1: Assurance of Salvation
Introduction 10 Gospel Coaching Sessions
What Must I Do To Be Saved?
Salvation, or being born again, is the most important aspect of the gospel. The gospel totally assures us of our salvation. If we don’t have this total assurance, then it is always because it is something dependent upon us and our flesh. It is something we need to do or not do. Recall the words of the Rich Young Ruler to Jesus: “What good thing must I DO to have eternal life?” (Matt 19:16).
This is the thinking of most of us: “We must DO something to be saved.” In other words we must prove ourselves in some way. We must show we are worthy, and that we are worth being saved. At least our good points must outnumber our bad points.
We can never have assurance of salvation this way. We can never live the abundant life of Jesus this way. We can never know all that the gospel gives us living this way.
Jesus says we must understand the gospel, which he also calls ’the word of the Kingdom’ (Matt 13:19). It’s also called the mystery of the Kingdom, the testimony of Jesus and of Goe, the preaching of Christ, and even ‘the word of God,’ which most think means the entire Bible. It doesn’t. It is God’s specific word in the New Covenant that was predicted.
Not understanding it, we can’t truly believe it, and Jesus says Satan steels it away like little birds eating seed. If we do understand the gospel, we believe and live it. The gospel is what Jesus came to bring us. Saying we must believe the gospel was the first thing out of his mouth after spending 40 days in the wilderness with Satan (Mark 1:15). So the gospel was the most important thing on his mind and heart.
The purpose of these 10 coaching sessions
(plus the very important introduction)
is to make the gospel the most important
thing on your mind and heart too.
This is how we ‘follow Jesus,’ as he said to do.
Salvation, or being born again, is the first aspect of the gospel. The gospel totally and absolutely assures us of our salvation. If we don’t totally and absolutely believe this very first aspect of the gospel, then we tend to doubt other gospel aspects too. The most frequent thing I hear is, “The gospel is just too good to be true” — “It is unbelievable.”
The fact is the gospel is so good it can only be true! Only our Father’s mind and heart could invent it!
Have You Asked Jesus For Salvation?
Our justification was written in the halls of heaven before the world began. Having faith in this justification is how we have peace with God (Rom 5:1). It is Christ’s blood that assures us of salvation, and gives us unity: atonement, or being ‘at one’ with God (Rom 5:9, 11).
Jesus says, “He who comes to me, I will never turn away” (John 6:37). The Amplified Version adds this: “I will never, no never reject ONE of them who comes to me.”
Let me ask this: have YOU come to Jesus? People who haven’t come to Jesus usually do not read messages like this. Have you asked him for salvation? If you have, then it is yours. He says he will never reject anyone who asks him.
The Focus of the Apostle John’s Writings
But this is not the gospel truth. The apostle John wrote his gospel, and three letters, and the book of Revelation. And he declared the reason he wrote: “These things I have written unto you . . . (1) that you may know that you have eternal life, and (2) that you may believe on the name of the Son of God” (I John 5:13).
John’s purpose in writing is to assure us we are saved by believing in Jesus! “Whoever believes in (Jesus) will not perish, but has eternal life” (John 3:15). Eternal life is about the Person of Jesus, no one and nothing else, not even US.
John writes to give us total assurance of salvation. He wants us living the abundant life of Jesus, as he declares Jesus says in John 10:10.
Self Focus and Assessment
If we live in SELF focus and assessment, the finished work of the cross of Jesus becomes ancient history. It is what must be center focus for our salvation, not what we do or don’t do. Any focus on SELF will detract from, even destroy any assurance of salvation. None of us are good enough.
This includes trying to figure salvation out in the Bible. Some men were doing this and Jesus said to them: “You search the scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life, but they testify about me” (John 5:39). Our job is not to try to figure it out, even from the Bible. Our job is simply to accept our salvation and worship God for it.
Trying to figure it all out in our heads will never produce total assurance of salvation.
The gospel is so good it can only be true,
because only the mind of God could invent it,
and only God’s love could give it to us as a gift!
It begins giving us absolute, total assurance of salvation,
and it allows us to live the abundant life of Jesus.
God Must Make Salvation Easy
It’s a true statement that God must make salvation easy, or it would not be fair, because if it weren’t easy, there would be some people who would not be able to understand it, believe it and receive it. We have all types of people in the world, even those who are mentally handicapped. God must make salvation easy for everyone, even for those of us who are lawyers and educated BEYOND our intellects.
We Need Total Assurance of Our Salvation
If we don’t have total assurance of salvation, we are not firmly rooted and steadfast in trusting God. Salvation, and the resulting effect of trusting God, is the first thing we should deal with as Christians. If we don’t TRUST God, then we don’t BELIEVE God. And if we don’t trust and believe God, we don’t take time to understand, believe and live ‘the glorious gospel.’ Jesus says we shall know the truth, and the truth will set us free — free from any lack of assurance.
And what about the abundant life of Jesus? Well, Jesus came to give us the gospel, and he says we must believe it and live it. Do you think this might have something to do with his abundant life?
The Gospel Gives Total Assurance of Our Salvation
So many Christians say they believe IN Jesus, but their beliefs and actions show they don’t really BELIEVE Jesus and his gospel. John 3:36 says we can’t do this. We must believe IN Jesus, and we must also believe what he says.
Especially when it comes to the person of God,
you really can’t believe IN someone,
and not believe what that person says to you!
You can’t separate believing IN someone
from trusting what that person says!
Let’s say you say you have confidence and trust in a lawyer, and you go to him for advice. But when he gives you his advice, and tells you what to do, and you don’t do it, the question is do you really trust him? Or are you just out gathering information?
Jesus says the words he speaks are what will judge us in heaven on the last day (John 12:48). If Jesus says to ONLY believe the gospel, what do you think were the words he spoke? It doesn’t take a degree from Harvard to answer this. Paul says God will judge the secrets of our hearts by means of the gospel (Rom 2:16).
Belief in the truth of the gospel is vital! It’s not an option! It is not an elective! It is what gives us assurance of salvation, and the abundant life of Jesus.
The Word of the Kingdom
Jesus says we must understand and accept ‘the word of the Kingdom,’ which is the gospel (Matt 13:19). Jesus came to speak the gospel which is the word of God’s Kingdom which has now come to earth (Mark 1:14-15).
Salvation is (1) believing in Jesus, and then (2) believing what Jesus says to believe. Most Christians miss this! We think the liberty Paul speaks of in Galatians is freedom to believe anything we want to, and do what we want to. We are free to concoct our own theologies and opinions. This is NOT the liberty Paul speaks about.
