Edwards’ Resolution #26

Posted: Monday, March 31, 2014 in Resolutions

download26. Resolved, To cast away such things as I find do abate my assurance.

Short resolution – though not simple. When it comes to our present assurance, we are often our own enemy. We can and ought to examine ourselves in order to determine why we lack assurance. It could be sin in our life. It could be suffering at the hand of God. It could be that we are lacking in spiritual disciplines. It could be the evil one and his minions falsely accusing us to our own selves. Therefore, to “cast away such things” might prove to be quite difficult.

However, a failure to do so will lead the believer to discouragement and despair. When we lack assurance, we lack hope, we lack joy, and we lack peace. We might fail to persevere because we think there is no need to persevere – that there is no light at the end of the tunnel. But the things I just mentioned – hope, joy, peace, and perseverance – are all fruits of our justification. Paul stated it this way in Romans 5:1-8:

1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

A lack of assurance is directly related to a lack of trust in God and/or searching for assurance in places other than the gospel. It is a failure to understand our justification (i.e., “no condemnation”) in Christ. I would remind you of two things Lloyd-Jones said: 1) Satan cannot rob you of your assurance, but he can rob you of the joy of your assurance; and 2) Preach the gospel to yourself daily. Both of these things will bring proper focus and perspective on the promises of God for His children and courage and strength to face our fear. In truth,It will also guard against morbid introspection as the gospel rightly places our examination of self in the finished work of Christ (see here). I don’t think it a stretch to say if we lack assurance, we are not fearing God properly.A right fear of God brings joy – a joy that is the spring of hope for eternity.

So then – take great joy in fearing God and trusting in Him. Consider those things that cause you to doubt and cast them on the Cross!

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