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  • Oscar Marti

    Your paraphrase has helped me to see the event unfold in my mind, especially verse 20b . Before I did not understand why Jesus chose to speak verse 21 after taking a seat, instead of before taking a seat. This reminds me of Matthew 5:1.

    posted in Passage discussions read more
  • Oscar Marti

    Hi oy.ei,

    You are right in saying that our assurance of salvation is grounded on the person of Jesus Christ, and God’s faithfulness, as we are taught in 2 Corinthians 1:18-22:

    • “As surely as God is faithful, our word to you has not been Yes and No. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you, Silvanus and Timothy and I, was not Yes and No, but in him it is always Yes. For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee”.

    This passage can be leaned on in order to communicate that the totality of God’s faithful promises are realized and confirmed through his only Son, and this same faithful God tells us that the Holy Spirit in us is serving as a "pledge of inheritance"footnote 1. The Holy Spirit is the blessed security deposit, who testifies to us God’s serious resolution to finalize his plan to give us the full measure of his riches in Christ (see Ephesians 2:7). From Genesis ch.1 to Revelation ch.22, the Bible is God’s total, final, and error-free message to all people, and we look to Jesus, whose unique name and divine worth is the only signature of validation which God uses to ratify every promise in this book, the only book that will ever be authored by him.

    1 Peter 1:17-19 reads:

    • “And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.”

    The words I bolded above communicate the truth that we can know that we were purchased and belong to Christ. He paid for us with his blood, and he gave us the Bible as the only written means to learn this reality.

    The apostle John wrote the letter of 1 John “to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13). I encourage you to read 1 John and take note of the verses that teach us that a person can be certain that he, or she, is saved. For example 1 John 2:3-6, 21.

    Our assurance of salvation is based on God granting us this understanding through the work of the Holy Spirit. This assurance and these convictions cannot be conjured up by anything in creation. All the truth-based spiritual convictions we have, including our assurance of salvation, are free gifts from God, as the following passage describes it.

    • “Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.” 1 Corinthians 2:12-13

    What do you mean by “Our assurance is not based in our level of sufficient information”? If you believe that “sufficient information” includes revealed communication from God, the knowledge and confidence in biblical truth, then you may consider revising that explanation.

    I don’t know your situation in a fuller picture, namely why you struggled with assurance, or why you believed (or may still believe) that faith will be accompanied by a portion of doubt/uncertainty, as you mentioned. We need to be careful not to adopt the worldviews propagated by men, whose feet are firmly planted in the mid-air of postmodernism (or any of the other hundred or so deceitful worldviews rehashed throughout history by Satan). Hebrews 10:22 and James 1:6-8 permit no ounce of doubt as having a legitimate place in the realm of faith. Struggles with doubt, yes unfortunately we will have in this world. But so-called “reasonable” or “healthy” doubt can never be necessary for valid faith.

    Without straying off topic I’m careful to point to the fact that Scripture which gives assurance is also accompanied by passages in the Bible which clearly communicate that there are many people who have false assurance. Most often quoted being those whom Jesus spoke of in Matthew ch. 7, and those described in 1 John 1:6; 2:4 and maybe some people described in Matthew 13:18-23 for example.

    If you are in the faith (in which we are instructed to examine and see if we are according to 2 Corinthians 13:5-11) then I pray you always press forward and never be conformed to this world but transformed by the renewal of your mind (Romans 12:1-2).

    Thank you for being willing and open to share your struggle with assurance and how God is teaching you and strengthening your faith in Jesus.

    I encourage you to continue soaking your soul, heart and mind in the Bible! You will encounter many more passages which affirm assurance of salvation such as…

    • “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.” John 10:14-15

    and

    • “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,” Romans 8:14-16.

    1 (Harris, Murray J. 2013. The Second Epistle to the Corinthians: A Commentary on the Greek Text, page 210).

    posted in Theological discussions read more