How do you believe IN someone, and not believe what that person says? We cannot separate believing IN someone from trusting what that person tells us is the truth. This can be true of humans, but it must be true of God.
John 3:36 states this clearly, and this verse follows the famous one in John 3:16 that says anyone who believes IN Jesus has eternal life. This verse combines believing IN
Jesus and believing what Jesus says:
“He who believes ON the Son has everlasting life,
but he who does not BELIEVE the Son shall not see life.”
When we doubt our salvation, it is Satan who is stealing it from us (II Cor 4:4). Don’t let Satan rob the precious truth of your salvation from you. It does not depend on you, or on anything you do or don’t do. It just depends on your ‘coming to Jesus,’ which means trusting in Jesus and trusting what he says.
The name of Jesus is given to us as a gift so we can be saved. If we rely on Jesus’ name, we are saved (Acts 4:12). Jesus is the ‘word’ as we are told in John, but the name of Jesus, and the word of Jesus are the same thing.
“The word I have spoken, the same shall judge (us) on the last day” (John 12:48).
Christ’s Blood Assures Us of Salvation
Christ’s blood assures us of salvation, and gives us unity and oneness (atonement) with God (Rom 5:9, 11). This is what gives us PEACE with God (Rom 5:1). Not having the peace of God robs us from trusting and believing him.
Jesus says, “He who comes to me, I will never turn away” (John 6:37). The Amplified Version adds this: “I will never, no never reject ONE of them who comes to me.” If you’ve come to Jesus for salvation, you are saved!
Jesus says we must understand and accept ‘the word of the Kingdom,’ which is the gospel, or Satan tries to steal it from us (II Cor 4:4, Matt 13:19). Don’t let Satan rob the truth of your salvation from you. It does not depend on you, or anything you do. It just depends on your ‘coming to Jesus.’
The name of Jesus is given to us as a gift so we can be saved. If we rely on Jesus’ name, we are saved (Acts 4:12). Jesus wants us to have absolute, total assurance of our salvation. This is how he brings us into his abundant life, and how he reveals other aspects of the gospel to us.
We Are ‘Appointed’ For Salvation
The bottom line is that salvation is the work of God, not the work of man.
God appointed us to receive salvation through Jesus (I Thes 5:9). If you are a believer in Jesus, and if you believe his gospel, you are appointed. This is exactly what Paul says: “God chose us to be saved:
(1) through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, and
(2) by belief in the truth.”
There is only one truth Jesus brought: the gospel (Mark 1:15, II Thes 2:13).
Belief in gospel truth is so important.
This is because, If you mix it with law,
with your own opinion, or with any other theology,
you don’t come up with the absolute,
total assurance of your salvation.
Anything else will produce a mixture of doubt,
and assurance of salvation will be lacking,
as well as living the abundant life of Christ.
Paul says Jesus will not be happy with those who do not believe and obey his gospel (II Thes 1:7-9).
The gospel is the power of God for salvation (Rom 1:16). It’s not about us. Our ‘work’ is simply to believe in Jesus (John 6:29). God’s grace gives us salvation (Tit 2:11). It is by grace that we are saved through faith, and it doesn’t depend on us, or our control over sin. It is a gift from God (Eph 2:8). It’s not by works, so we can’t boast did anything in ourselves to get saved (Eph 2:9).
((NOTE: I don’t quote all these verses, but I hope you will take time to read them)).
If we trust Jesus, nothing can separate us from God’s love (Rom 8:35). This chapter begins with NO condemnation, and ends with NO separation from God’s love. Again if you live in some form of guilt, which is feeling you have not done enough, you are not living in God’s love. Jesus came to give us knowledge of our salvation (Luke 1:76-77).
Saved By the Holy Spirit and Truth
In the beginning God chose YOU to be saved by means of two things (II Thes 2:13):
(1) by the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit,
(2) by belief in the truth.
Again, as we just talked about in believing Jesus, here it says it’s by belief in gospel truth. When Paul speaks of truth he only means the GOSPEL. He says his entire ministry was the gospel (Acts 20:24). Paul wasn’t give 10 or 20 truths to preach to us. Jesus and the father gave him ONE truth.
Paul spent 3 years alone with Jesus in the desert where he was instructed in the gospel and it’s reality (Gal 1:11-18). Then he spent 14 more years in what I call ‘on the job training’ (Gal 2:1). Then he was also given a special conference with the Father in heaven on the subject (II Cor 12:1-4). But he wasn’t given 10 truths. He was revealed gospel truth.
Belief in gospel truth and believing Jesus are one and the same thing. It is Jesus who says we must repent of all other beliefs and believe his gospel (Mark 1:15 revisited).
Belief in the gospel truth of Jesus is vital!
we will judged by our secret beliefs (Rom 2:16).
It’s Hard For Us to Get Our Thoughts off “US”
Have you noticed that your flesh is very dominant? So is mine.
It’s hard to get your thoughts off YOU, and on GOD. But this is what the gospel is about. It is about what God does FOR us in the cross of Jesus. But Satan’s greatest goal is to blind us to the gospel truth of God’s Kingdom reality here on earth (II Cor 4:4). If he can get us to disregard the gospel, and not give it priority, especially with regard to salvation, then he has won the WAR with us, not just a BATTLE.
If he can get our minds and hearts off the gospel, and on any other form of theology or religion, then we will not be able to believe the rest of the aspects of the gospel we’ll be discussing.
We must have absolute assurance of our salvation to know Christ’s abundant life.
If salvation is in question, all of the other
aspects of the gospel that we will talk
about will be in question.
Lack of total assurance of our salvation will be like
a barricade or roadblock to everything else.
If we don’t trust God in the basics,
how can we trust him for other things?
Let me put it in this very simplistic way:
you must be able to back out of the garage
to be able to drive the car!
The Parables of Jesus
Jesus proclaims the gospel he came to bring us mainly in his parables. I’m doing a major study in the parables: how they specifically reveal the gospel of the Kingdom of God. These are also available for study on another part of this site.
One of the first parables is ‘The Parable of the Sower,’ in Matthew, Mark and Luke. Jesus says we must understand this parable or we won’t understand much else (Mark 4:13).
This parable talks of three things:
(1) THE SOWER: the one doing the planting,
(2) THE SEED: the word he sows into us,
(3) THE SOIL: the heart it is planted into.
The SOWER is Jesus. He sows his gospel SEED into the SOIL of our heart. If our hearts trust Jesus and believe him, (as I just said), we receive the seed he plants. It is now part of us. It takes root in our heart and we begin to understand it more and more because we receive it as gospel truth.
