Temple Baptist Church - 2-11-2015
1 John 3:18-21
A. One of the greatest tools or devices that Satan uses against God’s children is that of doubt.
1. Satan cannot take away your salvation for that is of God and, therefore, eternal.
Ecclesiastes 3:14 I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him. (One of the things that will help the believer to have blessed assurance of salvation is when he/she realizes that salvation is an act of God. We bring a “bankrupt” sinner to Christ and He saves that desolate soul forever through belief in the finished work of Christ at Calvary.)
2. Satan will do his best to destroy our confidence in what the Lord has done for us but too often using our fleshly nature as his “weapon of choice” when attacking God’s children.
Matthew 16:22-23 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. (23) But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. (Peter has just made a profession of faith in who Jesus Christ is and, in the next verses, has the unmitigated gall to rebuke Him! Our Lord knew who the perpetrator was: it was Satan, not Peter! Satan used the fleshly nature of a saved man to make an attack upon the finished work that our Lord was going to do.)
B. A lack of assurance of salvation is one of Satan’s choice attacks because it renders the child of God virtually useless and, therefore, ineffective in the work of the Lord.
1. Dr. Harold Sightler said that the most wanted of all of his books was the one on “Blessed Assurance.” Why should men doubt what God has spent so much time emphasizing? GOD WANTS YOU TO KNOW THAT YOU ARE BOTH SAVED AND ETERNALLY SECURE! Satan has certainly had some help in the area of lack of assurance and much of that help has come from well-meaning men.
2. The attack upon biblical repentance has caused preachers to try to define their terms. When God told men to repent, he did not have to get our a Webster’s 1828 Dictionary and explain what He meant. The people understood! Repent or perish! It is not a work but it does work!
3. The attack upon believing has caused preachers to make salvation difficult. We hear the words “easy believism” too often said from the pulpits. Believing is easy! Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved!!! That whosoever believeth in Him!!! Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God!!! Salvation is a faith operation, not a works operation!
3. An obsession with numbers in church. Pastors, evangelists, and missionaries equate the power of God in their ministry with how many are saved or rededicate their lives to the Lord. I am all for people getting saved and dedicating their life to the Lord but pulpit and revival preaching has too often been geared to professions. Pastors getting saved, pastor’s wives getting saved, deacons getting saved, deacon’s wives getting saved, church members getting saved, etc. has become the driving force of preaching. Church is for saved people, not the lost! The local church is the assembling of saved people! The pulpit and its preaching is to be geared to building up the members in their most holy faith, not evangelizing to the lost. We are to grow in the faith and then preach the gospel to the lost in the highways and hedges, the streets and lanes. Thank the Lord with someone lost comes to church and gets saved. Thank the Lord with a lost church member gets saved. But the work of the pastor is to make sure people are saved and then make sure they have assurance, not doubts! Conviction is the work of the Holy Ghost, not mine.
C. God wants you to know that you are saved and, therefore, have your confidence in God! What creates an “assured” heart?
1. The Assurance of the Bible – the bible is the foundation upon which our faith is based. So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.
John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (If you believe the record of the bible, you will be made free! One of the areas of freedom to be enjoyed by the child of God is the freedom from doubt! I may doubt myself at times but, if I take God at His word, then all doubts will flee. Our salvation is founded in the word of God and, when you take God at His word, then you will have a biblical, blessed assurance that no devil can shake. God said it and it is true!)
2. The Assurance of the Inner Witness of the Holy Ghost – At the moment of your salvation, the blessed Spirit of God moved in! You do not get saved and then get the Holy Ghost later as some would have you to believe but He is the seal of our salvation and indwells immediately.
2 Corinthians 1:22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. (Chapter 5 of 1 John speaks of the inner witness that the believer has. I have Someone who speaks to me, convicts me, comforts me, guides me, and communes with me! I am never alone; I am never forsaken! I am His and He is mine for as long as time shall endure!)
3. The Assurance of Faith – I know that this is just too simplistic for some but the Apostle Paul said a “mouthful” in one verse and I want you to see it again and again.
2 Timothy 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. (Whom, not what! Have believed, not am believing! Persuaded that He, not me! Salvation is faith in a Person, the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave His life on the cross, was buried, and rose again according to the scriptures for our justification. Present doubt does not negate past belief. Eternal life is the only kind of life that God gives and it is He who keeps it. [1 Peter 1:5])
4. The Assurance of Good Works – Salvation always works and causes the child of God to have good works. We are not saved by good works but biblical salvation ALWAYS produces good works. We are a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
James 2:17-18 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. (18) Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. (I have read that the translators of the King James Bible had a problem with the canonization of the Book of James because they thought that it taught a salvation of faith mixed with works or human merit. James was simply contrasting a profession of faith where no works are evident with the biblical profession of faith where faith is accompanied by works. Salvation works!)
Conclusion: People need to get saved and get it settled. They will never be effective for God as long as they let Satan and the flesh dictate assurance of salvation.