Assurance of Salvation.....

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Iconoclast, Jul 5, 2016.

  1. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
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    You cannot have a biblical assurance of salvation without a proper understanding of it;
    Thomas Brooks;
    http://www.gracegems.org/Brooks/heaven_on_earth5.htm

    In part he says this;
    For the better and further opening of this truth, premise with me these two things:

    [1.] First, No man can have any sure evidence to himself of his happiness and blessedness, from the promises of Scripture. [Isa 42:6; Isa 49:8; Joel 2:28; Ezek 32:26-27; Jer 32:40; Heb 8:10-12; Isa 32:15] The promises do not describe to whom salvation and all eternal blessings belong. The promise of giving Christ, of giving the Spirit, of giving a new heart, and of pardoning and blotting out sin—are all general promises. Now God is free to make good these to whom he pleases; therefore he often steps over the rich and chooses the poor; he often steps over the learned, and chooses the ignorant; he often steps over the strong, and chooses the weak; he often steps over the noble, and chooses the vile; he often steps over the sweet nature, and chooses the wicked nature, etc., that no flesh may glory, and that all may shout out "Grace, grace!" 1 Cor 1:25-29.

    [2.] Secondly, Though no man can have any sure evidence of his happiness and blessedness from the promises, because the promises do not describe the persons to whom salvation and all eternal blessings belong; yet these promises are of most choice and singular use.



    1. The first gift. FAITH is a gift of God which brings the soul within the promise of everlasting blessedness, as the Scripture does everywhere evidence: "

    2. The second gift. WAITING patiently on God is a gift which brings you within the promise of everlasting happiness and blessedness.

    3. The third gift. HUNGERING and THIRSTING AFTER RIGHTEOUSNESS is a gift which brings the soul within the compass of the promise of everlasting happiness and blessedness: Matt 5:6, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled"; or as it runs in the Greek, "Blessed are those who are hungering and thirsting," intimating that wherever this is the present disposition of men's souls, they are blessed, and may expect spiritual repletions.
     
  2. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
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    and again;
    Believers know,

    (1.) That their living up to their own principles, does best evidence Christ living in them, and their union with him, Gal 2:20.

    (2.) They know that it is not their profession—but living up to their principles, which will effectually stop the mouths, and convince the consciences of worldly men: 1 Pet 2:15, "For so is the will of God, that by well-doing," that is, by living up to your own principles, "you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men." There is no greater way in the world to still and silence wicked men, to make them dumb and speechless, to muzzle and tie up their mouths, as the Greek word notes—as by living up to your own principles. The lives of men convince more strongly than their words; the tongue persuades—but the life commands.

    (3.) They know by living up to their principles, they cast a general glory upon Christ and his ways. This makes Christ and his ways to be well thought on and well spoke on, Matt 5:16; 1 Pet 2:11-12; 2 Pet 1:5-13.

    (4.) They know that the ready way, the only way to get and keep assurance, joy, peace, etc., is to live up to their principles.

    (5.) They know that by living below their own principles, or contrary to their own principles, they do but gratify Satan, and provoke wicked men to blaspheme that worthy name by which they are called; they know that by their not living up to their own principles, they do but multiply their own fears and doubts, and put a sword into the hand of conscience, and make sad work for future repentance.
     
  3. Iconoclast

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    Now tell me, pray tell me, O you doubting souls, whether you do not,

    (1.) Labor in all duties and services to approve your hearts to God?

    (2.) Whether you do not endeavor to get up to the very top of holiness, and to live up to your own principles?

    (3.) Whether it be not your greatest desire and endeavor that sin may be cured rather than covered?

    (4.) Whether you are not taken with Christ as chief? whether you do not, in your judgments and affections, lift up Christ above all, as God the Father does?

    (5.) Whether your greatest and hottest conflicts and combats be not against inward pollutions, against those secret stirrings and operations of sin, which are only obvious to the eye of God and your own souls?

