Where Is Your Evidence?
We claim to be christians. We hope that we are the children of God, heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. We hope that we have been elected, redeemed, and called by grace. But where is the evidence? If we can rightfully lay claim to that eternal salvation which is in Christ Jesus, with full assurance and confidence, we must be able to prove that it is ours by the evidence God has given in his Word.
Of this I am sure - NO EXPERIENCE OF GRACE, FEELING OF SPIRITUALITY, OR WORK PERFORMED BY ME, PAST OR PRESENT, IS EVIDENCE THAT I AM A CHILD OF GOD (Matt. 7:21-23). I know that all who are born of God do experience repentance, faith, and conversion. All believers experience conviction, inner conflict with sin, love, joy, and peace. And God's children all walk in good works. But these things may all be counterfeited by satan. If your assurance is built on these things either you are a proud, self-righteous hypocrite, deceiving your own heart with a refuge of lies, or you have no real peace of heart, assurance of faith, and confidence before God at all.
AND THOSE GRACES AND WORKS WHICH MAY CONVINCE OTHERS THAT I AM A CHILD OF GOD CAN NEVER CONVINCE MY OWN HEART AND CONSCIENCE. EVEN THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IS NO SURE EVIDENCE TO ME THAT I AM ONE OF GOD'S ELECT. There are some things by which we know one another, as well as men can, to be believers: good works (Matt. -16), the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. -23), etc. But my conscience, like the law of God, demands perfection, and will not allow me assurance upon the ground of my sinful works and corrupt fruit.
EVEN LOVE FOR MY BRETHREN IS NO SURE EVIDENCE OF A SAVING INTEREST IN CHRIST. Our love for one another convinces us of one another's salvation (I John ) and convinces others of ours (John ). But my love for my brethren is not anything like the perfect love described by Paul (I Cor. 13:4-8). And because it is not perfect, it cannot be an evidence of grace.
THE ONLY EVIDENCE I HAVE OF MY SAVING INTEREST IN CHRIST IS FAITH IN CHRIST (Heb. 11:1). I have no clear title to heaven but faith and faith is enough. God says it is enough. And my conscience says it is enough (I John 5:1, 10-13).