I would be remiss if I didn’t say that Sunday was my brother’s 25th birthday. He’s a great friend, great dad, great husband, and great brother. Happy birthday, Dale!
On to Sunday!
Eternal security is a touchy subject. As I illustrated during the sermon, talking about it is like driving with two very deep ditches on either side. On one side is the “I fear I’m not saved and I am” ditch and the other is “I think I’m saved and I’m not.” Both false fear and false security are detrimental to walking with and obeying Jesus.
So, together, we walked the tightrope. I stated plainly my goal: to make everyone either (1) comfortable or (2) uncomfortable. The truth is this: only God knows the heart of man (Jer 17:10; 2 Tim 2:19), so talking about eternal security is a bit of a two-edged sword. But here is what we can know. . .
God wants those who are his to know they are his.
1 John 5:11-13 says that those who have Jesus have life. Specifically, verse 13 reads that John writes that so that “you who believe in the name of the Son of God may know that you have eternal life.” Know. That’s a strong word. God doesn’t want us to worry about our salvation; he wants you to know that you have it. But that salvation is contingent upon true faith in Christ. That’s the tough part.
I feel that too often we assume salvation when the Scriptures would not. That’s why I appreciate pastors who want people to consider their salvation before blindly assuming that their entire audience has it (such as what Dever and Platt do above). Actually, Dever basically talks and Platt continually says, “Mmmm.”
The Spirit confirms our salvation.
Ephesians 1 stands as one of the most glorious passages of Scripture. Sunday, we focused on verses 13 and 14. Specifically, that salvation includes hearing the gospel and then believing it. And, at that point, the Spirit of God comes inside each believer, guaranteeing that he or she is God’s. This isn’t a human guarantee but backed by the creator of all things. Thus, for one who has heard and believed, the Spirit should bear witness to their union with Christ.
The challenge is to trust the Spirit inside those who believe. We want to trust other things–walking down the aisle, baptism, raising a hand, having believing parents, or having someone tell us we are saved. Remember this: salvation is a person, and that person is Jesus. Nothing more, nothing less.
We keep at it.
This isn’t something I shared Sunday in much detail. It came more from a chat I had at the LSU game with a dear friend on staff and only alluded to on Sunday. Here’s the point: one mark of conversion, in my opinion, is that we keep at it. Some would call this the perseverance of the saints. I find it dangerous to talk about assurance in such a way that someone goes “Oh, I’m good then.” And then gives them license to sin, which is opposite of gospel-thinking and gospel-living.
As I said Sunday: you’re secure if you’re secure. You have Jesus if you truly have Jesus. It’s comfort to some, caution for others. But the hope is that all who hear are brought closer to Jesus because of it.
I’m sure there are things I missed, or questions, comments, or concerns. So please feel free to share.