GOD

GOD, OUR HOST

“God is a ‘host’ who deliberately creates His own parasites; causes us to be that we may exploit and ‘take advantage of’ Him.  Herein is love.  This is the diagram of Love Himself, the inventor of all loves” C. S. Lewis (ref#227, p176).

“The idea that God was under any obligation or necessity to reveal Himself to man cannot be seriously entertained,…such a revelation to fallen creatures of Himself, His mind, and His will, having been made, must be regarded as an astounding act of His sovereign mercy…” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, July 19th).

Think about it; a parasite cannot live one minute without a host.  FATHER, sober me today as I contemplate my inabilities.  My knowledge of You overwhelms me with a sense of Your love.  Unlike created hosts, You are eternal and artesian—never losing Your fullness.  No matter what we parasites take from You, You overflow in continued abundance.

“…God is reconciled and one with the believer; all His feelings are love, all His thoughts are peace, and all His dealings are parental…” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, July 19th).

GOD, You can be described with action verbs: (A sample taken from the first chapter of Luke.)

You remember mercy and help me (Luke 1:54).

You visit and redeem me (Luke 1:68).

You save me from the hand of all who hate me (Luke 1:71).

You deliver me from my enemy that I might serve You without fear (Luke 1:74).

You show me the mercy; You promise and remember Your covenant (Luke 1:72).

You fill me with good things (Luke 1:53).

You speak with me forever (Luke 1:55).

You guide my feet in the way of peace (Luke 1:79).

You cause me to serve You in holiness and righteousness all my days (Luke 1:75).

 

 

ASSURANCES

TEST OF RELATIONSHIP

“…prayer!  If there is a single exercise of the soul that places the fact of its regeneration beyond a doubt, it is this” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, June 3rd).

“…Doesn’t that privilege of intimate conversation with God make it plain that you are not a slave, but a child?  And if you are a child, you’re also an heir, with complete access to the inheritance”(Gal 4:4-7 MSG).

“…the thing the saint wants to know above everything else is that all is well between his soul and the Father….He likes to maintain the contact and communion, to assure his heart before God and in the presence of God….that the contact is unbroken…” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Feb 1st).

“…we are in communion with Christ, we have proof sufficiently clear and strong that we are written in the Book of Life….he admitted us to sure communion with himself, when, by the preaching of the gospel, he declared that he was given us by the Father, to be ours with all his blessings (Rom 8:32)” John Calvin (ref#113, p641).

Prayer is going to You, FATHER often to test the relationship.  It’s vital to make sure of Your willingness and readiness to help.  I am doomed if the relationship is severed.

ASSURANCES

SIN MORE REPULSIVE–CHRIST MORE ATTRACTIVE

Another assurance of salvation is sin becoming more repulsive and CHRIST more attractive.

“What a comfort it is to know that God’s forgiveness is deep enough to cover all sin and terrible times of backsliding!  Praise God for this forgiveness and for its purpose: to make sin more repulsive and Christ more attractive” (ref#164, March 4th).

FATHER, instill within me:

“In the worst frame that can affect a true child of God, there is always some indication that the divine life in the soul is not quite extinguished” (ref#135, July 28th).

FATHER, instill within me:

“Those low views of yourself—the brokenness, inward mourning, secret confession, and the longing for more spirituality, more grace, more devotedness, more love—only prove the existence of real growth in God’s work within you” (ref#135, May 18th).

ASSURANCES

MY ATTITUDE TOWARD SIN

…FATHER, one evidence of assurance of salvation is my attitude toward sin.

“’Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin.’…He does not give himself over to sin.  He ‘would do good.’  He hates sin; grace reigns, not sin.  Sin dwells in him, but does not govern; it has power, but does not rule; it torments, but does not reign with a continued, unbroken supremacy” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, March 4th).

“But…I am…confronted by the power of sin.  I battle the world and the flesh and the devil; forces and factors outside me are trying to drag me down, and I am aware of their terrible power….There is only One who has conquered Satan, there is only One who has defeated the world, and that is this Son who the Father sent into the world to be our Savior.  Jesus Christ can deliver me from the power of sin…” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Nov 25th).

 “Do not, then, allow sin to establish any power over your mortal bodies in making you give way to your lusts. Nor hand over your organs to be, as it were, weapons of evil for the devil’s purposes. But, like men rescued from certain death, put yourselves in God’s hands as weapons of good for his own purposes. For sin is not meant to be your master…”(Rom 6:14 Phillips)

Do I have “…an increasing hatred of sin” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Nov 29th)?  Remember, “no one hates sin apart from God” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Nov 29th).

When the Lord appears in view,

Old things cease, and all is new;

Love divine o’erflows the soul;

Love does every sin control” R. Burnham (ref#224, song #187).

ASSURANCES

BABES IN CHRIST

“…the Father has entrusted the keeping of His weakest child in Christ’s hands—even your soul, beloved, even though you be the weakest of the weak.  A baby belongs to the family as much as the most oldest member.  It has as strong a place in the parent’s heart and as valid a claim on its share of the family estate.  So it is with the feeblest child of God” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, May 13th).

