting they were depending on works for salvation. I could really kick their butts in that day; you know I was 1 ½ in the faith. I was a giant! That’s funny huh? It is a little embarrassing to look back.
Early on I was given scriptures of assurance of salvation in a Bible Study. We memorized a couple of these scriptures. I never really understood exactly why but I’m a “good boy.” I guess I was supposed to use them when I sinned.
I eventually I changed my views. It took me a few years of personal study to detangle myself from the half-message Gospel. I didn’t share my new found revelations at first; I felt like I was going to be branded as a heretic.
For your reference, I wrote a blog “Aenology: That Big Word” that completes the statement “If you believe in Jesus you’ll be saved.” Here is a quote from that blog; a synopsis of the “if then statements” of I John and Hebrews.
“If we are in the light and obey, if His word remains in us, we give to those in need, acknowledge Jesus, and if we love our brother, we do not love the world, hold to the courage and the hope, firm to the end, and continue in faith then the truth is in us, we know Him, His love is made complete, the Son and Father remain in us, His love is in us, God lives in us, we truly love God, we are His house, we share in Christ, and are saved.
If we remain in faith in Jesus that results in love for one another until we die then we truly have fellowship with God and eternal life.
1 John 2:5-6 But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. NIV
Bull’s-eye! This is the target ‘Walk as Jesus walked and be saved.’”
Assurance of salvation belongs to these. It is misapplied if your system of belief is not as previously shown in the Word. So many professing Christians will miss many crucial scriptures because of this false-start. When you “know” you are saved and have put on this assurance, you are blinded from many other scriptures and few can escape this trap. They are locked in their misunderstanding by these scriptures of assurance. Misapplied assurance is bad however there is great assurance in Jesus.
Assurance rests on Jesus. He is God “compassionate and merciful.” He showed His abandon to us with Jesus on the Cross and His power to resurrect. He promised this eternal life to the faithful. Jesus is faithful and can be trusted fully. But assurance is only for His faithful.
Here is a synthesis of the assurance scriptures.
In Christ we have confidence, he will finish His work in us, nothing can separate us from the love of Jesus, we can know we have eternal life, we have a purpose, the Holy Spirit is in us as a deposit, we have the Son of God in us, and nothing can take us from His hand.
This is a great comfort to those who are “working out their salvation with fear and trembling.” We need this comfort. We will win! Our souls will be preserved if we stay in the faith using our warfare tactics and armaments. See my blog “War for Your Soul: What is the war we fight?” We are guaranteed to win and gain the salvation of our souls. It is promised; be assured!
Phil 1:6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. NIV
Rom 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. NIV
1 John 5:13-14 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. NIV
2 Cor 5:5 Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. NIV
1 John 5:12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. NIV
John 10:28-30 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.” NIV
2 Tim 1:12 That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day. NIV
Heb 7:25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. NIV