Assurance of Salvation: Part 2 of 2
by John Lowe
In his retirement, Thomas Jefferson founded the University of Virginia. Because Jefferson believed that students would take their studies seriously, the code of discipline was lax. Unfortunately, his trust proved misplaced when the misbehavior of students led to a riot in which professors who tried to restore order were attacked. The following day a meeting was held between the university’s board, of which Jefferson was a member, and defiant students. Jefferson began by saying, “This is one of the most painful events of my life.” Suddenly he was overcome by emotion, and he burst into tears. Another board member asked the rioters to come forward and give their names. Nearly every one of them did. Later, one of them said, “It was not Mr. Jefferson’s words, but his tears.”
Just like the student was moved by Jefferson’s brokenness, so is God by ours. When we are truly broken and sorry for our sins, this leads to repentance. If we are truly saved we will display an attitude of repentance
Attitude 3-- We must display an attitude of obedient submission.
In Matthew 5:5 we read that Jesus said, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” Again, Blessed means Happy, “Happy are the meek?” This also seems opposite of what we think it should say. We think it should say “Happy are the Strong for they will inherit the earth.” But meekness is not lack of strength; it is not weakness or wimpiness. What it is, is supreme self-control empowered by the Holy Spirit, i.e., power under control in submissive obedience to God. The meek are submissive to the divine will of God; not proud, self-sufficient or stubborn and unmanageable, not ill-tempered and apt to complain of divine involvement in their life.
Jesus Himself was meek. Matthew 11:29 tells us that Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Jesus was meek, but look what he did to the money changers at the Temple. John 2:15 says, “So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.” And verse16 says, “To those who sold doves he said, "Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market!" This was righteous anger, and He was in complete control, because “He took the time to go and make a whip”. If He had He been out of control, He could have simply wiped them out instantly, (remember He was and is God).
The greatest example of meekness is the obedience of Christ’s sufferings and death on the cross, and yes I said obedience. Philippians 2:8 says this about our Lord, “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death--even death on a cross!” Talk about power under control!!!! Matthew 26:53 reports that Jesus said to those who came to arrest him,
“Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?” Twelve legions, that 72,000 angels. In 2 Kin 19:35, 185,000 people were killed by only one angel.
Going to the cross was true meekness. (Power under control) Imagine the way He must have felt, knowing that at any time He could have called down more than 72,000 angels and destroyed them all. But He chose to be obedient to the Father’s will and suffer a horrible death to defeat Satan, and so that the very people that were doing it may be saved. (Father forgive them, for they do not know what they do) I don’t know about you, but personally, I would have made believers out of them in a whole different way.
Meekness is a fruit; Jesus talks about bearing fruit. “We must bear fruit or be cut off” Galatians 5:22 tells us what this fruit is. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,” And verse 23 adds “gentleness and self-control. Against such things, there is no law.”
Here is the skinny. You may have a confrontation; maybe someone has called you names (stupid Christian, Jerk or swearing at you). Maybe someone has cheated you or hurt you with gossip. At that time you have a choice, you can deck that person or tell them off with harsh and hurtful words, or you can be obedient to God and turn away your wrath with a soft answer. So, blessed are the Meek for they will inherit the Earth. This inheritance is after Jesus comes back and the Earth is transformed into a New Heaven and a New Earth, and those whose names are written in the Lambs book of life will be the occupants, and those whose names are not written there will be thrown into the lake of fire.
A. W. Tozer wrote in his book “The pursuit of God”. “The meek man is not a human mouse afflicted with a sense of his own inferiority. Rather he may be in his moral life as bold as a lion and as strong as Samson, but he has stopped being fooled about himself. He has accepted God’s estimate of his own life. He knows he is as weak and helpless as God declared him to be, but oddly enough, he knows at the same time that he is in the sight of God of more importance than angels. In himself, nothing; in God, everything. That is his motto.”
If we are truly saved, we will have the attitudes of humility, repentance, and obedience. These attitudes are the products of salvation which comes from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and not from us. They are from God. We can examine ourselves to see if we display these attitudes and be sure of our salvation, or we can be like the people in the Airport terminal with standby tickets; nervous, not knowing for sure if they will make their destination. YOU DECIDE!