I just started reading Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart!– How to know for sure you are Saved by J.D. Greear. It brought back humorous memories of a place we tend to dwell in which we try to get it right. Atonement is essential to every human being who can adequately say that sin is evident. But because sin is evident there are some inherent consequences due to it:
- We will think somehow we can get it right.
- We will admit that we cannot get it right, yet simultaneously have a problem when others around us cannot get it right.
- We will atone and make others atone…to us.
- All of this we will forget later unless we’re thinking about the Gospel.
- We don’t go back to number one.
I think I am at a place now where I am painfully aware that there are no exact words sufficient or adequate enough to please a magnificent God who is perfect. I am reminded daily that I am not sufficient enough to put the right words together any better than I am putting the right heart together (or mind for that matter.)
One thing the world will do especially after conversion or as you are following Jesus is remind you how much presently you do not do or cannot do properly. Perhaps a bit of our hypocrisy would be rectified if we could learn about insuffienciency a la Colossians and Corinthians that we are inadequate people who are now qualified and adequate by One who is good enough.
I am past asking for reentry into my heart (and 2 denominational baptisms later); I think I have reconciled there is only One who is sufficient. The dilemma now is to try to be useful to Him and to others when you know that you are inadequate. Being what He said you are. Waiting when it seems like you are not beneficial. Living out the ‘all things work for the good’ and the ‘created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared beforehand.’ Maintaining when the world (people) would attempt to make you re-atone.
I’ll be interested to see where Greear takes us but in anticipation I will offer a few thoughts from my own DJ Shef list of when you are assured of salvation my list would be this:
- When you become enthralled with the reason, motivations and results of Christs death than your own death you might be on the right path.
- When His reputation starts to mess up your life plans and what you enjoy forever.
- When gratitude is the essential response…(even when you are mad or having a bad day
- When you forgive because you know you’ve been forgiven.
- When you are concerned how your sin thinking (and then also your actions) affects God’s plan AND those around you who you know (and don’t know.)
- When you go back to the top of list again.
I think there are perhaps a few scriptures to back those up. My own struggle is accepting that in some people’s lives, it will be difficult to be a blessing while others it will seem as though God will permit me to be a servant. You will do your best to be faithful and it will seem as the only effect you have is from the residue of your dying identity. We learn to accept that in the lives of those you feel inadequate is really an area where you have to trust the Gospel in every way. I find myself detesting myself more daily, not re-asking for Jesus into my heart. But rather asking similar to Ephesians 3 that God will be settled in my heart so I can see just how much He loves us. Sin has done its perfect work bu its work is only temporary. Jesus however is the one fix at our conversion and for all time.
To be continued…