- Slides: 20
BASIS FOR ASSURANCE NOT FEELINGS NOT PHILOSOPHY NOT THEOLOGY NOT PREACHERS/MINISTERS
NOT THEOLOGY Much of theology is a blending of philosophy and religion. Theologians interpret scriptures in the light of what they already believe, rather than in the light of other scriptures.
Consider this comment on John 3: 5. “Jesus answered, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. ’” Albert Barnes wrote, “Be born of water. By water here is evidently signified baptism. ” “And though it, perhaps, cannot be said that none who are not baptized can be saved, yet Jesus meant undoubtedly to be understood as affirming that this was to be the regular and uniform way of entering into his church” (Barnes Notes on the New Testament, p. 276).
Consider this comment on Acts 2: 38. Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. ” A. T. Robertson wrote, “Unto the remission of your sins. ” “One will decide the use [of the phrase] here according as he believes that baptism is essential to the forgiveness of sins or not” (A. T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament, Vol. III, pp. 35 -36).
Robertson was not so vague on the follow-ing scripture. “For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. ” (Matt. 26: 28) In regard to the nearly identical phrase, “Unto the remission of sins, ” he said, “The purpose of the shedding of his blood was precisely to remove [forgive] sins” (Vol. I, p. 210).
Almost all religious groups teach a mixture of truth and error. But error is never justified by mixing it with truth. “Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men. ’” (Matt 15: 6 -9)
NOT PREACHERS OR MINISTERS Satan has ministers. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. (2 Cor. 11: 14 -15)
We are not to believe every spirit but “test” the spirits. (1 John 4: 1) Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
We are to look beneath the “sheep’s clothing. ” (Matt. 7: 13 -15) “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate, and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. ”
We must be “fruit inspectors. ” (Matt. 7: 16 -20) “You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them. ”
THE WORD OF GOD One’s assurance must be based on faith. My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.
THE WORD OF GOD One’s assurance must be based on faith. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. (1 John 3: 18 -22)
These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. (1 John 5: 13) One must continue believing. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. (Rev. 2: 10)
One must keep God’s commandments. Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, "I know Him, " and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. (1 John 2: 3 -4)
Alien sinners must obey certain commands in order to enter God’s kingdom. Believe, repent, confess faith, be baptized for remission of sins.
Kingdom citizens must practice the truth in order to remain in God’s favor. This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1: 5 -7).
Kingdom citizens not in God’s favor must repent and pray. And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit. ” But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God.
Kingdom citizens not in God’s favor must repent and pray. “Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity. ” (Acts 8: 18 -23)
BLESSED ASSURANCE On what are you basing the assurance of your salvation? Feelings? Philosophy? Theology? Preachers/Ministers? Or the word of God and faith based there-on?