Wednesday, September 21, 2011

September 21, 2011 … The Spirit’s Assurance

Passage of the Day: Romans 8: 9 … [NIV] … You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.

Romans 8: 9 … NASB … However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.

My Journal for Today: In reading John MacArthur’s devotional for this date in Strength for Today, I agree with his contention that a Christian’s assurance of salvation is, in his words, “… essential to our Christian lives.” The Apostle Paul in today’s verse writes about the reality of how the Spirit of God, working in the heart of the Christ, causes one to be controlled by God [i.e., if that someone is surrendered, by faith, to God’s Spirit].

Think about it. If you have doubts about your salvation [i.e., whether or not you believe that you truly “belong to Christ” as Paul wrote], you are not going to see the world through eyes of assertive faith, … nor will you act (i.e., make choices) that are based upon your confidence in your relationship with Christ. The faithful one, however, … the one who truly BELIEVES he/she is saved, will move on that belief, KNOWING that God is in control of his/her life, which in the long-term picture of life will demonstrate (i.e., with the fruitfulness mentioned in Ga. 5: 22-23) his/her belief in his/her salvation and his/her “Christian” world view.

In today’s passage Paul writes of God’s Spirit “living” or “dwelling” in the true believer (i.e., the saved Christian). The Greek term for “to dwell” is “oikeo;” and it literally means to make a home or to take up residence. So, when one is truly saved, we have a new nature residing in our hearts, ever driving us, pulling us, edging us, drawing us toward a life in the Spirit rather than a life controlled by our sinful, deceitful, fleshly heart (see Jer. 17: 9 and John 3: 6). This being truth, Paul (in 2nd Cor. 13: 5) exhorts Christians to test ourselves to see if really have the Spirit of God’s Spirit dwelling in us.

To do this “test,” we could ask ourselves …

>>> Do I see the fruit of the Spirit maturing in my life? (see Gal. 5: 22 – 23)
>>> Do I struggle against sin, desiring to be free of its influence? (see Rom. 7: 14 – 25; Gal. 5: 16 – 17)
>>> Do my attitudes and choices reflect a drive toward Godliness? (1st John 1: 6 – 10)
>>> Do I yearn for closeness/communion with God ? (1st John 1: 3)

If, as you read these questions and meditate on the verses supporting them, you are mentally and with confidence nodding “YES” to any question about your salvation; … and God is telling you that He resides permanently in your soul (i.e., heart). In other words, my fellow Christian, YOU ARE SAVED by His grace (see Eph. 2: 8 -9).

Now, with that assurance of our salvation, we saved Christians must walk in the Spirit, surrendered to the One Who dwells in us, and live out our salvation unto God’s workmanship (see Eph. 2: 10). And when we do that, we will begin to see more and more fruit in our lives (again, Gal. 5: 22 – 23). So, I pray that you know that you know that you know that you know that you are saved.

My Prayer Today: I know You are in me, Lord; and I pray You dwell richly in my soul, precious Spirit! Amen

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