Then Paul says the gospel produces good things (good fruit) from us (Col 1:5). It happens quite spontaneously in our hearts, and we don’t even understand how (Mark 4:26-29). And Jesus says gospel seed produces abundance from us: 30, 60, 100 fold (Matt 13:23).
This is why God is so adamant for us to believe and live the gospel. It’s good for us. It benefits us. It blesses us, as Acts 3:26 says.
Paul says the gospel is THE power of God in us (Rom 1:16). It is not one of many powers God gives us. ALL good things come through the gospel, as is stated several times. But he says it only comes to those who BELIEVE.
Salvation is step #1 of the gospel we must believe and be assured of. Then we can believe and receive all of the seed of the glorious gospel. Not being assured of salvation is like taking an eraser to part of the rest of gospel truth.
Jesus came to give knowledge of salvation (Luke 1:76-77). We just believe him, receive it, and say thank you.
Salvation is in Jesus alone (Acts 4:12). God sent him for us to believe in, so we receive eternal life (John 3:16).
Father Predicted Jesus’ Gospel Message
God told Moses he would appoint a Prophet (Jesus). God would put his words in this Prophet’s mouth, and he would declare it to us. He then says he will REQUIRE us to believe it (Deut 18:15-19).
The New Testament repeats this, quoting God talking to Moses, and adding that judgment will come on those who do NOT believe this Prophet’s message (Acts 3:23-24). We are judged for not believing the gospel!
II Thessalonians 1:7-9 makes this emphatic. Paul repeats this: Jesus will be revealed from heaven with his angels (talking of end times), and he will judge those who do not believe (obey) his gospel.
We know this is all about the gospel because the very first words out of the mouth of Jesus said to repent of all other beliefs and believe his gospel (Mark 1:15). Can you see why I constantly emphasize our vital need to live the gospel?
The Gospel Is For Salvation At the Onset
The gospel is the power of God FOR SALVATION (Rom 1:16). It’s not about us. Our ‘work’ is just to believe Jesus, and to believe his gospel message (John 3:36, 6:29).
God’s grace gives us salvation (Tit 2:11).
By grace we are saved through faith!!! It doesn’t depend on us: our ability to do good or conquer sin. It’s a gift from God. It’s not by works, so we can’t boast we did anything in ourselves to get saved (Eph 2:8-9).
Only Faith Produces Salvation
Old Testament prophets tried to understand how this glorious salvation could come to us by faith in Christ’s crucifixion, and then how the glory of God would also come to us who believe. He then says this is all explained by those who preach the GOSPEL to us. Peter says the prophets knew it was not for them, but only for us who believe the gospel of Christ’s finished work on the cross (I Pet 1:9-12).
This is a little bit more than just ‘raising your hand’ to say you vote for Jesus. It’s a little bit more than saying ‘the sinner’s prayer’ only once in your life. Jesus says to ‘follow him.’ That means to believe in him and abide by (obey) his teachings. As we just saw, we are judged for not obeying his gospel (II Thes 1:7-9 revisited).
Belief in Jesus, and believing his gospel is a lifelong continuing to live in the reality of the Kingdom of God on earth.
It doesn’t take work, but it does take belief. We are told Jesus kept his Father’s commands for us. Then he says we are to keep his commands (John 15:10-14). This means to believe and live the gospel, which is a blessing, not work. It says Jesus’ commands are not demanding (I John 5:3).
Jesus Says, “I Have Chosen You”
Jesus so clearly says, “You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you” (John 15:16). He has chosen us out of the world (John 15:19). If we are chosen, then we are chosen.
If we believe him, and accept the fact that Jesus chose us (which we know if we regularly relate to him at all), then all we do is take the hand he offers and say thank you.
So often someone says, “I found the Lord.” No, he wasn’t lost. You were.
When Was It that We Were Chosen?
Oh my gosh, this verse will blow your mind if you truly see what it is saying. God even chose us to be in him “before the foundation of the world” (Eph 1:4). Wow!
And Paul doesn’t just say this once. As he so often does, he repeats himself in different ways — just so we get it (if we have ears to hear). He says repeating things isn’t grievous to him but for us it is ‘safe’ (Phil 3:1). He says, “God has saved us with a holy calling, NOT due to works, but according to his own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus BEFORE the world began” (II Tim 1:9).
How can we think we have anything at all to do with our salvation when our salvation was decreed by God long, long, long, long before we were even born? Even before the foundation of the world— before it began? We’ll talk about this again when we talk about election and predestination.
Some Things We Just Can’t Understand
We can’t understand these verses in our mind. I often say, “The gospel is not logical.” God’s thoughts and ways are far above our thinking (Isa 55:8-9). But the gospel is HOW we can think God’s thoughts and ways if we will BELIEVE him. Thus we are called ‘believers,’ not ‘understanders.’ To just trust God enough to believe him is often all we can do.
Titus 1:2 says, “In hope of eternal life, which God, who CANNOT LIE, promised before the world began.” That should be enough to settle things for any true ‘believer.’
Jesus’ Commands Are Not Grievous
Let’s think about love a little more. So often preachers say that our great command today is to LOVE: (1) God, and then (2) others. It says this in Matthew 22:37-40.
Coaching Session #2 is about God’s unconditional, eternal love for us. But love is really one fruit of God’s Spirit, as is ALL things God gives us (Gal 5:22). It is not a command to our flesh: “Just go out and love more!” The gospel LEADS us into loving, it doesn’t PUSH us to love.
Here in Matthew, Jesus said this about loving God and others while responding to a TRICK question from a LAWYER about the LAW (Matt 22:35). Jesus does say that a command is for us to love others. He was talking about the law of the OLD Testament that the lawyer asked him about.
In the law we were INITIATORS: it was our job to just do it. In the gospel, Jesus shows us how our loving God and others is not grounded in us, but in HIM. He is the initiator, not us. We are the responders. In the gospel of the truth of his love for us he says, “Love others AS I have loved you.”
Thus his commands are not grievous and demanding as the commands were in the Old Testament. We’re told that under that system no one could keep them (Acts 15:10). No one was righteous under that OLD system (Rom 3:10). In the NEW Testament, we are told that Christ is the END of the law, if we are believers (Rom 10:4) — believers in the NEW gospel Jesus brought.
The Old system was set aside and abolished for the sake of the New Covenant gospel (Heb 9:9-10, 10:9). We talk about this at length in Coaching Session #3.
