Assurance

Grace 101

 

“A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”

I learned that little saying a long time ago. There are times when you win the argument, but nothing changes. The person with whom you are talking gives in and agrees, but remains unwilling to do what you want. There is something more to being convinced than just being presented with a superior argument.

This seems to be especially true in regard to assurance in the Christian life. No matter what I tell people, they will only receive assurance when they are ready to receive it. I have talked with so many people about their hope in Jesus and the promise of life and peace in Hm. I can tell them all the facts, give them all the Scripture verses, and present an argument they can’t refuse, but they often go away with the same fears and the same doubts.

Almost every time I have been able to sort this out with the person, there has been one simple cause. I believe it is the cause of most of the lack of assurance we see in the church—and lack of assurance accounts for the weakness of believers. Without assurance, we become afraid, timid, and open to compromise. But those who are absolutely assured of the truth of their faith can walk into the lion’s den without fear.  Well, okay, there may be fear, but they will do it because they know what they know.

So what’s the one simple cause I have found?  The unwillingness to believe that Jesus has done it all.  So much of the message of the church has been about what is required of us that it is very difficult for us to accept that Jesus has met all the requirements, done all the work, and offered the finished gift to us freely.  The work of Jesus is sufficient and finished.  He has done it all.

But people have been taught that He does His part and we must do our part.  The only problem is that we can’t do “our part.”  We continue to fail.  We were born failures.  We have never been able to do “our part.”  That’s why we needed a Savior.  We didn’t need a boost or a helping hand or a word of encouragement.  We needed Someone who could and would do it all.

If you look in that amazing gift box Jesus gave in the process of your salvation, you will find a little package marked “Assurance.”  In it you will find the part of your salvation that is your responsibility.  This is what you will need to do to be forgiven and saved.  When you open it, you will discover the secret of assurance.

The little box is empty.  That’s your part.  Jesus did it all.  He paid the full price.  As long as you believe there is something in that little box, you will not have the assurance you long for.  Only when you open it, when you want to see and understand the truth, will you realize that your assurance comes from what He has done.  It can never come from what you do.

I believe that assurance is possible.  I believe it comes when we finally understand that there is no hope in us.  We cannot provide one tenth or one hundredth or one thousandth of what it took to save us.  Salvation, forgiveness, eternal life—this is the work of Jesus alone.  When I look at me, I lack assurance.  When I look at Him, I have peace.

Let yourself be convinced of Jesus.  You don’t have to trust me or the church or even yourself.  Assurance won’t come from any of those places.  Throw yourself on Him alone.  Offer Him nothing.  Promise Him nothing.  No bargains.  Just the love of Jesus.  That’s all you have and that’s enough.

3 Comments

Filed under Grace 101

3 responses to “Assurance

  1. Fellow Survivor

    I was playing Golf with a stranger Sat and we were talking about Jesus and Grace. This person was convinced he had to “do” something to be worthy of God’s Grace. Thanks to you Dave, I was able to ask him, “what could you possibly add to the work Jesus has already done to be worthy” I think he is thinking about that.

  2. Rita Cizek

    My gratitude for the profound Truth you penned in today’s blog. It is one I know deep down is for me – to read, ponder, reread, read out loud to God, and also wade into that river and allow myself to be swept into that current.
    Only God knew what would transpire this morning right before I checked my email and saw your blog. He is so kind. I hope you feel joy knowing that even as you planned the essay, and “chose” the words and time of posting, that HE was directing and inspiring. And not just for me. His Truth is like that isn’t it? It is for many, and also for many ‘ones’, in myriad ways and in perfect orchestration. I have stayed in bed staring at my bedroom walls most of the weekend, trying so hard to “progress” on my own in my faith trying to overcome what I cannot overcome. I thought God must be telling me “it’s time already, move on, muster the spiritual strength follow me”. I couldn’t manage it, and felt such a failure. And then came His Truth in your blog. And my eyes are off my weakness, my inability, and back on Jesus. Thank you.

  3. Donna Roberts Walker

    I know this to be true … however, I needed the reminder because someone I love is saying the words but has not yet grasped the assurance of Christ’s completed work. What a blessing this reminder has been to me today.

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