Adversaries of Assurance

Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, therefore the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

–Ecclesiastes 8:11

Earlier this week, I talked about a man who spent all his money on a cruise ticket. While the other passengers were enjoying sumptuous buffets, he was eating peanut butter sandwiches in his room because he didn’t realize his ticket included all his meals. In the same way, many Christians aren’t enjoying all the benefits of their salvation. They’re missing out on the wealth that comes from an assurance of the identity and sufficiency of Christ.

There are two enemies that rob Christians of that assurance. The first is false teaching. In Colossians 2:4, Paul wrote, “I say this so that no one will delude you with persuasive argument.” False teachers were invading the church two thousand years ago, and the same thing happens today. For example, people still spread the myth that Jesus never claimed to be God, but instead deity was conferred on Him by a church council hundreds of years later.

The antidote to false teaching is right doctrine. Verses 6–7 say, “Walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith.” Those verbs could be translated as “continuing to be built up” and “continuing to be established.” If you want to keep from defecting from your faith, you have to continually grow as a Christian.

A second adversary of assurance is disobedience. Continuing disobedience to God robs you of assurance in Christ. When a Christian disobeys God on a regular basis, he begins to doubt his relationship with God. He thinks, If I were really a Christian, would I be engaging in this sin? Then, if there’s no immediate consequence to his disobedience, he begins to doubt the existence of God Himself: If God really existed, wouldn’t He punish me? Disobedience produces doubt. And if that doubt lingers, it can lead to defection from the faith.

Perhaps you’re a professing Christian, yet you’re engaged in an immoral relationship, an addiction, or another area of prolonged disobedience. Eventually, you’re going to either give up that sinful behavior or give up your belief in Christ. A Christian cannot hold on to both sinful behavior and belief in Christ for a long period of time.

The antidote to disobedience is right living. Verse 6 says, “As you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.” One of the greatest ways to have assurance about your relationship with God is to walk with Him. Every step you take in God’s direction is like driving a nail to secure your salvation in your mind. The keys to assurance are right doctrine and right living.

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Today’s devotion is adapted from “The Value of Assurance” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.

 

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