Assurance of Salvation
“Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.” (Matthew 12:33)
Pastor Mark taught this weekend that two of the “Healthy Indicators” in the life of a Christ follower are putting love into action and assurance of eternal salvation. These two go hand-in-hand. In the same way that you can tell when someone is physically alive because they move and breathe, you can tell when someone is spiritually alive by their movement toward the things of God and the fruit produced by that action.
The word “repent” is most often translated from a Greek verb that means “to perceive or understand” along with a preposition meaning “change.” We know from this that true repentance involves a radical change in our perceptions and understanding of the physical and spiritual worlds. The authentic salvation experience involves more than baptism and church activities. A saved believer will have a new heart and a new mind, and a thirst for the things of God.
An unsaved person is filled with a sense of self promotion. He fights his conscience and denies that which he knows to be true. He cannot subject himself to God and is completely wrong about everything that really matters. However, at the moment of conversion, this same person is regenerated by the Holy Spirit. He now sees the Truth that his deluded mind once refused to accept. He becomes aware of his depravity and wretchedness, so he throws himself upon the mercy of God. This, my friends, is repentance.
Repentance is what happened to Saul of Tarsus. When he met the risen Christ on the road to Damascus, his entire worldview changed in an instant. He suddenly recognized that there was no righteousness to be found through the law, but instead it was found through the gift of grace. He discovered that he had been putting to death the sons and daughters of the living God. But he repented and was saved, and it was said of him, “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy” (Galatians 1:22-23).
We have full assurance of our salvation when “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” (Romans 8:16) We are no longer condemned (Romans 8:1). God feels such tender love for His children; our God is so awesome that He doesn’t want us to fret about whether we are saved. We can know with complete confidence that we have eternal life (1 John 5:13).
Make It Stick: How do you personally program your conscience by the Word of God?
From sermon 6119 Scripture references from NIV unless otherwise noted.
Based on Spiritually Healthy Indicators, Part 2 on August 10th, 2013 - Watch Sermon