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Assurance of Salvation (Vol 09) - The Character of God

Sunday English Service - 17 NOV 19

Transcript

I’ll remind you that we have been teaching on the topic of the assurance of salvation. Would you just say that? Don't worry, I won't keep making you say it. This is my last week. The assurance of salvation. And we've been talking about various sources of assurance. Where do you go? What do you do when you don't have assurance or when you want to grow in assurance? Everybody can and should grow in this area. No matter how much you are already sure, you can be more sure. And so, it's good to grow in this area because when you grow in your assurance of salvation, you will automatically grow in general in your faith in God, in your confidence in God and so on.

So, we've been talking about the sources of assurance. Let's just review that. What's the first source of assurance? The gospel of Jesus Christ. The second source of assurance? The promises of God. These two are so important. These are the basic ones. These are the most essential ones; you can’t do without it. You need this. The third source if you remember? Our transformed life. Now, this is also biblical source, important source, but it's not exactly the same as the other two that came before it. It's more of a confirmatory source. It's a source that confirms your salvation. It's not a source that will increase a whole lot your assurance. It's not an increasing source. It's a confirming source. I gave you the example of a car. In the car, you have the accelerator which increases the speed but you have the speedometer which simply shows you what speed you're going. Your transformed life is like that speedometer. You look at it and you know, “Okay, it’s going good.” It's an important confirmation that things are going as they ought to. But if you want to increase the speed, if you want to change things, if you want to increase your assurance, if you want to increase your transformation, if you want to change your life, take you to the next level, you got to pay attention to the gospel and the promises of God.

Then the fourth source is the Holy Spirit inside us. I don't like the title very much. The Holy Spirit inside us, it has a lot of things. But last week, we focused on the special witness of the Holy Spirit, the special proof. The witness of the Holy Spirit is probably the best way to say it. Romans 8:15 and 16. The special feeling that the Holy Spirit gives inside. He witnesses to our spirit that we are the children of God. And that is really the highest level of assurance, you may say. You can't get higher than that. When you have that witness of the Holy Spirit, when you feel that in your heart, you kind of reach the heights of assurance. So, four sources.

Today, I want to introduce you to a fifth source of assurance. This will be the last sermon of the series. The fifth source of assurance today, and that is the character of God. This, I would say, is the deepest foundation of our assurance, the deepest source. Last week, we saw the highest level, this week, we're going to look at the deepest foundation, if you think of our salvation assurance as a building maybe, think of a building, a very tall building, many floors. What we saw last week is like being on the top floor, the view you get from the top floor. It's an amazing view. Have you gone to these tall buildings and have you looked from the top floor, from the terrace or something like that? The view is just amazing. Well, that's what we tried to give you last week. We tried to give you the top floor view, the highest level of assurance that can be attained on this side of heaven. But today, we're going to look at how is this tall building standing? There must be a strong foundation. The foundation must be very deep.

The deepest foundation of our assurance is the character of God. Why do we say that? Because everything God does flows from His character. Everything God does flows from who He is, His nature, His character. Everything everyone does flows from their character only. Even human beings. Jesus, about evil men, He said, “Evil men, out of their evil hearts, bring forth evil things.” Well, God is not evil; He is good. And this good God out of His good heart, Hs good character, His good nature, brings forth good things. Everything God does reveals His character. Everything God does flows out of His character, everything He does also reveals His character. He does only because He is. If He does something good it's only because He is good deep down inside.

You can see this in even things like creation. If you look at creation, you can see the character of God revealed there. Look at how beautiful creation is. That's because He is beautiful. God is beautiful. You see how orderly creation is. I'm talking about places where man hasn't gone and spoiled the show. Usually, when man enters, he spoils everything there. But if man hasn’t touched it, it's quite orderly. Usually, it's amazing. If you go and see the order and the beauty of creation, they reflect the very order and beauty in God's inmost being. It's who He is. He's a God of order, He is a God of beauty and so on.

Even salvation. Creation is a work of God. Just as creation is a work of God, salvation is the work of God. Today, I want you to start thinking, I'm sure you know that, but sometimes we don't think in those terms. We think about keeping our salvation safe as it's our work. Salvation is a work God. Who planned your salvation? Let me put like this. Whose idea was your salvation, my salvation? It was God's idea, my friend. We take too much credit, put too much pressure on ourselves also. Whose idea was the family for example? God's. Whose idea was marriage? Whose idea was work? All the good ideas came from Him. Whose idea was it that we might have children and all? It's God's idea.

Whose idea is salvation? It is God's idea. Who planned salvation? God planned it. The Father planned it. When did He plan it? It’s not something that happened now, the plan of salvation happened in eternity past. God the Father thought about you and me and He planned our salvation. The Bible talks about Jesus as the Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world. From eternity past He planned our salvation and then the Son came into this world 2000 years ago, left His glory there, put aside His glory and came, emptied Himself. Philippians 2 says, and He came into this world, lived and suffered and died for us and rose again, and went back and He’s seated at the right. He finished the work of salvation, so to speak. The most important thing is He finished in many ways. “It is finished,” He cried out. And then the Holy Spirit applies the finished work of salvation to our hearts today. This is a work of God, the Triune God. The Father planned it, the Son executed it 2000 years ago, and the Holy Spirit applies it in real time today in our hearts. Salvation is the work of God. Everybody say, work of God.

Just as creation is the work of God, salvation is the work of God and it's a very important work of God and it flows out of His Good character and His nature. You want to be sure about salvation, you see the fountain from which it springs forth, the very character and the nature of God. That's what we're going to consider today. How are we going to look at God's character and nature today? We're going to take a few of God's qualities or characteristics. Just a few. There's no time for everything. That's an entire series. The doctrine of God is like an entire subject. We're just going to do a small meditation on the character of God, just select some qualities and characteristics. And through that our goal is to receive assurance of salvation. So, we're going to relate the characteristics.