    (6.) Whether you do not, in respect of the general bent and frame of your hearts, subject to Christ as your head?

    [1.] Freely and sweetly.

    [2.] Universally, in one thing as well as another, without any exception or reservation.

    [3.] Constantly and unwearily.

    Yes; we do these things; we would belie the grace of God if we should say otherwise. These things the Lord has wrought in us and for us, Isa 26:12. Well, then, know,
    (7.) The seventh means to get a well-grounded assurance of your everlasting happiness and blessedness is, to grow and increase more and more in grace. 2 Pet 1:5-11, "Add to your faith, virtue; and to virtue, knowledge, etc. For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." By entrance into the everlasting kingdom of Christ, is not meant a local entrance into heaven; for heaven is nowhere called the kingdom of Christ—but the Father's kingdom. 2 Pet 1:9 shows clearly that it is meant of assurance. Now, the way to full assurance is by adding grace to grace. The Greek word that is here rendered "add," has a greater emphasis; it signifies to link our graces together, as people in a dance do link their hands together. Oh! we must be still a-joining grace to grace, we must still be adding one grace to another, we must still be a-leading up the dance of graces.
     
  4. Iconoclast

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    It leads to this;
    Oh! beloved, if you have those choice things which accompany salvation, which comprehend salvation, you may be abundantly assured of your salvation.

    But you may say to me—What are those things which accompany salvation?

    To this question I shall give this answer, namely, that there are seven special things which accompany salvation, and they are these:

    1, Knowledge; 2, Faith; 3, Repentance; 4, Obedience; 5, Love; 6, Prayer; 7, Perseverance.

    (1.) KNOWLEDGE is one of those special things which accompanies salvation: John 17:3, "And this is life eternal, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent." Divine knowledge is the beginning of eternal life; it is a spark of glory, it works life in the soul, it is a taste and pledge of eternal life: 1 John 5:20, "And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us an understanding, that we may know him who is true: and we are in him who is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ; this is the true God, and eternal life." 2 Pet 1:3, "According as his divine power has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who has called us to glory and virtue." What this knowledge is, which accompanies salvation, I shall show you shortly.

    In reading Scripture and pious books, let us not look so much for intellectual learning, as a savouriness of the truth upon our own hearts.

    (2.) Secondly, FAITH is another of those special things which accompanies salvation: 2 Thess 2:13, "But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God has from the beginning chosen you to salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth." 1 Pet 1:5, "You who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation." Heb 10:39, "But we are not of those who draw back to perdition—but of those who believe to the saving of the soul." John 3:14-16, "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him should not perish—but have everlasting life." John 3:36, "He who believes on the Son has everlasting life." John 5:24, "Truly, truly, I say unto you, he who hears my word, and believes on him who sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation—but has passed from death unto life." John 6:40, "And this is the will of him who sent me, that everyone who sees the Son, and believes on him, may have everlasting life, and I will raise him up at the last day." John 6:47, "Truly, truly, I say unto you, he who believes on me has everlasting life." This double assertion is used only in matters of weight. Mark 16:16; Acts 16:31; Rom 10:9; Isa 45:22; Phil 2:8; John 11:25-26; 1 John 5:10. All these and many more scriptures speak out the same truth.

    (3.) Thirdly, REPENTANCE is another of those choice things which accompanies salvation: 2 Cor 7:10, "For godly sorrow works repentance to salvation, not to be repented of; but the sorrow of the world works death." Jer 4:14, "O Jerusalem, wash your heart from wickedness, that you may be saved." Acts 11:18, "God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance unto life." Matt 18:3, "Truly I say unto you, except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." Acts 3:19, "Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the time of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord."

    The very word repent was very displeasing to Luther until his conversion—but afterward he took delight in the work—to sorrow for his sin, and then rejoice in his sorrow.

