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The Doctrine of Assurance

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Presentation on theme: "The Doctrine of Assurance"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Doctrine of Assurance
Is Grace Expensive? The Doctrine of Assurance

2 What’s it all about anyway?
The Importance of Assurance The Need The Death of Assurance A Warning The Attacks The Hope of Assurance The Promises

3 The Importance of Assurance: The Need
If you don’t have assurance… …you’re spiritual growth will be stunted …you cannot hope to stand against the devil …you will live in perpetual fear of hell

4 The Need To Belong

5 Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

6 The Death of Assurance: A Warning
Apostasy Limited Atonement Temporary Faith

7 What Is Apostasy? Apostasy is the idea that a true believer can somehow by way of sin manage to lose the salvation that they once had in Christ Jesus This view is particularly held by Arminians (followers of the theology of Jacobus Arminius) Most will cite passages such as Gal. 5:4, Heb. 6:4-6, Heb. 10:26-31

8 What Is Limited Atonement?
Limited Atonement is the idea that a there is fixed number of “elect” and they are predestined from before time. This number of elect is fixed and cannot be changed either by man or God. Essentially Jesus did not die or atone for all men. This position generally belongs to “Calvinists” and they usually cite passages such as John 10:14-15, 28 and Matt. 7:13-14

9 What Is Temporary faith?
Temporary faith is something that is directly related to the Puritan doctrine of limited atonement. Because there is only a certain number of elect consequently there is a certain number of unsaved, these are called reprobates This doctrine teaches that a man can have exactly the same experiences that a real Christian does yet fall short of true conversion, thus proving that they were a reprobate from before time (chosen by God, otherwise called double predestination)

10 What Is Temporary faith?
The famous American preacher Jonathan Edwards makes a distinction between saving and common operations of the Holy Spirit. Common operations of the Spirit “may sober, arrest and convict men, and may even bring them to the what at first appears to be repentance and faith, yet these influences fall short of inward saving renewal.” Jonathan Edwards: A New Biography [Carlisle, Pa.: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1987], p. 255 This idea is most closely associated with Calvinism as well.

11 The Death of Assurance: A Warning
These views can be summed up under to umbrellas of theology: Arminianism and Calvinism. Similarities Both undermine assurance and poisons the Christians security in Christ For the Arminian will always be unsure of the continuance of their salvation For the Calvinist will always be unsure of the reality of their salvation

12 The Death of Assurance: A Warning
For Arminian the question is “Am I still saved?” For the Calvinist the question is “Am I truly saved? Both questions rob the Christian of their security and causes them to focus on themselves and their performance Both attach a necessity of good works

13 The Death of Assurance: A Warning
For the Arminian good works are necessary to attain salvation For the Calvinist good works are necessary to prove salvation Both leave the Christian to wonder if they belong to God or not

14 The Death of Assurance: A Warning
Arminian view If I laid my son down to bed at night and said “Son, I love you but if tomorrow you screw up bad enough then I will disown you and you will not be a part of my family anymore.” Calvinist view If I laid my son down to bed at night and said “Son, I love you but if tomorrow you screw up bad enough then you will prove that you were never truly my son and you have never been a part of my family.”

15 The Death of Assurance: A Warning
Surely this cannot be the “good news” of the New Testament! The men who held such doctrines were frightened on their death beds! The 19th Century preacher Asahel Nettleton said “The most I have ventured to say respecting myself is, that I think it possible that I might get to heaven.” Does this sound like assurance?

16 The Death of Assurance: A Warning
A well known American pastor and theologian said this of himself, “There are people in this world who are not saved, but who are convinced that they are. The presence of such people causes genuine Christians to doubt their salvation. After all, we wonder, suppose I am in that category? Suppose I am mistaken about my salvation and am really going to hell? How can I know that I am a real Christian?    A while back I had one of those moments of acute self-awareness that we have from time to time, and suddenly the question hit me: "R.C., what if you are not one of the redeemed? What if your destiny is not heaven after all, but hell?" Let me tell you that I was flooded in my body with a chill that went from my head to the bottom of my spine. I was terrified.    

17 The Death of Assurance: A Warning
I tried to grab hold of myself. I thought, "Well, it's a good sign that I'm worried about this. Only true Christians really care about salvation." But then I began to take stock of my life, and I looked at my performance. My sins came pouring into my mind, and the more I looked at myself, the worse I felt. I thought, "Maybe it's really true. Maybe I'm not saved after all."    I went to my room and began to read the Bible. On my knees I said, "Well, here I am. I can't point to my obedience. There's nothing I can offer. I can only rely on Your atonement for my sins. I can only throw myself on Your mercy." Even then I knew that some people only flee to the Cross to escape hell, not out of a real turning to God. I could not be sure about my own heart and motivation.