Let me tell you what qualities, what characteristics we're going to look at today. We're going to look at God's wisdom, God's power, God's love, and God's faithfulness. There are many more characteristics for example, God's holiness and righteousness, which I have left out. But I think I've covered it in previous sermons in the series. Talked about heights of God's holiness, for example, His righteousness and so on. And so, for lack of time, and also, since I've spoken about it before this, I want to leave that out. Today, focus on these four. Today, what we're saying makes more sense if you heard all eight previous messages in the series. Because otherwise certain questions may rise up and not be answered today. Well, we've answered a lot of questions through eight sermons and this is the final one.

Let's begin with God's wisdom. We're going to look at wisdom. There’re so many things in God's wisdom, but we're going to take God's wisdom and look at it mainly in the light of salvation and specifically assurance of salvation. God's wisdom. Let us meditate on God's wisdom. God's wisdom is an amazing thing. It is so great and so vast. Psalm 147 verse 5. We said salvation is God's idea. He came up with the idea. It was His idea. He's the one who planned it and you must think about the wisdom of the one who planned your salvation. Psalm 147 verse 5. Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure. Here, it combines two attributes: power and wisdom. Says, great is our Lord, in what way? He's abundant in power and His understanding is beyond measure.

When I say wisdom, I mean God's knowledge, wisdom, understanding all of it just clamped together. His understanding is beyond measure. You cannot fathom His full understanding; it is so great. A God with unfathomable understanding, understanding beyond measure, this is the God who planned our salvation. His wisdom is on another level. It’s a higher level, you cannot compare anyone's wisdom with His. Paul says at the end of Romans chapter 16, he says, “To the only wise God.” Like Jesus said, “There is no one good but God,” Paul says, “To the only wise God.” That means there's nobody else wise compared to Him. The only wise God. His understanding, His wisdom is so great, and with that great wisdom God planed your salvation. Only God could have come up with such a brilliant plan of salvation.

Today, I’m going to be talking about the plan of salvation a lot. I’m going to use that term because we forget sometimes that salvation is a plan that God made long time ago and has been working out ever since. We think it's just happening now and we have problems now. No, no, no. Only God could have come up with such a brilliant plan of salvation, only someone so wise could have planned something so great. There're no flaws in the plan, my friend, because it comes from His wisdom. It's a perfect plan. It's a super plan. It's a glorious plan by a glorious, all wise, only wise God. If you just look at the way He planned, the way He saves us, it's amazing.

I mean, who would select a cross that He should save us through the cross? Who would select the cross as the great symbol of salvation? Who would select the cross as the thing through which we are saved? The cross was a symbol of shame in the Roman world. It is a symbol that people looked down upon, they wouldn't even look upon it. Such was the symbol. Today, we hang it on our necks, but that day, it was a symbol of humiliation. In the Roman world, 2000 years ago, that was the cross. Nobody would select the cross as the way to save people but God purposely takes such a symbol, low in the eyes of the world. And by making His Son die on the cross, He exalts the cross. Today, when you see a cross, it's not a symbol of humiliation, it's a symbol of hope. It's a symbol of forgiveness. It's a symbol of new beginnings. It's a symbol, if you go there, you will get help. Your life can change. God completely turned around something that the world viewed as low and nothing and despicable, and He turned it into something glorious.

We talk about the glory of the cross. That is God's wisdom, my friend. Purposely, He chooses this kind of thing that the world would not choose. It's a very different wisdom. It's on a different level. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1, “It pleased God to save us through the foolishness of preaching.” It pleases God to save us through the foolishness. We read 1 Corinthians 1 verse 18 to 24, you will see those verses. He talks about the wisdom of the cross. How God made the wisdom of the world into foolishness. The world thought like they can do this and that and reach God and please God, but Paul says, “He exalted the cross and then He chose preaching as the method through which people are saved.”

Have you ever thought about that? If you ask human beings to devise a plan to bring salvation to people, what will they do? They'll say, “Well, you fast and pray, walk 500 steps on your knees, climb these stairs,” all these kind of things human beings will do. Human wisdom is like that. “Oh, you want to please God? Pierce yourself here, cut off this part, do that, do that, do this.” All these kinds of things. What is the way God has? You want to get saved? Just listen to somebody tell you the gospel and believe it. That's all, finished. It's simple, it's different, it's unbelievable. The foolishness of preaching, that means people think, “This is foolish. Thousand people sitting, one man talking about something what is going to happen with this?” But Paul says, “God chose the foolishness of preaching to save people.”

How are people saved? Not by walking 500 steps and climbing 500 steps somewhere and cutting off this part or that part. They're saved by what? Hearing the gospel, simple, gospel about what Jesus did and simply putting their faith in it. Simple faith in simple preaching, and our powerful God saves. The foolishness of preaching and so many things like this, God’s wisdom you can see in salvation. You can see also in the way He saves people. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1, that same passage, you keep reading, he says, “Look at yourselves how God has chosen you. Not many wise, great thing God has chosen the people who have been discarded by the world and He has saved them.” If you talk about who can get saved, if you leave it to them, if you leave it to human beings, they will put a list of qualifications “First you go do this, first you go do that. With all these qualifications, you come you get saved.” God says, “Nothing. Just believe in Jesus.”

First of all, He says whole world is disqualified. First, let's begin there. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Gospel makes everyone equal first. In the world, they’ll keep dividing into levels, “You are higher, I am lower. Somebody is in middle.” Socioeconomic levels, by race, by caste, all kinds of divisions. The gospel first makes the whole world equal and says, “All have sinned. There is none righteous, no, not one.” And then it says, “Now, here is Jesus, He came for all. Whoever believes in Him shall be saved. Whoever believes. Anyone can be saved.” Today, anyone can receive Jesus. Today, anyone can be saved. This is the wisdom of God, my friend. Man would have messed it up, made a hierarchy out of this, made a procedure out of this. God makes salvation so simple, so amazing, and it's offered to everyone. They just got to believe, that's all.

Why I'm saying these things is, God has thought about each aspect of salvation in His brilliant wisdom and made a way to bring salvation and make it available to people and do all that. So, let me ask you something, if God is so wise, and if He's all wise and if He's only wise and if He thinks about everything, would He not have thought about all the problems that might affect our salvation from coming to fulfillment in the end? Would He not have thought about problems that we will face after we get saved, for example? Would He not have thought about hindrances that might come against us? People talk about, “There’re so many hindrances, we might lose our salvation.” What I'm trying to say today is, if we are thinking so much, would He not have thought about those hindrances? Would He not have prepared for those problems, for those hindrances?

