North Texas Conference on Assurance

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If I died today I would be with the Lord. I know that infallibly. But I'm certainly not the greatest believer who ever lived - not even close. My confidence arises from the fact that I know and trust the greatest believer who ever lived.

The highest and best instance of believing belongs to Jesus. He could have said at any point during his life on earth, "if I died today I would be with the Lord." He had full assurance.

In the midst of constant frustration on earth, where his family, disciples, and own people perpetually let him down, Christ did not waver in his trust that God would fulfill his promises to him (Isa. 49:1-13).

From his mother's breasts he believed (Ps. 22:9-10). 

As a young man he woke up every morning to be taught and instructed by his Father (Isa. 50:4-9). 

Each day, including the last, he committed himself to his Father's providential keeping (Ps. 31:5; cf. Lk. 23:46).

Because he kept his Father's commandments, he remained in his Father's love (Jn. 15:10). 

Because he prayed in the Spirit (Rom. 8:15-16), Jesus had the Spirit of adoption within him which enabled him to cry, Abba, Father, each day (see also Heb. 5:7-8).

Because his Father loved him, Christ received assurances of his messianic calling throughout his ministry, particularly at his Baptism and the Transfiguration (Mk. 1:9-11; 9:2-8). 

Because he was rejected and persecuted, he knew he was fulfilling all that was said about him in the Old Testament scriptures (Isa. 53:3; Lk. 24:46). 

Christ's assurance culminated at his resurrection, which was the public vindication that he truly is the Son of God, now raised in power (Rom. 1:4; 1 Tim. 3:16).

Christ lived a life of faith before he entered into a life by sight. But his life of faith, which goes hand in hand with a life of assurance, was dependent upon several intertwining, mutually reinforcing elements. 

Thus, when Christ gave up his spirit on the cross (Lk. 23:46), he did so knowing that he would be with the Lord: "today you will be with me in paradise" (Lk. 23:43). His trust in his Father, at a time when he had many reasons to doubt ("cursed is every one who is hung on a tree"), shows how important his whole life was for that crucial moment when he would lay down his life.

Whatever grace Christians possess, that grace was first in Christ. Adam's unbelief - the first sin he committed - was rectified by Christ's belief! Christ's assurance provides the ground for our own assurance. And so on.

The doctrine of assurance for Christians is not a matter of finding a quick and easy solution. Rather, in the context of the church, the Christian life requires a host of different, but complimentary elements that should enable us to say: "If I died today I would be with the Lord."   

So if you are in Texas in August (22nd-23rd), and you want to learn more about Christ's assurance and our own, please consider coming to the North Texas Conference on Reformed Theology ("Delighting in the Doctrine of Assurance")

Is there a better place to be in August than Texas? Er...

Posted July 7, 2014 @ 3:08 PM by Mark Jones

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