“The Lost Command of Jesus”
It is like the gospel is ‘the lost command of Jesus’ (Mark 1:15). Jesus says preaching the Kingdom of God (revealed by the gospel) is the reason he was sent (Luke 4:43). The
gospel must be preached in all the world before the end will come (Matt 24:14). It is so important even angels preach it from heaven to people on earth (Rev 14:6). Preaching the gospel is OUR job, not the job of angels (Mark 16:15).
Paul says, “Woe to me if I do NOT preach the gospel.”
Remember that the first words out of the mouth of our Lord was concerning the gospel: “Believe the gospel.” It is not labeled as a ‘command,’ but it is definitely a command. I can tell my wife Eileen it is her turn to do something, and not say, “I command you to…”
I call the gospel ‘the lost command of Jesus.’ This is because so few preachers truly see the truth of the gospel. Paul says most of them are ‘instructors in Christ,’ and there’s 10,000 of them who preach the law (I Cor 4:15). He says they don’t even understand what they are saying or sound so confident in preaching (I Tim 1:7).
Like ordinary Christians, Satan blinds their minds and hearts to the gospel (II Cor 4:4).
Don’t Try To Live the Old Testament Law
Let me say, as far as salvation goes:
If you live in any form of law, you cannot have
any assurance of your salvation.
Now, why is this? It is because living by law produces guilt in you (Rom 3:19). The Old Covenant law is the ministry of condemnation, and the New Covenant gospel is the ministry of righteousness (II Cor 3:6, 3:9). Putting the two together is like trying to mix oil and water. They don’t mix. Paul says trying to live by the Old puts a veil over our heart (II Cor 3:15-17).
Old Covenant law is living in SELF, in what you do and do not do. YOU must love God with all your might…YOU must love others as yourself. We’re told repeatedly the law was done away with — abandoned — abolished, and it was replaced by the New Covenant gospel (again, session #3).
You can’t really love someone you are not equal with. If you see them as less than you are, you can take pity on them, give to them, help them, etc. But you can’t love them. They are not equal with you. If you see them as better than you, you look up to them, admire and try to copy them, and even suck up to them. But you can’t love them. They are not equal with you (Coaching Session #10).
Condemnation Does NOT Produce Confidence
The law produces condemnation, so if you live in any part of it you cannot have any assurance of salvation. You can’t feel condemned and have confidence at the same time. This is the main reason God did away with the law. The law spoke to our flesh and carnality, it weakened us and was unprofitable to us (Heb 7:16, 18).
How can you have any assurance of salvation if you think God is mad at you, does not like you, and is going to judge you? It’s a tip-off to me that a person doesn’t understand the gospel if they are in guilt. I say the same thing about God’s unconditional love (coaching session #2).
You cannot know God’s LOVE living under LAW.
You can’t know total authority over Satan living in law. Satan will always convince you there is something else you need to know or do, or not do, in order to contain him. This is discussed in Coaching Session #8.
It’s also true about fear of judgment. Many I coach and counsel are in fear, thinking they will be judged for sin. How can they be if Jesus became sin for us, took away sin, and if God forgets our sin? (Heb 8:12, 10:17). “Have BOLDNESS in the day of judgment” (I John 4:17). You can’t have boldness if you are in fear of being judged (Coaching Session #6).
If you have guilt, you can’t live in God’s GIFT of righteousness (Rom 5:17). Righteousness is necessary to experience salvation (Coaching Session #7). But if we live in righteousness, then the Holy Spirit tells us we are God’s kids (Rom 8:16). If we’re God’s kids, we’re saved, right?
This has been a short “Coaching Session Preview,”
to show you how they all flow together and build.
They are synergistic and centrifugal
— dynamic and empowering.
This all goes to show why God did away with the law, abandoned it and abolished it, because it was defeating us. Everyone failed (Acts 15:10 revisited). The law was contrary to us, and it was against us. This is why Jesus had it nailed to his cross and killed (Col 2:14).
The gospel is the power of God in us (Rom 1:16-17).
Objective vs. Subjective Faith
Most of us have a subjective faith. It is faith we perceive as being born in us, directed by us and acquired by us. It is controlled by what we do and don’t do, and how we see ourselves in relationship with God (our identity). It is
produced from what we think God thinks about us.
Jesus is the Author and Finisher of faith. Faith is about God, not us. If we live in SELF, we can’t truly experience God, and we will never have the assurance of salvation. Thus Jesus says, “Deny yourself” (Lk 9:23).
In the gospel, we have an OBJECTIVE faith.
We simply hear from God in his gospel truth, believe him and have faith in him because we trust him.
Jesus says, “My sheep follow me.” Do you try to follow Jesus, even if you fail? If so, you are saved. The Parables of the Lost Sheep, and the Prodigal Son say God never gives up on us. He always seeks us. But without living his gospel, God sees us as lost sheep without a shepherd.
“Jesus, when he came out, saw many people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd —and he began to TEACH them many things” (Mark 6:34). We know he taught them the GOSPEL. He wouldn’t say we had to believe the gospel, and then preach something different.
God has given us eternal life as a GIFT. This life is in his Son Jesus. (1) If we believe in him, and (2) believe gospel truth, we have life (I John 5:11-13, John 3:36).
God Makes Things Simple For Us
God makes it simple (II Cor 11:3). We complicate things because most of us are subjective, not objective thinkers.
Satan is a big help here too. His confusing ways, and his deceptions never end. His way is difficult while Jesus says his yoke is easy and light (Mat 11:30).
Paul says we think we’re God’s enemies by bad things we do (Col 1:21), but says it’s only in our MINDS! It’s not God’s Kingdom reality. Satan helps here a lot too with his constant accusations.
SATAN wants us to doubt SALVATION by means of the gospel — what this message is all about. If we doubt it, we’re captive to him and his suggestions.
Repent From Wrong Beliefs
Paul says to repent of our wrong beliefs (Jesus says to also in Mark 1:15). Paul say to ask God for repentance to be able to acknowledge gospel his truth (Jesus says to believe gospel truth).
This is how we recover ourselves out of Satan’s snare (II Tim 2:25-26). Note that this implies we start out captive, and in Satan’s snare! We must repent and believe truth to get out! Not believing gospel truth is the main way Satan has us bound and subject to him (Coaching Session #8).
Here it is again: Satan captures us when we don’t believe and live gospel truth. Do NOT let him do this to you.
Wrong belief causes doubt and robs us of any assurance of our salvation. Satan will make absolutely sure of it.