If you believe in an all wise God, my friend, you got to believe that when He planned this thing called salvation, which is His most important project... It's the most basic project God has. It's the last thing Jesus said, “Go ye into all the world, preach the gospel, make disciples.” If this is not there, other plans of God are useless. If we don't get saved and we are not kept safe till the end, what is the use of the other plans? This is the most basic plan. This is the plan upon which the other plans depend. You know what I mean? Like, if you're planning something for your kids, suppose you are planning for a bright future for your children, you're planning they got to go to that place and that country and study in this college and they got to come out very well. You make grand plans for your children, suppose. I'm sure you will also plan for their safety. Because without being safe, what is the use of planning the college? You’ll not only look at what college they're going to study, you’ll look at the place where they're going to stay. Is the place safe? Will they face any harm or danger? You'll make sure their safety is number one because unless they're safe, they cannot study. The college is useless, all the plans are useless unless they are safe and alive and well.

That is the basic plan beneath all plans and only that works, other things work. It's like that. God has plans for our lives’ purposes and I know all that but the thing is, He has the basic plan, the plan of salvation. If this goes wrong, the other plans are gone, finished, useless. No point of that. And so, God prioritizes His plan of salvation. You must know today that God prioritizes His plan of salvation. It’s very important to Him. More important than it is to you it is important to Him that you are saved and you are kept safe all the way till the end. So, what I'm saying is, in His brilliant wisdom, God has thought about every possible problem we might face, every possible hindrance, every possible complication. He has thought about it, my friend.

People raise questions when you talk about assurance today. They say, “But what if this happens? But what if that happens? What if we sin?” Well, He has made a plan for that also. If anyone sins, 1 John 1:9, you confess your sins, and you receive forgiveness and cleansing because the blood of Jesus even today cleanses us from all our sin. This doesn't mean we should sin but if you do sin, John says, 1 John 2:1, we saw all this previously, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous. He is the solution. Sin, yeah, it's a problem. But we have a solution, advocate Jesus Christ. Another question people raise is, “Well, we need to be holy, right? We need to live holy?” Yeah, of course we need to live holy. We need to grow in holiness. Yes. We need to grow in holiness. We spoke about that in a separate sermon. Our transformed life, a separate sermon. Sermon number five.

People say, “Well, if we need to live holy and grow in holiness, you know how difficult that is? How can we be sure about our salvation?” Well, yes, it is difficult, but the thing is, because it's difficult, God made a plan accordingly. What did He say? “After you get saved, I Myself, I’m going to come and sit inside you. I’m going to come and be right with you and help you live a transformed, holy life.” Yeah. It's not easy sometimes to live a holy life. But that's why God is up to the task. He has thought of it. And what did He do? He didn't just save us and leave us; He sent the Holy Spirit to dwell inside of us. He doesn't say, “You go live a holy life. Try your best to please Me, and if you make it, I'll take you in.” No. He says, “I am coming. I'm going to be with you. I'm going to help you every step of the way.”

For every problem, He has planned a solution in His wisdom. People say, “Well, how can you be sure? We need to persevere in our faith, right? We need to persevere.” Yes, of course, we need to persevere, we need to keep believing, no matter what. And sometimes is that difficult? Yes, it is difficult, but God knows and He planned beforehand itself. He knows it's going to be difficult and therefore He planned certain things. For example, Jesus is interceding that we might persevere. I’m talking about solution. You want to talk about the problems, let’s talk about the solution. Jesus is interceding that we might persevere. In John 17, before He goes to the cross, He intercedes. He prays and He says, “Father, preserve them, protect them.” I'm sure He's praying the same thing today. Preserve me, preserve you. He prayed, remember that Peter’s faith should not fail? I'm sure He's praying that for you. I'm sure He's praying that for me.

He knows sometimes circumstances will sometimes make us to feel like we should just give up, feels like can’t move on anymore, can't believe. How can we believe? Circumstances are so bad. God knows it's easy sometimes to give up. But that's why Jesus is praying that we won't give up, that our faith will not be lost. The Holy Spirit is living inside us. He is strengthening us to keep persevering, to keep believing. We have the written word. You have such a big book in your lap. What is the purpose of this? To help you. He knows, yeah, there are challenges, there are some difficulties, but the solution is greater than the difficulty. The written word, so many promises, so many directions, counsel, wisdom, how to go beyond our hindrances, how to overcome our problems, how to be strengthened in hope and faith. The written word teaches us. We have the local church. I'm talking about the solution, my friend. God has planned. Why did He put a local church like this? So many local churches, a local pastor here to teach? Why? Think about it. So that we might be assisted. So that difficult things become easy. So that we’ll keep believing, keep hoping, keep pushing forward, keep moving forward, keep persevering.

People, your friends, your other believers, your fellow believers. Sometimes you feel like giving up the person next to you says, “No, come on, get up. Keep moving on.” Sometimes you can't hear the voice of the Holy Spirit. It's not the Holy Spirit's fault; it's our fault. But God graciously even for that He has planned. Even if you can’t hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, at least to the voice of the guy next to you, “Don't give up.” That's why it's good to be in a community of believers and so on. What I'm trying to say is, God has thought about every possible problem, hindrance, challenge and He has made solutions for it, my friend. People say, “I don't know if I’ll change enough.” Well, He has 1000 ways to change you. He has brilliant plans in place to change you. It took Him just six days to make the world, sometimes it takes Him longer to change us. Not sometimes, always. But He does change. He does change. He has brilliant ideas, my friend. I don't have time to go into it.

Why do the doubts come? It comes because we focus on ourselves. I said this in the first sermon on assurance. Why do the doubts come? We’re looking at ourselves, my weaknesses, my difficulties, my circumstances, other people, I'm comparing myself with others. That's why the doubts are there. Stop looking here and lift up your eyes and look at your great God. The salvation flows from His heart, His character, and He's an all wise God. He knows what He's doing. He's a brilliant God. You're ready to trust in your wisdom or His wisdom? Saying what if this happens, and what if that happens and this and that is looking at our wisdom. He has planned for everything.

