2 Timothy 1:12
A SURE THING
I heard the story of a polar bear and her young cub living in the frigid extremes of Alaska. One morning the cub came to her mother and said, “Mom, are you sure I am a polar bear?” “Of course you are,” the mother calmly replied. The cub went away reassured. But the next morning the cub asked again, “Are you 100 percent sure that I am a polar bear?” The mother seemed confused, “I promise you are a polar bear. So, why do you keep asking?” “Because,” said the cub, “I am freezing out here.”
There are a lot of Christians who can identify with that little bear. I have met them and you may be one of them. Although we know ourselves to be Christians, and others know us to be Christians, there are times when we need to be reassured of the fact. There can be days when as Christians we don’t feel very Christian at all or look it. On those days the knowledge and guilt of our sin cling to us like skin to a bone. On those days heaven seems like it is a million miles away, and God just as far. On those days we wonder if salvation is a sure thing.
Listen! It is a great thing to be saved, but it is an even greater thing to be saved, and know that you are saved. We are persuaded, like the apostle Paul, concerning God’s saving and keeping power (2 Tim. 1:12; Rom. 8:35-39). With that in mind, let me share three truths that I trust will act as anchors when our souls are tossed about with doubt.
Anchor number one is God’s Word to us. God’s Word is forever settled in heaven, in fact, heaven and earth will pass away but not His Word (Psa. 119:89; Matt. 24:35). When it comes to the assurance of our salvation, we must not rest our confidence on the shifting sands of our own moods or feelings, but on the solid and eternal rock of God’s written testimony in Scripture (John 20:31; cf. 1:12; 3:16; 5:24; 6:37).
Anchor number two is God’s work for us. In the death of Christ as our substitute, the debt of our sin has been fully paid (1 Peter 2:24; 3:18). The sword of God’s just wrath has found its sheath in the atonement of Christ for us (2 Cor. 5:21). Therefore there is no condemnation to those who are trusting in Christ (Rom. 8:1). Jesus paid it all!
Anchor number three is God’s witness in us. Alongside the promise of God and the work of Christ, we have the inward assurance of the indwelling presence, and regenerating work of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:16; Gal. 4:6). The Spirit of God produces a hunger for the things of God, and this new appetite is a sure sign of life. The Christian is a different person and that makes a difference to our assurance (Gal. 5:22-25).