||2018-08-07 21:03:46, 조회 : 73, 추천 : 24
Can I Be Sure I’m Saved?
The Source of Full Assurance
Last week, we have continued to understand what is assurance. We learned that obtaining true assurance, is mandated to us. However, many Christians think that obtaining true assurance is impossible or considered a vice. However, this goes against what the Bible tells us to do. In fact, Apostle Paul tells us that we should diligently seek this. Sproul also suggests that we should ask the question, “Do I have assurance?” at some point in our lives. Today, we will conclude our chapter of “Can I Be Sure I’m Saved?” by looking at the source of full assurance.
Anytime we mention a “born-again Christian” many people immediately associate this with someone who have “prayed a sinner’s prayer” or “made a decision of evangelistic sort.” However, a born-again Christian, is someone who has been changed by the Holy Spirit.
In Ephesians 2, it shows us the before and after picture from being unregenerated to regenerated. It tells us that before we were regenerated, we followed, “the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience...fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind” (vv. 2-3). This is a description of someone that has not been reborn. However, after we are regenerated by the Holy Spirit, we are “no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God” (v. 19). What happens when we are regenerated? How is this the work of the Holy Spirit?
One of the reasons why there are disputes about regeneration, is because of our misunderstanding of the original sin. While we all understand that we are corrupt beings, the degree of corruption varies. For example, some people believe that while they may be corrupt, there is still a small part of them that remains righteous. This small portion of righteousness, can dictate God’s offer of grace to us. However, nowhere in the Bible does it say this. In fact, in Romans 8:21 it says that we are “bondage to corruption.” In Ephesians 2:3 it tells us that we are “children of wrath.” There is not a small morsel that loves God and inclines towards the things of God. So then how can we figure out whether or not we are regenerated?
One of the first ways we can figure out whether or not we are regenerated, is by asking ourselves, “Do I love Jesus perfectly?” Often times, this question would be met with the response, “No I don’t” Then you can ask yourself, “Do I love Him as much as I ought to?” If the answer to the first question is “no”, then often times the second question is “no.” Then you can ask yourself, “Do I love Jesus at all?” If you answer yes, then the Holy Spirit is dwelling in you, after all, you cannot love Jesus if the Holy Spirit is not with you. Sproul says, “God the Holy Spirit changes the disposition of our souls and the inclination of our hearts. Before regeneration, we are cold, hostile, or indifferent to the things of God, having no honest affection for Him, because we are in the flesh, and the flesh does not love the things of God.”
The second way we can see if we are regenerated, is to observe whether or not any fruit of obedience has been produced. It is impossible to have the Holy Spirit in you and you refuse to produce this fruit. Some people call this being a “carnal Christian.” However, while the Bible does say that the Holy Spirit causes a change in our hearts and war wages, it never says that we remain unchanged and idle. Therefore, if a person is truly regenerated, he or she will bring forth some tangible evidence of obedience.
Another way we can see whether or not we are regenerated, is by looking at other things that the Holy Spirit brings forth. In 2 Corinthians 5:1-5 states,
“For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. 2 Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, 3 because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. 4 For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”
The term “guarantee” is often also used as “earnest.” Earnest comes from ancient Greek. Today, the only time earnest is used as a noun, is when it concerns real estate. For example, when we say he or she has “earnest money” this refers to those that are not playing around with the idea of buying a house. This means people that are serious and sincere about purchasing a home. Therefore, when the Spirit regenerates us, He is not only changing our hearts and our souls, but “he becomes for us the earnest, or the guarantee of full and final payment.” He is the one that guarantees our salvation. If the Holy Spirit makes a “down payment” for you, then this is our basis of our assurance.
In Romans 8, we read,
“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”
Whenever we look at our lives and hearts, the fruits, our changed lives, we must be sincere in the way we evaluate ourselves. The final way that we can assure our salvation, is the witness of the Holy Spirit as He will testify that we are the children of God.
1) What does Ephesians 2:2-3 tell us?
2) Why is there so much dispute about being regenerated?
3) What are some ways we can figure out whether or not we are regenerated?
4) Explain the term “guarantee” otherwise known as “earnest” used in 2 Corinthians 5:1-5. What does this tell you?