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Do you have a problem with assurance of salvation? I’m here to help.

Do you have a problem with assurance of salvation? I’m here to help.

JUNE 10, 2024

/ Programs / Key Life / Do you have a problem with assurance of salvation? I’m here to help.

Steve Brown:
Do you have a problem with assurance of salvation? I’m here to help, on this edition of Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
Welcome to Key Life. I’m Matthew, executive producer of the program. Our host is Steve Brown. He’s an author and seminary professor who teaches that God’s amazing grace is the key to a life of radical freedom, infectious joy, and surprising faithfulness to Christ.

Steve Brown:
Thank you Matthew. If you’ve been listening for the past few weeks, we’ve been looking at the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. We’ve talked about the Holy Spirit’s relationship to sin, to truth, to power, and now we’re talking about the Holy Spirit’s relationship to love. I spent all last week, and you’re going to be tested on this material, spent all of last week kind of laying a foundation for the church. How do we love the unlovely in the church? How do we get along in the church? Jesus said that that was the mark of a Christian. It wasn’t our smile, it wasn’t our niceness, it wasn’t our obedience, it wasn’t our faithfulness, it wasn’t our doctrine, it wasn’t our knowledge, it’s our love for one another. And I, if you were listening, know that we talked about how the church is God’s methodology for evangelism. As we learn to love each other, we find that other people are worm by our fire and are drawn to the cause of that fire, the Holy Spirit himself. And what I want to do this week and probably next week is to center in on one of the particular ways that God does that in the church. By the way, I hope you had a good week-end and I hope your pastor’s sermon was as good as mine. Let’s pray and then we’ll study. Father, we come into your presence, pleased and surprised that we’re here. We know we’re not good enough to stand before a holy God. We know we don’t know enough to stand before a holy God. We know that we’re not faithful enough to stand before a holy God. But we’re here, and we’re here because of your invitation in Christ. And we praise you, and we worship you, and we thank you because of it. Father, you know everybody who’s listening to this broadcast, and you don’t know them as a servant, a number, a nobody who fits into your plan. You know our name and you love us. And that love will never cease and never back off. And we worship you because of it. And because of that love, you sent your son to die on a cross in our place. Father, as we study your word, we as always pray for the one who teaches, forgive him his sins, because they are many. We would see Jesus and him only, and we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. Let me give you a verse that you’ve heard quoted forever. It’s Galatians 5:22 through 23.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, for the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

I don’t know about you, but every time I look at that verse, I wince a little bit because there’s so many areas there where I lack. And I suspect that you do too. Let me tell you how you get assurance of salvation. It’s by your desire, not your actions. There are those who will say the way to be assured of your salvation is to remember when Jesus found you and how you acted on the message of the gospel. To hammer that date down and to refer to it every time you have doubts about your salvation. And there’s something to be said about that. There are also another way of having assurance of salvation, and that’s called by persevering. The persevering of the Saints, as you find yourself growing in sanctification, becoming more obedient and more faithful, then that is the assurance that the Holy Spirit is working in you. And I suppose that there’s something to be said for that. I’m not great, but I’m better than I was. And sometimes I look back over the years, and there’s some things that God has been working on and changing in my life that are clear. And there’s a sense of peace that there is something like that in my life. But let me give you the real reason for assurance of salvation. It is your desire to please him. Sometimes, I forget the date. Sometimes, I’m not persevering. But always, in my heart, I want to please him. In fact, I’ve said it a thousand times, I’ll say it a bunch more before I go home. You never met a man who wants to please God more than I do. And I’ve never met a Christian who didn’t want to please God. Where did you get that? That comes from the Holy Spirit. And it is the basis of your assurance of salvation. One of the problems in the church is that we’re not always honest with each other. Now, we don’t often outright lie, but we pretend to be something that we aren’t. A friend of mine, gave me a quote from Mackintosh, 19th century Irish preacher. He was a scholar and an expositor of God’s Word. It’s so good, I’ve got to give it to you. This is what he writes.

Many there are who at first fail in the full apprehension of the utter ruin of nature as looked at in God’s presence, though their hearts have been attracted by the grace of God, and their conscience is tranquilized in some degree by the application of the blood of Christ. Hence, as they get on in their lives, they began to make deeper discoveries of the evil within, and being deficient in their apprehension of God’s grace, and the extent and the efficacy of the sacrifice of Christ, they immediately raise a question as to their being actually children of God at all. Thus, they are taken off Christ and thrown on themselves, and then they either take upon themselves ordinances in order to keep up their tone of devotion, or else fall through into worldliness and carnality. These are disastrous consequences and all the result of not having the heart established in God’s absolute and final grace.

That’s a problem. It’s one of the reasons that we don’t have assurance of salvation. There’s no place where this is more true than in the area of our love for one another and our love for those who are lost. I believe that the text I read to you with the list of the fruit of the Spirit starts with love because the rest of the list defines love. In other words, the fruit of the Spirit is about love. I have a friend who has just bought 40 acres in Alabama. He wants to create a safe place for vagrants. Now, I love his heart, but I fear for him and pray for him. You know why? Because there’s no such thing as the glorious savage. Margaret Mead, the late anthropologist, said there was, and she didn’t know what she was talking about.

There is no glorious human being.

We’re all sinners, every one of us, except me. And that’s because I’m ordained and I’m lying. Actually, the problem is that we’re all sinners. We’ve all failed and we still do. Now, we get better. We’re going to talk about that later on, but this week we’re going to be talking about how you love one another in the body of Christ. You don’t say I’m going to do this or it’s going to kill me because it will. I don’t like you very much, but I’m going to love you no matter what. No, you’re not. It doesn’t work that way. How do you love? And we’re going to talk about aspects of that the rest of the week. But remember, bottom line, you love because you’ve been loved. And then only to the degree to which you’ve been loved. So, let him love you. You think about that. Amen.

Matthew Porter:
Thank you Steve. We’ve been studying the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. And today we started venturing into the Holy Spirit’s relationship to love. We’ll dive further into that tomorrow. Sure hope you’ll join us for that. Well, Father’s Day is this Sunday, so you know, you’ve got like five more days to buy him a tie or create coupons for mowing the lawn. Well, Steve spoke about fathers in a sermon called The Best Father You’ve Ever Had. I don’t know when the sermon was given, but he does reference WWJD, so you know, you do the math from there. If you’re a dad, if you know a dad, if you had a dad, this sermon is for you. So, call us right now at 1-800-KEY-LIFE and we’ll send you that whole sermon on CD for free. Again, that number is 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for that CD. Or to mail your request, go to to find our mailing addresses. Again, just ask for your free CD called The Best Father You Ever Had. One last thing, if you find value in the work of Key Life, would you join us in that work through your giving? You can charge a gift on your credit card or include a gift in your envelope. Or you can pick up your phone and text Key Life to 28950 that’s Key Life, one word or two. It doesn’t matter. Just text that to 28950, then follow the instructions. And hey, if you can’t get it right now, no worries. But if you think about it, pray for us, would you? Always needed, always appreciated. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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