“This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”
By Rev. Ray
“The assurance which is included in faith is not always a conscious possession, however, since the Christian does not always live the full-orbed life of faith and consequently is not at all times aware of the riches of the life of faith, He is often swayed by doubts and uncertainties.1”
In the realm of Christian faith, assurance is spoken of variously as an element that is either unattainable or prideful piety. But Jesus spoke respectively on an assurance that is neither unattainable or prideful. Where the topic of Christian assurance is finds its footing is in the same faith that is consistent with the gift of faith given by God in the work of redemption. As Paul has said; “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;”(Eph. 2:8)
The source of assurance is the same source from which we derive our faith and they are inseparable in this sense. Even as Paul has stipulated that faith finds itself in the hearing of the Word of God, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” (Rom. 10:17) so, assurance finds its strength in the same Word of God. Therefore, it might be concluded that issues of lack of assurance are parallel with issues of a weak faith in that they are anemic in their knowledge and awareness of the Word of God. This is based on the use of the word translated “hearing” in Paul’s Romans text. The idea of hearing is the Greek word; “ἀκοή” used here in more than just the exercise of the audial element of human senses. It has the idea of affect upon the will to appropriate. As the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament states; “The hearing of man represents correspondence to the revelation of the Word, and in biblical religion it is thus the essential form in which this divine revelation is appropriated 2 Hearing, according to the Word of God involves the appropriation of that which is said to be the practical application in life and thinking.
Therefore, if we are to properly appropriate what Jesus has said here in John 6:39;“This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day,” there must be brought about a certain intellectual and willful conversion in the soul and mind. If one then considers what Jesus has said here, we find sufficient grounds of support for faith and assurance.
Jesus first builds support for faith in the delineation that my faith is founded on the will of God and neither my own self -confidence to preform in a manner worthy of provoking God to sit up and take notice of me, or my good works, nor does some mystic conformation through visions, signs or revelation outside the word, secure my salvation. It is entirely an act of God’s will, that He gives to the Son those who are to be saved and it is the will of God that the Son should lose nothing the Father has given Him. Furthermore, Jesus bases even the power to raise the Believer up and give to him eternal life is based on the will of God, the Father. Or, God has willed that the one who is in a state of the soul whose eye is fixed on Christ and is in a state of believing in Christ; these the Father has willed that they shall have eternal life. The principle point here is that, the Word of Christ is here spoken as a certainty and appropriation of these Words constitutes assurance that rests in the will of God and the certainty that He has stated His will to us through His Son. In the simple, assurance is found in what Jesus said and the Father has willed, not in what we think or do to convince ourselves we are favored of God. Even belief and beholding is not grounds for assurance, but what the Father has willed and He has willed eternal life to those who believe and behold.
The Rev. Ray Druckenmiller is the Pastor at Manning Community Church.