It's better to say in humility, “God, all these problems are there. I don't know how you're going to take me through all this. But I know one thing, You are all wise. You've thought about every little problem, every little hindrance, and you have made plans for it. And I trust in Your wisdom.” Make much of His wisdom, my friend. This doesn't apply only to assurance of salvation; it applies to everything. Make much of His wisdom in the midst of your problems. Romans 11:33. We’ve looked at Romans a lot, especially Romans 1 to 8. But here, at the end of chapter 11, Paul is bringing the doctrinal section to grand close. And this is probably the highest point in the book thus far. We looked at the previous high point in Romans 8, and here is yet another climactic moment here in Romans 11 verse 33. Paul is not able to close the doctrinal teaching section without literally worshiping God, being amazed at Him. Look at Romans 11 verse 33. Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” 

He’s saying, “Who can give counsel to Him?” Anybody can go and say, “But God, did you think about this? Who can be His counselor? Paul, you must see the way he says, “Oh.” Theology is not a dry subject. It's a subject where he says, “Oh.” If you're studying God, if you're looking at God, at some point, you got to go, “Oh.” The depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God, how unsearchable are His judgments, how inscrutable His ways. Make much of His wisdom when the doubts come. Don't rely on your own wisdom, your own thinking, your own analysis. Make much of His, look to His wisdom.

Next, power. God is not only an all-wise God, He's an all-powerful God. Some people have a lot of good ideas, they got good wisdom. They come up with brilliant plans but they can’t fulfill the plans. They don't have the resources necessary to actually make the plan work. It's no use having a brilliant plan, but you can’t make it work. That’s the problem with us. We sometimes come up with brilliant plans, we can’t make it work. We're not God. But God, no matter what plan He makes, and the plans are always brilliant, He has every resource and every power to actually make it work. He's all powerful. He's an omnipotent God.

Power means, don't just think of brute power, think of it in broad terms. Every kind of power He has. People only have one or two kinds of power. Some people got muscle power. Some people got money power, some people got people power, some people got this power, that power. God has every power. See, that's the difference. God has every ability needed to fulfill every plan of His, that is God's power. People, when they have doubts about salvation or anything actually, when doubts come sometime, when you start looking inward sometimes, you'll notice yourself feeling this way, “Nobody's going through problems like me.” Have you noticed that? You start feeling, “Nobody is going through problems like me. Oh, you don't know my problem. I'm so special.” That's a lie of the devil, my friend. I’m sorry to say that. When you're feeling that it almost seems like you're being you know patted on the back, nobody's going through problems like you. The devil makes us feel self-pity. He’s patting you on the back and then he'll give you one push down. You got to be careful with him.

The New Testament clearly teaches, no, that's not true. Paul says, other believers are also going through problems like you. Everybody's going through problems and challenges. We are living in a fallen world. The devil is against us, we got enemies and things are happening. So, that's one thing. Another thing is, we'll start feeling sometimes like now only the problems have come. “Oh, what about this? What about that?” But sometimes when you step back from the situation, you’ll realize, God is not being surprised with our problems. God is not surprised with our great doubts. “But what about this?” God has seen problems and doubts and opposition from the very beginning that He started to fulfill His plan of salvation.

I want you to just take a step back. People have doubts about their salvation. “What about me? What if I don't do this? What if I do this?” Forget about yourself one minute, step back, zoom out. Salvation didn't begin with you; it began way back. He planned it from before eternity and the moment man sinned in the garden, He gave the first promise. “Your seed will crush the seed of the serpent.” From that moment, He's been working out His plan of salvation. And at so many points along the way, the devil has tried to put a stop to God's plan of salvation. The devil has tried to spoil it. It's time God shows His power there. In different ways, He shows His power, His ability to move the plan of salvation forward despite every hindrance and problem.

People say, like today, problems are new they say, “What if this happens? What if that happens?” Well, if we want to talk about what ifs, I have a set of what ifs here. If you want to go that way, questions arise in the mind. What if this happens? What if that happens? What if I'm not right? What if that guy is not right? What if this this? Let's talk about some what ifs that could have happened but didn't happen. Why? Because God's power made sure it didn't happen. What if Abraham never had a child? God chose Abraham as the one through whom the Messiah will come. Very interesting choice. He could have chosen anybody, instead He chose more than 70-year-old man without a child, called him and He said, “I'll make you a great nation.” It’s like purposely He’s doing it. You can you see that? Purposely, He takes a seemingly impossible candidate and then promises him a child and then for 25 years no child. Abraham probably thought His plan is not working so, he made his own plan. But God's plan, no, no, no, it’s there. Sometimes it may take time, but He’s working out His plan. When Abraham is 100 years old and his wife is 90 years old, God's power manifests in the womb of Sarah to produce a child there. If he didn't have that child, the line cannot continue, the Messiah cannot come in that line.

See, this problem is put forth by the devil, these hindrances, these blocks. Isaac also could not have a child. You see that? For more than 20 years, Isaac could not have a child. Not just Abraham, his son, same problem. But then Isaac prayed, and God heard his prayer and opened the womb of his wife. No matter what the doctors in the hospital say, God can give you a child today, just by the way. So many children have been born like that in this church. Miraculously. God shows His power. Otherwise, it won't move forward, but it moves forward, next generation. Another block we have. Now, the block is not a lack of children, there's two. Jacob. The problem is the guy Jacob only. One of the worst characters to begin with. He's a liar, a cheat. That's the kind of guy God had to work with and say, “I'm going to move my plan of salvation forward with you.” If Jacob never changed, I don't know what would have happened. But God took this guy, which nobody would select, a liar and a cheat, and He took him and He was gracious to him, compassionate to him, He was patient with him and He changed him and He used him to move it forward to the next generation.

