How to Be Certain Your Faith Is Certifiably Genuine (Part 2)

Today’s message is now on the web. You can listen to it here.

Here is the quote from Charles Spurgeon with which I led off in the message:

Assurance of your salvation will bring you “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding.” If you know that you are saved, you can sit down in poverty, or in sickness, or under slander, and feel perfectly content. Full assurance is the Koh-i-noor (Persian for “Mountain of Light” – a 105 carat diamond that was once the largest known diamond in the world) amongst the jewels wherewith the heavenly Bridegroom adorns his spouse. Assurance is a mountain of spices, a land that floweth with milk and honey. To be the assured possessor of eternal life is to find a paradise beneath the stars, where the mountains and the hills break forth before you into singing.

Here’s how I summarized this two part sermon on the genuine faith of the man born blind who was made to see by the light of the world, Jesus:

Genuine faith bears the marks of steadfast allegiance to Jesus – growth of insight, boldness of witness, perseverance through suffering, and admission of need. How do you stack up? When you examine your own faith, do these things present themselves as evidences as to its certifiable genuineness? If so, enjoy the Kohinoor of assurance of salvation and give thanks to God for His indescribable gift!

Next week, Lord willing, we move into John 10 and the Good Shepherd discourse, one of the most precious and beloved sections of Scripture to believers throughout the centuries.

How To Be Certain Your Faith Is Not Fatally Flawed (Part 2)

This morning I concluded my message in John 8:31-38 with six practical applications by which we can measure our assurance of salvation in terms of the third evidence of a genuine faith – liberation from one’s sin. You can listen to the entire message here.

I blew through these applications fairly quickly. I offer them here on the blog for further consideration.  These things will be true of us in this area, if we truly belong to the One who sets free indeed.

  1. We will not habitually commit sin. – Rom. 6:2 – How can we who died to sin still live in it? We will experience over the course of time, sometimes painfully slow, the progressive, gradual, transforming power of grace from one degree of glory to another (2 Cor. 3:18).
  2. We will deliberately rely on grace and the power of the Gospel for transformation not our own moral effort. 2 Cor. 3:18 begins And we all with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord (emphasis added). It’s not about trying harder; it’s about becoming transfixed, gloriously mesmerized by the beauty and grace of Jesus who sets free by the power of the gospel appropriated by faith.
  3. We will consistently confess and repent of our sins when we do fall in this life and pursue accountability so as not to deceive ourselves. If you battle an addiction, you may battle for years. Don’t give up. As long as you have accountability, practice James 5:16, see others signs of God’s grace at work in your lives, you may legitimately have assurance of salvation. Claim promises like John 8:32 & 36 and host of other grace-empowering, sin-liberating promises of God’s word until you prevail. Get out of compromising situations and patterns that set you up. Don’t tell me you’re serious about your faith and overcoming lust if you continue to put yourself  in the wrong place at the wrong time with your boyfriend/girl friend. Tell somebody what’s going on and pick someone with guts who will get in your face when you get out of line.
  4. We will seek to live a holy life as an overall pattern by obeying God’s words and doing good works. Eph. 2:10 says we are created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared before hand in which we should walk. Good works are conspicuous and even those that aren’t can’t remain hidden according to 1 Tim. 5:25. Does anybody anywhere see anything of this nature going on in your life?
  5. We will practice love for all, but especially for our brothers and sisters in the faith. 1 John 3:14 – We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. Tremble, shake in your boots, if you profess to follow Christ but anger, bitterness, malice, wrath, and resentment consume you. Genuine believers give off the aroma of kindness/grace/love. They practice forgiveness. They are peacemakers.
  6. We will seek to set our affections more upon the things above as opposed to worldly things below. Col. 3:1-2 – Seek the things above, set your minds on things above not things below. If your delights and affections get more traction downtown in the bar and club scene on Saturday nights as a rule than they do in a God-centered, Christ-honoring, joy-giving church scene on Sunday morning, and I’ll grant you not all churches fit that description, you should ask yourself some very hard questions. Your faith may be fatally flawed.

If these things are true of us and growing, we may draw hope and strength from the assurance that our faith is genuine. All glory to Him who saves and keeps His own to the very end.