Salvation Is About Our Belief System
I said it earlier, now again. (Paul repeated himself in the Bible so I’m in good company). Salvation is about BELIEF. Period. “For by GRACE you are saved through FAITH, and that not of yourself, but a gift from God” (Eph 2:8).
Even our faith is a gift from God. We don’t initiate anything on our own. “We love because we are first loved.”
We respond, we don’t initiate.
This is so true regarding our SALVATION. We don’t find God, he finds us. And he found us before the foundation of the world! God knows which human spirits will connect with him and which won’t. He just knows. After all, isn’t he God?
If he is past, present and future, “yesterday, today, and forever.” Time is all NOW to him. God just knows.
He knew us before time began. He knows us now. And it is all about him knowing us, spiritually, not us knowing him, naturally (Gal 4:9). In the GOSPEL we trust God, not ourselves. This is what makes it objective, not subjective.
Believe on the Lord Jesus and you’re saved (Acts 16:31). Can God make it any more understandable? Anyone can do this, but our human intellects make us doubt our salvation.
We live in ‘a sophisticated, enlightened world today’ don’t we? (Sick) No, we don’t! We’re the same we’ve always been, since the fall of man in the Garden. The whole rest of the Bible, from Genesis 4 forward, is about REDEMPTION.
We Are One With God (“The Atonement”)
If we trust Jesus, nothing separates us from God’s love (Rom 8:35). This chapter opens with NO CONDEMNATION in Christ, and ends with NO SEPARATION from God’s love.
If you live in some form of guilt, you feel you have not done enough to please God. Then you don’t feel qualified to receive his favor and love and blessings. you do not live in God’s love. You live in self, and self-righteousness, which cannot produce knowledge of salvation and security.
God’s love controls and inspires us, not law (II Cor 5:14). Law prohibits and command (I Tim 4:1-3). Love empowers and guides. “Seek GOD’S Kingdom righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matt 6:33).
We seek OUR own self-righteousness too often, which is empowered by the law (Phil 3:9) Paul says keep our mind on his righteousness as a free gift to us, and submit ourselves to it — and let it govern our lives (Rom 5:17, II Cor 10:5).
This is where our salvation is born! God’s righteousness helps us greatly in being assured of our salvation.
It’s hard to get our thoughts off US, and on GOD. But this is what the gospel is all about. We are consumed with self, and the world, and what Satan is doing to US. The Kingdom of God is not about US, but about GOD. If we come to see this, everything is more simple.
Other Aspects of the Gospel Follow This
Here’s the bottom line. The gospel contains many more aspects. But if you don’t have absolute, total assurance of your salvation, you cannot heed the other gospel aspects as well. It all begins HERE! Knowing our salvation is like the first domino that causes the rest to tumble!
We’re told to live in total confidence before God (I John 3:20-21), BUT…if we don’t live in what has been described, we can’t do this. It is humanly impossible. We must live in HIM. Remember: we are meant to live in boldness in God, even in judgment (I John 4:17). We are to come boldly before the throne of grace (Heb 4:16). But we must have gospel faith, beginning with salvation to do this.
“The just shall live by faith.”
This is ‘the battle cry’ of the New Testament.
“Do This In Remembrance of ME”
It is all about what God does FOR us in the cross of Jesus. Communion is taken in remembrance of HIM: what he has done for us, — not what WE did last week, or last night, or in our dreams.
So many communion services focus on us — what we did last night or last week.
And it is true we need to deal with our sin because, at least in OUR minds, it is what condemns us (Col 1:21), and keeps us distant from God. This may not be true from his perspective, if we are maturing and growing in Christ, but it is from ours. But our first thought should be about what Jesus has done for us — taking away sin, and becoming sin for us. This is taking communion “In remembrance of me.”
Let’s Talk About Matthew 7:21-23
This passage buries many believers! Jesus said these words, “Depart from me, I never knew you.” He was talking to people who seemed to be Christian ‘high rollers.’ They were prophesying in the name of Jesus, and using his name to cast out demons, and they did many wonderful works.
Judging from their works, if they were not saved, I wonder if I am! Most of the time, I don’t do near the stuff they were doing.
This is the thought so many Christians have, and it puts them in fear. Jesus says they were ‘lawless.’ The KJV says ‘iniquity.’ In other words, they did what they did outside of the Kingdom standard set for us by Jesus. He always blesses us. Abba Father’s whole gospel agenda is to bless us! This is why we are meant to believe Jesus: so we lived blessed lives (Acts 3:36, Eph 1:3, II Cor 2:2).
I would term it self-righteousness. They did something in SELF that they should be doing in GOD. They were just using the name of Jesus because they had been taught to do so at some healing seminar, or at a spiritual warfare symposium. Many do this today!
In Acts 19, there is a passage about some ‘vagabond Jews,’ which means they had defected to Christianity, and also some sons of a priest (active Jews working with them). They were all trying to exorcise a demon.
They said to the demon, “We adjure you by Jesus, whom PAUL preaches.” Here, we know they didn’t have a personal relationship with Jesus, and so the demon beat them up and sent them running off — even naked it says.
I believe this is what was happening here in Matthew. They didn’t know Jesus, but were just using his name. In fact Jesus says, “Depart from me, I NEVER knew you.” They’d never had a personal relationship with him, but just used his name. This is what the men were doing in Acts 19.
We know this further from Matthew 7:24-27. Here it talks about building on the Rock of Jesus, vs. the sand of religion, law, theology, works, opinions, etc. These people were building on the sand only, not on the Rock of Jesus. There is no other foundation that we can lay except it be on Christ Jesus (I Cor 3:11). He is the Rock. One of his parables describes the foundation being discarded, meaning they just ignored Jesus.
Correct Belief vs. Good Behavior
Our job is belief not behavior! If we live in correct belief, our behavior is automatically better. A favorite sayings of mine is this:
will never produce correct belief,
but correct belief
will eventually produce good behavior.”
Correct belief is being connected to God in all we do. This is what the gospel does for us!
If all we produce is good behavior, we’re stuck in the mud. We never are ‘good enough.’ There’s always something to do better, or next. But if our focus is correct gospel belief, then the process and power of God takes over and produces good things.
The Christian life is not OUR responsibility, but our
response to HIS ability. We all fail trying to live the Christian life to its fullness. Correct gospel belief is the power of God.
“The Salvage Company” — Roy and Me
I identify with Matthew 7 in some ways. Roy Warren and I performed as The Salvage Company in over 200 churches. We called ourselves ‘gospel salt and pepper’ — I was white, Roy was black. Our mantle was: “The Gospel in Song and Scripture.” Roy recited the KJV from memory.