Want to talk about what if? Well, what if Joseph never became prime minister of Egypt? The whole family of Jacob might have starved to death in famine. Through all the evil that was done against Joseph, God had a bigger plan. And He was trying to place him in a prominent place in Egypt, so that Israel, his family, would be kept safe in the time of famine. What if the baby Moses didn't make it? You want to talk about what ifs, we can talk about what if the people got to the Red Sea and the sea wouldn't split? That's a humanly impossible situation. No sea will split open. How can that happen? That's where God's power manifests and the impossible. He doesn't know what is impossible. That word is only in our vocabulary. He manifests His power in the impossible situations to move His plan of salvation forward. If Israelites die at the Red Sea, the whole nation perishes. Where is the Messiah going to come from them?

What if Ruth never found a husband? Ruth, you remember? What if she never came back to Israel? You want to talk about what ifs, we can go on talking. She's a foreigner. No support, nothing. She comes to Israel and she finds Boaz. And out of that relationship comes David, the next grandson. Through David only, the Messiah is going to come. The Messiah is going to be son of David. Without Ruth there is no David. And God really loves David and He promises in no uncertain terms, clearly, He tells David, “Through you, the Messiah will come.” 2nd Samuel chapter 7. When David says, “I want to build You a house,” remember? God says, “I don't need you to build Me a house. I will build your house.” He means to say, “I will build your family into a dynasty. And I will make sure that your son is on the throne and above all, your son will rule forever and ever.” Speaking of Jesus Himself. That promise comes in 2nd Samuel chapter 7. Amazing promise.

David is just amazed and he thanks God. End of the chapter, “Oh, thank you, God.” All that is over and two chapters later he commits the biggest sin. A man after God's own heart commits adultery and murder. Cold blooded, premeditated, planned. At that point, God could have said, “I'm done with you. I don’t need this.” But He didn't. What if God had decided never to forgive David? No, He forgave David. He forgave David and He continued to use his line. Solomon, in fact, and on and on the plan of redemption moves forward and forward. Israel could have been totally destroyed in the time of the exile. Two powerful nations came against them: Assyria and Babylon. Powerful nations, but God protected His people and brought them back. You remember the time of Esther? There was a plan to wipe out the whole nation of Israel but God wiped out the fellow who put the plan with his own plan. I don't have time to go into that. Your enemies when they come against you, they plan against you, sometimes God will make them fall because of their own plans. They'll fall in the pit that they dig for you.

So many complications, so many blocks, so many hindrances from the plan moving forward, but each time, in different ways God manifests His power, His ability to move the plan forward. What if Herod was successful in his attempt? You remember Herod he gave a decree? At the time of Jesus’ birth, he said, “Kill every male under two years old in the entire town.” But God knows what is happening. He foresees everything and He plans accordingly and He has Jesus moved out of there. Want to talk about what if? Well, what if Jesus never rose again? You can talk about what ifs all day long. What if that? Well, no, God is an omnipotent God. You can raise 1000 what ifs, but His power is greater than all the 1000 what ifs and He will make His power work 1000 times, 10,000 times, a million times, infinite times if necessary, to bring His plan forward.

Jesus rose again and the Holy Spirit was poured out on the church and the gospel went forth all the way from that little place in the Middle East and came to this land. Today, you are seated in a church that has been here for so many years. I don't know where you heard the gospel but you heard the gospel. Well, we can say what if you never heard the gospel? But you heard the gospel and you believed. See how far the plan has come? Jesus died, finished, it's over and He cried out, “It's finished.” And He rose again, and He has purchased our salvation, and you have heard the gospel and you have believed and you are believing and you are saved. So much has happened, my friend. Think in perspective. Will God not keep you safe now till the end. You think your problems are new? We think, “My doubts are new. God, well what about this?” Well, I guarantee you, He's not teaching a series called assurance of salvation up there. There is no need for it. He has thought about every possibility. Our problems are not anything new. None of the what ifs have happened. They have not materialized because God is omnipotent and every step, He manifests His power.

God has the power to save you all the way till the end, my friend. Just look back and you will get the confidence for the future. The Bible says explicitly Hebrews 7:25, He is able to save to the uttermost. Everybody say, He’s able. He's able to do what? Save till the very end. Why is He able to save? That same verse says, since He always lives to make intercession for us. Jesus is able to save not just now but till the very end because He's always living. When you get a doubt about salvation, this another message, you just think about the resurrection and the life of Jesus. Is Jesus alive today? You believe that? That much you can believe. Tell yourself, as long as Jesus is alive, He will save me till the very end. That's it. That's how you respond to that. Now, I know there's a lot of other things that need to happen, it will happen but if we put our focus on the risen Lord, tell your soul as long as Jesus is alive, He will save me to the very end because He is able to save to the uttermost.

God doesn't just have starting power, He has finishing. He's got sustaining power, my friend. God, the way He starts things itself is amazing. Creating power. When you think about creation, world of emptiness and darkness, He says, “Let there be light,” and there is light. But He didn't just create the world and just leave it like that, He sustains the world. It's amazing how He sustains the world. Have you thought about His sustaining power? Like He sustains creation. He sustains the birds, for example. He feeds them every day. That's why Jesus in Matthew chapter 6 verse 24, He said, “Why are you worried about your own life? Why are you worried about what will I eat? What will I drink and all these things? Look at the birds of the air.” You know that verse?

Literally, sometimes we just got to do what Jesus says. He says, when you're worried, do what? Look at the birds of the air. They neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them all. Have you thought about that? How many birds there are? I don't know about you, but I have not seen anywhere in the news, “Birds are dying of starvation.” The economy's affecting them terribly. They're not doing so well nowadays. Well, I don't see that. Very rarely they say that birds die of starvation. Very rare, it seems. Where it happens more is, when man buys a bird, puts it in a cage, and forgets to feed it. But God feeds every one of His birds. When you simply look at them, you get the confidence God is going to help you. In that same verse, Jesus says, “Are you not more special than they are?” He’s saying, “Look at the birds, man.”

