Blessed Assurance

Gospel of John #27: An exposition of John 10:27-30. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, June 19, 2011.

Have you ever known something for years only to find out it wasn’t true?  I mean you knew it.  You had it on good authority.  There was no doubt in your mind as to its truthfulness, you had no reason to question it, then one day you discover it is not true.  American humorist Josh Billings said, “It’s better to know nothing than to know what aint so.”  When I was pastoring in Masham I had come to Tulsa for something and I ran into an old friend.  He told me the heart-wrenching story of the tragic death of one of our classmates.  I went home saddened by the death of my friend.  Through the years I had opportunity to pass the tragic news on to a few of our other classmates.  Not long after we had moved to Tulsa I was sitting in the waiting room to see my new doctor.  As I thumb through a magazine I heard the door open and I did what we all do, in that circumstance, I looked up to see who was coming out from seeing the doctor.  There stood my deceased classmate!  That’s when I knew I was in the right place.  This doctor is good because for a guy who’s been dead 6 years – he’s looking pretty good.  In that instance I was glad that my “assurance” was “false assurance” but it made me wonder, “What else to I know that ain’t so?”

I don’t like uncertainty.
I much prefer stability and certainty.
One our our most cherished doctrines is the doctrine of eternal security.
Commonly referred to as, “once saved, always saved.”
A precious and often misunderstood doctrine.
Misunderstood even by our own folks.
I prefer to call it the perseverance of the saints.
True saints persevere to the very end.
Or preservation of the saints, God preserves His own.
After all salvation is God’s work.
We are saved by grace, kept by grace and we’ll enter into glory by that same grace.
Salvation is by God’s grace from beginning to end.
One of the bedrock passages for this glorious truth is found in the 10th chapter of John’s Gospel.

Text: John 10:27-30

Let’s put everything in context.
John has just told us of Jesus’ encounter with the Pharisees.
Our Lord had healed a man blind since birth (John 9).
Now that is a glorious thing.
But the Pharisees could not rejoice in it because it was done on the Sabbath.
They have been upset with Jesus from the beginning of his public work (starting in Capernaum).
You remember they got mad back in chapter 5 because he healed on the Sabbath.
John tells us a division arose among the Pharisees because of this event (John 9:16).
In the first part of chapter 10 Jesus takes aim at the Pharisees.
He speaks about those who are supposed to be shepherds but prove to be impostors.
He they are thieves, robbers and hired-hands but that He (Jesus) is the Good Shepherd.

The Good Shepherd who:
Knows his sheep – personally and intimately.
Provides for his sheep – saved, secure and satisfied.
Loves his sheep – sacrificially, universally, and deliberately.

Again there was division because of Him (10:19-21).

Now a few months later, during the Feast of Dedication there is another confrontation.

I want to focus on just part of what Jesus said – 10:27-30.

Thesis: The biblical Gospel allows the believer to rest in the assurance of salvation.

Often this doctrine is misunderstood and abused.  Rightly understood it is not, “say the magic words” and then live however you want the rest of your days because everything is alright.  Salvation is about conversion not decision.  There is a world (make that an eternity) of difference between the two.

Buried within our Lord’s response to the questioning crowd is this marvelous word about assurance.  I want you to see three reasons for our assurance.

  1. Our assurance is based on the promise of the Lord Jesus.  (10:27-28)
  2. Our assurance is anchored in the power of God.  (10:29)
  3. Our assurance is secured by the unity of the Father and the Son.  (10:30)

There may well be some things I know that aint so but of this I am certain – my salvation is secure.  It is secure because of the promise of the Lord Jesus, the power of God and the unity of the Father and the Son.

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