OceanSide church of Christ
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LOVE PROVIDES ASSURANCE
Victor M. Eskew
A. God loves you.
1. Some in the world may doubt this, but Christians know that God loves the world. The proof was in His sending His Son into the world (John 3:16, I John 3:16; 4:9-10).
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
2. As Christians, we should never doubt the statement that God loves us.
B. This fact should provide us with wonderful assurance.
C. In this lesson, let’s address this topic: “Love Provides Assurance.” In this lesson, we will do four things:
1. Range of Assurance
2. Reasons for Assurance
3. Representation of Assurance
4. Reality of Assurance
I. THE RANGE OF ASSURANCE
A. In this section, let’s define, or, set forth the boundaries on the word “assurance.”
1. Full confidence
3. Freedom from doubt
C. Two passages came to mind as I thought of the definition of assurance.
1. I Corinthians 13:7-8a
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth.
a. The words are found in Paul’s description of agape love.
b. Notice that love endures and that love never fails.
c. Since “God is love” (I John 4:8), these descriptions apply to Him. God endures all things. God never fails.
d. Herein, we find confidence and certainty, that is, assurance.
2. Romans 8:38-39
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus.
a. The word “persuaded” means “to have faith, to trust, to have confidence.”
b. Paul was fully confident that nothing beyond himself could separate him from God’s love.
II. THE REASONS FOR ASSURANCE
A. Love, in our case, involves a close, intimate relationship. When we obeyed the gospel, we became children of God (Gal. 3:26-27).
For ye are all children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
B. If we are in a close relationship with God, He cares for us (I Pet. 5:7).
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
1. Strong says that the word “careth” means “to be of interest to,” that is, “to concern.”
2. Matthew 6:26
Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
C. Caring involves:
1. Willingness to assist (Matt. 7:9-11)
Or what man is there of you, when is his son ask bread will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serprent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
2. Resources (Ps. 24:1; 50:10)
The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein…For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.
3. Ability (Rom. 4:20-21, see also Luke 1:37)
He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded, that what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
III. A REPRESENTATION OF ASSURANCE
A. Abraham was a man loved by God. How do we know this? Abraham was God’s friend (James 2:23).
B. Abraham had great confidence in the God of heaven. Three situations will show us the certainty he placed in God.
1. Left his home for an unknown land
a. The command (Gen. 12:1)
Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee.
b. The compliance (Gen. 12:4; Heb. 11:8)
So Abraham departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him…By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
2. Promise of a son
a. The Promise (Gen. 15:4-5)
And, behold, the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.
b. The Persuasion (Gen. 15:6; see also Romans 4:18)
And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
3. Command to sacrifice Isaac
a. The test (Gen. 22:2)
And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah, and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains I will tell thee of.
b. The trust (Gen. 22:3, 8; see also Heb. 11:17-19)
And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and cleaved the wood for a burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him….And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
C. Would that all of us could follow in the steps of Abraham and place our confidence in God, knowing that He really does love us.
IV. THE REALITY OF ASSURANCE
A. Remember our second point: Love involves relationship, and, relationship involves caring, and, caring involves willingness, resources, and ability.
B. God cares:
1. In our sickness (James 5:13a)
Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray.
2. In our suffering (II Tim. 1:12; Acts 7:60; Heb. 12:4-13)
For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
3. In our struggles (I Cor. 10:13)
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way of escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
4. In our strife (Matt. 18:20)
For when two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
5. In our searching (Acts 17:27)
That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find, him, though he be not far from every one of us.
A. God loves me.
1. What a wonderful thought!
2. What a foundation for our assurance.
B. Hebrews 10:22-23
Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for he is faithful that promised.