I've actually experienced this in a small way. Sometimes when I'm preparing for a sermon, I'm sitting at my desk in my room with a computer and sometimes there are blocks. I don't know what to preach, how to say this, what example to use. Nothing is coming. I’m just stuck, going nowhere. Behind my desk is a big window closed. You won't believe, almost every time I prepare, the last one or two years, these one or two birds will come. Small birds, beautiful looking birds. There’re only one or two trees right there. I think it's a hummingbird. People say it's a hummingbird. I don't know the name. I don't know what it is. But when you look at it, you will stop doing everything else. Here, I am thinking about my message, what to preach. When I look at it, I just stop thinking about this because it looks so beautiful. It looks yellow here and then under its beak it's purple. Very beautiful, subtle purple. Above its head it has a green color shade to it. Green, yellow, purple, like a velvety purple, but subtle. And when it flutters, when it flies, I can't just do anything else. I got to see that. And I just focus on that. You won't believe. Usually, I've seen this many times, I've not even thought about ‘look at the birds of the air’ verse. After looking at it for about five minutes, I come back to my message and I go.

I’ll tell you what happens. What happens there is, I see the beauty of God reflected through that bird. This is something amazing. Before this, I was seeing my own inability, my weakness. This is not working, that is not happening. How do I go to the next step? Here, I see God in His beauty, in His glory reflected in one tiny little bird. And then I come back. My whole demeanor changes. My wife says sometimes, “Your friends have come.” It's become like that. Follow Jesus literally sometimes. You’re worried, don't sit in the house looking at the four walls, thinking about yourself and your problem. Just go and look at a couple of birds, my friend. I'm not joking. I’m dead serious.

“Sustains the birds, will He not sustain you,” Jesus said. I'll give you another example of God’s sustaining power. He created the world. If not for His sustaining power, you will be thrown out of your seat right now. That's a little strong but I mean it. That's what NASA says. Well, it doesn't say God’s sustaining power. Even though it looks like we're sitting stationary, not moving, actually you're moving very fast. You're not moving, but the earth is moving very fast. Do you know that the earth is moving very fast, and it's moving in two ways? One is, it's rotating on its own axis like this, like a top rotating on your hand. But then not only is it rotating by itself, while it’s rotating on its own axis, it's also moving around the sun in an orbit. And both are at very high speeds. It's rotating by itself at more than thousand kilometers per hour speed. 1000 kilometers per hour, at that speed, you'll reach Bangalore in less than half an hour.

Think about that one minute. 1000 kilometers per hour, the earth is going like this and you are seated here. You don't even know it. How? Why are you not thrown out? Because the force of gravity is pulling you and keeping you there. One minute if God suspends the force of gravity? Or even if gravity is there, one minute if the earth stops rotating on its own axis? NASA, if you go to their website it says what will happen if it stops rotating. And they say that what will happen is, we will be thrown into the atmosphere, and even buildings and trees will be thrown like that. Because if you are going so fast and you suddenly stop, imagine what's happening. In a car, you're going fast and you hit the brakes immediately what happens? It's like that, but the speed is much higher. And another I was watching, BBC says, their little science program it says, what will happen is, suppose this happened, hypothetically, they're just thinking what if. If this happens, within one minute, it seems, there will be giant tsunamis all over the earth, coming inland more than 25 kilometers within one minute if we stop because the ocean retains its momentum, and it will just come inland.

What I'm trying to say is, the very fact you are sitting and not thrown out of the chair, and I'm standing and speaking, is the pure grace of God, the sustaining grace of God. We take this very ordinarily, sometimes, we don't think of it much. But literally, Hebrews chapter 1 verse 3 says, God sustains the world by the word of His power. He sustains the world. He sustains all these forces and laws that He's put in place, my friend. I never told you about the speed of the revolution around the sun. It's also going around the sun. That is at a speed of one lakh kilometers per hour. It’s going like this more than thousand kilometers an hour and it's going like this around the sun one lakh kilometers per hour. Scientists say, if either of these two, the rotation or the revolution, stops, or is changed drastically, if the speed changes or if the path changes or if the way it happens changes, life on earth itself will be damaged. How is it happening, my friend? It's the omnipotent nature of God, it's the power of God sustaining His creation. If He can sustain the earth like this, He can sustain you. He can sustain your salvation all the way till the end. He can do it, my friend. Everybody say, He can do it.

1 Peter 1:5. Peter knows He can do it and that's why he says, “You are kept by God's power.” He looks at the believers like this. He says, “You are kept by God's power, guarded by God's power, through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” Until the end, till the last time, till that final salvation is revealed, whose power is keeping you? God's power. You think you're keeping yourself only, all the doubts will come. When the doubts come, remind yourself it's the power of God. He not only has the power to save you, to give you the assurance, but He also has the power to transform you and sustain you and take you through every hurdle and every step and take you all the way till the end. That's the power of God.

Thirdly, the love of God. Why love is so important? Because it's the motivation for whatever God does. The motivating factor for all His work is His love and this is especially true about our salvation. Why did He have to come up with such an elaborate plan, such an amazing plan? And why did He have to put up with it and just persevere and bring it to fulfillment despite all hindrances and despite all opposition by the devil and his forces? Because He loves us so much. The motivating factor is His love. Why did He even create you, my friend? Because He loves you. And why did He save you? Because He loves you. Why did He put the plan of salvation? Why did He plan it that way? Because He loves you. If you just look at the plan of salvation, you can see the love of God revealed there.

Why such a plan? Why plan it in a way where His only Son should come and die? That's a little bit too much, if you ask me. It’s a bit too much. Why plan it like that, my friend? Because that's what it takes to save us. God was willing to do anything it takes to save. Why? Motivation is love. He loved us so much. God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. Romans 8:32, He who did not spare His only Son, will He not also with Him freely give us all things? If He didn't spare His only Son, will He not do everything else? Look at the way Paul thinks. People think opposite. They'll say, “I'm saved but I'm having this problem, that problem, every problem.” Paul says, “If you're saved, well, Jesus died for you. If He didn't spare His only Son for you, will He not also freely give you all things?” Everybody say, all things. That means, all things all the way till the end. That's the context in Romans 8:32. He’s trying to give assurance of salvation right there in that passage. Don’t have time to read it.

