Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Christian Experience

Q. 36: What are the benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification? 
Answer: The benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification, are, assurance of God's love, peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Ghost, increase of grace, and perseverance therein to the end. (WSC)

As Romans 5:1–5 teaches, “since we have been justified by faith,” we therefore “have peace with God” and “rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” We can rejoice even in suffering, knowing that it shall produce endurance, character, and hope. And our hope can be confident, since “love of God has been poured into our hearts.”

The assurance of God’s love, peace of conscience, and joy in the Holy Spirit all result from a personal knowledge of justification, adoption, and sanctification. When we receive and rest upon God’s grace through Christ, we come to know his love for us and to gain confidence before him (1 John 4:14-18). These blessings grow as we grow in our understanding, appreciation, and experience of this salvation and as we grow in our certainty that we possess it personally.

There are some believers who are saved but are not sure they are saved. True Christians can struggle with doubt and uncertainty concerning their salvation. But the more we are certain that we have been saved, the more we will enjoy the peace and joy of this salvation. The Spirit guides us into an assurance of salvation as we consider the promises of salvation and the sanctifying work of God in our lives (1 John 5:13, Rom. 8:15–16).

Increase of grace and perseverance to the end also come with justification, adoption, and sanctification. As Paul wrote, “I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6). Nothing can separate those who have been justified from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom. 8:31-39). The believer is born again of an imperishable seed, the living and abiding word of God (1 Peter 1:23). Increase of grace may not always be steady or perceptible. We do well to bewail before God our lethargy in spiritual growth. Yet, sin shall not have dominion over us (Rom. 6:14). Christ will continue to give life and spiritual growth to his people (Eph. 4:15-16, Col. 2:18-19). So let us pursue this growth with confidence, trusting in our Savior and seeking this growth in the way he has taught us.

No comments: