Friday, April 27, 2012

Struggling with Assurance

This post is in response to my friend's post Wrestling with Edwards | Jollyblogger.

As I understand it, the modernist thinking that facts are good and value judgment are bad is not Scriptural. The commandment to love the Lord is that we should have a certain value judgment. Of course I could point out that facts stated as good is a value judgment. There is no salvation in finding an objective fact. It is the truth of the gospel that saves us, even if we have poor epistemology. No one was ever saved by knowing anything, they are only saved by the one who came and died for us. Salvation comes from Christ. He is our only hope, whether or not we can deny numb, press down, circumvent or otherwise work around our feelings. Feelings can cloud our vision so that we do not see the true circumstances, but so can facts. Many look at the simplicity of the gospel and underestimate the need to have true faith. I know my Grandfather expressed remorse in his later days that he did not take the gospel more seriously through out his life. He placed his faith in Christ, but his affections were on other things.

Affections are nothing but love. If we do not love God then we probably don't know him. It is the Christian's life long journey to study love and study what our heart is set on. If we love something else, it is idolatry.

I would resist making a false dichotomy of facts versus feeling, since mature healthy feelings are emotional responses to the facts. I want to make an analogy from my eye sight. My physical eyes do not see right all the time. If I am tired they blur. Normally I need glasses but fatigue even worsens my sight so that glasses to not help. For many their emotional capacities to respond to life have been hindered by overwhelming pain that drowns out all normal responses. Others may have physical ailments that contribute to or cause emotions to focus on sadness. But if we are overwhelmed by our state, it is true, we must look to Christ and him alone. Looking to our capacity to trust only can cause us to say, "Lord, help thou my unbelief." Though my eyes be faulty, I constantly use them and make my way through life with them. My feelings may have some sort of fault, but they are not to be disregarded.

"that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ," (Col 2:2 ESV)

This is one of the few times assurance is discussed in Scripture explicitly. As it does so, it points us to Christ.

My Hope is Built

My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus' blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
but wholly lean on Jesus' name.
On Christ the solid rock I stand,
all other ground is sinking sand;
all other ground is sinking sand.

2. When Darkness veils his lovely face,
I rest on his unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
my anchor holds within the veil.

3. His oath, his covenant, his blood
supports me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
he then is all my hope and stay.

4. When he shall come with trumpet sound,
O may I then in him be found!
Dressed in his righteousness alone,
faultless to stand before the throne!

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