The gospel is good news to all who hear it. That is
known. Its relieving to hear that your sins, for example, are forgiven
and that God remembers them no more because of what Jesus has done. But therein
lies the problem--the human heart finds it so hard to believe the gospel, in
fact the hardest thing to believe is whether this Good News is for me. "Is
it really for me?", "It sounds too good to be true but is it really
true what you are saying?"," Am I really saved, me?" Believing the gospel is a battle of the heart.
Charles Spurgeon, in one his sermons on the topic of
assurance draws back on a discussion between a one John and his Pastor. This
dialogue is helpful for all of us struggling to believe that the Good News of
the gospel is really for us:
He who believes in Jesus Christ, has eternal life."John 3:36: do you know
this declaration of the word of God? Very well, but you appear to think it
obscure or equivocal.
John. Never, I am sure it is true. Yet all those who say—I
believe in Jesus Christ, are not the elected of God, bought of the Lord, or
saved by grace. All these are not chosen, for there are many hypocrites who
dare say that they believe in the Son of God.
Pastor. You observe, that the word does not say, that those
who say they believe, or pretend to believe, in Jesus Christ, or
who imagine falsely that they believe, have eternal life; but this infallible
word says, that those who believe in effect and really, have this life; so,
then, the multitude in Christian nations who profess to believe in Jesus
Christ, is not proof that they believe in effect; but if this multitude believe
in effect on the Savior, certainly they will have eternal life.
John. Thus, then, sir, whoever is able to assure himself
that he believes on the Savior, then he will be certain that he has actually
the life eternal, and that he is also elected.—
took a little bit of paper and wrote upon it these words.) Whoever receives from my hand this paper, and this
declaration, I hold him for my friend: (he put his name to these words, and
presenting it to John, he said to him.) Receive this from my hand, and
believe my testimony, for I am a creditable person:—
(John took the
paper and read what the minister had written.)
Pastor. How am I to regard you, John, after this testimony
that I have given you?
John. I have the minister for a friend.
Pastor. Is it from you to me that this friendship flows, or
is it from me to you?
John. It is from you to me.
Pastor. Do you hesitate to say that I am your friend, and
that you have become mine?
John. If I said
I did not believe you, I should make you a liar.
Pastor. Do you, then, look with affection towards me, or is
it I with affection towards you? for you are assured that I am your friend, and
that I regard you as mine.
John. You, dear sir, love me, and care for me.
Pastor. And how are you assured that this good-will is
addressed to you!
John. Because you have been pleased to say it, and I do
not doubt your veracity.
Pastor. I am sure that I have not written your name, as my
friend; why then do you know that I have mentioned you in particular?
John. You have written with your own hand, that whoever
receives this paper, you shall have him for a friend; and because I have
received this paper, and because I know that you are of good authority, I have
no doubt at all upon the subject.
Pastor. That is, then, because you have been certain on the
one hand of having received this paper from my hand, and on the other hand,
that I am of good authority, that you are certain of possessing, at the
present, my affection,
John. I do not think that I am able to speak with doubt
upon this point, without insulting your veracity."
of which is just this, that when you can take the Word, and find that you are
the character there spoken of, it is as good as if out of heaven an angel
should fly down to you, sitting in your pew now, and should say in your ear, in
the presence of this congregation, "God is thy salvation." Now,
brethren, I know this day I have no other trust but in the cross of Christ;
therefore I am saved; and you can say the same, each one of you, if you are
resting in Christ alone, There is not an "if" or a "but"
about it; you are saved. Oh! do enjoy that thought, and go home and live upon
it; it shall be marrow and fatness to your spirit."
(This is an excerpt from a sermon delivered on Sunday Morning, April 28, 1861 by the Rev. C. H. SPURGEON, At
the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington)