So Your Wanting to be Changed Gives You Assurance?

So ever day, you got to, got to, got to keep changed enough to convince yourself that you are not a fraud?

How are you doing with that?

Those who will be condemned were born condemned already, but their wicked attempts to establish their own righteousness with “good deeds” will also be condemned. Those who have been justified have not been been justified by their right attitudes about works and faith. But those who have been justified have also been born again and as result they all now know that they are not working to get God’s blessings and assurance. They have assurance.

Galatians 3: 3. Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? 4. Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain. 5. He therefore that gives you the Spirit, and works miracles among you, does he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

You can say “blood, blood, blood”, but still not know Christ. Most of those who did many bloody animal sacrifices did not receive Christ as crucified. The Arminians and Lutherans who say that Christ died for those who will perish do not believe in the true Christ and His precious blood.

To know Christ, you must know that God requires a righteousness that sinners cannot produce and that God in Christ established for the elect a righteousness that demands justification for the elect. The law demands death, even the death of One who was never a sinner, but who was imputed with the sins of the elect.

Those who killed Christ thought they could do God some additional service. John 16:1-3. If you think you can add to or complete your righteousness by your changed life, then you are as guilty as those who killed Christ.

To judge by the gospel is to examine if we confess and agree with God’s testimony. It is the Holy Spirit who convicts the justified elect that God requires a righteousness that we cannot produce even with the help of grace John 16:8-13. It is the Holy Spirit who takes away our confidence so that we have NO confidence that we ever did or ever will do anything (even with God’s help) to make ourselves better than anybody else. Phil 3:3. The reason the justified elect are different from others before God is that Christ died for them and not for others.

It is the Spirit who causes us to confess the true Christ and the true gospel. I Cor 1:23-24  A  false spirit that says Christ died for everybody and now it depends on what we with help from that spirit. I Cor 2:11-13: “No one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.”

The righteousness of Christ is a free gift. If we say that the accepting of the free gift is something different from the free gift, and that this accepting is “MINE” and what I did (with God’s grace) to be saved, then we may call that “salvation by faith” but what we call “faith” is really still self-righteousness.

“I am a good chooser. And the reason for that is I am a good “wanter”.  I “want” what’s right ( “of course sometimes I sin but I don’t “want” to and don’t really choose to and God is gracious and will overlook it…”) because I have a heart my god has now made better than that of others…”

NO! We were not justified by being in the right place at the right time and reading the right book or tract. If we are justified, it was a SUPERNATURAL WORK OF GOD. So no excuses like ” don’t blame me for not knowing the gospel when I got saved”.

What the Spirit produces is repentance to see that our “mistakes about the gospel” were motivated by our wicked hearts that wanted to condition salvation on ourselves instead of TOTALLY on the righteousness established by Christ for the elect.

“Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” (3:3)

The typical Calvinist thinks that people can begin as Christian in error and then (maybe as an option) MOVE TO THE TRUTH. But in Galatians we have a different case.  People who begin with the truth (Paul’s’ preaching of the gospel, Romans 1:16-17-faith is no part of the righteousness, circumcision is no part of the righteousness), but who are now in danger of being bewitched by error.

I make two exhortations here:

1. Let us examine our calling. Is it really true that you can be justified by believing a lie? Is it really true that God the Spirit teaches the sheep that Jesus died for everybody but that they are themselves the condition of salvation? Is it really the Holy Spirit that teaches people that Jesus waits for their decision?

2. For those of us who are convinced that we do believe the true gospel, why would we ever listen to  the preaching of those who do not know the gospel? Why do we think we will grow by listening to a false gospel? Why do we think that we can learn something from a false gospel about how to raise our children and love our wives?

Is it because we have confidence in ourselves that WE would never be bewitched?  Do we worry about the world’s influence on our children, but have no concern for the influence of Arminian evangelicalism (salvation by faith, not by righteousness) on ourselves?

“Have ye suffered so many things in vain?” (3:4)

Why do we cry peace to the Arminians and to others who lie about God and sin? Because we want them to be partial to us! If we want their respect, we will have to respect them. But Christ had no respect for them or their opinions, but total respect for the honor of God. If we had that same kind of respect for God, we would not be at peace with Arminian lies, and we would be hated the way Christ was.

Christ suffered because he was a “light” who exposed “good deeds” as being “evil deeds”. John 3:18-20. People hated Christ because Christ told them that God required a righteousness they could not produce: He had no respect for what they produced. They would have respected Him as Messiah if only He had been partial to their good deeds. But He was not.

