Let us draw near . . . in the full assurance of faith. (Hebrews 10:22.)
THE INNER AND OUTER EVIDENCES
CLARENCE WALKER, Editor
There is no greater blessing any person can possess than to know he is saved. To have the definite, positive assurance that his sins, past, present and future are forgiven - that he is "born again" - and that Heaven wfll be his eternal home - that the Lord Jesus Christ paid his sin-debt in full - that this hope is built on nothing less than "Jesus' blood and righteousness."
The Bible knows nothing of a man that does not know that he is saved if he has truly received Christ as his Savior - and once saved, saved forever, kept by power divine.
Today, we can see the low state to which faith has fallen among church members when they are asked, if they are saved, to hear them say, "I hope so," or "I am doing the best I can," or "we are all working for the same place." The note of certainty is gone. How pitiful and how sad.
All such expressions are of the devil - not of God nor are they born of God's Bible.
GOD'S WORD SAYS:
"We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren." (I John 3:14.)
"Let us draw near . . . in full assurance of faith." (Hebrews 10:22.)
"We know that if this earthly tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands eternal In the heavens." (II Corinthians 5:1.)
"I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day." (II Timothy 1:12.)
"Now with regard to our salvation, our blessed inheritance which Christ has bought for us at such an immense price we have the inner and outward evidences which is as sure as the Word of God. The first of these inner evidences is to be
BORN OF THE WORD
The Lord Jesus declared that "Except a man be born of the water and of the Spirit he could not enter into the Kingdom of God." The water here means the word of God.
Well do I remember when I was just a boy 11 years old how that under the preaching of the blessed word by a faithful pastor and a devoted Sunday school teacher I was led to see I was a lost and guilty sinner before God Almighty. And that my only hope was to take my eyes off myself and, SEE JESUS ONLY. It was the Holy Spirit applying the blessed word to my heart. Thus was I born of the Spirit, and of the Word.
This evidence can only be known by the individual person. If you are saved there must have been a time when by the power of the Holy Spirit you knew that you were lost and you did receive Christ as your Sin-Bearer.
The next evidence that a man has in his own heart is a
in the Lord Jesus Christ. A dead cold, intellectual belief is not a living faith. A living faith takes hold of Christ and the believer becomes one with the blessed Lord. We do, indeed, depend upon the blood of Christ for our cleansing, the righteousness of Christ for spiritual clothing, the death of Christ to be the death of sin, and the life of Christ to be our life unto God. All that we have we receive from him, "He that believeth on Him is not condemned." He is a justified man and being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Into the heart of each believer comes the
This is, indeed, an inner evidence for only you can know whether old things are now hated and you love the new things. To illustrate this I could tell you of the conversion of many who are now members of this church but I recall the experience of one brother who was in full manhood before he accepted our Savior. Before that time he seldom came to church and gave nothing to the cause of Christ. Since that day when he was converted he has hardly missed a Sunday and no man in our church has made more sacrificial gifts than this brother.
HE LOVES GOD
Because of the new life that is in his own heart. Because of space I can only give briefly a few others of the inner evidences.
There is that beautiful and holy fellowship between a true believer and the heavenly father that comes to the soul in prayer.
Then again, as the Holy Scriptures tell us.
WE LOVE THE LORD'S PEOPLE.
I LOVE MY BRETHREN
I have this evidence in my heart that there is nothing that I delight in more than to have blessed fellowship with my brethren and sisters in Christ Jesus. This love is in my soul because of the new life which the Savior has given me.
And last, but not least is the
INWARD CONFLICTS WITH SIN
This inner evidence might be called hatred for the things that God hates.
The believer will hate as well as love. He will hate sin. He will hate the devil. He will hate everything that God hates. One of the most glorious truths of divine revelation is that a child of God partakes of Ms Heavenly Father's divine nature. The evidence of this holy nature is that the truly converted man loves as God loves and hates the things that God hates. Naturally there will be inward conflicts between the old nature and the new life in Christ Jesus. God says, "These are contrary the one to the other."
THE OUTER EVIDENCES
Just as these inner evidences are real to the converted man so will these outer evidences be truth to him and the whole world can see and know what is in his heart. The first is,
THE WORD OF GOD
The Bible plainly declares that "He that hath the Son hath life." There can be no clearer presentation of this doctrine of assurance than these naked statements of the Word. Our blessed Lord said, I give unto them eternal life and none of them shall ever perish." (John 10:28.) I believe him therefore I do not doubt. The next outer evidences is the
of the new birth. A changed life means changed deeds. The man that stole will steal no more. The character will be grounded in strict honesty, uprightness and integrity. It is sad that often times we see great ingatherings in revival meetings but there will be no increased attendance at the regular services, in the prayer meetings and to the support of the missionary work. Sure as you live, a man that is born again will not be able to hide it from his associates and the world.
Another outward evidence of regeneration is
from the world and a union with the people of God. I say it carefully - that a church of Jesus Christ ought to be composed of men and women who are separated from the world. The world is the enemy of Jesus Christ. There can be no compromise. Compromise means surrender on the part of the church. The world put Jesus to death, harassed and slew his apostles. The world looked upon the Jerusalem Church as its enemy and indeed and in truth looked at it right for the church is the enemy of the world. In a discussion on worldliness a pastor asked me publicly if Ashland Avenue Church was a perfect church. I answered him, "No, for her members are imperfect."
But her Lord is perfect and the gospel standards for which she stands are perfect. These standards are found in the Bible. The Bible says, "THAT WE OUGHT TO WALK EVEN AS HE WALKED." (I John 2:6.) In this discussion it was indeed a sorry plight to see preachers trying to justify themselves for not preaching the perfect standards set up by Jesus Christ.
Why, one brother talked this way, saying, "That he had in his church men that would not pay their debts who were against the young people that danced and played cards and that therefore he did not condemn these things in his young people.
Another pastor said, "That the least thing his young people did was to play cards and dance." The next day other pastors were asking and wondering - "What did he mean?" It may look smart and sound fine to say that you preach the gospel and refuse to preach the Perfect Standards set forth hi God's Word, but you are not doing God's will. The command to Baptist preachers is to "Preach the Word." They ought to preach the gospel but there is more - "Preach the Word." And in that Word we find:
"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
"For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
"And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof, but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. (I John 2:16-17.)
A separated life, a life that is striving toward the perfect standards set up by our perfect Lord is indeed an evidence to the world of old tune, old-fashioned, Holy Ghost salvation.
[From the Ashland Avenue Baptist paper, March 9, 1956, pp. 1 & 3. Document provided by Donnie Burford. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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