18 The Death of Assurance: A Warning
Then I remembered John 6:68. Jesus had been giving out hard teaching, and many of His former followers had left Him. When He asked Peter if he was also going to leave, Peter said, "Where else can I go? Only You have the words of eternal life." In other words, Peter was also uncomfortable, but he realized that being uncomfortable with Jesus was better than any other option!” Does this sound like assurance?!?!?

19 The Death of Assurance: A Warning
Nettleton’s statement of himself reflects the end result of these the type of theology that places a high emphasis on good works in the role of salvation. It often times produces a manner of self righteousness like the Pharisee of Luke 18. Also, it produces the infamous “fruit” inspectors. A true Christian would never…

20 The Death of Assurance: A Warning
It does not bring peace, it unsettles the soul, it utterly destroys the possibility of assurance because our lives will always be imperfect. We will continually find fault in ourselves. We must not look to ourselves to prove anything, this is called introspection which always, always, always produces more questions then answers

21 The Death of Assurance: The Attacks
Antinomian Literally means “Anti – Law” Generally is meant to convey someone who “teaches” that a true believer can be lawless and live however he wants to.

22 The Death of Assurance: The Attacks
Cheap grace Coined by Dietrich Bonhoeffer This is a term that is used to convey someone who “teaches” that grace can be believed without any personal cost.

23 The Death of Assurance: The Attacks
Grace is not cheap it is FREE!! Rev. 21:6 - …I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. Rev. 22:17 – And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely. Rom. 3:23 – being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus

24 The Death of Assurance: The Attacks
Rom. 5:16 – …but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. Rom. 6:23- …but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord Eph. 2:8 – For by grace you have been saved through faith…it is the gift of God. The term cheap grace is misleading.

25 The Death of Assurance: The Attacks
Easy believism This is meant to convey someone who “teaches” that you only have to believe intellectual facts about God in order to be saved. What is hard believism? 115 times in the N.T. belief is the only condition given for eternal life, 35 more times faith is used

26 The Death of Assurance: The Attacks
It’s has to be more than just belief, right? Wrong, it is just believing. What are we to believe? Just believing that Jesus existed and is good teacher, and that the Bible is true, and God created everyone does not save you. Jesus gave a specific promise to believe. Believing is not facts necessarily, it is trusting in Someone.

27 The Death of Assurance: The Attacks
Head Faith vs. Heart Faith This meant to convey someone who “teaches” that you have only have to believe in your “head” to be saved. This is strange language. When you read the Bible. It never dissects faith in such a way as to make a distinction. In other words faith is faith.

28 The Death of Assurance: The Attacks
Belief takes place in the heart. Rom. 10:9 – …believe in your heart Often times the Bible uses the terms “heart” and “mind” to refer to the same thing, that is the inner person, soul.

29 The Death of Assurance: A Warning
The problem with these attacks is that they based on the presumption that man has to do something in order to be saved, in other words “believing is just too easy, it hast to be more than that.” Often times it because they think that men have sin problem that they must take care of.

30 The Death of Assurance:
Salvation is not a sin problem it is a Son problem 2 Cor. 5:19- that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting men’s sins against them John 1:29- Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 1 John 2:2- And He himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. John 3:18- but he who does not believe is condemned already

31 The Hope of Assurance: The Promises
Assurance begins and ends with believing on the promises of God. Grace is all of God and none of you. God’s purpose in grace was to remove all human effort in the matter of salvation. All have been shut up under sin. (Rom. 3:19)

32 The Hope of Assurance: The Promises
Two things we must understand from Scripture if we are to have assurance, that is certainty of our salvation. 1) Everlasting life is FREE! It doesn’t cost you anything to believe 2) Everlasting life lasts a long TIME! Eternal security, once saved, always saved

33 The Hope of Assurance: The Promises
It is not two-step process. 1) You believe 2) You gain assurance later on It is all in one. Consider John 11:25-27 1) You believe and you have assurance because you believe

34 The Hope of Assurance: The Promises
John 5:24 – Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death unto life. John 6:47 – Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.

35 The Hope of Assurance: The Promises
Rom. 5:1 – Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Rom. 8:1a- There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus Rom. 8:30 – Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called, whom He called, these He also justified, whom He justified, these He also glorified.

36 The Hope of Assurance: The Promises
Rom. 8:38, 39- For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which in Christ Jesus our Lord. Eph. 4:30 – And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption

37 The Hope of Assurance: The Promises
John 10:28 – And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of my hand. All the above passages point out “Once Saved, Always Saved” and there is so much more in God’s word about this. If interested, read John and Romans see how many things you can pick out that display eternal security.

38 Conclusion God is trustworthy, do not doubt Him
He alone is able to save We are not saved by works, or faith and works, or a faith that works. We are saved by grace through faith, and not by works.

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