- If you're wondering about how to use the resources -- Logos, FaithTV, etc., check out this article!5 Ways Your Family Can Thrive While Stuck at Home | FaithlifeTo help parents keep their kids' hearts and minds active but also deepen their own faith during this season of social distancing, Faithlife is giving away two free months of Faithlife Connect—our subscription bundle of Christian movies for kids of all ages, Bible software, Christian books, and more.faithlife.com
- READ THIS TO FIND THE GOOD STUFF! Greetings All! I learned an important lesson today. The individual packages of this company are great and they work well once you're in them. Unfortunately, they're not well integrated...which is to say they're not integrated. My apologies for missing that in the run up to this. Here's the good news. I've built something they should have. On a computer it will be to your left. I'm not sure where it will be on your phone or tablet. Look for the tab "Recommended Links". Under this, you will see places to connect to Bible study resources, a wide range of related video course, lots of Christian TV & movies, as well as for some software to help with setting up services. These are pretty exciting, so check them out! If you don't see them on your phone, go here https://support.faithlife.com/hc/en-us/articles/360025670392-Access-My-Church-s-Licensed-Content-Equip- Blessings, BrettAccess My Church's Licensed Content (Equip)Your church has Faithlife Equip, which means you have access to a diverse and growing collection of resources designed to help you grow in the Word! To access your church’s content, you’ll need to ...support.faithlife.com
- Today is the national day of prayer. Normally, we gather together to pray for the nation, its leaders, its needs, and the work of God. However, this year most meetings will be electronic. The National Day of Prayer National Observance Broadcast will take place on May 7th from 5-7 p.m. our time. It will be available through streaming, TV, radio, and Facebook. TV includes GodTV, Daystar, NLC, BrioTV, and other stations. You may also listen on Moody and BottRadio Networks. This year’s theme, “Pray God’s Glory Across the Earth” is based on Habakkuk 2:14, and reminds us that this promise, “for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” is for us today. National Day of Prayer Task Force President, Kathy Branzell, put it this way, “Unprecedented times call for unprecedented prayer! This year’s virtual National Day of Prayer may have more prayer and more ‘pray-ers’ than ever before!”
- Remembering Christ’s sacrifice and love for us!
We are fragile mortals, given to fears of every sort. We have a built-in insecurity that no amount of whistling in the dark can mollify. We seek assurance concerning the things that frighten us the most.
The prohibition uttered more frequently than any other by our Lord is the command, “Fear not …” He said this so often to His disciples and others He encountered that it almost came to sound like a greeting. Where most people greet others by saying “Hi” or “Hello,” the first words of Jesus very often were “Fear not.”
Why? Perhaps Jesus’ predilection for those words grew out of His acute sense of the thinly veiled fear that grips all who approach the living God. We fear His power, we fear His wrath, and most of all we fear His ultimate rejection.
The assurance we need the most is the assurance of salvation. Though we are loathe to think much about it or contemplate it deeply, we know if only intuitively that the worst catastrophe that could ever befall us is to be visited by God’s final punitive wrath. Our insecurity is worsened by the certainty that we deserve it.
Many believe that assurance of eternal salvation is neither possible nor even to be sought. To claim such assurance is considered a mask of supreme arrogance, the nadir of self-conceit.
Yet, if God declares that it is possible to have full assurance of salvation and even commands that we seek after it, then it would be supremely arrogant for one to deny or neglect it.
In fact, God does command us to make our election and calling sure: “Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall.” (2 Peter 1:10).
This command admits of no justifiable neglect. It addresses a crucial matter. The question, “Am I saved?” is one of the most important questions I can ever ask myself. I need to know the answer; I must know the answer. This is not a trifle. Without the assurance of salvation the Christian life is unstable. It is vulnerable to the debilitating rigors of mood changes and allows the wolf of heresy to camp on the doorstep. Progress in sanctification requires a firm foundation in faith.
Assurance is the cement of that foundation. Without it, the foundation crumbles.
How, then, do we receive assurance? The Scripture declares that the Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God. This inner testimony of the Holy Spirit is as vital as it is complex. It can be subjected to severe distortions, being confused with subjectivism and self-delusion. The Spirit gives His testimony with the Word and through the Word, never against the Word or without the Word.
Since it is possible to have false assurance of salvation it is all the more urgent that we seek the Spirit’s testimony in and through the Word. False assurance usually proceeds from a faulty understanding of salvation. If one fails to understand the necessary conditions for salvation, assurance would be at best a lucky guess.
Therefore, we insist that right doctrine is a crucial element in acquiring a sound basis for assurance. It may even be a necessary condition, though by no means a sufficient condition. Without sound doctrine we will have an inadequate understanding of salvation. However, having a sound understanding of salvation is no guarantee we have the salvation we so soundly understand.
If we think the Bible teaches universal salvation we may arrive at a false sense of assurance by reasoning as follows: Everybody is saved. I am a body; therefore, I am saved.
Or, if we think salvation is gained by our own good works and we are further deluded into believing that we possess good works, we will have a false assurance of salvation.
To have sound assurance we must understand that our salvation rests upon the merit of Christ alone, which is appropriated to us when we embrace Him by genuine faith. If we understand that, the remaining question is, “Do I have the genuine faith necessary for salvation?”
Again two more things must be understood and analyzed properly. The first is doctrinal. We need a clear understanding of what constitutes genuine saving faith. If we conceive of saving faith as a faith that exists in a vacuum, never yielding the fruit of works of obedience, we have confused saving faith with dead faith, which cannot save anyone.
The second requirement involves a sober analysis of our own lives. We must examine ourselves to see if the fruit of regeneration is apparent in our lives. Do we have a real affection for the biblical Christ? Only the regenerate person possesses real love for the real Jesus. Next we must ask the tough question, “Does my life manifest the fruit of sanctification?” I test my faith by my works.
I call this last question the tough question for various reasons. We can lose assurance if we think perfect obedience is the test. Every sin we commit after conversion can cast doubt upon our assurance. That doubt is exacerbated by the assault of accusation made by Satan against us. Satan delights in shaking the true Christian’s assurance.
On the other hand, we can delude ourselves by looking at our own works with an exalted view of our goodness, seeing virtue in ourselves when there is none. Here we quake in terror before our Lord’s warning:
“Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from Me, you evildoers!’ ” (Matt. 7:22–23)
Real assurance rests on a sound understanding of salvation, a sound understanding of justification, a sound understanding of sanctification, and a sound understanding of ourselves. In all these matters we have the comfort and assistance of the Holy Spirit who illumines the text of Scripture for us, who works in us to yield the fruit of sanctification, and who bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God.
Fear Not 2020 by R.C. Sproul, Ligonier Ministries (http://www.ligonier.org).