August 13, 2008

Entering His Rest

"For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. As it is said, "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion." For who were those who heard and yet rebelled?... And to whom did he swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient?... Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it."
(Hebrews 3:14-16,18-19; 4:1 ESV).

The verses above seem to be about assurance (it would probably be best to read the whole chapter of Hebrews 3 to get the context). To some, the word assurance means very little, while to others it is what their soul thirsts for. I have struggled with the problem of assurance for many years now. I used to think I had assurance of salvation when the Bible promised that I had assurance of the opposite: "Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." The list is even worse at the end of Romans 1, and it really hits hard against the self-righteous in Romans 2. And such was I, until I was washed that is. "And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 ESV).

I have assurance that I have come to share in Christ, as long as I hold my original confidence firm to the end (Heb. 3:14). But my struggle is helping others lose their false assurance, just as I had to lose my false assurance before I sought out the firm confidence that is only found in Christ Jesus my precious Savior. Now I want to encourage others to hold their confidence in Him firm to the end, just as I strive to do as I come before the throne of grace. "Let us with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:16 ESV).

Have you lost your false confidence for that which is received at the throne of grace? It is Christ who died, not only to forgive us our sins, but to save us from our sins and grant us true repentance (see Titus 2:11-14). "Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died - more than that, who was raised - who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us." (Romans 8:34 ESV).

Oh what a precious confidence Jesus Christ is! We must find our rest and assurance in Him alone. God bless and grace be with you.


Life Savior said...

Thanks, for the encouraging words Penn!


Rita Martinez said...

heyy I was writing a post on assurance, but assurance on His promises, from one of the chapters I read at the beginning of this week from Religious Affections!

"Oh what a precious confidence Jesus Christ is! We must find our rest and assurance in Him alone. God bless and grace be with you."

oh Amen! great post Penn!, to think there are so many struggling with this same thing, it is so important to know that we are truly and soundly saved.

May the Lord continue to bless you and grow you!