I have two recordings of us here: http://thegospelcoach.com/the-salvage-company-a-duo.
We thought we were Christians, coming from a Methodist church, but we were not. We weren’t believers. The churches all thought we were great. People got saved at our events: crying, praying and rejoicing.
Roy and I would look at each other and ask, “What in the world are they doing?” We didn’t have a clue! We were clueless about salvation. We did things ‘in the name of Jesus,’ without knowing Jesus. Jesus might have said to us, “I never knew you, depart from me.” But he didn’t.
We didn’t have a clue what the gospel was. But I came to Jesus through what we did. I just knew there was something I was lacking. I don’t know about Roy. He got angry at me for breaking us up. But I just came to see we were not in God, let alone having any revelation of the finished work of Christ, which is the gospel. I tried to re-connect with Roy, but he moved to Washington state, so I never did.
Doubts and Unbelief
Doubts and unbelief are just part of the human equation to work out (Phil 2:12-13). We have them at times. As the man said to Jesus, “Lord, I believe, but help my unbelief.”
One thing we should come to NOT doubt is our salvation. I hope this message helps in that, if it’s something you need. If we’re only 75% sure of our salvation, our belief percentage for everything else in the gospel will only be 75% — or less.
Salvation is based on God, not us. Our part in the whole thing is to trust God enough to believe him, and commit to live by ALL aspects of his gospel. If we do this, then all the gospel aspects empower our lives.
Doubting salvation, we tend to doubt everything more.
Eternal Life Defined
Jesus defines eternal life as knowing the Father, and knowing him (John 17:3). In Philippians 3:10 Paul says it is:
(1) knowing Jesus,
(2) the power of his resurrection,
(3) being joined as one to his sufferings for us,
(4) being made to be conformed to his death (Phil 3:10).
Elsewhere he says it’s also about us being resurrected with him too, and also ascended with him (Ephesians 2:6 says we are seated with him in heaven, even though we are here).
That one takes some real belief! But again, we are believers, not understanders. This verse totally changed my belief about spiritual warfare. God showed me that every demon of hell saw me as being seated with Jesus himself. Wow!
The most important thing is being known BY God (Gal 4:9). It’s even more important than knowing God. If we have come to Jesus, then he knows us! Jesus turns NO one away!
When Is the Day of Salvation?
Paul says the day of salvation occurred 2,000 years ago on the cross, and all he knew was ‘Christ crucified’ (II Cor 6:2, I Cor 2:2). If our trust and belief is in the cross of his finished work then we are saved. Period!
Salvation is through faith in Jesus (II Tim 3:15).
We are heirs of salvation (Heb 1:14). This naturally means belief in Jesus, but if we do then we are heirs of ALL things that are his (Rom 8:17, Eph 1:18).
Jesus is the AUTHOR of our salvation to everyone who obeys him (Heb 5:10). We’ve already seen that his commands are not grievous to us, like the Old Testament was. Here, he talks of (1) belief in him, (2) gospel belief, and (3) love. This is not a heavy burden we can’t carry. God’s grace GIVES us salvation (Titus 2:11). We only have to accept it. So take it!
This bears repeating: “God has from the beginning chosen you to salvation through
(1) sanctification by the Spirit, and
(2) belief in the truth” (II Thes 2:13).
Our part in salvation’s equation is belief in gospel truth.
If we don’t live in gospel truth, we do not have assurance of salvation. To any degree we live in law, it will CRUSH our assurance, because law depends on us, and we don’t have what it takes to get saved.
“Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Rom 10:13). Can it be any more clear?
“He who believes my word (the gospel), and believes on him who sent me (God), has everlasting life.” We don’t come into judgment but pass from death to life (John 5:24). Can God make it any more simple?
“Whoever comes to me I will in NO way cast out” (John 6:37). “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. NO one will pluck them out of my hand” (John 10:28). Jesus can’t lie: he is the truth. “I go to prepare a place for you… if it were not so, I would have told you” (John 14:2-3).
If we have the Son, and believe on him, we have eternal life (I John 5:11-13).
God makes it all so simple in Jesus (II Cor 11:3). His yoke is easy and light (Matt 11:30). Again, God must make it easy and simple or some folks would not be able to be saved.
Foreknowledge of God, Predestination and Election
Many Christians struggle over the the issues of God’s foreknowledge, predestination and election. But the fact is they are in the Bible, so they cannot be denied. The only issue is how we interpret and understand them. Personally, I don’t think we are supposed to figure it out. I think it’s one of those mysteries of the gospel that we are just meant to trust God about. You’ll see more what I mean when we get to the end of this.
I think God gave us these concepts to make us realize it is all about HIM, and it is not all about US.
Starting in Romans and Ephesians
“For those God FOREKNEW he also PREDESTINED to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified he also glorified” (Rom 8:29-30).
We see both ideas: ‘foreknowledge’ and ‘predestination’ in this same passage, therefore it’s a good place to start.
In Romans we see that God determined beforehand that some people would be conformed to the image of his Son Jesus, and thus be justified and glorified. In other words, this means that certain people will be saved, others not.
“He predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will……. in him we were also chosen, having been PREDESTINED according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will” (Eph 1:5, 11).
Many Christians cannot accept predestination, but it is stated in the Bible. They prefer being in control with their free will. The term means ‘to determine beforehand.’
There Is Definitely An ‘Elect’
In scripture there is an ‘elect’ (Mat 24:22, Mk 13:20). The elect are gathered by angels (Mt 24:31, Mk 13:27). There is nothing against God’s elect (Rom 8:33). It’s a matter of God’s election, not about our works (Rom 9:11). Our election is by the grace of God (Rom 11:5-7).
The fact we are chosen before the foundation of the world speaks to election (Eph 1:4). Paul talks about believers being God’s elect (Col 3:12). And we are to know that we are in the election of God (I Thes 1:4).
Paul says the GOSPEL reveals the truth of Jesus being raised from the dead, and therefore he endures all things for the elect’s sake, that we might obtain salvation in Jesus (II Tim 2:8-10).
The word ‘OBTAIN’ throws a lot of people off who do not do word studies, because they define it as what they think it means, and not what the original language meant.
In the Greek the word ‘obtain’ means to allow God to bring it to pass, not us. It means to make it effective in our lives by receiving truth and knowing something belongs to you. So it’s God’s work, not man’s work, except that we must make it effective BY KNOWING AND RECEIVING IT. That sounds like the work of belief, doesn’t it?
