Difference Between Assurance & Security
The True Believer is Safe and Secure in Christ Forever
Personal assurance and the enjoyment of my so-great salvation depends on my knowledge of the absolute certainty of the promises of God.
The story is told of a western traveler in the pioneer days who came one winter night to the banks of a wide river. He had to get across but there was no bridge. The river was coated with a sheet of ice but he did not know how safe it was. After much hesitation he gingerly tested it with one foot and it held. Night was coming on and he must get across. With many fears and with anxious care he crept out on hands and knees, hoping to distribute his weight evenly on the uncertain ice. When he had gone some distance painfully and slowly he suddenly heard the sound of horse hoofs and joyful singing. There in the dusk was a man happily driving a wagon load of coal across the ice, being pulled by a muscular horse. The man was cheerfully singing as he went. He knew the ice was safe and he had no fears.
Both of these men were absolutely safe on that ice. The ice was thick and solid. It could have borne twice the weight of that wagon easily. One man was in fear and doubt because he did not know how safe he was and did not realize how solid and thick the ice was. The other man enjoyed his ride across the frozen river because he knew without any doubt that the ice would hold and that the foundation under him was solid and safe.
A true believer is safe and secure in Jesus Christ. No foundation could be any more safe or solid (1 Cor. 3:11). The problem is that some believers are not familiar with the statements and promises of God concerning their absolute security in Christ and therefore they are not in the place to fully enjoy their so-great salvation. It is to help such people that these pages are written. May our security in Christ cause our hearts to greatly rejoice:
+ "Safe am I, Safe am I, in the hollow of His hand!"+
Every believer is safe and secure and protected in Christ, but not every believer realizes and understands his safety and security as well as he should. The more I realize how safe and secure I am in Christ, the more assurance I will have and the more I will be able to enjoy my relationship with Christ.
Sadly, there is another class of people who have a sense of false security. They think that they are safe when they are not safe at all. They think they are on solid ground when they are actually on sinking sand. Their situation would be like the person who thinks the ice is thick and walks out on it, only to have it give way under his feet, plunging him into the icy waters. Some have false security because they think that their good works will earn them entrance into heaven. Others have false security because they are trusting in some religious system for their salvation. Anyone who trusts in anything or anyone other than Jesus Christ and Him alone is not safe! Such a person is in great danger. Our refuge and safety must not be in SELF but in CHRIST ALONE.
In these pages we are going to see from the Bible that the true believer is safe and secure in Christ forever. The one who has come to Christ for salvation will never be cast out (John 6:37). No true believer will ever be lost. No true believer will ever lose his salvation (John 6:37-40). Will the true believer ever perish (John 10:28)? Never!
Before considering our eternal safety in Christ and Godís amazing keeping ability, let us consider the important, soul-searching question: Am I a true believer? To help you answer this question, consider the following questions given on the next page. Think about each one in an honest, personal way. Take time to look up the Bible verses that are given along with each question. Ask yourself: Who am I really trusting for my eternal salvation?
Am I A True Believer?
Do I see myself as a guilty, lost sinner who stands condemned before a holy and righteous God (Romans 3:10-19,23)? Do I recognize that my own heart is deceitful and wicked and incurably sick (Jeremiah 17:9; Mark 7:21-23)? Do I see myself as deserving of death and hell (Romans 6:23)? Do I realize that if God were to give me what I deserve and repay me for the way I have lived, then I would be totally destroyed (Psalm 130:3; compare Psalm 103:10)? Do I recognize that there is absolutely nothing I can do to save myself (Titus 3:5)? Do I understand that trying my best to perform good works will never gain me or earn me an entrance into heaven (Ephesians 2:8-9)? Do I realize that my church or my religious system cannot save my soul (Jeremiah 17:5)? Am I convinced that my own righteousness and my own goodness falls far short of the righteousness that God requires and demands (Romans 3:10-12; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10)? Do I, in and of myself, have any personal credentials that are acceptable before God (Isaiah 64:6)?
Do I believe that Jesus Christ is Godís only Solution to my sin problem (Acts 4:12)? Do I recognize Him as the only way to God (John 14:6), the only Door to salvation (John 10:9), the only Saviour for sinners (Matthew 1:21) and the only One who can give me eternal life (John 10:28; 17:3)? Do I understand that Jesus Christ is the eternal God (John 1:1-3) who came into this world and became a man to save me (John 1:14; 1 Timothy 1:15; John 3:17)? Am I convinced that He loved me even when I was a great sinner (Romans 5:8; John 3:16) and that He died and rose again to save my soul (Romans 4:25)? Am I persuaded that the Lord Jesus died on the cross for my sins and that He died in my place as my perfect Substitute, dying in my stead and paying completely the full penalty for my sins (Isaiah 53:6; 1 Peter 3:18; 2 Corinthians 5:21)? Am I trusting in Him and in Him alone to save me (Acts 16:31)? Have I come to Him in simple, child-like faith (John 6:35,37; Matthew 11:28)? Have I, by faith, personally received the Lord Jesus Christ as my Saviour (John 1:12)? Am I resting my entire self on who He is (John 8:24), on what He has done (1 Cor. 15:3-4) and on what He has said (John 6:47)?