Let's go to Ephesians chapter 2 verse 4. When you have a doubt about God's love for you, if there is a doubt, if it arises... Sometimes doubts may come in your mind and we shouldn't just sweep them under the rug, so to speak, or just kind of like, no, you should deal with it. You should reject the doubt. When there is a doubt whether God loves me, due to my circumstances... Sometimes doubt may arise and the circumstances are so terrible, a person may think, “Does God love me? Does He really care for me? Why did this happen? Will He really bring me out of this?” At that moment, look at the cross, my friend. Look at what God did for you. He did not spare His own Son for you; will He not also give you other things? Look at your salvation. He has saved you. Will He not do everything else?

He saved you. Why? His motivation was He loves you so much. Look at Ephesians 2 verse 4. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved. Why were we saved by grace? Because He was rich in mercy and because of the great love with which He loved us. Everybody say, great love. He loved us with a great love. That's why He saved us by grace. So, you go backward. If you have a problem today, you're thinking, “Does God love me?” You go backward. Am I saved? Yes. How am I saved? By grace. Why was I saved by grace? Because God loved me with a great love. And go backwards even behind He’s rich in mercy.

Why does God love you so much? Why does God love us so much? Is it because of us? No. It's because He is rich in mercy. His love comes out of His very core being, His nature, character. That's the fountain from which it springs forth. He’s rich in mercy on the inside. He's rich in love on the inside. He's rich in compassion on the inside. He’s merciful and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in goodness and truth. The plan of salvation is too much, if you ask me. He not only saves us; He then unites us to Himself. Usually, when we help others, what do we do? If you find them in some trouble, will give them something, money or something, to help them come out of the trouble and say, “Well, be well. I'm happy for you. Bye-bye.” But God when He saved us, what did He do? He said, “Well, come on, I'll save you,” and He washed our sins. He forgave us. He made us righteous. He said, “Now, I'm coming to live with you. I'm coming right inside you. I'm going to be with you, not just now but forever and ever.”

How is this? This is a little bit too much. It's mind boggling, if you think about it, my friend. Already, Holy Spirit has come inside of us and we are the temple of God and we have been united with Him in spirit. We are one spirit with Him, 1 Corinthians 6:17 says. But one day will come, we will be one with Him. We will be right with Him. We will see Him face to face and we will be with Him forever and ever. This is the plan of salvation. It's not just about salvation, it's about relationship with God, it's about fellowship with God, it's about being with Him forever and ever. When you think about it, you can't help but realize God loves you too much. And that's why He put this too much plan in place and He's working out His plan, my friend.

Another thing about His love, let me say this, if He sets His love on somebody, He will never take it away. If He loves, He will keep on loving. The beautiful thing about His love is, His love will never change. If He loves somebody, He’ll keep on loving, He’ll just keep on loving till the very end. That's His nature. One of the big differences between the love you see in the world and the love of God, you see in the world they'll say to you, “We fell in love and then we fell out of love.” Well, that's not love. At least, it’s not the kind of love God has. If He sets His love on somebody, He’ll keep on loving. He keeps His mercy. You don't see the word ‘love’ often in the Old Testament English Bible. It’s because the word usually translated mercy in King James and so on or loving kindness, the Hebrew word hesed. That's a word which means love and grace all put together in one. And it's like one of the richest words in the Bible. That's the word which says, “The Lord is good and His hesed endures forever.” He's anger doesn't endure forever but His love endures forever. That's the word which is found in Exodus 34:6 and 7, which says, “God is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in goodness and truth, keeping His hesed love for 1000 generations to them that fear Him.”

If He sets His love on somebody, He'll keep it for 1000 generations. Have you ever thought about how long that is, thousand generations? Well, you think. The point is, He’ll keep forever and ever. His love endures forever. He doesn't change. He won’t say, “I love you today,” and then, “I've changed my mind,” tomorrow. No, He keeps on loving. His love never changes. Human love may change. Even the best kind of human love may possibly change but God's love will never change. Isaiah 49:15, “Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?” He’s asking a question purposely. Can a woman who’s feeding her child, can she forget the nursing child? No, I don't think so. But then He says, look at this, “Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.” He says, “Even if that happens, even if a mother forgets the child that she is nursing, I will not forget you.” Those are words written for you, my friend. Behold, verse 16, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.

Another place, Isaiah 54:10 He says, “Though the mountains may be removed, the hills may be removed but my love, but my mercy will endure forever and my covenant of peace will last forever.” When you have doubts, you go to the fountain from where your salvation came from, which is the very love of God. It’s the motivation. Hosea chapter 11 verse 8. How can I give you up, O Ephraim? How can I hand you over, O Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I treat you like Zeboiim? My heart recoils within me; my compassion grows warm and tender. God is not just a God of power; He is a God of love. Look at what He says, “My heart recoils within Me; My compassion grows warm and tender.” Hosea has written at a time when Israelites were at one of their worst conditions, rebelling, sinning against God, just open rebellion, just doing everything they can against God. Dishonoring Him. No respect for Him. And that is the time God speaks to them through the prophet Hosea and He says, “How can I give you up? How can I hand you over?” So much He has done for the Israelites, but they're still not responding well. Sometimes when He says, “How can I give you up? How can I hand you over? How can I treat you like the others? There's a difference between My people and others. How can I treat you like that? My heart recoils within Me. My compassion grows warm and tender.”

It’s a very amazing thing to see, the heart of God, what is happening inside. It's like a conflict almost inside. I want to say almost because it’s not real conflict. Look at the next verse. I will not execute my burning anger; I will not again destroy Ephraim. He says, “No, I won't act out in anger against you.” Why? What is the reason He won't act out? Look at that. Very important now. This is the most important thing here. Why I want to execute My burning anger, why I will not again destroy Ephraim? For I am God and not a man.

He's saying, “If I was a man, I would have discarded you by now. How I chose you out of nowhere, out of nothingness, a small nation.” Deuteronomy chapter 7, talks about how God chose Israel. He says, “I didn't choose you because you are great. Actually, you are very small. But I chose you, I made you into someone great. I blessed you. I did everything for you. And yet you would not honor Me. By now, if I was like man, I would have discarded you,” He says, “but I will not execute my burning anger because I am God and not a man. So, what will I do because I'm God?” What He means to say is, “I will save you. I will forgive you. I will restore you. I will transform you. I will work with you. I will be patient with you. I will take you forward. Because My love is not like the love of humans, my friend.”

