ASSURANCES

A CHANGED LIFE IS OUR ASSURANCE

“When I am born again the Spirit of God takes me right out of myself and my experiences, and identifies me with Jesus Christ” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Dec 21st).

“That grace which is but a persuasive offer and in our power to receive or refuse is not the grace which brings us to heaven.  But God’s people feel a powerful work of the Spirit, not only revealing to us our misery and deliverance through Christ, but emptying us of ourselves, as being redeemed from ourselves, and infusing new life into us, and afterwards strengthening us and quickening us…never leaving us till the conquest is perfect” Richard Sibbes (ref#311, p117).

“This new being…is no outer thing, made up of showy moralities and benevolences…It is something deeper, and truer…It’s affinities are with the things above; its sympathies are divine; it sides with God in everything…The new man…produces righteousness and holiness through the power of the Holy Ghost…It is…a new standing or state, a new moral character, a new life, a new joy, a new work, a new hope…” Horatius Bonar (ref#326, p10-11).

“Do not love the world or the things in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world” (1 John 2:15-16 ESV).

“…true Biblical holiness…that which must be based firmly on a personal experience of the saving work of Christ on the cross, and maintained through the work of the Holy Spirit living in the individual believer…is not simply a matter of outward observance but is rather the whole Christian life, and finds practical expression in every area of day-to-day living” Horatius Bonar (ref#326, back cover).

NOTE: This changed life may not immediately produce all that is mentioned above.  This new life is a “progressive sanctification…a process of change…a way of ongoing transformation, not yet perfect, still failing, but always growing in faith and obedience” Paul David Tripp (ref#5, p340).

“Salvation is unfolded throughout our entire sojourn here.  We continue to repent and to believe, and even the process of our salvation continues as we are changed more and more into the image of our Lord” Charles Spurgeon (ref#330, p88-89).

ASSURANCES

SETTLED ASSURANCE

“The teaching of some…seems…to hinder assurance.  Assurance, say some, is impossible.  Not impossible, say others, but very hard to attainment…I do not see how my being thoroughly persuaded that a holy God loves me…and has forgiven me all my sins, has a tendency to evil…whereas uncertainty in this matter…bewilders me,…sets me striving to work my way into the favour of God…which can do nothing but keep me dreading and doubting all the days of my life, leaving me, perhaps, at the close, in hopeless darkness” Horatius Bonar (ref#326, p36).

“…a clear, well-grounded, habitual persuasion of our acceptance in the Beloved is attainable…They are blessed, therefore, who have such views of the power, grace, and suitableness of Jesus, and the certainty and security of redemption in him, together with such a consciousness that they have anchored their hopes, and ventured their all, upon his person, work, and promise, as furnishes them with a ready answer to all the cavils of unbelief and Satan…”  John Newton (ref#322, p148).

“The characteristic of the new birth is that I yield myself so completely to God that Christ is formed in me.  Immediately Christ is formed in me, His nature begins to work through me” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Dec 25th).

“The Gospel is designed to give us not only a peradventure or a probability, but a certainty both of our acceptance and our perseverance…” John Newton (ref#322, p153).

Who may lay just claim to Christ’s mercy?  “Only those that will take his yoke and count it a greater happiness to be under his government than to enjoy any liberty of the flesh…” Richard Sibbes (ref#311, p80).

“…because he is sure the Lord does all things well.  Therefore his submission is not forced, but is an act of trust” John Newton (ref#322, p155).

“’I knew I was converted when religion stopped being a duty and became a delight,’” Henry Scougal (ref#321, p8).  “When we are so far satisfied with the government of Christ’s Spirit that we are willing to resign up ourselves to him in all things, then his kingdom is come to us, and our wills are brought to his will.  It is the bent of our wills that makes us good or ill” Richard Sibbes (ref#311, p99).

ASSURANCES

CHECK YOURSELF AGAIN

 “To have grace, and to be sure we have grace…is heaven on this side of heaven.” Thomas Brooks

“Is your belief genuine?…You may be self-proclaimed among His people here on the earth, but you may have to taste of death when the Lord comes.  You may deceive them, but you cannot deceive Him” Charles Spurgeon (ref#330, p34).

“Do not be too bold or too quick, you who say you are Christ’s.  Never be satisfied until you are absolutely sure.  The best way to be sure is to go again, just as you went at first, and seize eternal life through the power of the blessed Spirit and not by any strength of your own…Get alone with Jesus and…tell Him that at all costs you want to be identified with His death….” Charles Spurgeon (ref#330, p34-35).

“The divine order…is first pardon, then holiness; first peace with God, and then conformity to the image of …God….For…likeness to God is produced by beholding His glory (2 Cor 3:18), and as we cannot look upon Him till we know that He has ceased to condemn us, and as we cannot trust Him till we know that He is gracious; so we cannot be transformed into His image till we have received pardon at His hands.  Reconciliation is indispensable to resemblance; personal friendship must begin a holy life….first peace, then holiness—peace is the foundation of holiness…” Horatius Bonar (ref#326, p32).

“The evidence that believers are in Christ is that the power of sin has been broken in their lives by the work of the Holy Spirit” The ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p2170, [Rom 8:2]).  “The proof that your old man is crucified with Christ is the amazing ease with which the life of God in you enables you to obey the voice of Jesus Christ” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Dec 23rd).

“Commit yourself totally into His hands, so that you may be as sure of your salvation as of your existence” Charles Spurgeon (ref#330, p95).

