How The Gospel Gives Assurance
Assurance of understanding, of hope, of faith. Get your life so full with the blessing of God that it spills out.
Alright thank you very much, and hello again dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Well, that little greeting from your friend, Bob Cook, establishes the fact that we are permitted by God’s grace to have just a few more moments once again to look into His precious eternal, infallible, inherent, His inspired Word, the Bible.
We are looking at 1 Thessalonians, and we are in the middle of verse 5 of chapter 1. “Our gospel,” says Paul, “came not in word only, but also in power,” –our word dynamite — “and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance…” That is about where we were the last time we got together. There is a little Greek word called plerophoria, it is used here and three other places, and only in these occasions except in certain other ecclesiastical writings, but in the scripture there are these, these occasions.
Right here the gospel came, and much assurance; and then you have in Colossians 2:2 the matter of the full assurance of understanding. Let me read that for you. I have got a great burden, Paul says, for you “that your hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love unto all riches,” here it is, “of the full assurance of understanding to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and the Father, and Christ; in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
The full assurance of understanding is that all you’ll ever need it to know about God is in Jesus; that is what it is saying there. The mystery of God, the Father, and Christ, all you will ever need to know about God Almighty is in the Lord Jesus Christ, the one who becomes your Savior when you acknowledge Him as Lord, and confess your sins and forsake them.
Furthermore, the only way you will ever be able to call God Father, our Father which art in heaven. The only way is through the Lord Jesus Christ. That is what this verse is saying. The acknowledgment of the mystery of God – that is His sovereignty, and of the Father — that is your relationship to Him in a family way, and of Christ, who makes it all possible. That is the full assurance of understanding. When you begin to understand how you can be related to Almighty God as your loving heavenly Father, it gives you assurance and you can come boldly as narrator to the Hebrew says, to the throne of grace, to obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
And then in Hebrews 6:11 there is the full assurance of hope unto the end, and I love that 10th verse that precedes it. I think we ought always to have the 10th verse with the 11th. “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, that you have showed toward His name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” That you have showed towards His name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. “And we desire that every one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end.”
Now the full assurance of hope is found in a person. God is begotten us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Christ is our hope. We read in Colossians. And so the basis for any hope you have for the future, not a wish now — a wish is something that you might like to have. A hope is something that is based upon fact, and the only basis you have and I have of hope for eternity is found in the Lord Jesus Christ.
However, he said God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love which you showed toward His name. How did you do it? You ministered to the saints, and you do minister. And he said, we desire now that you show the same assurance, the same diligence. Keep on doing the same thing, in other words, to the full assurance of hope unto the end. “Do not slothful,” said he, “but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”
Strangely enough, and yet not strangely, Paul ties this matter of hope to a continuation of a, of a life of ministering to others. He said I want you to show the same diligence in this matter of the full assurance of hope unto the end.
Do you want to think about that? The basis for your hope is Jesus. The continuation of your hope is in commitment. The outworking of that hope is in a ministry to others, isn’t that something? Word ministry is our word deacon, made into a verb. Diakonein santes is the little Greek word. What did the deacons do? Well, they help to feed the people originally.
Philip branched out and became an evangelist, and others did the same thing. Steven became the first martyr, but to minister. He that would be great among you shall be your minister, Jesus said. Same idea — serving. Paul said, “we preach not ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves your servants.” That is the Greek word doulas, slaves for Jesus sake. This whole idea of trusting Jesus, committing yourself to Jesus then doing things for others as a result brings what the writer to the Hebrews calls the full assurance of hope unto the end.
Many a person has doubts because he is sitting around doing nothing. It is that simple. You get busy for the Lord, and you will find that your faith is strengthened, and your heart is warmed, and your challenged to give yourself completely to His service. Then there is the full assurance of faith, then that bring us over then to Hebrews, I think it is chapter 10. Let me look, I will turn the pages of my big Bible here. I got a Thompson Chain Reference Bible. “Let us draw near”, he says, we’ve got a new and living way, boldness entering the, to holiest of holies because of the blood of Jesus, a new and living way. Let us, and we got a high priest now, said he over the house of God, Jesus is our high priest. “So let us draw near,” said he, “with a true heart in full assurance of faith” having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our faith without wavering, for He, God is faithful; that promised.
