Reassuring Our Hearts, Part 4

The Bible can be so confusing! Sometimes it seems to contradict itself. Maybe after all the Mother’s Day stuff, thinking your way thru some biblical principles will be refreshing for you…. I’ve been dealing with “old age” medical problems this week so I could use a little refreshment myself.

“Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him” (I John 5:1).

“Whoever has the Son has life: whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life” (I John 5:12).

Actually, these two verses aren’t very confusing. God must work in your heart and mind in order for you to believe that Jesus is THE Savior, Your Savior. If He is yours and you “have” Him, then you have life. Spiritual life forever. If you “have” Him, then you have His perfect righteousness to fall back on even when your own heart and mind condemn you and whisper doubts.

That is why his faith was ‘counted to him as righteousness.’ But the words ‘it was counted to him’ were not written for his (Abraham’s) sake alone, but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Romans 4: 22-24).

Bank On This

“Whoever has the Son has life…” not shall have life. In a sermon preached on July 20, 1884, Charles Spurgeon points out this present tense of spiritual life. It is not just that we will go to heaven. It is having spiritual life (and therefore, Christ’s righteousness) right now.

So if your Christian character doesn’t measure up too well or the whispers come back about that one great sin of yours, bank on this: Whoever believes in all that Jesus is and all that He did HAS eternal spirituality.

Practical Christianity

The Apostle John wanted you to joy in assurance that you have Jesus’ perfect life to bank on. But, he didn’t allow that to be an excuse for sin.

“…and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him” (I John 5:1).

Love everyone who believes in Jesus!!! “It can’t mean that can it? That’s not even possible,” we retort. “How confusing and unassuring can you get?” someone might sadly say.

Cling To Jesus

When you see your own sin and failure in a verse like this, you have to come back to your belief in Jesus. Hold fast to who He is: fully God, fully man. Rejoice in what He did: sacrificed His perfect life for you. Seek to love others as you would like to be loved by not stealing from them, or lying about them, or wishing you had what they have, or being involved sexually in some way that affects them, or killing them. Love is all really very plain and just common sense; not very mysterious at all (I John 5:2-5). But, Oh how we mess up! And need to fall back on the righteousness of Christ. He loved perfectly and God puts that to our account.

The biblical principle here is that loving other Christians is a mark of faith. It is evidence that we have believed. Loving shows us that God is working in our desires and we have Jesus and spiritual life.

But when we fail miserably, what we have left is Our Savior, the Lord Jesus, and His righteousness. It is all about loving Him and leaning on His work. In the end, when doubts assail and our sins assault, clinging to Jesus is all we have left. Learn to apply all of this to your heart. Little by little… It may take a lifetime. The process is very reassuring. Clinging to Jesus no matter what is the most reassuring of all.

About Carol Brandt

I earned a B.A. in History from Florida State University and M.Ed in.Higher Education from Florida Atlantic University. I taught high school social studies before “retiring” to full-time homemaking and raising two daughters. Now I love being a grandmother to four boys and a girl. I have also raised five collies.

My husband, John, was an optometrist, who worked tirelessly for his profession through private practice and as a consultant, and served on the Board of Trustees of Illinois College of Optometry for twenty years.

Ernest Reisinger was my chief mentor in this warm-hearted application of Calvinism. He gave me many books! The Founders Journal and Founders Conferences, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and Charles Spurgeon have been other sources of Reformed thinking as well as the other warm-hearted ones listed in my book, “Warm-hearted Calvinists.”

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