 “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,” (Rom 8:16 ESV).

PRELUDE TO PRAYER

Prayer Facts:

 “…bring your problems to God, and stay with Him while He solves them….We injure our spiritual life when we dump the whole thing down before God and say—You do it” Oswald Chambers (ref#8, Oct 25th).

Reasons for Waiting for GOD:

Because You spread out the northern skies over emptiness and hang the earth upon nothing (Job 26:7), I will wait for You.

Because You still and stir up the sea by Your power (Job 26:12), I will wait for You.

Because by Your breath the heavens are garnished (Job 26:13), I will wait for You.

Because You are the living GOD enduring and steadfast forever and Your kingdom shall not be destroyed and Your dominion shall be to the end (Dan 6:26), I will wait for You.

Because You sit above the horizon and I am like a grasshopper (Isa 40:22), I will wait for You.

Read Through the Bible in a Year: Nov 25th – Dec 1st

Nov 25    Job 38-39; Rev 10

Nov 26    Job 40; Ps 149; Rev 11

Nov 27    Job 41-42; Ps 76

Nov 28    Ps 77-78; Rev 12

Nov 29    Ps 79-80; Rev 13

Nov 30    Ps 81-82; Rev 14

Dec 1        Ps 83-84; Rev 15

CONFESSION

A NEW DISPOSITION

…FATHER, Your Son walked the earth in meekness and was lowly in heart (Matt 11:29). He always surrendered His own will to You (John 6:38). “When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten…” (1 Peter 2:23 ESV). He never stood up for His own rights, never returned wrong for a wrong, never resented, never complained.

“Self-energy…in service is sin. Self-pity in…difficulties, self-seeking in business or Christian work, self-indulgence in one’s spare time,…self-defense when we are hurt…by others, self-consciousness…” Oswald Chambers (ref#97, p28,29) are all sin.

“Let every mention of the Blood call to mind the deep humility and self-surrender of the Lamb, for it is this disposition that gives the Blood its wonderful power with God” Roy Hession (ref#97, p94). “We may be partakers of His disposition, for it has been made transferable to us by His death” Roy Hession (ref#97, p95,96). And this disposition is what you look for in me. By having this disposition I will know power in my own life.

“The natural life is neither moral nor immoral. I make it moral or immoral by my ruling disposition. Jesus teaches that the natural life is meant for sacrifice. We can give it as a gift to God, which is the only way to make it spiritual (see Rom 12:1-2)” Oswald Chambers (ref#118, p36).

CONFESSION

THE NOTION OF DIVINE CONTROL

…FATHER. “The Bible declares that an infinitely good God is in the middle of our most painful experiences…” Paul David Tripp (ref#5, p143).

“…how astonished we would be to find that in the bitterest draught that ever touched our lips, the principal ingredient was love! That love saw the discipline needful, love selected the chastisement sent, love appointed the instrument by which it should come, love arranged the circumstances by which it should take place, love fixed the time when it should transpire, and love heard the sigh, and saw the tear, and marked the anguish, and never for one moment withdrew its beaming eye from the sufferer” Octavius Winslow (ref#61, Oct 7th).

FATHER, I long to stay in Your presence. How easy it is when the tribulations come to lean on my own resources. At the sign of tribulation my notion is to take action using my strength to remove myself from its grip as speedily as possible. I derive help from myself and from others forgetting You, FATHER; I not only forget Your strength to provide for me but also I never consider Your good purposes for the trial.

Aid me quickly so I gain a notion of Your divine control. When perplexities press make the realization come naturally: “God is my Father, He loves me, I shall never think of anything He will forget, why should I worry” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, July 16th)? Allow me, FATHER, to rest in perfect confidence in You (ref#7, July 16th).

CONFESSION

DISCIPLESHIP

…ALL-WISE FATHER, I do not need to know how to disciple others. I only need to know how to be a disciple myself. My life lived out teaches others of what it is to be a disciple.

“Our Lord makes a disciple His own possession, He becomes responsible for him….The spirit that comes in is not that of doing anything for Jesus, but of being a perfect delight to Him” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Sept 4th).

“…the only men and women He will use…are those who love Him personally, passionately and devotedly beyond any of the closest ties on earth” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, May 7th).

FATHER, forgive me for not taking seriously enough Your constraint on me as CHRIST’s disciple. Let me put my energies toward exclusively becoming personally, passionately and devotedly yielded to CHRIST. May I desire not to rejoice in successful service, but rejoice that I’m rightly related to CHRIST (ref#7, Oct 27th).

JESUS said, “…’All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go…and make disciples…” (Matt 28:18-19 ESV). Do I believe that when I “go” JESUS does the work of making disciples? This is my challenge. If I believe “that people are difficult to get saved, that backsliders are difficult to reclaim,…” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Oct 27th) it is because I have commissioned myself with my natural talents to make disciples.

Making a relationship with You, LORD, is my work. And, relationship-making is difficult work. Because I desire such a relationship, satan may no longer tempt me to simply do wrong things.

Instead, his temptations will be along the same line that he tempted JESUS. His temptations will be crafted toward separating You from me. He hopes to discourage me so I give up on all the grace You have put into me (ref#7, Sept 18th). Satan attempts to keep me from being obedient to You. He wants me to cease being Your disciple (ref#7, Sept 18th). Therefore, FATHER, enlarge my desire to muse on CHRIST and enjoy His presence above all.