Draw near with the true heart in full assurance of faith. So you got the full assurance of understanding, when you realize that Jesus is the key to knowing the sovereign God, and knowing God as your father. You got the full assurance of hope in realizing that after your commitment to Christ, you have also committed yourself to service in His name. And now he says, full assurance of faith having our hearts sprinkled; that is our reference to the cleansing blood of Christ; from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water; that is a reference to the Word of God that Paul says the washing of water by the word. Jesus said, now you are clean through the Word which I have spoken unto you.
To paraphrase it, then he says, a full assurance of faith having our hearts cleanse through the blood of Christ, our conscience is cleansed through the blood of Christ, and our bodies cleansed by an application of the Word of God. And then he says, hold fast the confession of our faith because He is faithful. What is the basis then of this full assurance?
The blood of Christ, the Word of God, and the faithfulness of God; that my friend would give you assurance as you have come to Him. The blood of Christ, the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son cleanses us from all sins.
There isn’t anything you have ever done or ever could do that is not covered by the precious blood of Jesus. He paid it all. “He was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our inequities, and by His stripes we are healed.” Wonderful, wonderful truth, “Calvary covers it all”, the song writer sang.
So you can come in full assurance, why? Because of the blood of Jesus, because of the Word of God applying it to your life, and because of your profession your confession of faith in a God who is faithful. “If we believe not, Paul says over in Timothy, and that means if we run out of faith, that is actually what the phrase means. If you run out of it, and there isn’t any more faith left. You don’t have any strength to reach out, and believe God, it says He abided faithful. He cannot deny himself. He is faithful at promised.
Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it. God is faithful by whom he were called in the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Oh the faithfulness of God. Go back to Lamentations. Great is Thy faithfulness. It is of the Lord’s mercy that we are not consumed because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning. Great is Thy faithfulness, said the prophet.
So you can have full assurance of faith, why? Because the blood of Jesus cleanses you, the Word of God cleanses your body and your actions, and the faithfulness of God is something you can depend upon though the mountains be removed into the midst of the sea. Full assurance. Now, he said, our gospel came in that kind of assurance.
I have to tell you that you can only communicate the gospel in assurance if you have a personal experience of this wonderful Savior. If indeed, you have full assurance of understanding, and you know what you mean when you say, Our Father. If indeed, your life is committed not only to Christ as your Lord, but also to ministering to others in His name. And if indeed, you are depending upon His shed blood in His inspired Word and His faithfulness, and you have that as your personal experience then you can spill it over to other people.
Give some thought, beloved, to getting your life so full of the blessing of God that it just spills out. Witnessing as we call it, communicating the gospel, sharing Christ with others will not be so much of an effort as it will be on involuntary reaction to the fullness of your heart. Like a young man in love who cannot help talking about his sweetheart. You with your heart, full of love for the Lord Jesus will find it impossible to keep from speaking about Him. Much assurance, it is good truth, isn’t it?
No, not only that. But he, Paul himself became a model. As you know, he said, what manner of man we were among you for your sake, you know, he said, what kind of a person I was. And so he became followers of us and of the Lord, and then you became examples to other people.
Preaching the gospel depends for its effectiveness on the kind of person who preaches it. Sad but true. Some of these folk who have stumbled and fallen the last years, and have become a national spectacle thereby, people tell me it is pretty hard to believe their preaching after a while. And I suppose that is true. The truth of God has not changed, but the person who is proclaiming it has changed. Oh what an awesome and frightening truth that is. It ought to make everyone of us tremble. Paul said, you know what kind of person I was, and you became a follower of me, and then you became examples to other people who followed you.
The way God works is the multiplication method. You find it at 2 Timothy 2:2. “The thing which thou has learned of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” So it is from Paul to Timothy to faithful men to many others. And every one of us needs to find his Timothy or her Timothy, and spend time with them so that they can begin to grow in the Word, and they lead themselves, then can train and teach and lead others. This is the way it is.
This was not unusual. This is not out of the way. This is the way God works. What was it? Paul was the real article, and the people in Thessalonica begin to live like He did, and then other people in Macedonia and Achaia began to live like they did. That is the way God works. We will come back to this the next time we get together.
Dear Father, today O may we spill over the good news of the gospel from genuine committed hearts and lives. In Jesus name I ask it. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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