The lyrics to the hymn, Blessed Assurance, were written by Francis Jane Crosby, or as she was commonly known, Fanny Crosby. The tune was written by her friend, Phoebe Knapp. Fanny Crosby was an American mission worker, poet, lyricist, and composer. She was a prolific hymnist, writing more than 8,000 hymns. She is also known for her teaching and her rescue mission work in NYC. By the end of the 19th century, she was a household name. Crosby was known as the “Queen of Gospel Song Writers.”
Do you know the blessed assurance of belonging to Jesus? Are you sure of your status with God? Do you have confidence that you’ll spend eternity in heaven? To be “assured” of something means “to be certain, to be confident of a thing.” It means to feel “secure” that what God has promised in Jesus is truly yours. Do know this blessed assurance today?
Below is an automated transcript of this messageGood morning church! We’re continuing our series today entitled, “Hymns, Singing Praises to our God.” We’ve been going through famous classic Christian hymns each week and then looking at the theme in the scripture and talking about it each week. It’s been an encouraging series; we’ve enjoyed it!
We’re reminded of our series text verse, which is found in Psalm 40:3 (NLT) “He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.” We’ve been talking about different hymns.
Today, we’re going to be talking about the hymn, “Blessed Assurance.” “Blessed Assurance” is a hymn that was written by a woman named Frances Jane Crosby, or as she was commonly known, Fanny Crosby.
Fanny Crosby was quite an impressive woman. Born in 1820, she wrote over 8000 hymns. If you go through any hymn book and you don’t see one by Fanny Crosby , somebody overlooked it because she is probably the most prolific hymn writer of all time. She’s called the “queen of gospel song writers,” but her life didn’t begin with such a royal potential.
Fanny Crosby was born on March 24,1820 in Putnam County, New York City. She lost her sight when she was only two months old. She had an eye infection and the doctors treated it inappropriately. She ended up being blind for the rest of her life. Her father died when she was only six months old.
She was raised primarily by her grandmother; her mother had to work, so her grandmother spent most of her time with young Fanny. The grandmother dedicated most of her life to educating her blind granddaughter. She spent so much time reading the bible and selected poetry to Fanny because Fanny couldn’t read at the time. She hadn’t been educated in using Braille yet. She mostly learned by hearing her grandmother read to her and, as a result, she developed quite a powerful memory. Her grandmother was reading the Bible to her and started noticing her power of memory. By the age of fifteen, Fanny had memorized the first five books of the bible. She, also, had memorized the first four books of the New Testament, the four gospels. She had memorized the book of Proverbs, most of the book of Psalm, the Song of Solomon and other passages. She had quite an impressive memory. Her grandmother, especially, realized how smart she was and how intellectually advanced she was.
Fanny was selected to attend the New York Institute for the Blind in New York City, where, in addition to finally learning to read, she also learned to play the piano, the organ, the harp, and the guitar as well as singing soprano in the choir. She, also, met her husband there at the New York Institute for the Blind.
During the visit, Knapp played a new tune she had composed. She asked Crosby what her thoughts were on the tune. In reply, Crosby said, “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine.” She then continued with other words of the hymn. Mrs. Knapp wrote the words down and fit them into the tune as we have it today.
In 1873, while Fanny was working at a rescue mission in the slums of NYC, she took time to visit with her friend, Phoebe Knapp, who lived in Brooklyn. Phoebe was a member of a wealthy family that contributed to the mission. Often, Fanny would go and rest at that home when she was working there. Phoebe had this beautiful music room with a grand piano and a lot of instruments; Fanny especially liked being with her friend, Phoebe. On a particular day in 1873, Phoebe said to her, ‘I’ve written a new tune I want to play on the piano for you.’ She played it for Fanny Mae Crosby. Fanny, immediately, started dictating words to her, “Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine. Oh what a foretaste of glory divine…” On the spot, she wrote the words to that song. Phoebe wrote the words down on a napkin; this was the song, “Blessed Assurance.”
We probably would not have heard much of this song or maybe of many of these songs that were written in the 1800’s by Fanny Crosby, if it weren’t for a man named Ira Sankey. Ira Sankey was the music director for the D.L. Moody crusades.
