Monthly Archives: May 2011

Is there certainty in salvation?


Some days I find myself having a mental battle with my sin, and salvation. My salvation was a Gift from God, but often my behavior or struggle with sin overwhelms my pea sized brain. It’s sometimes a challenge getting the truth of Scripture into my head and heart, butI have found that reading Scripture, learning about the struggles of other believers, and listening to sermons on the doctrines of Justification and Sanctification have really helped me to comprehend the difference between Judicial Forgiveness and Parental forgiveness of my sins.

My Pastor preached a wonderful sermon on this topic this past Sunday and I will download it this week and update the post with it soon, in the meantime I am including beautiful words about the certainty of your salvation from John Newton “Tis a point I long to know” . I am also including a link to a series of three sermons from Grace to You and John MacArthur called Spiritual Transformation.

Spiritual Transformation part one

Spiritual Transformation part two

Spiritual Transformation part three

But can one really be certain? “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.” writes John in his letter, 1 John 5:13, after he has written this manifesto of what God has done in sending Christ the Son, “offering him up as a sacrifice for sins, and sending forth “the word of life”(1 John 1:1) that is causing this world’s darkness to pas away and the true light of the coming age to shine.”1

‘Tis a point I long to know(John Newton)’
Tis a point I long to know,
Oft it causes anxious thought;
Do I love the Lord or no?
Am I His–or am I not?

If I love–why am I thus?
Why this dull and lifeless frame?
Hardly, sure, can they be worse,
Who have never heard His name!

Could my heart so hard remain,
Prayer a task and burden prove,
Every trifle give me pain,
If I knew a Savior’s love?

When I turn my eyes within,
All is dark, and vain, and wild;
Filled with unbelief and sin,
Can I deem myself a child?

If I pray, or hear, or read,
Sin is mixed with all I do!
You who love the Lord indeed,
Tell me–Is it thus with you?

Yet I mourn my stubborn will,
Find my sin a grief and thrall;
Should I grieve for what I feel,
If I did not love at all?

Could I joy His saints to meet,
Choose the ways I once abhorred,
Find, at times, the promise sweet,
If I did not love the Lord?

Lord, decide the doubtful case!
You who are Your people’s sun,
Shine upon Your work of grace,
If it is indeed begun.

Let me love You more and more,
If I love at all, I pray;
If I have not loved before,
Help me to begin today!

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The Lord’s gentle usher


(Thomas Brooks, “A Heavenly Cordial” 1665)

Our life in this world is made up . . .
of troubles and trials,
of calamities and miseries,
of crosses and losses,
of reproaches and disgraces.

Death frees the Christian from all these things.
It wipes away all tears from his eyes, it turns . . .
his miseries into mercies,
his crosses into crowns, and
his earthly hell into a glorious heaven!

When a godly man dies—he shall never more
be haunted, tempted and buffeted by Satan!

“Death,” says one, “which was before the devil’s
sergeant to drag us to hell; has now become the
Lord’s gentle usher
to conduct us to heaven!”

For a saint to die, is for a saint to be eternally happy.
Death is but the entrance into glorious life. That is not
death but life—which joins the dying man to Christ!
Death will blow the bud of grace into the flower of
glory!

Death is not the death of the man—but the death of
his sin. When a believer dies—his sin dies with him.
As death came in by sin—so sin goes out by death.
Death kills sin—which bred it.

The Persians had a certain day in the year wherein
they killed all serpents and venomous creatures. Such
a day as that, will the day of death be to every believer.
All his serpentine and venomous sins will be forever
destroyed! Then he shall never again . . .
be proud,
nor passionate,
nor unbelieving,
nor worldly,
nor neglectful of duty,
nor grieve the Holy Spirit,
nor wound his conscience,
nor break peace with God!

When death takes away a godly man, it takes him away
from his sins! And as death rids the believer of all his
sins
—so it will rid him of all his sorrows. Death cures all
diseases, the aching head and the unbelieving heart.

Death does for a godly person, that which all ordinances
could never do, and which all their duties could never do,
and which all their graces could never do. It immediately
frees them from . . .
all their sins,
all their sorrows,
all their tears,
all their temptations,
all their oppressions,
all their oppositions,
all their vexations!

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Even your own relatives think you are almost insane


(J. C. Philpot, “The Abiding Comforter” 1858)

“The Spirit of truth. The world cannot receive Him,
because it neither sees Him nor knows Him.”
John 14:17

The world—that is, the world dead in sin, and the
world dead in profession—men destitute of the life
and power of God—must have something that it can
see. And, as heavenly things can only be seen by
heavenly eyes, they cannot receive the things which
are invisible.

