God's Exquisite Garden


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Assurance means having a reliance, faith, confidence, or a guarantee. The assurance that Christians have is the Lord Jesus Christ's resurrection. This resurrection has been given by God, with it His Word is true and worthy of acceptance.

In Hebrews 11:6 we find," But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."

...let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
Hebrews 10:22(NKJV)

But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.

Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
II Peter 1:5-10(NKJV)

A fullness of faith in God is the "full assurance of faith" which leaves no room for doubt.

An unwavering conviction of the truth of all that the Scriptures declare is the "full assurance of understanding"

A sure and well-grounded expectation of eternal glory is the " full assurance of hope. "

The assurance of a man's own salvation is this assurance of hope. In Hebrews 6:18 we read of this infallible assurance, which may be attained as their salvation. This assurance is a result of faith. Christians may lack it. Christians are persuaded to go on to something past what they presently have and are persuaded to seek the grace of full assurance.

The definition of grace is forgiveness or pardon. How fortunate we are that God sent his Son to die for the forgiveness of our sins, so we can have God's unmerited grace. Unmerited means that it cannot be earned, it is given by God. Acquiring this grace is a duty, and it needs to be fervently sought. Even though this assurance might be troubled or diminished, the principle out of its source can never be lost.

An assurance that is false will lead us away from dependence on God. The passage in Luke 18:18-30 tells us about a wealthy man. This man's wealth gave him power and prestige. He touched the man's basis for security and identity when he was told by Jesus Christ to sell all he owned. If he followed Jesus he would be even more secure than he was with all of his wealth. Christians are asked not to keep anything that has a higher importance to us than God.

Dependence on God's promises is firm assurance. As he left for Egypt and there faced the most remarkable challenge of his life, Moses clung tightly to his shepherd's staff. His assurance of God's power and presence was his staff. Some people, when they feel uncertain, need something to reassure them. God has given promises from His Word, and he has given us examples of great heroes of faith as they faced trials. These promises and examples were given for our assurance as we face great trials. All Christians need to cling tightly to these.

In Exodus 13:17-22 we read of how the Hebrews followed a pillar of cloud and of fire as they travelled through the wilderness. This was their assurance of God's presence. We can look to the Bible to know that God is with us throughout our journey in life.

We see in Luke 21:14-15," Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist. " God's care for us is the basis for firm assurance.

Many parents can relate to a baby or a young child having an item that gives them security. The item might be a blanket or a toy. Years ago I made a quilt for a nephew. He carried that quilt around with him until the edges were frayed. That was a form of security to him.

Jesus warned his followers of persecution in the form of betrayal by family members and friends.

When we feel completely abandoned, it is reassuring to know that the Holy Spirit is always with us. The Holy Spirit will give us our needed words, and he will comfort and protect us. The courage and hope to stand firm for the Lord is the assurance we have, no matter how hard the situation might be.

We read in Romans 6:8," Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him."

Christians need never fear death. This knowledge and understanding gives us assurance because of Christ's death and resurrection. The assurance is what frees us to do His will and have fellowship with Him.

As Christians, we will have this guarantee knowing that we do not have to fear death, for our Lord has promised to always be with us. That is so comforting. A few months ago, I read a book, A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23. The author, Phillip Keller, wrote the book from a shepherd's point of view. A shepherd genuinely cares and looks out for his sheep. Jesus is our shepherd, He truly cares for us.

Our source of confidence is the death of our Lord. For Christ to bear that burden, when he himself was totally without sin, was such an enormous burden. On the cruel cross, He bore all the sins of mankind. There would be no hope of a home with God without His death.

We are told in Acts 17:30-31,"Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”

This assurance or pledge that God has given is that His revelation is true and accepted.

Hebrews 6:11," And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end. "

Authenic assurance will naturally lead to a real and enduring peace and joy. Assurance is a term which is really exceptionally rich in spiritual meaning. This indicates exhilarated, unwavering confidence of an informed faith, the security of a fearless trust.

But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:4-7(NKJV)

This assurance is based on the high priesthood and atoning sacrifice of Christ. Our assurance is not based on "works of righteousness which we have done."

The soul's fearful expectation of its complete liberation from the power of evil and from significant judgement is received through the atoning grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

A Christian's assurance is the joyous allotment and evidence of Christs' fullness. We have a glad sense of a bond, liberation, and eternal life in Him, the opposite of self-confidence. There is also the assurance of victory; an assurance where God causes you to triumph in Jesus Christ. Also there is an assurance that you are counted trustworthy by God. More forms of assurance are of God's care, the unfailing promise of God, of salvation, a knowledge that we will forever be safe with the Lord, of blessings that are spiritual, of the resurrection that is in the future, of future appreciation, of spiritual empathy.

There is the assurance of one's heart before God. These promises are dependent on how we live our lives.

Further descriptions pertaining to assurance are that it is about the gospel. I Thessalonians 1 : 5,"For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake."

