4/15/14 The Assurance of Salvation

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Luke 7:48-50

Morning Meditation 4/15/2014

Verses 48-50 say, “And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also? And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.”

Assurance of salvation has been argued through the ages. People say that you can’t know you are saved. If I believed what they believed about what it takes to save (good works), I would say the same thing. For a person to say, “I know I’m saved,” when he believes that salvation is based on human merit, would be an egotistical boast. That is exactly what that group of people believe about us when we say we know that we are saved. They say that we are boasting of our good works and that we are saying that we have done enough good to gain God’s favor and that we can say because of that we know that we are saved.

Our text says, “And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.” The word “said” is the translation of “epo” and means “to speak.” It is an aorist active indicative verb. The aorist tense is a point tense and means He spoke this at a point of time. i.e., He made a once for all declaration “Thy sins are forgiven..” He could have put it in a CONTINUOUS ACTION TENSE and that would have suggested that in order to keep the assurance of salvation we would need to hear Him say that over and over again. He didn’t put it that way.. He made the statement and expected her to believe it. How many time does Jesus have to tell you that He has forgiven yours sins for you to believe Him?

The words “Thy sins are forgiven” were addressed to her. She knew who He was talking to. Salvation is personal. Jesus came to die for all men. “He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:11-12). The words “But as many as received him” mean that the individuals who receive Him are the ones He saves. Salvation is personal. God does not save a race as such, or a family as such. He saves people as individual who receive Him as their Saviour.

The words “are forgiven” translate “aphiemi” and mean “to send away, to bid to go away or depart.” This word is used of a husband divorcing his wife. This is one divorce every man needs, i.e., from his sins. If you can picture sin as a growth or a disease that you can’t get rid of without destroying yourself, you have the picture. Jesus can get rid of the growth or disease without destroying you. This is what being saved means. Sin has made a claim on our lives and there is no human cure. Jesus came to save us from a terminal illness (called sin) that only He has the cure. That is the reason the Christian gospel is so important. It is “the (not a) power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.” Now let me give you something that will make you shout if there is a shout in you. The verb “aphiemi” is a perfect passive indicative. The perfect tense means that her sins had been forgiven in the past with the result that they remained forgiven. Read the passage. You have a woman in true worship. We need to learn to worship from this scene. The word worship literally means to kiss the hand. Strong says, “to kiss the hand to (towards) one, in token of reverence; among the Orientals, esp. the Persians, to fall upon the knees and touch the ground with the forehead as an expression of profound reverence; in the NT by kneeling or prostration to do homage (to one) or make obeisance, whether in order to express respect or to make supplication.” This woman didn’t just kiss the hand of Jesus, she kissed His feet.. And she did this in gratitude for a salvation already received.

When was this woman saved? Was she saved because she worshiped? No. She had already been forgiven of her sins, and because of it, she was expressing her gratitude in loving adoring worship of the One who had saved her. When Jesus used the perfect tense, He was telling her that she had been saved in the past and remained that way at the time He told her. The verb is also a passive voice. This means that she was not saved by her own good works. She was the SUBJECT THAT WAS ACTED UPON. The passive voice is here the subject is the receiver of the action. What was the action? Answer: the forgiveness of sins. Hallelujah!

Next the words “Thy sins are forgiven” are the Lord’s words. He is the one who told her she was saved. We need to get assurance from the Lord (The Bible). God will personalize a verse to you concerning the forgiveness of sins. DO NOT BASE YOUR ASSURANCE ON WHAT SOME SINCERE PERSON TELLS YOU. Jesus told this woman her sins had been forgiven. Now you may come to the preacher for counsel, and that’s ok. You may go to someone else in whom you have confidence, and that’s ok. But ultimately you need the Lord himself to tell you in His Word that you are saved. I can take you to several passages of Scripture where God gives me the assurance of salvation. And I want you to know as I write these lines that I have no doubt whatsoever about the salvation of my eternal soul. I know where I’m going when I die. One of the verses that gives me assurance is “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24). This verse tells me that I have already passed from death to life. And there are many other verses like this one. I heard Billy Kelley say, and Billy weighed over 400 lbs at the time I heard him say this, “I’m wouldn’t be afraid to swing out over hell on a rotten corn stalk!” Well, when I looked at Billy I said to myself, “He has to have real assurance because that corn stalk wouldn’t hold him up!”

I do not have assurance because the Baptist’s teach it. I have assurance because God has met with me in His Word and personalized His Word so that He is telling me that my sins have been forgiven. If I were a Methodist or a Presbyterian or an Episcopalian, I would have this same assurance. The reason: because the Bible says it. You need to get off your denominational perch and start believing the Bible.

If you were to have asked this woman after Jesus had said this to her, “How do you know your sins are forgiven you?” She would have said, “Because He told me and I believe Him.” Do you have this kind of assurance? It is a good question.

Next Jesus said to her, “Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.” Remember, Jesus is the Speaker. HE said, “Thy faith hath saved thee.” We are saved by “faith” not by “works.” Assurance can be experienced because of this. I am sure my works aren’t sufficient to satisfy a Holy and Just God. But my “faith” is “counted for righteousness” and I KNOW I BELIEVE. The words “hath saved” is a perfect tense verb. That means that the woman was saved before Jesus spoke these words of assurance on this occasion. It means that she was a saved woman at the time of the words of assurance. Assurance comes after the event of salvation many times. You can be saved and not have the assurance. But you can’t be saved without the assurance and be happy.

Jesus said, “Go in peace.” The word “go” translates “poreuomai” and means “to pursue the journey on which one has entered, to continue on one's journey.” Salvation is a journey. The woman became a part of a pilgrim people on the journey through this world on OUR way to the “city which hath foundations whose builder and maker is God” (Heb. 11:10). It is a present middle imperative. The present tense means the word “go” is a continuous active verb. This journey will not end until the rapture or resurrection. It is middle voice which means that it is a choice that will benefit the woman. One of the benefits that the woman will experience is expressed in the word “peace.” If we want real peace in our lives, we need to walk on with the Lord after we are saved. If we want peace in our lives, we cannot tolerate sin. It must be confessed and peace restored. Sin will rob you of the assurance of salvation.

May The Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro. White

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