Now this explains why a religion that presents itself
with a degree of beauty and grandeur to the natural
eye will always be received by the world
; while a . . .
spiritual,
internal,
heartfelt and
experimental
religion will always be rejected.

The world can receive a religion that consists of . . .
forms,
rites, and
ceremonies.

These are things seen.

Beautiful buildings,
painted windows,
pealing organs,
melodious choirs,
the pomp and parade of an earthly priesthood,
and a whole apparatus of ‘religious ceremony’,
carry with them something that the natural eye can
see and admire. The world receives all this ‘external
religion’ because it is suitable to the natural mind
and intelligible to their reasoning faculties.

But the . . .
quiet,
inward,
experimental,
divine religion,
which presents no attractions to the outward eye, but
is wrought in the heart by a divine operation—the world
cannot receive this—because it presents nothing that
the natural eye can rest upon with pleasure, or is
adapted to gratify their general idea of what religion
is or should be.

Do not marvel, then, that worldly professors despise a
religion wrought in the soul by the power of God. Do not
be surprised if even your own relatives
think you are
almost insane
, when you speak of the consolations of
the Spirit, or of the teachings of God in your soul. They
cannot receive these things, for they have no experience
of them; and being such as are altogether opposed to
the carnal mind, they reject them with enmity and scorn.

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I am not my own


Surfing around the blogosphere this morning I came across a piece written by G.D. Watson that I read years ago.  Sometimes I get lost in the shuffle of life. My efforts don’t seem to accomplish much and it’s possible as a Christian to get weary and downtrodden. Certain days can be a struggle and it often seems that other more “noble” Christians  have it all together, their lives and work somehow touched by holier hands than mine. I know it’s ridiculous and unfruitful to think these thoughts and I gave myself a good talking to about having them.  Other times I marvel at the level of Carnality in the life of certain Christians I know. I dare not pluck out the speck, knowing full well the log in my own eye but I can be shocked sometimes by certain behaviors I dare not partake in. I fear for these folks and try desperately not to question them or their salvation but am left to ponder my own sinfulness, I pray I never get too proud to to say like the Pharasee “thank you God that I am not like them” Because I know that I am.

A little while after having this conversation with myself I came across this article at Apprising Ministries (you can read the original here) and I remembered how interesting it was reading it the first time and realizing what a Gift God gives to His Children through spiritual discipline. God never overlooks one part of our lives that He knows needs refining and I am learning to value that aspect of my relationship with Him. I was bought at oh so great a price! I am indeed not my own and I often need reminding of it.

“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”

And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
(Matthew 10:37-39)

May the Lord bless you through these words from G.D. Watson:

If God has called you to be really like Christ in all your spirit, He will draw you into a life of crucifixion and humility and put on you such demands of obedience, that He will not allow you to follow other Christians, and in many ways He will seem to let other good people do things which He will not let you do.

Others can brag on themselves, and their work, on their success, on their writings, but the Holy Spirit will not allow you to do any such thing, and if you begin it, He will lead you into some deep mortification that will make you despise yourself and all you good works.

The Lord will let others be honored and put forward, and keep you hid away in obscurity because He wants to produce some choice fragrant fruit for His glory, which can be produced only in the shade.

Others will be allowed to succeed in making money, but it is likely God will keep you poor because he wants you to have something far better than gold and that is a helpless dependence on Him; that He may have the privilege of supplying your needs day by day – out of an unseen treasury.

God will let others be great, but He will keep you small. He will let others do a great work for Him and get credit for it, but He will make you work and toil on without knowing how much you are doing; and then to make your work still more precious, He will let others get the credit for the work you have done, and this will make your reward ten times greater when He comes.

The Holy Spirit will put strict watch over you, with a jealous love, and will rebuke you for little words and feelings, or for wasting your time, which other Christians never seem distressed over.

So make up your mind that God is an infinite Sovereign, and has a right to do what He pleases with His own, and He will not explain to you a thousand things which may puzzle your reason in His dealing with you. He will wrap you up in a jealous love, and let other people say and do many things that you cannot do or say.

Settle it forever, that you are to deal directly with the Holy Spirit, and that He is to have the privilege of tying your tongue, or chaining your hand, or closing your eyes, in ways that others are not dealt with.

Now, when you are so possessed with the Living God that you are, in your secret heart, pleased and delighted over this particular personal, private, jealous guardianship and management of the Holy Spirit over your life, you will have found the vestibule of heaven.

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