Being sure about Salvation - Part 1


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This presentation is part one of three that looks at the issue of what the true evidences of salvation are.

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Being sure about Salvation - Part 1

  1. 1. Being Sure About Salvation
  2. 2. The Great Awakening The Great Awakening was a religious revival in American religious history. Historians and theologians identify three or four waves of Great Awakening occurring from the early 18th century to the late 20th century, eachcharacterized by widespread revivals led by evangelical Protestant ministers, a sharp increase of interest in religion, a profound sense of conviction and redemption on the part of those affected, a jump in evangelical church membership, and the formation of new religious movements and denominations.
  3. 3. The First Great AwakeningThe First Great Awakening began in 1725 and lasted to about 1750. Leaders of the Awakening included Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield. Great numbers of people were claiming conversions. About six years afterwards, critics charged there was nothing real about the Awakening because many people who claimed to have been converted showed no evidence of it. Does this sound at all like what sometimes happens today?
  4. 4. Jonathan Edwards RespondsTo respond to the critics of theAwakening, Jonathan Edwards wrote “A Treatise ConcerningReligious Affections”, which he used to outline the evidence of true conversion – who wasreally a Christian and who was either a pretender and/or someone who was self- deceived.
  5. 5. Is there a way to tell who is a true Christian and who is not?
  6. 6. “There is no question whatsoever, that is of greater importance to mankind, and what is more concerns every individual person to be well resolved in, than this: What are the distinguishingqualifications of those that arein favor with God, and entitled to his eternal rewards?” -Jonathan EdwardsA Treatise Concerning Religious Affections Page 1
  7. 7. Three Alternatives for the Salvation Experience1. Permanent nature of regeneration in reality; permanent nature of regeneration in experience2. Temporary nature of regeneration in reality; Temporary nature of regeneration in experience3. Permanent nature of regeneration in reality; temporary nature of regeneration in experience
  8. 8. God Doesn’t Want True Believers to Doubt “These things I have written to you whobelieve in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.” (1 John 5:13)
  9. 9. “And by what is seen of the terrible consequences of this counterfeitreligion, when not distinguished fromtrue religion, God’s people in general have their minds unhinged and unsettled in things of religion, and know not where to set their foot, or what to think or do; and many are brought into doubts, whether there be anything in religion, and heresy, and infidelity, and atheism greatly prevail.” -Jonathan Edwards
  10. 10. “I was once asked by a Hindufriend: ‘If this conversion is trulysupernatural, why is it not more evident in the lives of so many Christians that I know?’ That is the one question that trulybothers me. We talk all the time about a God who transforms lives, and yet constantly I must admit that I am surrounded by people who call themselves Christians whose lives have not been transformed.” - Ravi Zacharias
  11. 11. God Doesn’t Want True Believers to Doubt “The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God” (Romans 8:16)
  12. 12. Two Operations of the Holy Spirit 1. Saving Operation: produces salvation and assurance 2. Common Operation: general conviction and impression of God’s goodness
  13. 13. The common operation of the Spirit may “Sober, arrest, and convict men and brings them to what at first appears to be repentance and faith yetthese influences fall short of inward saving renewal.” - Jonathan Edwards
  14. 14. Westminster Confession “This certainty is not a bare conjectural and probable persuasion grounded upon a fallible hope; but an infallible assurance of faith founded upon the divine truth of the promises of salvation, the inward evidence of those graces unto which these promises are made, the testimony of the Spirit of adoption witnessing with ourspirits that we are the children of God, which Spirit is the earnest of our inheritance, whereby we are sealed to the day of redemption.”
  15. 15. But We’re Also Told to Examine Ourselves"Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?" (2 Corinthians 13:5)
  16. 16. But We’re Also Told to Examine Ourselves“Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you” (2 Peter 1:10)
  17. 17. Westminster Confession “Although hypocrites and other unregenerate men may vainly deceivethemselves with false hopes and carnal presumptions of being in the favor of God, and estate of salvation (which hope of theirs shall perish): yet such astruly believe in the Lord Jesus, and love Him in sincerity, endeavoring to walk in all good conscience before Him, may, in this life, be certainly assured that they are in the state of grace, and may rejoice in the hope of the glory of God, which hope shall never make them ashamed.”
  18. 18. What Causes False Assurance?1. Signed a card, walked the aisle, got baptized2. Failure to self-examine their life where sin is concerned3. Fixation on works4. Comparison game with others
  19. 19. “And so it is ever likely to be in the church, whenever religion revives remarkably, till we have learned well to distinguish between true and false religion, between saving affections andexperiences, and those manifold fair shows, and glistering appearances, by which they arecounterfeited; the consequences of which, when they are distinguished, are often inexpressibly dreadful.” - Jonathan Edwards
  20. 20. Overview of the State of the Saved & Unsaved
  21. 21. The Evidences of Being Lost Maturing/Growth Process Love things of world / sin Fleshly Positive / Reject God / Affections Negative things of GodHuman Birth WorksExperience / Reject Spiritual Old Nature Truth Fruit Darkened Mind Mind centered Personal life on self/flesh God & Sinful Motion Self & Holy Things Sinful Things Away From Toward
  22. 22. The Evidences of Being Lost Fleshly Affections “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19–21) “Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would bedishonored among them. . . .For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions” (Romans 1:24, 26) “For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption” (Galatians 6:8)“Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. ” (1 John 2:15)“The one who listens to you listens to Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me; and he who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me.” (Luke 10:16)“For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. ” (John 3:20)
