Date: May 20, 2012
Liturgical Sunday: Seventh Sunday of Easter
RCL Scripture: Psalm 1; Acts 1:15-17, 21-26; 1 John 5:9-13; John 17:6-16
Sermon Title: Can we be sure?
Knox Presbyterian [audio:https://wordsfromthemiddle.ca/wp-content/uploads/120520_-_Knox.mp3|titles=Can we be sure?]
St. Mark’s Presbyterian [audio:https://wordsfromthemiddle.ca/wp-content/uploads/120520_-_St_Marks.mp3|titles=Can we be sure?]
“Can we be sure?” is a question, in the context of our relationship with God through Christ that has tormented many, many people. Perhaps the poster child for this lack of assurance would be Martin Luther. I would love to say that these two sermons will forever deal with any questions you might have about knowing for sure that you are in an authentic relationship with God but that is an awful lot to put on two sermons . . . by anyone, let alone me.
This question,* vexing as it might be, is often resolved by re-framing. When I still interacted with Bible college students this question tended to come up in regard to a particular besetting sin or doubt for each student. The answer to worries about the authenticity of your relationship with God is not to look at the most recent example of you committing some sin, recurrent or not, but rather to look at your history as a person in relationship with God. If you look over the past week or month or year or decade, are you a better person than you were when you began? Do have a better sense of how much God loves you? Are you a more loving person?
Our culture tends to tell us that we, as individuals, are the complete measure of everything that matters to us and nothing could be further from the truth. We are almost always the worst person to ask about ourselves. We fall into two errors, we overstate our value and virtues (not common) or we comprehensively undervalue ourselves (most common). No matter which error our personality drives us toward, we are still in error.
*These sermons aren’t really a response to worries about “eternal security” but they just might be of assistance. If you would like anymore help on this question, please feel free to leave a comment and I (and the small community that reads this blog) will be happy to do everything possible to help.