Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Wednesday Cocktail: How Can I Be Sure I’m a Christian?

Every Wednesday, I try to share something inspiring that I have read online within the last week. 
Today, i take a break from the series on falsehood to present the weekly round-up. Personally, if I had the right, I would have reprinted the lead article word-for-word. This is because I believe that the topic is one that many Christians encounter from time to time, either personally or in answering other people’s questions.

Justin Taylor of the gospel coalition ‘reprinted’ a post that I am glad to reprint-albeit in an abridged version. Please try to read the details here. It is very important that you do.
1. Assurance of Salvation—Is It Possible?
Enjoy Wednesday Cocktail- Spread the love, share the post!
It is possible, for the Christian to experience assurance of salvation.
It is possible, for a non-Christian to have a false assurance of salvation.
2. Having Doubts about Your Salvation
It is possible, indeed normal, for Christians to have occasional doubts about their salvation. The causes of doubt are many:
·         Spiritual immaturity may contribute to doubts about assurance.
·         Sensitivity to sin may cause confusion about assurance.
·         Comparison with other Christians may cloud assurance.
·         Childhood conversion affects the assurance of some.
3. The Basis of Assurance
The assurance of salvation rests primarily on
·         the character of God 
·         the works of Jesus Christ
·         the truth of God’s promises
4. An Inner Confirmation
Assurance may be experienced partly through the inner confirmation of the Holy Spirit.
How does the Holy Spirit give Christians this assurance?
·         He opens our minds to understand the Bible in ways that give us assurance.
·         He guides our thinking about the biblical marks of salvation in our lives.
·         He brings Scripture and its truths to our minds in various ways that assure us.
·         He causes an inner sense of assurance without words.
5. Signs of Eternal Life
Assurance may be experienced partly through the presence of the attitudes and actions the Bible says will accompany salvation [1 John].
·         Do you share the intimacies of the Christian life with other believers?
·         Do you have a deep awareness of your sin against the word and love of God?
·         Do you live in conscious obedience to the word of God?
·         Do you despise the world and its ways?
·         Do you long for the return of Jesus Christ and to be made like him?
·         Do you habitually do what is right more and sin less?
·         Do you love other Christians sacrificially and want to be with them?
·         Do you discern the presence of the Holy Spirit within you?
·         Do you enjoy listening to the doctrines the apostles of Jesus taught?
·         Do you believe what the Bible teaches about Jesus Christ?
6. A Spiritual Mind-set
Only those who are spiritually minded are Christians.
You are spiritual minded when you think about the things of God:
You are not spiritually minded if “God is not in all [your] thoughts.”
7. Things That Erode Our Assurance
A true Christian may lose a sense of assurance of salvation because . . .
·         he or she refuses to deal with known sin
·         of spiritual laziness
·         of satanic attacks
·         of trials or harsh circumstances
·         of illness or temperament
·         God seems to withdraw a sense of his presence and blessing.
8. Common Problems with Uncertainty
Those converted as children, without adult or dramatic conversions do not.
Stay-at-home mothers of young children may experience special difficulties with assurance.- I am wondering why this is true.
Those worried about the unforgivable sin have not committed it- Boy, am I glad to hear this!
9. False Assurance of Salvation
Sources of a false assurance of salvation
·         A public commitment or outward response to the gospel
·         Baptism
·         Involvement with church
·         A strong Christian family heritage
·         An abundance of good deeds
·         An extraordinary experience
·         A dramatic personal or lifestyle change
·         Material blessing and financial security
·         A false understanding of God
·         A false understanding of sin and hell
Characteristics of the falsely assured
·         They are either unconcerned or angry when warned about false assurance.
·         They are either legalistic or loose with spiritual disciplines and duties.
·         They are either very weak in or very confident of their Bible knowledge.
·         They have either a vicarious Christianity or an overly independent spirit.
·         They may be constantly resisting the truth or never able to come to the truth.
10. What to Do If You’re Still Not Sure
Don’t take for granted that you understand the gospel.
Think deeply about the gospel.
Repent of all known sin.
Submit everything to the Lordship of Christ.
Meditate much on 1 John.
Don’t doubt the promises of God.
Believe as best you can and pray for greater faith.
Practice the spiritual disciplines.
If you really love God, take assurance because non-Christians don’t love God passionately.
If you hate your sin, take assurance because non-Christians don’t hate sin deeply.
If you’ve never been baptized, present yourself as a candidate in obedience to Christ.
Seek godly counsel if the doubts persist.
Pray for assurance.
Wait patiently upon God to give you a fuller experience of assurance.
Here are other posts worth considering
·         Where Did The Bible come from: This post gives a general overview of the origin of our Faith manual. I like how it combines faith with history. This post helps us to know that ‘For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty- 2Peter 1:16
·         Expecting a marriage to complete you: This is a post many singles ought to read. We sometimes set ourselves up for huge disappointments by ‘over-expecting’ things from other people. I sincerely think that many of us have our hopes on a marriage that will make all the pain go away. Dear friend, except you are thinking of the marriage of the lamb; where you and I are the bride and Jesus is the groom, you are about to be disappointed. No marriage to any human will make life completely perfect. Life will be brighter, fuller and happier (with the right spouse), but never perfect.
·         I stumbled on another Nigerian Christian blog and I think it is very good. Here is the link:

What have you found inspiring online this week? Please drop a note in the comments section.
Enjoy the rest of your week.

PS: The aim of Wednesday weekly rounds is to share with you things I came across online and found useful. It could also be a way of saying that “if I can’t share it on this platform”, I should rethink reading it.
Would you be able to freely share what you have been reading online in the past week? If you consider it inappropriate to be shared amongst believers, maybe you shouldn’t be reading it to start with.
PPS: The usual disclaimer: I am not affiliated or endorsing the people mentioned in this post. As you know, they are waaaayyyy out of my league J

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