  23. 23. The Evidences of Being Lost Darkened Mind“And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper” (Romans 1:28) “For the mind set on the flesh is death . . . The mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so” (Romans 8:6-7)“So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind” (Ephesians 4:17) “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. ” (1 Corinthians 2:14) “But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ. ” (2 Corinthians 3:14)“in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. ” (2 Corinthians 4:4) “whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things. ” (Philippians 3:19)
  24. 24. “It is affection that engages the covetous man, and him that is greedy of worldly profits, in his pursuits; and it is by the affections, that theambitious man is put forward in pursuit of worldly glory; and it is the affections also that actuate the voluptuous man, in his pursuit of pleasure and sensual delights: the world continues, from age to age, in a continual commotion and agitation, in a pursuit of these things,but take away all affection, and the spring of all this motion would be gone, and the motion itself would cease.” - Jonathan Edwards
  25. 25. “Whatever a manthinks about, when he is free to think about what he will,that is what he is or will soon become.” - A. W. Tozer
  26. 26. The Evidences of Salvation Maturing/Growth Process Love God/Things of God Holy Hate sin / world Positive / / enemies of Affections Negative GodNew Birth / WorksNew Nature Accept Spiritual Truth Fruit Renewed Mind Mind of the Personal life Sprit in Holy living Self & Sinful Holy Motion God & Things Holy Things Away From Toward
  27. 27. The Evidences of Being Saved Holy Affections “But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” (John 3:21) “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. ” (Galatians 5:22–23)“Now as to the love of the brethren, you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; ” (1 Thessalonians 4:9)“For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. ” (2 Timothy 1:7) “By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother. ” (1 John 3:10)
  28. 28. The Evidences of Being Saved Renewed Mind“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. ” (Romans 12:2) “And He said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ ” (Matthew 22:37) “Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures” (Luke 24:45) “For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. ” (Romans 8:5) “and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self” (Ephesians 4:23–24)“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3) “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. ” (Colossians 3:2)
  29. 29. “True religion, in great part, consists in holy affections.” - Jonathan Edwards
  30. 30. The Struggle for Domination “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are inopposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. [the new affections]” (Galatians 5:16–17)“For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. ” (Romans 7:15)
  31. 31. The Move toward Holiness Old Nature God & Sinful Motion Self & Holy Things Sinful Things Away From Toward Disrupts maturity New Nature Self & Sinful Holy Motion God & Things Holy Things Away From Toward
  32. 32. “The principle evidence of life is motion; so theprinciple evidence of saving grace is holy motion.” - Jonathan Edwards
  33. 33. Five Teachings of Christ Provide the Details 1. The beginning of the Sermon on the Mount 2. The end of the Sermon on the Mount 3. The parable of the ten virgins 4. The parable of the sower 5. The parable of the wheat and the tares
  34. 34. The beginning of the Beatitudes
  35. 35. A Checklist of the Saved/Unsaved “And turning His gaze toward His disciples, He began to say, “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. “Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh. “Blessed are youwhen men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man. “Be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, yourreward is great in heaven. For in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets. “But woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving your comfort in full. “Woe to you who are well-fed now, for you shall be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep. “Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way. ” (Luke 6:20–26)
  36. 36. Blessed are the Poor in Spirit“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3)Genuine believers are broken in spirit; they realize their need for a savior and are devoid of a humanistic approach to religion and life. They understand they are spiritually bankrupt.
  37. 37. Blessed are the Hungry “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” (Matthew 5:6)Genuine believers want to see God’s righteousness prevail, both on earth and in their own lives. They eagerly desire God’s ways and reject the world’s ways.
  38. 38. Blessed are the Mournful “Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.” (Luke 6:21) Genuine believers will weep over their own sin, but will rejoice to see their sinsremoved in Christ. They will also suffer persecution (as the next verse shows) but they will overcome and be victorious over their enemies.
  39. 39. Blessed are the Persecuted“Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, andscorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man. “Be glad in that dayand leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven. For in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets.” (Luke 6:22–23)True believers are viewed as enemies of the world and of unbelievers. Theywill suffer persecution in some form and be mocked, ridiculed, and rejected, just as the real prophets of God were.
  40. 40. “It is a special pleasure torecord my indebtedness to the Discovery Institute for loyal support over manyyears. That the institute hasbeen vilified by all the right people is a special sort of satisfaction.” - Dr. David Berlinski The Devil’s Delusion
  41. 41. Marks of Unbelievers “But woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving your comfort infull. “Woe to you who are well-fednow, for you shall be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep. “Woe to you when all men speak well ofyou, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way. ” (Luke 6:24–26)Woe: ‘Alas’; denotes pain or displeasure
  42. 42. A Checklist of the Saved/Unsaved The Saved The Unsaved Know they need spiritual salvation Are ‘rich’ in themselves and see no need Hunger for God’s righteousness Have no appetite for God’s righteousness Mourn over their sin Laugh in their sin Are rejected/persecuted by the world Are welcomed/accepted by the world
  43. 43. Being Sure About Salvation