How To Know We Are Part of the Elect
Titus 1:1 says we know we are part of the elect of God
(1) If we have faith that we are, and
(2) If we acknowledge the truth of God (the gospel).
So we come right back to believing the gospel again. Titus 1:2 then says eternal life (including abundant life on earth) was promised by God before the world began. This speaks to Ephesians 1:4 and II Timothy 1:9, which talk about all of this being decided before time as we know it.
Paul says it is all revealed in the preaching that was ‘committed unto him.’ This means the gospel! This is the only revelation committed unto Paul by our Father and his Son.
First Peter Chapter 1
There is a lot said in this chapter on this subject.
Verse 2 talks about believers being elect according to the FOREKNOWLEDGE of God. Verse 4 talks about an inheritance being reserved in heaven for believers. Verse 5 says we are ‘kept by the power of God unto salvation.’ Verse 8 says it is our BELIEF that produces unspeakable joy.
Our faith produces the desired end: our salvation (vs. 9).
The Old Testament prophets prayed to God, and tried to figure out what this salvation meant that was coming to us through the grace of God that they didn’t know in their time (vs. 10). They wanted to know the time all of this applied to because they knew it wasn’t for them, but they knew it had to do with the suffering of Christ, that we know as his
crucifixion (vs. 11).
This is all revealed to us by the GOSPEL (vs. 12).
Peter adds that even the angels didn’t understand it all and sought to understand it.
Peter goes on, a few verses later, to define all of this as occurring because of the precious blood of Jesus shed for us, and it was all planned before the foundation of the world. It says it is all for believers (vs. 19-21).
It’s ours by being purified by believing truth (vs. 22).
This causes us to be born again and saved (vs. 23) It all comes alive by the GOSPEL given to us (vs. 25).
First Peter Chapter 2
Peter shows us that if we BELIEVE, as we should, then Jesus is central to us, and all life is based on our faith in God as he spoke about in chapter 1 (I Pet 2:7). But then he goes on to say that we stumble over our thinking about salvation, and about everything else if we are ‘disobedient to the word to which we were appointed’ (vs. 8). Being disobedient means to be unbelieving.
And what is ‘the word to which we were appointed’? It is stated to be the GOSPEL (I Pet 1:25).
There are many lukewarm Christians, as spoken about in Revelation 3:15-16, who claim they believe in Jesus, but when it comes down to it they don’t believe what Jesus says. In other words they don’t take it into account, receive it into them and live it. In this passage in Revelation, it says God would rather have us hot or cold, but if we’re lukewarm, he spits us out of his mouth.
Why would God rather have us hot or cold, not lukewarm?
If we’re hot, it means we’re turned ON to him, and ‘trucking for Jesus.’ Being cold means we’re turned OFF to spiritual things, and if we are, we’re going to hit a dead end so we’ll consider other options, which will hopefully include God. But if we are lukewarm, we just exist in the status quo. We don’t seeking anything more. We’re just content.
But the bottom line in this chapter is if we don’t believe the word of truth of the gospel, and the reality of God’s Kingdom on earth, we drift and blindly stumble along.
First Peter Chapter 4
Now we go over to I Peter 4:6 and learn that this is all revealed to us by the GOSPEL, so we might live according to God in the spirit, not in our flesh. Paul tells us it is the law that produces action by the flesh. We must be dead to the law in order to live in God (Gal 2:19 revisited). Paul says if we even have an ounce of law we’re living by, then Christ is of no effect to us and doesn’t profit us (Gal 5:2, 4).
So we’re right back to the power of the gospel in us. It is the gospel that draws us to God and causes us to live in him.
Verse 17 says God’s judgment begins with his people, and those who do not believe, obey and live his GOSPEL that his Son came to bring us (Acts 3:23-26). This is the message he told Moses he would REQUIRE us to live (Deut 18:15-19). This is a thought worth repeating.
Romans 10:16 says not all God’s people obey the gospel.
Can I remind you: the only reason God gives us the gospel is not to DEMAND from us, but to BLESS us.
The Old Testament law
demanded from us what it could not produce.
The New Testament gospel
gives to us what it does not demand.
What the Gospel Does For Us
The gospel does so much for us. It blesses us in so many ways it’s almost insane. Thus, again, when many folks hear the true gospel truth they just label it as ‘too good to be true.’ They say it is ‘unbelievable.’
The gospel just BEGINS giving us total assurance of our salvation, and then goes on to give us many more things: as Paul frequently says, ‘Much more.’
If we truly have assurance of our salvation, we come to see how the foreknowledge of God has predestined us for this salvation. This is our subject here. It has been ours since before time — since before the world began!
Second Peter chapter 3:14-16
Peter closes his letter by talking about the fact that we are meant to be found in God in peace, and totally blameless because of the finished work of Jesus. Recall God forgets our sin, so how can he blame us for what he has forgotten?
He goes on to talk about our SALVATION, that Paul writes us about in his epistles, revealing the wisdom given to him. He then talks about how, even though some things are hard to understand, if we don’t BELIEVE them, we are unstable and it brings a type of destruction into our lives.
They are hard to understand because we reason them out in our minds, rather than just believe them. We forget God’s thoughts are much higher than ours. This is why the GOSPEL is all about us believing God.
Going Back to the Basics of the Gospel
Romans 1:16 speaks of us believing unto salvation.
This is our first assignment as believing Christians. If we do not being here, we stumble, get off track and are unstable.
And the foreknowledge of God, and his predestination of our salvation should only cause us to believe it even more. The gospel begins with us believing our salvation.
Romans chapter 10
“If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (vs. 9). “For with the heart we believe (the gift of) righteousness, and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation” (vs. 10). “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (vs. 13).
What we confess and believe is not just an historical fact, that Jesus was crucified and God raise him from the dead. It means a personal belief that Jesus was crucified and raised from the dead FOR ME — AND FOR YOU. Paul says this is all caused by believing ‘the word of faith’ he preaches (vs. 8). Paul only preached the gospel (Acts 20:24).
God’s Sovereignty vs. Man’s Free Will
The difference between God’s sovereignty and man’s free will or free choice has been debated for 2,000 years. I think God put this dilemma in the Bible for us to discuss and keep us occupied with something. But does it really matter?
God knows we’re very cerebral. We love to wrestle with academics. We love our EIBs (educated idiot boxes). Most of us live very subjectively, not objectively. We want to figure things out. Thus Jesus asks us, “Why do you reason?”
Here’s a good question: did God give us
the issue of sovereignty vs. free choice
as a TEST, to see if we’d truly TRUST him?
