"Confidence in Salvation"
Are you saved? Are you confident in that belief? What does it mean to live now knowing where you are going when you die? It is these thoughts that Paul leaves with Timothy.
Confidence in Salvation
(2 Tim. 4:6-8)
A. It is great to be a Christian. It is a great life to live and a great hope for the future. Being a Christian is more than a just a religious theology, it is my life. It is more than just a way to think, it is a way to live. It is more than a question mark in life, it is an exclamation mark of life!
B. It is great to be a Christian. I have a confidence that I otherwise would not have. I have a life that I otherwise would not have. I have a future than I otherwise would not have.
C. Paul makes a strong statement in 1 Cor. 15:12-19. What Paul knew beyond any shadow of a doubt is that Jesus is alive and because of that fact, he too can live for eternity with him. It was a confidence he had and wanted every Christian to have.
D. This morning, I want us to reassure ourselves of the same facts and the same hope that Paul would express to Timothy.
I. The Question Mark of Salvation
A. We love the Word of God. We as a church hold to the Bible as our foundation and direction for every belief we have. There are many interpretations out there about many subjects, but interpretations seek to take the authority away from God and the words found in the Bible, and place is squarely in us fallible humans. We want to seek human wisdom, human logic and human knowledge as though in our own thinking we can figure out the mind of God.
B. So we take passages from the Bible and begin to debate them. We point out where one doctrine of belief is counter to the teachings of the Bible and hold on tightly to our beliefs. But what is absolute? What subjects are not open to human interpretation? You have a list. I have a list. Your religious friend has a list and they don’t all look the same. One of the items on the list is eternal security.
C. How confident should a Christian be in their eternal destination? Listen to Rom. 8:23-25. We wait until our very bodies are redeemed to experience the fullness of being adopted by God. Paul is not teaching the Romans to have a questionable salvation, but an expectant one. One that WILL see its fullness of our adoption in Christ at the coming of Jesus on the great day of Judgement. Listen to what Paul says in 1 Thes. 4:16-18. Did you catch that? ALWAYS be with the Lord. We are told to comfort one another with these words. Does that sound like a question mark or an exclamation mark to you?
D. Don’t fall for the question mark mentality. John would write in his letter (1 John 1:7).
E. Here is what happens. We are quick to camp on the “if we walk in the light.” We are quick to state that a person can fall from grace, that they can lose their salvation. And you know what – you are right. A person has that ability. But let me ask you something personal.
F. If you are married. How long do you expect your marriage to last? I expect you to say, “until death do us part.” Why? Because you took a vow before God to one another. Is your marriage perfect? Are you a perfect spouse? Is it possible that one of the two of you could possibly bring the marriage to a close either by sinful action or simply walking away? YES. Do you as two Christians get up each day and say, “I love you, but I want you to know there is a possibility that I could be unfaithful or that you could be unfaithful and our marriage could end.” Do you say those words to your Christian spouse on a regular basis? If your spouse writes you a wonderful love letter or card talking about their love for you, do you say, “Thank you, but I know it could end.” NO! Why? Because you know that that type of communicating only plants seeds of doubt in your marriage. What you would be doing is harming your spouse and your marriage by constantly reminding them that IT IS POSSIBLE that the marriage could end. Instead, you plan to stay strong and faithful and that is what you communicate.
G. Don’t place a question mark in your marriage vows and don’t place one in your salvation either.
II. Paul’s Confidence
A. Listen again to what Paul said in 2 Tim. 4:6-8. Paul believed he was coming to the end of his life. He believed his time teaching Timothy and others was almost over. He realized that most likely his death would come before Jesus came back. And Paul wrote these words to comfort Timothy and to teach him about the assurance of salvation.
B. The point of this sermon is to take from these words the same confidence that Paul had and that he shared with Timothy. I want you to have that same confidence. Doubt loves to seep into your spiritual life. Our lack of perfection is a great tool that Satan uses to plague our minds with questions. But Paul, John, Peter and others all helps us to see the confidence of the grace of God given to us through the blood of Jesus Christ.
C. Paul said that he had lived his life striving – he fought the good fight, finished the course, kept the faith. Paul took stock, not in his own righteousness and good works, but in Jesus Christ and his love for us. That is why Paul looked forward to wearing that crown. And so can you.
A. We have a great calling in Jesus to live in holiness. We have straight forward teachings about what is right and what is sin. We have been given the seal of the Holy Spirit and He lives in us. Therefore we keep step with the Spirit, we keep our eye on the victory in Christ Jesus, and we walk in the grace and light of God. One more passage: Rom. 8:1-4
B. It is great to be a Christian. Every day of my life I am thankful for the blessing of knowing I am not alone and that one day I will live on high with him.
C. If you are living separated from God’s love and grace, you don’t have walk in darkness. There is a better way, God’s way. If we can help you to understand what it takes to respond to God’s love and be saved by God, or if we can surround you in prayer a child of God who needs strength, then come as we stand and sing.