“Even if your faith is as weak as a single strand of a spider’s web, if that strand is attached to the rock, Christ Jesus, your salvation is absolutely secure” John Calvin (ref#164, Dec 13th).

O FATHER, I believe as much as I am able.  Help my unbelief.  Please constrain me to feel the truth of this week’s questions.

ASSURANCES

THE SPIRIT BEARS WITNESS WITH OUR SPIRIT

…FATHER, if I grieve the HOLY SPIRIT, I loose the sense of Him. Without sensing Him I loose my assurance of salvation.

“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” Rom 8:16…Your minister, your friend, schooled as they may be in the evidences of godliness, cannot assure your spirit that you are born of God. Only God the Eternal Spirit can do this….His first step is to work repentance and faith in the heart; then follows the sealing and witnessing operation” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, May 9th).

“How do we have knowledge about God?…The answer is, ‘because he hath given us of his Spirit,’…How do I know I have received God’s Spirit?…Are you concerned about these things…I assure you that if you are, the Holy Spirit is in you, for people apart from God ‘mind earthly things’ (Philippians 3:19)—carnal, fleshly things. Are you concerned about immortality and the things invisible and eternal?…that is proof that the Holy Spirit is in you” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Nov 18th).

“My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality. It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves” (1 John 3:18-20 MSG).

 

 

 

ASSURANCES

THE SPIRIT BEARS WITNESS WITH OUR SPIRIT

…FATHER, if I grieve the HOLY SPIRIT, I loose the sense of Him. Without sensing Him I loose my assurance of salvation.

“’The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.’ Rom 8:16…Your minister, your friend, schooled as they may be in the evidences of godliness, cannot assure your spirit that you are born of God. Only God the Eternal Spirit can do this….His first step is to work repentance and faith in the heart; then follows the sealing and witnessing operation” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, May 9th).

“How do we have knowledge about God?…The answer is, ‘because he hath given us of his Spirit,’…How do I know I have received God’s Spirit?…Are you concerned about these things…I assure you that if you are, the Holy Spirit is in you, for people apart from God ‘mind earthly things’ (Philippians 3:19)—carnal, fleshly things. Are you concerned about immortality and the things invisible and eternal?…that is proof that the Holy Spirit is in you” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Nov 18th).

“My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; lets practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality. It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves” (1 John 3:18-20 MSG).

ASSURANCES

THE HOLY SPIRIT CONVINCES AND CONVICTS

“No Christian has a right to be uncertain about his or her salvation; the Holy Spirit has been given in order that we might be certain…” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Feb 14th).

FATHER, Your HOLY SPIRIT grants me an interest in reading the Bible as well as revealing it in such a way that I spiritually understand it. If I am not a true Christian I will not possess the SPIRIT and therefore cannot ever know beyond a shadow of doubt whether I am going to heaven.

And the scary part is that without the SPIRIT I can will myself to read Scripture and assimilate its truth into my life. But my actions will flow out of my human desires without having any idea what would be Your desires.

I must have the SPIRIT for He convicts me of sin. “Seek the inward witness of the Spirit…that your heart has been convinced of sin, that you have renounced your own righteousness and have fled to the Lord Jesus Christ, and that your soul is breathing after personal holiness” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Feb 3rd).

“We come to Christ for salvation after the Spirit has convinced us of sin…” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Feb 14th). “…if He has not done it for you, if you value your own soul, ask Him to do it” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Feb 14th).

ASSURANCES

CHRIST – A SUFFICIENT SAVIOR

“Christ…is the faithful interpreter…in regard to our salvation” John Calvin (ref#113, p636).

FATHER, do I depend on the merits of CHRIST? Am I confident CHRIST is a sufficient Savior (ref#63, p803)?

“What the ark was to Noah and the blood of the lamb was to the children of Israel, is what the atoning blood of Christ is to the believing soul. It forms his eternal security….Let the professor of Christ not leave the sealing of his pardon and acceptance to that fearful hour; let him earnestly seek it now, so that when he comes to die he will have nothing to do but die” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Sept 24th).

Do I still have my original confidence in CHRIST (Heb 3:14)?

“Though God’s election is a truth,

Small comfort there I see,

Till I am told by God’s own mouth,

That he has chosen me.

 

“[Sinners, I read, are justified,

By faith in Jesus’ blood;

But when it me that blood’s applied,

‘Tis then it does me good.]” J. Hart (ref#224, #31).

ASSURANCES

ARE YOU REALLY SURE?

If I say I “know” I am saved, how do I know? How would I assure someone else that I am assured of my salvation?

It is true that some who are true Christians are not assured of their true status:

“One may say that he is persuaded that nothing present, or to come, can separate him from the love of God (Rom 8:18). Another comes but this far, ‘Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief’” (Mark 9:24) Puritan Daily Devotional Chronicles (ref#225, Oct 15th).

And it is also true that some who are not Christians are assured that they are:

“Many have lived in an outward profession; they have put on Christ with external garb, have talked well of Him, have been baptized in His name, have given liberally for His cause…” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Aug 10th).