“Knowing and Growing in Assurance of Faith” by Dr. Joel R. Beeke.

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If you are a Christian, you’ve probably had questions about the topic of assurance.  We’ve all had doubts about our faith at some point in our growth.  While nobody can give you assurance of your salvation, this book can help you, “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith;” 2 Corintians 2:5a (NASB)  Dr. Beeke cites the Bible, and the writings of some very astute Puritans, and their explorations of this topic.  The book is very logically organized, and walks you through a process, by which you can examine yourself, if you are having questions about your salvation.  He unpacks where some of our problems come from, and what we should know to help us on our way.  This is one of the most accurate, and helpful books I’ve ever read on the topic.  If you are having difficulties with your assurance, I highly recommend this book.

You can pick up a copy at any of these sites; Reformation Heritage Books, Christianbook.com, and Amazon.

ISBN-13: 9781781913000

Guilt Over Sin, and Victory in Christ.

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I say, with absolute truth, and certainty, “My death is imminent, it looms about me, it is just, and well earned, for my sins are countless, except to God, who knows each one in perfect detail, for the cost of them was laid upon His precious Son.” If you know this to be true about yourself, do you also know that in Christ Jesus, we have been granted life giving repentance, and faith, a new heart, with new affections and desires, a new existence as a born again saint, a new family of adopted brothers and sisters in Christ, a true Father, Christ as our Lord and King, Priest intercessor, true Prophet, dear brother, and Savior. We have been granted life eternal with God, for His glory, and our good. Look at your sins, but do not lay your mind on them to the degree that they become greater than the Savior! If your guilt and shame have come at you like breaking waves on a dark and gloomy shore, thundering against your mind, like a death knell, let the next thought be about how you have a sacrifice that pleases the justice of the one true God, that was made by His Son on the cross! Surely, see your sins, and what they cost, but remember why He did what He did. For while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. God has love for those whom He saves. They become His Children through adoption, and Christ Jesus is the door, the way in. No man comes to the Father except by Jesus Christ! What a glorious, and beautiful Savior we have! Lift your head from your contemplation, brokenness over sin, and self-abasement, and focus on the glorious, eternal, and resurrected Lord! May His love for you be known, and felt. May it be ever in your mind, balancing the right perspective of guilt over sin, and God’s great love. There is a tension between the two, and it is good for us to know them both.
 
Romans 8:26-39 (NASB Strong’s) Our Victory in Christ
In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was  raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written,
“For Your sake we are being put to death all day long;
WE were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We Create Gods in Our Image, Paganism and Idolatry.

We humans are very self-centered, or anthropocentric.  When we make up a god, or religion, we make it in our image as a collective society.  It is usually a god that looks, and values what we do.  Consider the Norse mythological system, their gods valued fighting, and dying an honorable death in combat.  They valued strength.  All the false world religions look like the people they came from.  Men always imagine gods that are able to be appeased through their efforts.  We make our gods in our image.  We make gods that think, and look like us, and value the same things.  This is called idolatry.  Our ancestors did it, we do it, and chances are many of us don’t even realize we’re doing it.

Christianity is the only true faith, and worships the only true God.  He made us in His image.  He cannot be appeased by us, nor does he value the lowly, base, and sinful things we value.  We could never imagine a God like the true God.  He had to reveal Himself to us.  The record of His revelation to us, and all that is needed to know Him is in the Bible.  There we can read about Him, and come to know Him.  Through that process, I think you’l find, as I and many other Christians have, there is no way, anyone could have created such a God.

Many people claiming to be Christians have made a god in their own image.  They go to Church with true Christians, and other false converts.  They sing songs to their god, they pray to him/it, they worship him/it, but it won’t avail them.  They might say things like, “Don’t judge!” or, “My god would never send anyone to Hell.” or, “I don’t believe in the god of the Old Testament, I like the one in the New Testament better.” or, “God is love, love is god.”  Keep in mind, this god reflects what that person values, not the God of the Bible.

I encourage you to examine yourself, and see if you have created a god in your own image, or if you worship God in truth and in spirit.  Eternity is a long time to be wrong.

Please Consider Keeping Monergism Funded.

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If you are a Christian, you’ve probably heard of, or used Monergism.com.  They have been publishing public domain, free to read, Christian e-books, for years, as well as some contemporary works, and some for purchase.  I have downloaded, and benefited from their work personally, and encourage you to check them out.  They are also in need of funds to continue their work.  Please consider giving to them.  They are a valuable resource, and I’d hate to see them go.