This is what God wants to say to us today. God's love is on another level, friends. It's on another level. God is love in a way nobody else is or can show. And He shows us His love especially in our salvation from beginning of our salvation to the end of our salvation. Look at that verse, see how it ends, for I'm God and not a man, the Holy One in your midst. He’s saying, “I'm right in the middle of you but I'm not like you. I am holy.” The meaning of holy here is not righteous. It means separate. “I’m separate. I'm on another level. I'm unique. I am set apart from you. I'm in your midst, but I'm not like you. I'm holy. There is no one like Me, majestic in holiness.” I will not come in wrath.

God's love is amazing. Fourthly, faithfulness. Everybody say, faithfulness. Well, what we've already been seeing is, He's faithful in loving. We really started looking at it without even saying the word faithfulness. He keeps on loving means He is faithful in loving but not only in His love, He is faithful to all His character and nature. Let me say a few things on faithfulness. God is faithful to His character. That means, if His character is something, if He's good, He's always good, He’s faithfully good, He’ll continue to be good. If He's loving, He’ll continue to be loving. He'll never change. He is faithful. He stays the same in that way. He’s faithful to who He is. He's faithful to His character. He will never behave out of character.

Sometimes from good people, you'll hear about them doing something, you’ll say, “Well, I don't think he would have done it. He won't say that, He won't do that. That's not the kind of man he is. I know Him. He's a good man.” But then the people say, “No, no. He really did it.” “Oh, boy. Guess he acted out of character.” But you will never have that with God. He will never act out of character, because He's faithful to His character. He is faithful to His nature. 2nd Timothy 2:13 says, look at this. If we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself. If He's not faithful to who He is, His character, that means He's denying Himself. He will never do that. He will always be good and do good. He'll always be kind, merciful and do and show mercy. He will always love you; He will always be just and righteous. He’ll always be holy, and so on.

The next thing is He is faithful to complete what He has started. When the Bible talks about God's faithfulness, it talks in different ways. Just giving you a few pointers here. Faithful to complete what He has started. 1 Thessalonians 5:23. Faithful to complete what He has started in you specifically. May the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. Sometimes we see something in the Bible, we think we understand it. We got to look at it carefully. What does it mean when he says ‘God is faithful’ here? He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it. Do what? That's where you got to look at the previous verse. Previous verse says, “May God sanctify you, and may God keep you, preserve you blameless,” and then the next verse says, “He will surely do it,” He's saying, “He will surely sanctify you. He will surely preserve you.” I hope you can see that. He will be faithful in doing what? He will be faithful in sanctifying you. He will be faithful in preserving you. And not just barely preserving you, He will preserve your whole spirit, your whole soul and your whole body. That's what the verse says, “Your whole spirit, soul and body will be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord.” You have a doubt about that, tell yourself, “He is faithful, He will surely do this.” Philippians 1:6, you know the verse. I am sure of this, Paul says, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. He is faithful to complete what He has started. God has started the good work in you and He will complete it.

Thirdly, is faithful to His word. This is a big emphasis in the Bible. If God has said something, He will do it. Numbers 23:19, God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?  That’s the value of the promises of God. If He has given you a promise in His word, He will do it no matter what. He will do it. Why such a big Bible, my friend? Have you thought about that? Why so many verses, so many promises? Why? It’s for you. It’s for me. It’s not for Him. Sometimes people this is like for Him or something. They kiss it, show great respect, keep it in a shelf, dust it and finally have all the doubts and the worries. Why has this been given? It’s for you to open it and read it and believe it and stand on it and believe that He is faithful to do what He has promised.

That's the way we show respect to this. It's literally given for assurance. One of the reasons it's given is for assurance, for guidance and for many other reasons. Wonderful thing about God is, not only did He plan our salvation and start executing it, He has put so many things in written form, a bit too much again, obligated, committed Himself, “I'll do this, I'll do that. I'll do this. I'll do that.” Why? Have you thought about it? For you. For you to see it and be sure of it and be confident and be strengthened in hope. It’s not for Him? I'm sure He's not up there reading the Bible. “Well, what did I tell back then? I forgot. Let me just refer back to this verse just so I’ll make sure.” No, it's not for Him. This is not for Him. It's for you to open and read and become sure about your salvation and everything else, my friend. How many promises He has given, how many ‘I will’s’ for example.

Jesus said, “Whoever believes in Me, I will raise Him up on the last day.” You've seen those verses, John 6:40. No one can snatch them away from My hand and from My Father’s hand., Son, John 10:27 to 29. How many ‘I will’s’, I will never leave you nor forsake you? Five times, I think, in the Bible it comes to different people. I will never leave you nor forsake you. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you by my righteous right hand. Psalm 91 verse 14. Because he holds fast to Me in love, I will deliver Him. I will protect him. It’s a Psalm of protection. Because he knows my name, Psalm 91, I'm reading verse 15. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With a long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation. I will, I will, I will, I will, I will. Why? For us to be sure. God is saying, “I will do it. You believe it. That's it.” God is faithful. He will be faithful to His word, my friend. Let’s all stand up.

Let me just say one word. The four attributes we spoke about, when you put them in combination, it's not good to see them separate, separate, separate. When you put them in combination, that's when you really see the glory of God. The glory of God is not just a bright light shining like the sun, where is the light coming from? It's the beauty emanating from His character. It's the light literally shining out from His character. He's a person and on the inside, He is a glorious person with a glorious character and nature and it's the beauty of that which comes out and shines forth. May we see His glory. Assurance is not a salvation problem, it's a knowledge problem, knowledge of God, growing in the knowledge of God. There should be constant growth in the knowledge of God. It's a faith problem. It's not believing in God enough. And it's finally a worship problem. It’s a lack of worship, it's too much focus on myself, my this, my that and not enough focus on God and His beauty, His power, His wisdom, His love, His faithfulness, His glory. May we worship Him.

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