We are told in Hebrews 10:22-23 that our assurance is before God. Our assurance is made full by hope, accepted by love.

The book of Ephesians tells us that our future inheritance is based upon our assurance. We are to stand perfect in the will of God, Colossians 4 : 12.

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Faith will produce this assurance, it is made full of hope and confirmed by love. Righteousness is the effect of assurance and it is abundant in the understanding of the gospel.

It is a privilege for saints to have this blessed assurance. In I Thessalonians 1:4 we read that our election is made sure by our assurance. We are adopted by God through the assurance that we have.

Our assurance is also that the Lord God is our strength and salvation. I like to read Psalms 46:1-2 to read of the strength of the Lord. We see how that we are guaranteed God's strength when we experience times of trouble. Eternal life is promised through our assurance. An unalienable love of God is promised by God through our assurance. This is a comfort in affliction and a continuance in grace.

Knowing that as we face death we have the assurance of God, we are to look forward to that day when we will see His face. With this assurance we will have a glorious resurrection. Along with this assurance, we will receive a kingdom. A crown is assured us if we endure temptations. We are told to be more diligent in order to attain the promises. We will be comforted by this assurance when we are in the valley of death. Christians are to be comforted by Psalm 23. In the book of Revelation we are told to strive to maintain this life, we must live faithfully unto death. Then if we endure trials, we'll reign with Him. Unity with God and Christ is something we will joyfully have. If we look in Psalm 27: 3 - 5, we are told of the care or guardianship that is made for us in the event that we live faithfully until death.

Christians, nothing can cause you to toil mightier for the Lord God than assurance. We will be fearless to fight and not turn away from our enemies, and we will become strong to abstain from all of our temptations. A Christian with a firm assurance will be the most active worker for the Lord. She will be the bravest champion in the battle, and the calmest one enduring pain for the Lord. All Christians who possess a clear understanding of what is required of them will have an assurance that will prevail over all difficulties. We should remember that this assurance is ours through the death of our Lord Jesus Christ.

(1) In what ways does God give us assurance?
(2) When we are basing our security on the wrong things, how would we know?

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Copyright 2007 Linda Lawrence

Lessons in this Series

About The Author

Print Version of All Lessons

Lesson 1

Lesson 2
The Mind of Christ

Lesson 3
Imitate Christ

Lesson 4

Lesson 5
Taming the Tongue

Lesson 6
Our Legacy

Lesson 7

Lesson 8

Lesson 9

Lesson 10

Lesson 11

Lesson 12

Lesson 13
Improper Language

. .

Lesson 14

Lesson 15

Lesson 16

Lesson 17

Lesson 18

Lesson 19
Strength to
Endure Suffering

Lesson 20
Grieve Not
The Spirit

Lesson 21

Lesson 22

Lesson 23

Lesson 24
Purity in Heart

Lesson 25

Lesson 26

. .

Lesson 27

Lesson 28

Lesson 29

Lesson 30
Inner Peace

Lesson 31

Lesson 32
Our Example

Lesson 33

Lesson 34

Lesson 35
Testing Of Our Faith

Lesson 36

Lesson 37

Lesson 38
Problems Concerning

Lesson 39
Practical Results

. .

Lesson 40
Good Works

Lesson 41
Women Teachers
in Bible Times

Lesson 42
Women Teachers

Lesson 43
Good Friends

Lesson 44
Choosing a Husband

Lesson 45
Choosing a Wife

Lesson 46
The Exemplary Daughter
Part 1

Lesson 47
The Exemplary Daughter
Part 2

Lesson 48
The Ideal Mother
Part 1

Lesson 49
The Ideal Mother
Part 2

Lesson 50
The Home As God
Would Have It
Part 1

Lesson 51
The Home As God
Would Have It
Part 2

Lesson 52
. .

Lesson 53
Marriage As God
Would Have It
Part 1

Lesson 54
Marriage As God
Would Have It
Part 2

Lesson 55
The Virtuous Woman
Part 1

Lesson 56
The Virtuous Woman
Part 2

Lesson 57
The Virtuous Woman
Part 3

Lesson 58

Lesson 59

Lesson 60
Pride & Haughtiness

Lesson 61

Lesson 62

Lesson 63

Lesson 64

Lesson 65

. .

Lesson 66

Lesson 67

Lesson 68
Infinite God

Lesson 69
Holiness of God

Lesson 70
of God

Lesson 71

Lesson 72
of God

Lesson 73
of God

. .

74414: A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23, Mass Market Edition A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23, Mass Market Edition
By W. Phillip Keller / Zondervan

It's been thirty five years and two million copies since W. Phillip Keller gave us A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23, and it continues to encourage and inspire Christians with its classic insights into the heart of the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ. Page by page, Keller reveals new facets of the Shepherd of Psalm 23 and his tireless, devoted care of His sheep. In these pages you will discover an uplifting expression of Christ's love for those that trust him as their protector, guide, provider and faithful keeper.

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