Sunday, November 15, 2009
All the Promises of God 4
“How do you know you are saved?” Oh that I had a dollar bill for every time this question was asked of me or heard it asked of another person over the years. It is a fair question when you are speaking with someone who has certainty of salvation. No question in his or her mind that he or she has assurance of eternal life. We are instructed in scripture to always be prepared to give an answer when asked to defend the hope we have in us. 1 Peter 3:15.
Answers will vary from a time when a life change happened. Another person will know that they know that they know that they are saved. Still another will talk of this burning joy that is within them. I would not have any reason to doubt the sincerity of those responses. However, each of them are subjective. No one can prove a years ago life change, inner knowledge in another person or the burning sensation and prove it to another person. Each of those emotions can be had by anyone in any religion and will do nothing in witnessing to another.
Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” ESV
Scripture is the only real place to point another person for assurance of salvation for it contains the strong promises of God. In the above passage the very same St Peter was answering the question of some terrified persons whom he just told they were guilty of killing their Messiah. It was to agree with the charge from our Creator and be baptized. In this way receive the forgiveness of sins and the Holy Spirit.
Here we have a gift which cannot be taken away. This gifting comes totally from the outside and is passively received. When one is baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit at that time those promises are theirs. This also works many years after the fact. We should never think of our baptism as an event in the past but also brings the promised gifts to us daily. Recalling these promises, in faith, gives us assurance we are baptized in the Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection and we therefore can go forth in a new life knowing we are God’s child in our daily vocations. We also have the assurance of the resurrection which will give meaning to our lives of service and suffering are not in vain. What a marvelous bunch of promises contained in those promises associated with baptism! Wow!
In the name of Jesus. Amen. †