THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN ASSURANCE

Pastor Floyd Koenig

INTRODUCTION

It is the will of the Lord that we enjoy the assurance of salvation. During His earthly ministry, our Savior assured with His own lips those who believed in Him (Jn. 14:1-3; Lk. 23:43).

Having ascended to Heaven, our Savior has sent us another Comforter. The Holy Spirit has now a very definite work in producing assurance of salvation.

I. SOME BASIC TRUTHS CONCERNING THE DOCTRINE OF ASSURANCE A. THE POSSIBILITY OF ASSURANCE.

1. Godís people have experienced assurance in the past.

a. The Psalmist had the assurance of dwelling in the house not made with hands eternal in the heavens (Ps. 23:6).

b. Paul was assured that when he left this world, he would immediately go to be with the Lord (II Cor. 5:1,8; Phil. 1:21-23).

c. The descendants of Abraham who died in faith, had assurance of entering into the presence of God in heaven (Heb. 11:13-16).

d. John knew that to be a child of God by faith, was to be assured that when Christ appeared the second time, the believer shall be fashioned in the likeness of His glorious body (I Jn. 3:2).

2. Godís Word asserts that we may have assurance. a. Those in Christ can know that they have eternal life (I Jn. 5:13).

b. The believer has passed from spiritual death to eternal life (I Jn. 3:14).

3. God commands us to seek assurance. a. We are to make our calling and election sure (II Pet. 1:10).

b. We are to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith (II Cor. 13:5).

4. Godís grace is the basis of assurance (Rom. 4:16).

B. ASSURANCE OF SALVATION IS NECESSARY TO BOTH THE JOY AND THE SERVICE OF THE BELIEVER.

1. The basis of our rejoicing is the certainty of our salvation (Lk. 10:20; Rom. 5:1-2).

2. Christian service is not motivated by fear but rather by assurance (Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:4-7).

- We do not serve God as trembling servants, but as rejoicing children (Gal. 5:6).

C. THE BASIS OF ASSURANCE.

1. Our Christian experience does play a part in our assurance when it is based on Godís Word.

- We must not base our assurance upon experiences that have no Biblical basis.

2. Godís Word is the basis of our faith, and the judge of our experience.

II. THE WORK OF THE SPIRIT IN ASSURANCE The works of the Spirit in producing assurance are many. We will divide them into three categories.

A. THE TERMS UPON WHICH GOD OFFERS THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS ARE REPENTANCE AND FAITH (Acts 20:21; Jn. 3:16; Lk. 13:3; Acts 10:43; 17:30; Lk. 24:46-47).

-While both repentance and faith are acts of man, yet they are made possible by the enabling power of the Holy Spirit.

1. True repentance is a change of mind, purpose and life.

- It involves:

a. A conviction of personal guilt and sinfulness.

b. An understanding of Godís mercy in Christ.

c. An actual hatred of sin and turning from it to God (II Cor. 7:10).

d. A desire to be forgiven and cleansed from sin (Acts 3:19).

- The truly repentant sinner desires salvation from the penalty, power and presence of sin.

- The apostle Paul was called out of his sins and commissioned by the Lord to preach repentance (Acts 26:16-20).

2. True saving faith is a saving grace, whereby we receive and rest upon Christ alone for salvation, as He is offered to us in the Gospel.

- True faith involves:

a. A spiritual conviction of the truth of the gospel (I Cor. 2:4-5; I Thess. 1:4-5; 2:13).

b. A whole-hearted looking to Christ Jesus for salvation (Rom. 10:8-10; Acts 16:30-31).

- Assurance is the consequence of putting our faith in Christ.

- Assurance will come as a result of studying the Scriptures and applying them in our lives (I Jn. 5:13).

Without repentance of sin and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, there can be no assurance.

B. THE FRUIT OF REGENERATION.

How does a person know that he is truly saved? The entire book of I John was written to answer this question (I Jn. 5:13).

John tells us that if we are truly born again there will be certain evidences of this in our lives.

The believer finds assurance in seeing these marks of regeneration being produced in his own heart.

The Holy Spirit bears co-witness with our own spirit to the certainty of our sonship (Rom. 8:16).

Our Lord said that a tree is known by its fruit (Mt. 7:17-20). What kind of fruit are you producing in your life?

Paul knew that the Thessalonians were elect because of the Spiritís work in their lives (I Thess. 1:4-6).

Letís consider some marks of regeneration that will be evident in the lives of true believers.

- There will be:

1. An awareness of personal sinfulness (I Jn. 1:8,10; Mt. 5:3-4; Rom. 7:22-25).

2. A new desire to obey God (I Jn. 2:3; 5:2-3; 3:18-19; Rom. 8:14).

3. A love for Godís people (I Jn. 3:14-15).

4. A faith that lasts (I Jn. 5:4).

5. A desire to hear and obey Godís Word (Jn. 10:27; I Jn 4:6).

6. A love for God (I Jn. 4:19).

7. A new attitude toward this worldís system (I Jn. 2:15).

- These marks do not save, but rather, reveal that we are saved (II Cor. 5:17).

- Are these characteristics evident in your life?

C. THE WITNESS OF THE SPIRIT.

1. The Holy Spirit bears witness to the fact of our salvation.

- This witness of the Spirit is an inner testimony of Godís love for us and His acceptance of us through Christ.

2. The Holy Spirit is sometimes referred to as the "spirit of adoption" (Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:6-7)

a. This is because He actually causes the believer to feel like a child of God and incites him to run to God in prayer.

b. Those who trust in Christ are free of the spirit of bondage and very naturally look to God as their "Father."

c. The Holy Spirit enables them to feel like "sons" rather than "servants" of God (Gal. 4:5-7).

3. Godís Spirit sheds the love of God into our hearts (Rom. 5:5). a. We actually may experience the love that God has to us (I Jn. 4:16).

b. Christ promised to manifest Himself to those who love Him (Jn. 14:21).

c. He sups with those that open unto Him (Rev. 3:20).

4. The witness of the Spirit is the highest form of assurance, and every child of God should desire to experience it in his heart and life (Jas. 4:7).
CONCLUSION

Let us not be satisfied with a mere knowledge of this truth.

What profit is there in knowing about assurance, if we do not possess it?
 
 

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