Holiness: Assurance Part 2
2. A BELIEVER MAY NEVER HAVE A FULL ASSURANCE There is a distinction between faith and assurance. If we are faithful to Scripture we must believe that there are those, though they are saved, may never come to full assurance. This is why understanding what faith and assurance are is important. i. Faith in Jesus is necessary. There is only one way to be saved and that is through faith in Jesus Christ. In regards to salvation, it is not the quantity of faith that is measured but the quality. In other words, the mustard seed of faith in Jesus, if it is truly in Jesus, is enough for salvation. There are degrees in our sanctification, which even Jesus laments in his disciples, but not in our justification. ii. What are the differences? 1. Faith is the root, assurance the flower. There is no flower without the root, but you can have a root without the flower. 2. Faith is the woman who fearfully touched the hem of Jesus’ robe, assurance is Stephen preaching in the midst of those ready to stone him. 3. Faith is the thief on the cross saying, “Remember me”, assurance is Job, having lost all, saying, “I know my Redeemer lives.” 4. Faith is Peter crying out “Lord save me” as he sank, assurance is Peter declaring before the council, “This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.” 5. Faith says, “Lord I believe, help my unbelief”, assurance says “who shall bring any charge against God’s elect?” 6. Faith is life. Assurance is more than life. This is not a question of saved or not saved. “He that has faith does well…but the that has assurance does far better – sees more, feels more, knows more, enjoys more.” -JC Ryle. 3. WHY DO YOU WANT A FULL ASSURANCE? a. It gives comfort and peace. Habbakkuk 3:17-18 Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. b. It allows you to be more active. Psalm 51:12-13 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you. c. It makes you more decisive. d. It leads to deeper holiness. e. Lack of assurance may be the cause of your failures. 4. WHY IS ASSURANCE SELDOM ATTAINED? a. A defective view of justification. Remember justification is a perfect completed act of God while sanctification, holiness, is about growth. b. Laziness in our desire to grow. 2 Peter 1:10. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. c. Inconsistent walk in life. Our salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. But our SENSE of salvation depends very much on how we live. 5. PRATICAL APPLICATIONS a. For non-believers i. Learn about the privileges and comforts of a true Christian. Do not judge Jesus by his people. They are sinners and weak, but changing. But even the most hypocritical naughty child is still a child of God after all. ii. Seek what God has to offer. He gives riches that last, treasure that can’t be stolen, a city that has everlasting foundations. Give your self to him today. Leave the world and seek satisfaction in Christ. b. For believers i. Resolve to seek after full assurance. ii. Don’t be surprised if you have occasional doubts. iii. Assurance can be lost for a season. iv. Don’t grieve the Holy Spirit.