Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Got Milk?

You have just had the privilege of leading a new convert to Christ. He is overwhelmed at the knowledge that Christ has forgiven his sins and saved him from hell. All is well for many weeks as this new babe in Christ enjoys his new life, but one night you receive a phone call from the same person sounding quite distraught and dejected.

It seems he has slipped into his former lifestyle and committed a terrible sin. He is sure that God cannot forgive him, and that his salvation is no longer guaranteed.

How would you counsel him? What would you say concerning his lack of assurance over his salvation? How would you help him deal with the sin he is convicted over?


Antonio said...

I would take him to John 5:24; 6:35-40; 6:47; and 11:25-26 to again relate to him Christ's guarantee. This endeavor leads him to contemplate Christ and His promise as the sure hope and objective criterion for absolute certainty of one's salvation.

As John Calvin says (in opposition to the theology that bears his name)

"But if we have been chosen in Him, we shall not find assurance of our election in ourselves... Christ, then is the mirror wherein we must, and without self-deception may, contemplate our own election." (Institutes III.xxiv.5)

Where he adds

"Doubtless, if we are to determine by our works in what way the Lord stands affected toward us, I admit that we cannot even get the length of a feeble conjecture: but since faith should accord with the free and simple promise, there is no room left for ambiguity" (Institutes III.ii.38)

We show the gentlemen that works and sin are not subjective tests by which one can know they are guaranteed eternal life or not. Christ's promise, whereby He guarantees eternal security to the one who believes Him to do so, is the only objective arena to find assurance. Looking to Christ's promise in simple faith will again bring back the certain assurance of eternal life that this new convert had the moment he first trusted Christ for His wonderful, and absolutely free gift.

I would tell him that doubts over salvation are common to babes in Christ, but a simple look to the Savior and His promise in faith will give one objective and certain assurance of eternal life.

Concerning the sin that he is convicted over I would discuss with him John 1:5-10, emphasizing each verse. I would tell him that familial, experiential forgiveness is guaranteed when one confesses his sin to God and that fellowship is restored when one begins again to walk in the light.

I would tell him of the temporal blessings of peace, satisfaction, meaning, significance, and purpose that come as a result of persuing holiness in one's life.

I would relay to him the great and precious promises that are his, that he has everything that he needs for life and godliness. I would walk him through the 6 'secrets' of the Christian life.

I would discuss with him the emptiness, lack of purpose, etc. a Christian has when he doesn't live for his Savior.

I would talk about God's temporal chastening and wrath for sin inflicted on His children who are in a sin lifestyle.

I would talk about eternal ramifications of his sin, such as shame at Christ's judgment seat, and the loss of privilige and reward in the kingdom.

I would discuss Christ's great sacrifice, and appreciation for it.

I would discuss God's majestic glory, and His worth, creating a desire to please Him.

I think I covered the bases.

Your friend,


jazzycat said...

Antonio's list is long.

You have said that he is already convicted of this sin which has obviously led to repentance of this sin so I would take him to (1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.) I would tell him to go to God in prayer and do exactly what this verse commands.

Antonio said...

I meant 1 john 1:5-10... I hate typoss dun't yu:?

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Give him the pastor's telephone number. He's paid to deal with people with problems.

Jim said...

Antonio, thanks for your comments. I do hope to have some others put forth some valid points as well. I will try to respond in detail soon.

God bless,

Jim said...

Jazzcat, thanks for your input as well.

How would you deal with his lack of assurance of his salvation, or the fact that God has indeed saved him?

Jim said...

Matthew, I never realized you had such a funny sense of humour.

God bless,

jazzycat said...

You asked, How would you deal with his lack of assurance of his salvation, or the fact that God has indeed saved him?

I think the 1 John 1:9 verse should give him assurance from the thing that caused his doubt (his sin). For further assurance, I would suggest that he read the entire book of 1 John.

I recently watched an excellent sermon series on television by Dr. Jeremiah on the book of 1 John where he preached on the assurance that can be obtained in that epistle. I believe I read recently in a blog comment that Antonio attends Dr. Jeremiah's church (Is that correct Antonio?). At any rate my wife like Dr. Jeremiah and record a lot of his sermons to watch later.


jazzycat said...

Correction on last sentence.....
At any rate my wife and I like Dr. Jeremiah and record a lot of his sermons to watch later.

Blaurock said...

Dear Jim,
Since he is distraught and dejected, and the sin is 'terrible'
I would want to go to his house and spend time in prayer with him, and seek the mind of God together.

I would want to know how he could take real, practical steps to avoiding this sin again. I would stress the point that if Christ saved us while enemies, how much more now that we are His friends.

I would show him the verses that show our salvation as already accomplished in eternity past and future, with his "feelings" subject to ups and downs in time.

The fact that he is bothered by this fall is a sign that he is a new creature, no longer delighting in sin. He needs to know about the enemy, and how to stand in spiritual strength by faith and the Word of God. For this I would begin regular studies,along with prayer together with him on a regular basis. He is dealing with normal growing pains. He needs a Paul(s) to continually draw truth from.

Jim said...

Thanks Jazzycat, how come so secretive on your indentity? I was quite confused on the gender for a long time.

Jim said...

Joseph, I appreciate the comprehensive nature of your comment. You have provided a way to deal with his present situation as well as prepare for future questions.

God bless,

jazzycat said...

I didn't mean to be secretive. The first six months or so of the Jazzycat blog was mostly a commentary on the culture and politics from a conservative perspective spoken through a wise cat (Jazzy Cat) and her mentally challenged sister (Cuffy). Poking fun at liberalism (global warming, PETA, car burnings in France etc.) was the main focus. After that ran it's course, Jazzy's humble human servant (me/W.H.) got involved with Christian blogging after a brief look see at commenting on political liberal sites. Trust me, Christian blogging is mild and meek compared to engaging wild-eyed liberal bloggers.

Jim said...

No problem, your name and avatar just made me incorrectly assume I was discussing issues with a female. My blunder.

I would agree with you on the liberal sites, a lot of that is simply trash talk with little content. Very unproductive.

God bless,