Used to be a drug addict? So what: if you don’t believe the gospel, you will die in your sins. But I believe the Bible and in a literal second coming. So what? if you don’t believe the gospel, you will die in your sins.

John 7:7 “they hate me because I testify of the world that its works are evil.” Its good works are evil. John 7:24 “Do not judge by outward appearances, but judge with righteous judgment.” Judge yourself and others by knowing that God requires a perfect righteousness and that only those who submit to the gospel have that perfect righteousness.

Why are the Galatians tempted by the legalists? Because if they go along with their lies, they will be respected, and THEY WILL NOT SUFFER PERSECUTION FROM THEM. To say that cross is the only difference is to suffer; to add on to the cross will cause the suffering to go away. To say that those who add on are under the curse (as Paul says) is to make lots of enemies,

Any time people can preach grace as that which changes you to enable you to produce some of the righteousness that God requires,  then they continue hating the gospel of imputation in which the CROSS IS THE ONLY DIFFERENCE. Instead of glorying in the cross (gal 6:14), they are ashamed to say that Christ died only for the elect. Instead, they talk in code language (died for those who would believe) so they can stay at peace with Arminians who buy books.

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3 Comments on “So Your Wanting to be Changed Gives You Assurance?”

  1. DC Says:

    I find your view of assurance unique. Many of the mainline Calvinists (MacArthur, Washer, Piper) insist there is no assurance unless the orientation of the heart is toward holiness; they say this orientation is not what makes us acceptable before God but maintain there cannot be assured of our standing before Him without it. I am wondering what your thoughts are on that teaching.

  2. Israel Says:

    And this is why MANY will say unto the Lord in that day “did we not…”

    They are not trusting in the shed blood and imputed righteousness as their only hope for salavation but are trusting in their own works. And believe me when I tell you their works do not stop at their supposed holiness.

    Their preaching, traveling, conferences, etc are part of their supposed holiness because these are the religious things they believe point to evidence as well.

    Remember the Pharisee in Luke 18. He not only boasted of his refraining from sinful acts but boasted in his religious works. There will always be these two together when lost men boast.

    They have no assurance therefore, they must derive one based upon their own making.

    The truth is they do not believe the Gospel or the Word which the Gospel is preached by.

    For the Scripture clearly states that by the deeds of the Law shall NO flesh be justified. Atonement for the soul is made for by the shedding of blood. This is the theme from Genesis to Revelation.

    Now of course they will say the blood gets them in the door but then they must keep themselves in by their obedience but there is NOT one Scripture in the entire biblical text which supports this. Christ Saves His People From Their Sins! Salvation wholly is of the LORD! Justification, Sanctification and ultimate Glorification! Now that is Good News!

    Fallen sinners having to do just ONE thing to be saved or maintain their salvation is not good news!

    Without their perceived need for holiness they would have no platform in which to justify their ungodly and unbiblical leadership.
    These things all go hand-in-hand in false christianity. May the Lord give you eyes to see and ears to hear and a mind/heart to believe the ONLY Gospel that saves!

  3. markmcculley Says:

    RC Sproul—
    A while back I had one of those moments of acute self-awareness that we have from time to time, and suddenly the question hit me: “R.C. what if you are not one of the redeemed? What if your destiny is not heaven after all, but hell?” Let me tell you that I was flooded in my body with a chill that went from my head to the bottom of my spine. I\ was terrified.

    I tried to grab hold of myself. I thought, “Well, it’s a good sign
    that I’m worried about this. Only true Christians really care about
    salvation.” But then I began to take stock of my life, and I looked at
    my performance. My sins came pouring into my mind, and the more I looked at myself, the worse I felt. I thought, “Maybe it’s really
    true. Maybe I’m not saved after all.”

    I went to my room and began to read the Bible. On my knees I said,
    “Well, here I am. I can’t point to my obedience. There’s nothing I can
    offer. I can only rely on Your atonement for my sins. I can only throw
    myself on Your mercy.” Even then I knew that some people only flee to the Cross to escape hell, not out of a real turning to God. I could
    not be sure about my own heart and motivation.

    Then I remembered John . Jesus had been giving out hard teaching, and many of His former followers had left Him. When He asked Peter if he was also going to leave, Peter said, “Where else can I go? Only You have the words of eternal life.” In other words, Peter was also uncomfortable, but he realized that being uncomfortable with Jesus was better than any other option!”

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