Here is love, vast as the ocean,
Lovingkindness as the flood;
When the Prince of Life my ransom,
Shed for me His precious blood.
Who His love will not remember?
Who can cease to sing His praise?
He shall never be forgotten,
Through heav’n’s everlasting days.1
- The Text
- The Chapter
- The Confession
- Although temporary believers and other unregenerate men, may vainly deceive themselves with false hopes and carnal presumptions of being in the favor of God and in a state of salvation, which hope of theirs shall perish
- yet such as truly believe in the Lord Jesus, and love him in sincerity, endeavouring to walk in all good conscience before him, may in this life be certainly assured that they are in the state of grace, and may rejoice in the hope of the glory of God
- which hope shall never make them ashamed
1 John 4:10 (ESV) In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Although temporary believers, and other unregenerate men, may vainly deceive themselves with false hopes and carnal presumptions of being in the favour of God and state of salvation, which hope of theirs shall perish; yet such as truly believe in the Lord Jesus, and love him in sincerity, endeavouring to walk in all good conscience before him, may in this life be certainly assured that they are in the state of grace, and may rejoice in the hope of the glory of God, which hope shall never make them ashamed.
Although temporary believers and other unregenerate men, may vainly deceive themselves with false hopes and carnal presumptions of being in the favor of God and in a state of salvation, which hope of theirs shall perish
Job 8:13–14 (CSB) Such is the destiny of all who forget God; the hope of the godless will perish. His source of confidence is fragile; what he trusts in is a spider’s web.
Matthew 7:22–23 (CSB) On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, drive out demons in your name, and do many miracles in your name?’ Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you lawbreakers!’
We have spoken of the power of God and the overflow from believers to unbelievers. To be honest, I cannot really explain this phenomenon. I just know it happens. Like in a high emotional, revival type atmosphere, passer-bys and onlookers might be curious, and get caught up in the excitement and don't want to miss out.
And before you think that I am going to bust on Charles Finley, or Billy Graham type revivals, I just think it is going to happen. If the gospel is the power of God in salvation to those who believe, then it is reasonable to think that something like salvation is so magnanimous and wonderful, it can't help but be fully attractive to anybody.
But we do not have to speculate or figure out how or why because the Lord Jesus Christ already said it was going to happen.
Matthew 13:18–23 (CSB)
18 “So listen to the parable of the sower:
19 When anyone hears the word about the kingdom and doesn’t understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the one sown along the path.
20 And the one sown on rocky ground—this is one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy.
21 But he has no root and is short-lived. When distress or persecution comes because of the word, immediately he falls away.
22 Now the one sown among the thorns—this is one who hears the word, but the worries of this age and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
23 But the one sown on the good ground—this is one who hears and understands the word, who does produce fruit and yields: some a hundred, some sixty, some thirty times what was sown.”
Some people hear the gospel and it won't even faze them. They are not even stirred--not even a little bit. Some would say, "What? Are they dead?" Well, Ephesians 2:1 gives us any indication, we are all dead in our trespasses and sins.
But then Christ explains further: for some people, the gospel is a joy to hear--it is, after all, the good news. They love it for a moment but when real life comes their way, they let go of the good news and be moved by the world.
For some, it is the distress, worries, doubt, disbelief or the temptations of this world that makes them forget the good news.
But God's people, to the ones whom he has given a new heart and his Spirit--that good soil--the gospel takes root and grows and produces fruit.
What did the Christ preached? You must be born again in order to see the kingdom of God.
Salvation is a complete, perfect, whole supernatural work of God. No exceptions.
John 1:12–13 (CSB) But to all who did receive him, he gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born, not of natural descent, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God.
yet such as truly believe in the Lord Jesus, and love him in sincerity, endeavouring to walk in all good conscience before him, may in this life be certainly assured that they are in the state of grace, and may rejoice in the hope of the glory of God
1 John 2:3 (CSB) This is how we know that we know him: if we keep his commands.
1 John 3:14–24 (CSB) We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers and sisters. The one who does not love remains in death. Everyone who hates his brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him. This is how we have come to know love: He laid down his life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has this world’s goods and sees a fellow believer in need but withholds compassion from him—how does God’s love reside in him? Little children, let us not love in word or speech, but in action and in truth. This is how we will know that we belong to the truth and will reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows all things. Dear friends, if our hearts don’t condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive whatever we ask from him because we keep his commands and do what is pleasing in his sight. Now this is his command: that we believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another as he commanded us. The one who keeps his commands remains in him, and he in him. And the way we know that he remains in us is from the Spirit he has given us.
1 John 5:13 (CSB) I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.
Our good works do not prove our salvation. If that be the case, then the bar for salvation is set abysmally low. What do I mean by that? If we are saved by our good works, then each person born of Adam can fake it just long enough to fool his neighbor, their kids, or even their spouse for a moment. It is mankinds' proclivity to do the bare minimum just to get by--that looks different depending on the person--just to look righteous. Yet, God calls those works of righteousness filthy rags. They are useless to him.
Why is that? Because sees and knows the heart. God knew our wicked, depraved hearts.
Jeremiah 17:9–10 (CSB) The heart is deceitful above all things and incurable—who can understand it? I, the LORD, examine the mind, I test the heart to give to each according to his way, according to what his actions deserve.
God saw and knew our hearts. He knew that we were unable to save ourselves and because of the depths of our wickedness, we don't want to save us. In your born state, you did not want to do save yourself--you just want to do what you want to do. Me too. I am right there with you. All I wanted was to look at porn all time, numb out my feelings, sacrifice all of my relationships, die and go straight to hell.
God knew and did something about it.
Romans 5:8 (CSB) But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
God knew our hearts and actually did something about it. Who has free will but God alone.
Titus 3:4-7 (CSB) But when the kindness of God our Savior and his love for mankind appeared, he saved us—not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy—through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit. He poured out his Spirit on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior so that, having been justified by his grace, we may become heirs with the hope of eternal life.
God knew our wickedness and made unbreakable covenant with his Son:
Ephesians 1:3–14 (CSB) Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavens in Christ. For he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in love before him. He predestined us to be adopted as sons through Jesus Christ for himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he lavished on us in the Beloved One. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he richly poured out on us with all wisdom and understanding. He made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he purposed in Christ as a plan for the right time—to bring everything together in Christ, both things in heaven and things on earth in him. In him we have also received an inheritance, because we were predestined according to the plan of the one who works out everything in agreement with the purpose of his will, so that we who had already put our hope in Christ might bring praise to his glory. In him you also were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed. The Holy Spirit is the down payment of our inheritance, until the redemption of the possession, to the praise of his glory.
God knew the depths of our depravity and he fixed it all by sending his only begotten Son!
Ephesians 2:4–10 (CSB) But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love that he had for us, made us alive with Christ even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace! He also raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavens in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might display the immeasurable riches of his grace through his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift—not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do.
God knew us and he perfectly saved us.
Romans 5:2–5 (CSB) We have also obtained access through him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we boast in the hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
We get to boast because the Christ has us! Christ has us, the Father has made his home in us, and the Spirit dwells in us. We have the Triune God! We have the fullness of God! We have the presence of God with us! We are his Beloved and he is ours!
Psalms 23:6 (CSB) Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD as long as I live.
William Rees, “Here is Love,” 1876.