SECURITY AND ASSURANCE

THE TWENTY-THIRD DAY OF AUGUST IN THE YEAR OF GRACE TWO THOUSAND AND FIFTEEN. A gracEmail subscriber writes that he often feels insecure regarding his standing with God. Does that mean he is lost? * * * Not at all. There is an important distinction to be made in this matter, and that is the difference between security and assurance. Security involves our actual objective condition. … [Read more...]

DOES FAITH REQUIRE NO DOUBTS?

THE NINETEENTH DAY OF AUGUST IN THE YEAR OF GRACE TWO THOUSAND AND FIFTEEN. A gracEmail subscriber writes: "As hard as I have tried to believe in God and Christ, for over 40 years I have never conquered my doubts. At rare times I can almost say, 'I know,' most of the time the best I can do is pray 'help my unbelief'. I try hard to please God. The harder I try, the more inadequate I feel. … [Read more...]

BE ASSURED, NOT AFRAID

THE NINTH DAY OF AUGUST IN THE YEAR OF GRACE TWO THOUSAND AND FIFTEEN. A recent email pleaded, "I have been searching for years to find some assurance of salvation. I know my weaknesses, I pray continually for forgiveness. I don't know why I'm able to tell you all of this, but I do love Christ, have been baptized, and want to go to heaven. I just want some peace in my heart." * * * Hear … [Read more...]

UNCERTAINTY OF SALVATION?

A gracEmail subscriber in Australia asks, with reference to Paul's remarks in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, "How can Paul, understanding so well the lavish grace of God, speak in such almost legalistic terms as to suggest that some lack of self-discipline would disqualify him from eternal life? Would not living under grace rather than Law) give him confidence that even such a lack of discipline would be … [Read more...]

‘BUT WHAT IF I AM WRONG?’

A brother in Tennessee says that he is much in accord with comments here about God saving us gratuitously because of what Jesus did as our representative, instead of depending on our ability to figure out all the religious answers and cobble together an acceptable record of obedience on our own. "But wouldn't it be a real tragedy," he asks, "if I go to hell because I misread what the Bible is … [Read more...]

BELIEVER’S SECURITY MORE THAN A DOCTRINE

A Baptist brother and gracEmail subscriber asks about the permanent well being of God's true people. "Doesn't the Bible teach a doctrine of eternal security?" * * * The believer's assurance of salvation rests on the solid promises of Jesus himself -- that none of those whom the Father has given him will perish, that he will lose none of them, but that he will raise them in the last day and give … [Read more...]

SECURITY IN CHRIST

A gracEmail subscriber asks whether one who is truly saved can finally be lost. * * * Jesus himself assures us that those whom the Father has given to him are secure in God's keeping so that no person, circumstance or unforeseen set of events can ever snatch them away to destruction (John 6:37-39). This blessed reality offers no comfort to the person who only pretends to be a believer, however, … [Read more...]

THE SIMPLE PROMISES

A gracEmail subscriber chides me for saying that whoever repents and trusts in Christ as Savior begins to experience the joy of salvation. This reader believes that Acts 2:38 and Mark 16:16 make water baptism a condition of salvation, and he insists that we cannot take other passages at face value which promise salvation to the believer. Salvation may depend on more conditions than those named in … [Read more...]

SECURE IN CHRIST

Corrie ten Boom, the Dutch saint whose Christian family hid Jews from the Nazis and eventually survived Hitler's concentration camp in which her family perished, understood true security. "Look around and be distressed," I once heard her say. "Look within and be depressed. Look at Jesus and be at rest." The apostle Paul, who also paid with his life for his devotion to Christ, would certainly … [Read more...]

GOD NEVER GIVES UP

A gracEmail subscriber writes, "Does God ever just give up on one of his children? Is it possible that we can continue to do something so evil that God finally decides that there is no hope for us and that we are not worth salvation?" * * * If God based his attitude toward us on what he sees in us, he would have given up long ago on us all. Our confidence is not in our ability to love God, or to … [Read more...]