Brethren Archive

Assurance

by Inglis Fleming


It is the privilege of the people of God to be assured of their salvation.

Yet, alas! how few are at rest in their souls.

Occupied with themselves, they find only feebleness, and folly, and failure.

Looking within at their own experiences, or realisations, or lack of faith, or looking without at their frequent shortcomings and sins, they are constantly wondering whether they are forgiven or unforgiven, saved or lost, converted or unconverted.

Now this uncertainty is the result of an incomplete understanding of the gospel, of the full provision God has made for their salvation and for their knowledge of it.

I am bold to say that it is nowise the wish of a Saviour-God that we should be in any doubt on this all-important matter.

Many, knowing nothing better, seem content to go on in doubt week after week, month after month, year after year. At times faith is bright, and their confidence increases. Indeed, for a few moments they will rise above the mists and murkiness of their fickle feelings and really rejoice, but these seasons of brightness are ofttimes followed by greater darkness.

Can we imagine the condition of things which would arise if a corresponding uncertainty existed in the relationships of this life—if a child were ever wondering whether it belonged to its parents, if a servant knew not who his master was, if a sailor was unable to determine to which vessel he was attached, if a soldier was undecided as to his regiment?

Into what woeful confusion would everything be plunged! Life would be burdensome indeed.

Now can we conceive that a God of goodness would leave His creatures in such darkness and ignorance? This was never His intention. There is not only a perfect salvation provided in Christ’s work for every simple believer on Him, but also a perfect “knowledge of salvation” is given by the Holy Spirit and in the Scriptures.

If we take the histories given in the four gospels, can we for a moment believe that those who were the subjects of the healing power of Christ were in doubt as to what had occurred? Were they to be found wandering in uncertainty or dismayed by doubt?

Would the leper ask in doleful tone, “Am I cleansed or not?” Would the woman of Luke 8 demand, “Am I healed or not?” Would the demoniac seek to ascertain whether he was really delivered from Satan’s power or not? No! No, indeed!! One and all would rejoice in the grace and power which had met and rescued them. Those who were healed by His touch knew it, and joyfully accorded Him the praise.

And should it not be thus today with those who have been delivered from spiritual uncleanness, spiritual powerlessness, spiritual bondage? Surely there should be equal assurance, resulting in earnest praise and loving service.

Let us turn to one or two passages which will clearly show the assurance which belongs to all those who have really had to do with God, and have in truth believed upon His Son whom He has sent.

First of all, then, as to the forgiveness of sins, the apostle John says: “I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake” (1 John 2:12).

So Paul says: “In whom [in Christ] we have. . . the forgiveness of sins” (Eph. 1:7).

“Forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Eph. 4:32).

As to being justified, the apostle Paul says: “By Him [Christ Jesus] all that believe are justified from all things” (Acts 13:39).

“Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him” (Rom. 5:9).

As to being redeemed: “In whom we have redemption through His blood.”

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold; . . . but with the precious blood of Christ” (1 Pet. 1:18-19).

As to being children or sons of God: “Beloved, now are we the sons of God” (1 John 3:2).

“Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.”

Surely these passages speak for themselves in the clearest possible way. They are but a few of many that might be referred to, for the whole of the New Testament supposes that the believer is in the knowledge and peace and joy of assured blessing and relationship with God.

It may be some reader may ask, How am I to gain such blessed certainty? Look, then, at Romans 4:22 to 5:1. Abraham was justified when he believed God. God had said that his seed should be as many as the stars of the heaven for multitude. There was nothing to show it. Abraham could not feel it, but he believed God because God said it, and it was counted to Abraham for righteousness. Now, we are told this because it is like our own case, only we believe what God has done, while Abraham believed what God could do. And if we believe on the God who raised up the Lord Jesus—who died on the cross for our offences and was raised again for our justification—we shall be accounted righteous too, and as the apostle says, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Then will it be yours to say, “He was wounded for our transgressions; . . . and with His stripes we ARE HEALED” (Isa. 53:5).

Go on in uncertainty no longer, dear believer. Take God at His word and rest on what He has done, and present, permanent peace shall be yours.

I.Fleming

Scattered Seed 1903, p. 39






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