— or just trust our own human reasoning?
If God Works In Us We Are Saved
First, with regard to everyday life, we are meant to be confident (trust God) that he is working in us to complete good work that he has begun in our salvation (Phil 1:6). This is accomplished by us fellowshipping in the gospel (Phil 1:5). We know if he is doing this — or if we are just off on a lark of our own doing our own thing.
Second, with regard to eternity, which is what salvation is all about ultimately Paul says, “We speak of God’s secret weapon, a wisdom that’s been hidden and that God destined for our glory BEFORE TIME BEGAN. . . No eye has seen, and no ear has heard, and no mind has conceived what God has PREPARED for those who love him” (I Cor 2:7-9).
We are told God has put eternity in our hearts. Well, not everyone in the world has eternity in their heart. But if we do, we know we are his, both now, and in eternity.
It is the gospel that makes us come to know God’s love for us, and thus our love for him (session #2). “We love because he first loved us.” If we love God, we know he has prepared a place for us in him. This is salvation!
If we love God, we know he loves us and we are his!
Foreknowledge And Election Are Obvious
The fact that there is the foreknowledge of God, and his election of some people really cannot be argued. The Bible states it (Eph 1:4-5, 11, Rom 8:29-30, I Thes 1:4). What is at issue is what God means by this!
If you think of this as God being ‘arbitrary and capricious,’ as we lawyers are known to say, then you will continually struggle with this issue in your head — your cerebrum — your EIB. But if you live by faith, it’s really not a struggle at all. And we know “the just SHALL live by faith.”
You see, it is FAITH that the foreknowledge of God sees. Some people live in faith and some people don’t. Some live with eternity in their hearts, and others don’t. Some live in love with God, and others don’t. I think this is what God sees.
If we truly believe and live the gospel, we have faith in God, and trust him, and know we are saved. It’s not an academic question, and it’s not something based on what we do or don’t do. The Rich Young Ruler asked Jesus, “What must I do to have eternal life?” He had faith in SELF.
How can you know if you are one of the elect, and have been predestined by God? It’s because you believe. It’s due to your living in faith. Ultimately this means faith and belief in God’s message to us by his Son Jesus: the gospel.
If you don’t live in faith, and in trust in God (meaning trust in the finished work of Jesus on the cross) you probably are NOT one of the elect, and are not predestined. If you trust in Jesus alone, you are saved.
The religion of man, theology, law, and the fantasy of the mind can cloud this. If you allow this, the gospel is NOT your foundation. Again, Jesus asks, “Why do you reason?”
I’ll say it again: we are called BELIEVERS for a reason.
Being Responders vs. Initiators
We saw this before: in the gospel, we only respond to God, we do not initiate anything. If you are responding to God, there is no question but that you are saved. If you are not responding to God, you are probably not saved.
Romans 11:36 very clearly says, “For of him, and through him, and to him are ALL things.” Paul asks, “What do you have that you did not receive?” (I Cor 4:7). The fact is we receive ALL things, including saving faith.
ALL things of God begin with him drawing us (John 6:44, 6:65). Jesus says, “My sheep know my voice.” This doesn’t mean we hear an audible voice, or even that we hear clearly and with no questions that what we hear is God all the time.
But we know his PRESENCE in us. Paul says the Kingdom of God is (1) righteousness, (2) peace and (3) joy in the Holy Spirit. Salvation is knowing we are right with God — not due to us or anything we do or don’t do — but because of him and the finished work of the cross of Jesus. This causes peace and joy in us — a knowing of our salvation. This is living in grace by means of faith (Eph 2:8-9).
Saving faith requires foreknowledge, divine election and predestination. God moves on us, we don’t move in on him.
The idea of someone desiring to be saved, but being unable to get saved because they’re not elected, is NOTHING the Bible speaks to. God is not arbitrary and capricious. Jesus says, “ANYONE who comes to me I will never turn away.”
We cannot seek after God’s eternity, plan, and divine purpose for us. The human mind is not capable of this. God knows our hearts and invades our hearts with gospel truth.
If you believe Christ’s gospel, you are saved.
Without the Gospel We’re Blind To Life
The gospel truth of God — his Kingdom reality — is meant to transform our minds. It is meant to straighten out our thinking so we think more like God than like human beings.
Those who do not know Jesus are blind to not knowing him and his gospel (II Cor 4:3-4). Sadly, because of all the theology and wisdom of man preached today, Satan also blinds Christians to gospel truth. They listen to too many voices. They aren’t sheep who know Christ’s gospel voice, because his words to us are his gospel.
Have you ever seen how Paul describes the ministry that God gave him? “To open their eyes. To turn them from darkness to light, from the power of Satan unto God.”
Fantasy says we believe IN Jesus but don’t believe him.
It is God who grants us repentance unto life —so we may believe (Acts 11:18). It’s God who gives us repentance so we can acknowledge his gospel truth (II Tim 2:25). If we don’t accept this repentance, and believe gospel truth, we remain in captivity and in the power of Satan (II Tim 2:26).
Repentance is very important. We must repent from wrong belief, to come into right belief! Once we are living in correct belief, God can more easily deal with us concerning repentance from sin. But if we’re not in correct belief, we will be in wrong belief about sin too. I will repeat one of my favorite maxims again:
Good behavior will never produce correct belief.
But correct belief eventually produces good behavior.
Here’s the bottom line! If you’ve put your trust in Jesus and in his finished work on the cross for your salvation, knowing this is the payment for your sins, then you are one of the elect of God. This is believing IN Jesus. Then your faith is in his gospel truth, and you follow and believe him, as his sheep hearing his voice. Gospel revelation of God’s foreknowledge, predestination and election is meant to give us greater assurance of our salvation. See this: if Jesus told us to only believe his gospel, there is nothing else he speaks to us!
The video and power point will follow as I have time.
This site, as are my other 3 sites, are a labor of love.
They are all on-going and cumulative. The other 9 coaching
sessions on the other 9 aspects of the gospel will follow:
(2) God’s love, (3) the abolished law, (4) abundant life of faith,
(5) grace and favor, (6) sin is dealt with, (7) righteousness,
(8) spiritual authority, (9) God’s presence and power, and
finally: (10) the gospel is the great equalizer.
Plus, there are two other aspects on another site of mine
that don’t deal with living life in abundance here on earth:
(1) GOD OF DEATH: The Ultimate Life Experience, and
(2) HEAVEN IS REAL: Set Your Affection On It
In addition to my 4 sites, instead of being retired,
I’m also busy with our family wedding business: