Today’s article continues an eight week series on the armor of God. A very important part of being prepared spiritually for the “End Times” is being dressed in and utilizing the whole armor of God for Satan will be extremely powerful and even more deceptive because he knows that his time is short. The next piece of armor to be put on by the Christian soldier is the helmet of salvation. If the devil cannot discourage you with doubt concerning your mission, then he will attack your very salvation. If he can get you to question the assurance of your salvation, then he has stopped you dead in your tracks. You will precede no further because your eyes are now back on self questioning your own salvation. The devil has silenced many Christians this way. Not only have they been silenced, but their spiritual growth has been stunted, and in many respects the transformation process has been halted. Dear friend, you must not let the old devil knock off the helmet of your salvation. Some Christians argue against the assurance of salvation because of what they see in nominal Christians. They question how a person can claim to be saved and act like the devil. They question the assurance of their salvation because they see no spiritual fruit. Indeed, some people do have false assurance because they are not really saved. They may publicly ask Jesus Christ to come into their heart with great joy, join a church, and be baptized. But they are like the ones in the parable told by our Lord where some quickly fell away when trouble or persecution came. There are others who hear the Word but do nothing with it because the worries of this life and deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful (see Matthew 13:21-22). Clearly these people are not Christians, and many of them rest under a false assurance of salvation.
In fact, the Apostle Peter and Paul both taught the same thing in their letters. The Bible says, “If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were in the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. ” 2 Peter 2:20–21 Be assured my friend that the devil will love to quote Romans 11:22 and Hebrews 10:26-27 to you so that you will question your salvation. You must remind the devil that these verses do not apply to the true believer in Christ but only to those who are not really saved and rest under a false assurance of salvation. The doctrine that those who are truly saved may know without a doubt that they are saved is often described as assurance. The Bible provides grounds of assurance: God’s promise that those who come to Him in Christ will not be cast out, the infinite and gratuitous love of God, and the witness of the Holy Spirit that those who believe are children of God.
God’s promise that those who come to Him in Christ will not be cast out is our ground of assurance. “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away” (John 6:37). Let’s look at what this statement does not say. It does not say that once an individual comes to Christ that he can never change his mind and decide to no longer follow Christ. This is clearly known from what was stated above through the parable of Christ (see Matthew 13:21-22). On the other hand, Christ is giving us assurance that when we come to Him, we will not be driven out. So what does it mean to come to Christ? First, we come to Christ because we have been called by the Father. We have been chosen by Him to be a follower of His Son Jesus Christ. Secondly, coming to Christ one must die to self, thus putting off the old life. To remain in Christ, we put on the new life and live for Him. The miracle of God’s grace causes these things to happen in the believer’s life, and this is our ground of assurance.
The infinite and gratuitous love of God is our ground of assurance. As God’s chosen children in Christ, we feel the love of God flowing into our hearts. We also feel that love flowing through us to others. This indeed is another ground of assurance. “And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us” (Romans 5:5). The Apostle Paul says that Christians are rooted and established in love and then prays that believers, “May have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:18-19). Friends, to participate in the power of God with other believers to know the depth of this love leaves a lasting impression upon our individual souls and will help us to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. To know this love is indeed our ground of assurance and will lead us to being, “filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19). Then the apostle writes later that this love is so great that it holds us securely in the hands of God so that nothing can separate us from the love of God. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” Romans 8:38-39. We have reason to rejoice because the devil has no power to separate you from the love of God. No matter how difficult your situation, no matter how grievous your suffering, no matter how intense your persecution, the devil cannot separate you from the love of God. You must not listen to the devil when he whispers in your ear that God does not love you, otherwise He would deliver you from your troubles. You must remember that nothing can separate you from the Love of God, so firmly rebuke the devil and open your heart to God’s love.
The witness of the Holy Spirit that those who believe are children of God is our ground of assurance. “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s Children” (Romans 8:15-16). I call this the internal witness that every true believer has in his heart. God’s Spirit causes your spirit to cry out, not to some distant deity, but to cry out to a familiar Father that engenders an emotional cry as a child would cry out to his earthly father. Have you ever heard your spirit cry, “Abba Father”? I am sure you have. When you cry out to the Father, He is there! His Spirit testifies with your spirit that you are God’s child. God gives you the assurance of salvation through His Spirit. He wants you to have the assurance of your salvation so that you will not become slaves once again to fear. In fact, those who do not have assurance of their salvation always stay in a state of fear, questioning their salvation and worried that they may have unknowingly committed a sin without asking God for forgiveness.
We have our ground of assurance found in God’s Word. The Bible says, “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6). Has God begun a good work in you? If He has, then you have the assurance that He will complete what He has begun. God leaves nothing undone. Everything He has created He has finished, and He will do the same with you; this is your ground of assurance. Remember, it is God that is making you into the perfect image of His Son Jesus Christ. It is He who is growing you from one degree of glory to another. Have you seen the changes take place in your life? It is He who has given us everything we need for life and godliness. If you are not sure that God has begun a good work in you, then read 1 John and take the multiple tests for yourself. The Apostle John said, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13). For years this little letter has been referred to as the “Book of Assurance.” This is a most amazing letter because it gives fearful Christians various tests to confirm the assurance of their salvation. Take the time and read through the book of 1 John and take the tests for yourself. Many times throughout the little book, he says if you are doing or believing a certain thing, then you have assurance that you are a believer and that you know that you have eternal life, but then he also says if you are believing or doing certain things contrary to the Word of God, then you are not a child of God and could be an Antichrist.
Christians who question their salvation are always worried that they might fall from grace, which will cause them to have a more difficult time fighting the tricks of devil. As they proceed along life’s narrow way, the devil is always there, accusing them of the slightest sin and prompting them to question their salvation. The devil runs rampant in work-related churches that teach their people that good deeds are a stairway to heaven. The harder their people work, the weaker they become spiritually and the happier the old devil is as he seeks to destroy the works of God. If the devil can knock the helmet of salvation off of their head, then he has won a tactical advantage. Stay strong dear children by keeping your helmet of salvation firmly in place.
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