Don’t be afraid. Don’t get scared and run back into yourself trying to find the assurance of your salvation.
Many have sent me quotations from their confessions that say that we need to look inward for our assurance. I say, “bunk”. What assurance could anyone possibly have by looking at themselves to see evidence that they really are a Christian and are of ‘the elect’?
Abandon that project of ‘the self’ and look to the external Word and sacraments…alone. Don’t put your trust in anything but the finished work of Christ on the Cross for real sinners.
Faith in your faith won’t do it. Faith in your church won’t do it. Faith in your “decision for Christ” or your “evidence” won’t do it.
But faith in God will do it (give you assurance and freedom). Faith in God and trusting in what He has done for you, in real time, in your own personal history, will do it.
He came to you, He comes to you in your Baptism. A concrete act of crucifixion and resurrection in your own life. Actually DONE TO YOU.
He comes to you in His Supper. Applying the Cross to you, yet again. Actually putting His body inside of your body and doing His forgiveness to you, yet again. Giving you His very essence. His very life. You can trust in these real, tangible events that happen to you in real time and space.
He comes to you in your hearing of His preached Word. Real sound waves that carry His Word of law and of promise…hitting your ears and going right into your heart and head.
Don’t go mucking around in the etherial spiritualities of …up there …somewhere. Don’t go foraging around in the dumpsters of your obedience to the law or evidences that you think you see to verify that you really are His. And don’t waste your time with the religious hucksters that will not offer you the assurance and the freedom that Christ so dearly won for you on that bloody Cross, but who instead send you back inside of yourself for evidence.
Go to the font. Go to His table. Listen to His Living Word…actually DONE to you…in your ears and on your skin, and on your tongue.
You ARE a child of the Living God. You CAN KNOW that you ARE SAVED…totally APART from anything that ‘YOU DO’, or anything that YOU SAY, or anything that YOU FEEL, or anything that YOU THINK.
You truly ARE “FREE IN CHRIST”!
Thanks to flickr and Samara May Knight, for the photo.