A Single Day

When we take the history of a child of God, compressed within the short period of a single day – mark what flaws, what imperfections, what fickleness, what dereliction in principle, what flaws in practice, what errors in judgment and what wanderings of heart make up that brief history – how we are led to thank God for the stability of the covenant, that covenant which provides for the full redemption of all believers, which from eternity secures the effectual calling, the perfect keeping and certain salvation of every chosen vessel of mercy!

—Octavius Winslow
Personal Declension and Revival of Religion in the Soul

Via: Ray Ortlund

The Security of the Believer

The faith and love of the believer have their ebb and flow. They are subject to all sorts of fluctuation, but the security of the believer rests in the faithfulness of God and in the fact that the covenant of his peace will not be removed (Isaiah 54:10)… It is upon the determinativeness and stability of God’s gifts that our hearts must rest if we are not to be driven about by the fluctuating tempers or temperatures of our own experience. From a different angle it may be much the same thing to say that it is in Christ Jesus that all the promises of God are yea and amen, and he is the same yesterday, today, and forever. There is no fluctuation in his faithfulness and it is because of him that they are sure to us.

—John Murray

Via: The 9Marks Blog

Anchored In Christ’s Hands

I want you to know the length and breadth of your portion in Christ. I want you to understand the full amount of the treasure to which faith in Jesus entitles you. You have found out that you are a great sinner. Thank God for that. You have fled to Christ for pardon and peace with God. Thank God for that. You have committed yourself to Jesus for time and eternity – you have no hope but in Christ’s blood, Christ’s righteousness, Christ’s mediation, Christ’s daily all-persevering intercession. Thank God for that. Your heart’s desire and prayer is to be holy in all manner of conversation. Thank God for that. But oh, lay hold upon the glorious truth – that believing on Jesus you shall never perish, you shall never be cast away, you shall never fall away! It is written for you as well as for the apostles, “My sheep shall never perish.”

—J.C. Ryle
Practical Religion: Perseverance

Via: J.C. Ryle Quotes

Assurance of the Elect

At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.

—John 10:22-30

Freedom from Self-Preservation

Peter denied Jesus, to preserve himself physically (Mark 14:66-72). Later he denied the gospel, to preserve himself socially (Galatians 2:11-21). But by the time he wrote his first letter, his heart had been set free: “I have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it” (1 Peter 5:12).

What is “the true grace of God”? Not survival, physical or social, but the privilege of sharing in Christ’s sufferings that we may also rejoice when his glory is revealed (1 Peter 4:13).  Whatever life thrusts upon us, the true grace of God is to stand firm in that hard place and embrace identification with Jesus.

—Ray Ortlund

Via: Ray Ortlund

Rejecting False Assurances

If we think the Bible teaches universal salvation, we may arrive at a false sense of assurance by reasoning as follows: Everybody is saved. I am a body. Therefore, I am saved.

Or, if we think salvation is gained by our own good works and we are further deluded into believing that we possess good works, we will have a false assurance of salvation.

To have sound assurance, we must understand that our salvation rests on the merit of Christ alone, which is appropriated to us when we embrace Him by genuine faith. If we understand that, the remaining question is, “Do I have the genuine faith necessary for salvation?”

Again, two more things must be understood and analyzed properly. The first is doctrinal. We need a clear understanding of what constitutes genuine saving faith. If we conceive of saving faith as existing in a vacuum, never yielding the fruit of works of obedience, we have confused saving faith with dead faith, which cannot save anyone.

The second requirement involves a sober analysis of our own lives. We must examine ourselves to see whether the fruit of regeneration is apparent in our lives. Do we have a real affection for the biblical Christ? Only the regenerate person possesses real love for the real Jesus. Next we must ask the tough question, “Does my life manifest the fruit of sanctification?” I test my faith by my works.

Coram Deo: What is your response to the questions posed in this reading: Do you have the genuine faith necessary for salvation? Do you have a real affection for the biblical Christ? Does your life manifest the fruit of salvation?

Psalm 9:14: “That I may tell of all Your praise in the gates of the daughter of Zion. I will rejoice in Your salvation.”

Psalm 13:5: “But I have trusted in Your mercy; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.”

Psalm 20:5: “We will rejoice in your salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners! May the Lord fulfill all your petitions.”

—R.C. Sproul

Via: Ligonier Ministries Blog