This is an exposition of 2 Peter 1:12-21. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday evening, October 15, 2017
How important is assurance? We sing, “Blessed assurance Jesus is mine, o what a foretaste of glory divine…” But how important is assurance in the Christian life?
By assurance I mean knowledge or certainty of salvation. How important is knowing that you are a Christian? Apparently the apostle Peter thought it was very important. That is the thrust of the opening chapter of his second epistle. 2 Peter chapter 1 is all about assurance. “See to it you make your calling and election sure,” he said to the scattered church. The word translated “sure” in 1:10 means stable, steadfast or certain. He makes it very clear that this matter of assurance is foundational to the Christian life. This is vital in our “decisionistic” culture. It is crucial that we wrestle with the issues of salvation. That we struggle and work through what it means to believe. A hallmark of our Baptist faith is assurance of salvation. But here is the danger – there is such a thing as “false assurance.” I’ve met people who are absolutely sure they are saved. You would never convince them otherwise. They can show you the certificate they got when they were baptized. They remember with vivid detail the service when they “got saved.” But they haven’t set foot in a church in years except to attend a wedding or funeral. They have no interest in spiritual things. They care nothing about the Scripture or joining with the people of God in worship. They have no interest in the church. They do not contribute financially to the church or the work of the Gospel. But they know they are saved – just ask them.
How do you know that your assurance is genuine assurance?
As we saw last time – you start with understanding that salvation is God’s work not yours. It is the work of his grace. Then you make certain your calling and election by wrestling with spiritual matters and looking for evidence of genuine faith and spiritual life within.
Where is the evidence for an increasing holiness?
- Brotherly affection
Now, we can’t put it on a grid. There is no worksheet, but there must be growth. There must be change – when there is no change – there is no life.
This evening we pick up with verse 12 and follow along until the end of the chapter.
In this section we are reminded of a very important truth…
Thesis: Biblical assurance is based not on experience alone but on the sure and certain word given by a holy, righteous and always faithful God.
Notice – experience alone is not the determining factor.
I’m not saying “experience” does not enter the equation.
I am saying it is not the determining factor.
Experience often lies!
Let’s look at three things as we walk through this text.
- Given our human frailty and tendency to judge everything by our emotions or our perspective, we must be reminded again and again of the centrality of the gospel itself. (1:12-15)
- Biblical assurance rests securely in historical fact. (1:16-18)
- Biblical assurance is anchored by the sure and certain word of God. (1:19-21)