Friday, April 1, 2016

BLESSED ASSURANCE

"I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life." (1 John 5:13)


We believe in assurance. Why? First of all, because the New Testament affirms it. The sheep within the sheepfold know their shepherd. (John 10:5,14). The Holy Spirit guides the faithful (John 16:13). And He assures them that they belong to God. This is the witness of the Spirit (Romans 8:16).


We believe in assurance also because Christian experience confirms it… And as life goes on, we know, with an ever-deepening sense of assurance, that God is with us. Just as children increasingly know that they belong to their earthly parents, so Christians know they belong to God. Now and then they may have doubts. But the continuing state of their souls is that of an unfaltering assurance.


We know that God forgives us. We know that God is with us in our daily work. We know that when we are tempted God helps us to gain the victory. We know that God confirms us as we enter into community struggles for truth and justice. We know that we never walk alone through the valley of the shadow of death. When we look back across the winding road of life, we know that God has seen us through. And we know that the promise of heaven is sure. 'Blessed Assurance' is not merely the title of a hymn; it is a state of the soul. [The feeling] may come and go, but it is real and God has promised it.


-- Bishop Mack Stokes in Major United Methodist Beliefs,  published by Abingdon  Press, Nashville, TN.   Used with permission.




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