Do I believe that He is able to completely save all those who come unto God through Him, including me (Hebrews 7:25)? Do I believe the statement of Christ found in John 5:24? Is John 3:16 true of me? Have I ever shared with others that Jesus Christ is my Saviour (Romans 10:9-10; Matthew 10:32)? Am I able to say from my heart: "My hope is built on nothing less than Jesusí blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly lean on Jesusí Name. On Christ the solid Rock I standóall other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand!" [Edward Mote]
Another helpful question that I can ask myself is this: If I were to die today and stand before God and He should ask me, "Why should I allow you to enter My holy heaven?" what would my answer be? If my answer in any way points to MYSELF (my own credentials, my own works, my own religious deeds, etc.) then I am not standing on solid ground. Here are some examples of people putting their trust in SELF:
"God should let me into His holy heaven because during my lifetime I have done more good than bad." "God should let me into His holy heaven because I try to keep the ten commandments." "God should let me into His holy heaven because Iím a member of a certain church" etc. All such answers point to ME, but salvation is not of ME; salvation is of the LORD!
There is only one reason why I can enter Godís holy heaven. The appropriate response is this: "I will enter Godís holy heaven for one reason and one reason only. It is only because of Jesus Christ my Saviour. Apart from His work on the cross I could never be saved. Apart from His life which He has given to me as a free gift, I could never enter His holy heaven. He is my only hope. He is the only righteousness I have and He is all the righteousness I need. Thank You Lord for saving my soul and making me whole." Notice how this answer points away from SELF and clearly points to the Saviour and to Him alone!
Let us assume that Bob, Sally, Tom and Betty are all saved!! They have each believed on the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31). Each one has eternal life and is a child of God. Each one will spend eternity in heaven with the Lord. Each one is safe and secure in Christ. All four of these young people are eternally safe and secure in the Lord Jesus!
The problem is that two of these young people have not been well taught in
the Scriptures. They do not have assurance of their salvation that is
based on God's Word ("I know so because God said so!"). What are the names of
the children who do not have assurance? 1. __________________________________
True or False:
__________ Every believer is eternally secure in Christ.
__________ Every believer has assurance of his salvation. Every believer is a "KNOW SO BELIEVER."
__________ Every believer is safe and secure in the Lord Jesus.
__________ Every believer knows that he is safe and secure in Christ.
In 1 John 5:13, John tells us why he wrote the book of 1 John. Did he write this book to believers or to unbelievers? _______________________________ He wrote this book so that these people might
|a. Feel like they have eternal life.
b. Think that they have eternal life.
c. Hope that they have eternal life.
d. Know that they have eternal life.
|Reminder : Don't forget to pray before you study God's Word. See Psalm 119:18; 2 Tim. 2:7. The Lord must be our teacher!|
|________||In this life it is impossible for a person to really KNOW for sure that he is saved (see 1 John 5:13).|
|________||It is possible for a person to KNOW that he is saved right now.|
|________||God wants every believer to KNOW that he has eternal life.|
|________||God wants every believer to have assurance of his salvation.|
|________||God wants us to wait until we die to find out if we are really saved.|
|________||The person who has assurance of his salvation is the person who thinks he is saved.|
|________||The Apostle Paul did not have assurance (see 2 Timothy 1:12).|
|________||The Apostle Paul knew that if he were to die, he would go to be with the Lord (Philippians 1:21-23; 2 Corinthians 5:6-8).|
|________||The Apostle Peter did not believe that Christians could know for sure that they are on their way to heaven (1 Peter 1:3-4).|
|________||Jude was not sure that God could really keep the believer safe and secure (Jude 24).|
|________||The person who has assurance of his salvation is the person who hopes he is saved.|
To make this last sentence (ý) true, what one word would you need to remove? ________ What word would you put in its place? ____________
Every believer is safe and secure and protected in Christ, but not every believer realizes and understands his safety and security as well as he should. True or False: ___________ The more I realize how safe and secure I am in Christ, the more assurance I will have.
As we study Gods Word concerning this matter, we must answer two basic questions: 1. Is the true believer eternally secure in Christ? 2. How can I know whether or not I am a true believer? And if I have truly believed, what should be true about my life? What are the marks of a true believer? We will now seek to answer this first question by showing that the Bible clearly teaches that the true believer is eternally secure in Christ.
We are first going to establish the fact that the true believer is safe and secure in Christ forever. This is the doctrine of eternal security. In answering the questions, please look up all of the verses that are given, even if you think you know the answer without looking up the verses. It is important to see exactly what God says and to let His Word sink deeply into your heart (Psalm 119:11; Colossians 3:16).
Continued in the Next Lesson.