Blessed assurance: Jesus is mine! Oh what a foretaste of glory divine!
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that will never perish, spoil or fade — kept in heaven for you, who through faith are being shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice…” 1 Peter 1:3-6a
What sweet words! What a glorious benediction!
There is comfort in the mercy of God. There is assurance in the resurrection of Christ. There is hope for an eternal inheritance. There is trust in the power of God.
Or there should be. Does your heart GREATLY rejoice at the reading of these verses? Does your heart’s affection for your God and savior overflow at these thoughts? Do you sense the imminence of glory – the coming of your inheritance with Christ in the heavenly realms?
If so, praise God and rejoice, Christian! What grace is yours, and oh what peace and assurance in the unfailing and all-sufficient death and resurrection of Christ, in which we are kept and shielded by God’s power until the end! Fix your mind’s attention on these glorious truths and meditate on them. Drink deep of the love of God, and let your heart rejoice! Meditate on these words. Do not let them become mundane or simple, because they are not. These are the least simple and mundane words imaginable!
If your heart does NOT rejoice greatly at these words, there are 2 options:
- You are a Christian whose heart is laden with things other than Christ which strangle the sense of glory in this powerful passage.
- You are not a Christian and have not known the joy of a living hope and eternal savior.
How does one differentiate? I cannot, surely. The LORD only can see the heart as it is. But His Word has the authority to make such judgments.
Scripture tells us that, if we truly have been given the gift of being a child of God, we WILL bear the marks (fruit) of that gift. See John 15:1-17, especially verses 2 and 6, which tell us that branches which do NOT bear fruit are worthy only of being removed and thrown into the fire. But what is the mark of being a child of the King? What is the fruit of faith?
It’s very simple: love. DO NOT DISREGARD THIS AS OLD NEWS! It is not!
If we are children of God, we will love. Love what? Christ himself tells us in Matthew 22:37-40:
“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Love God. Love people. DO NOT DISREGARD THIS AS REPETITION! You may have heard these words a thousand times. Hear them again! Meditate on them! Take them to your heart and see if they are true in you!
For the first: do you love God this fully? Are your actions, your thoughts, your desires, your plans, your life all done and lived UNTO Christ? Do you do all of these things from faith? Do you do EVERYthing out of love for God? When you wake, is your thought to glorify God because you love Him? When you study, do you do it to glorify the God you love? When you meet people, do you treat them with love because you love your glorious God? OR do you do things “…out of selfish ambition and vain conceit…” (Php 2:3)? Do you daily, hourly do what you want to do, when you want to do it, without regard for God’s desires or people’s needs?
If so, then you do not fruit the marks that Christ said would mark his followers: a deep, abiding, irresistible love for God.
For the second: do you love people? I’m not asking in some general way. This is not a question of whether you are courteous and generally kind and good-natured towards others. No, I am asking if you LOVE other people. The other half of Phil. 2:3 is “…but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” Is this true for you? Do you elevate the needs of others over your own, even when it is not convenient or easy or pleasurable? Do you see people simply as their outer actions dictate, or do you see them as Christ did, with a crushing sense of love? Do you feel the urgency of telling people about your savior, knowing that if they do not know Him they will be condemned to everlasting torment? Do you heed the words of Solomon in Proverbs:
“Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter.” 24:11
Do you feel the anguish of eternity resting on souls who do not know your God, and do you LOVE them with such great love as to do anything, everything in your power to turn them from the path to Hell? Would you beg, plead, lay down before them, clutch at their feet and be dragged, if only, OH if only that they might know God? Do you LOVE people like this?
If you do not, then you do not bear the fruit that Christ said would mark his followers: a deep, abiding love for people.
But IF, my friends, you bear the mark of love – the fruit of the Christian inheritance and because of it you love God and people deeply and completely….then oh, what glorious assurance is yours! In Christ we have a living hope, a promise that will not perish or fade as it is shielded by the Almighty Creator of heaven and earth and sealed with the precious blood of Christ.
Rejoice! Rejoice GREATLY, Christian!
Non-Christian – you have nothing in which to rejoice. You have only despair. …UNLESS you would believe in Christ today, now, and commit your life to serving Him and growing in knowledge of Him and forsaking the world and all that it offers. And in that moment our merciful God would welcome you with open arms! Do not be stubborn. Do not harden your heart. Do not be afraid of the proud looks and scoffs of the world. If you are not willing to serve Christ in loving faith, you have nothing but despair, for eternity. Let it not be so! Come! Come and see the glory of my Lord! Come and see what mercy is there! Do not delay.
Praise Him, Praise Him: Jesus our blessed redeemer! Sing o Earth his wonderful love proclaim!
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! Oh what a foretaste of glory divine!