    (4.) Fourthly, OBEDIENCE is another of those precious things which accompanies salvation. Heb 5:9, "And being made perfect," speaking of Christ, "he became the author of eternal salvation unto all those who obey him." Psalm 50:23, "If you keep to my path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God."

    (5.) Fifthly, LOVE to God, is another of those singular things which accompanies salvation. 2 Tim 4:8, "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only—but unto all those who love his appearing." When God crowns us, he does but crown his own gifts in us.

    James 2:5, "Hearken, my beloved brethren, has not God chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him?" 1 Cor 2:9, "It is written, eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man—the things which God has prepared for those who love him." James 1:12, "Blessed is the man who endures temptation, for when he is tried he shall receive a crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love him." The word crown notes to as,

    (1.) the perpetuity of that life the apostle speaks of, for a crown has neither beginning nor ending;

    (2.) it notes plenty; the crown fetches a range on every side;

    (3.) it notes dignity;

    (4.) it notes majesty. Eternal life is a coronation day; it notes all joys, all delights; in a word, it notes all good, it notes all glory.

    Matt 19:29, "And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life." The whole is as if Christ had said, Whoever shall show love to me, this way or that, in one thing or another, out of respect to my name, to my honor, mercy shall be his portion here, and glory shall be his portion hereafter.

    (6.) Sixthly, PRAYER is another of those sweet things which accompanies salvation. Rom 10:10,13, "For with the heart man believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." Acts 2:21, "And it shall come to pass, that whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." That is, says one, he shall be certainly sealed up to salvation. Or as another says, He who has this grace of prayer, it is an evident sign and assurance to him, that he shall be saved. Therefore to have grace to pray, is a better and a greater mercy than to have gifts to prophesy, Matt 7:22. Praying souls shall find the gates of heaven open to them, when prophesying souls shall find them shut against them.

    (7.) Seventhly and lastly, PERSEVERANCE is another of those prime things which accompanies salvation. Matt 10:22, "And you shall be hated of all men for my name's sake—but he who endures to the end, the same shall be saved." The same words you have in Mark 13:13.

    Matt 24:12-13, "And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold; but he who endures unto the end, the same shall be saved." Rev 2:10, "Fear none of those things which you shall suffer; behold the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that you may he tried, and you shall have tribulation ten days. Be faithful unto the death, and I will give you a crown of life." A crown without cares, fears, co-rivals, envy, end. God turns the crown of thorns into a crown of glory.

    Rev 3:5, "He who overcomes, the same shall be clothed in white raiment, and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life—but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. To him that overcomes, will I grant to sit with me in my throne, as I also overcame, and sat down with my Father in his throne."

    Thus you see these seven choice things which accompany salvation. But for your further and fuller edification, satisfaction, confirmation, and consolation, it will be very necessary that I show you,

    (1.) What knowledge that is, which accompanies salvation.

    (2.) What faith that is, which accompanies salvation.

    (3.) What repentance that is, which accompanies salvation.

    (4.) What obedience that is, which accompanies salvation.

    (5.) What love that is, which accompanies salvation.

    (6.) What prayer that is, which accompanies salvation.

    (7.) What perseverance that is, which accompanies salvation.

    I hope when I have fully opened these precious things to you in the next chapter, that you will be able to sit down much satisfied and cheered in a holy confidence and blessed assurance of your everlasting well-being.
     
  5. Iconoclast

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  6. HankD

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    One thing is missing IMO I.
    May I follow after your pattern?

    4. The fourth gift. A DESIRE FOR FELLOWSHIP a gift which blossoms out of agape love- not the sticky syrupy love of this world but the deep affection for the children of God of a like minded spirit for the love of Jesus Christ and his church(es).
    1 John 1
    3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
    4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
    5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
    Without fellowship of like minded believers we wilt on the vine (though we cannot wither away) and indeed may become doubters. I have had this experience and was refreshed in soul and spirit when we returned to His assembly.

    HankD
     
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