D. L. Moody was kind of like Billy Graham in his time period. He traveled the world and would have these revival meetings. Ira Sankey was his music director. Ira Sankey had discovered these beautiful hymns, written by Fanny Crosby, on a particular evening during the revival that D. L. Moody was holding. They were singing this new song, “Blessed Assurance,” and the people were loving it. They were singing it. On this particular evening, Fanny Crosby decided to attend. She got there a little bit late and couldn’t find a seat. She was trying to sit in the back, which was her normal. She didn’t like to draw attention to herself. D. L. Moody saw her trying to find a seat. He went and helped her find a seat on the platform. She had no idea where he was taking her. He took her up on the platform. D. L. Moody, the preacher, stops the singing and tells the congregation that the woman who wrote this song is now among us. The people began to applaud because they loved the song, “Blessed Assurance.” She was somewhat bewildered, because she was such a humble woman, but she was happy that people were being moved and encouraged by this song.
Surely, “Blessed Assurance” has been an encouraging song for generations since 1873. In fact, it was one of the first songs I learned to play on the guitar when I was thirteen years old. My mom who was much like Fanny Crosby’s mom. Similar to Fanny, my mother and grandmother were the two people most influential in my faith. Also similar to Fannie Crosby, I lost my father when I was very young. He died when I was only eight years old.
My mom and grandmother,similar to Fanny’s story started noticing that I was interested in music. I was trying to learn to play the guitar. In fact, my grandmother taught me how to play the guitar. My mom made sure that, if I am learning to play music, I play the right music. So, she ordered this book from Reader’s Digest and I still have this book today. It’s a big volume of classic christian hymns and other songs; an anthology. It has guitar chords and piano parts in the songs.
I learned to play “Blessed Assurance.” I can still hear my mother singing along with me as I played; it was one of the earliest songs that I learned to play. It stretched me because it was in the key of D and I hadn’t learned those chords yet. I still remember that anthology of hymns book; it’s amazing how when someone takes the time to invest in your life. Your mother and your grandmother, in my case.
Do you know this blessed assurance of belonging to Jesus? The beginning lyrics of the hymn go like this: “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine.” Can you say that Jesus is mine? Can you say that to yourself? He belongs to me and I belong to Him. I know that I know that I know that I have assurance, which means I have confidence. I have a sense of certainty that He’s mine and I’m His. My eternity is secure. My future is secure. I have the blessed knowledge of assurance.
If that’s not the case for you today, you’re in the right place. Before this morning is over, I believe that you can have the very blessed assurance of which the song sings, but not only that, of which the apostle John writes in his first Epistle. He basically tells us, ‘I’m writing this letter so that you can know you have eternal life through Jesus. You can have blessed assurance.’
We’re going to be looking at the text in I John: 5. We will be looking for three keys on how you can be sure you can have this blessed assurance of salvation in Christ Jesus. Let’s look at it now.
1 John 5:11-15 (ESV) 11 “And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. 14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.” This is God’s word, Amen.
How we can have assurance of salvation in Jesus: 1. Receive Him as God’s gift.
Receive Him as God’s gift. Look at verse 11, which says, “And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” Circle the word, “gave.” He gave us a gift and this gift is eternal life. This gift is wrapped up in a person and the name of that person is Jesus. This gift of eternal life is wrapped up in Jesus.
If you want this, you have to receive it; you can’t earn this. You don’t earn a birthday gift. You don’t earn a gift. You say “yes” to a gift. You receive a gift and God has offered a gift to us. He says, “And this is the testimony.” In other words, this is the word; this is the story and He is going to make it very simple. It reminds me of the chorus of this song, “Blessed Assurance.” Perhaps, Fanny Crosby had this passage in mind when she wrote the chorus: “This is my story. This is my song.” That’s how the chorus begins. This is my testimony; this is my song, praising my Savior.
God gave us eternal life in Christ Jesus; that speaks of quantity, doesn’t it? The word there is “eon” in Greek. It has the quantity of eternity everlasting. The Greek word for life here is “zoe,” which is a certain type of life, abundant, full and overflowing. It’s this life that’s in Christ; it is of a quantity eternal and of a quality full and overflowing, giving life full meaning.
If you want this full and overflowing eternal life, there’s only one way to get it. It’s to receive the gift of God’s one and only son, Jesus. That’s what John is telling us, right out of the gate. If you want assurance of salvation, you have to ask yourself, Have I received the gift of Jesus?
In case it’s not clear enough, he writes verse 12. He “puts the cookies on the bottom shelf” so the little kids can reach it here. See if you can get your mind around this, 12 “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” If you have Jesus, you have life. To be clear, if you don’t have Jesus, he says, “whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” That makes sense, doesn’t it? He wants it to be as simple as it can be.
Can you sing? Can you say Jesus is mine and I am His? Have you given your life to Him? Have you received Him as your Lord, in other words, your Master? Have you given Him the keys to the car? He is the driver and I’m not driving my life anymore. You’re the Lord. You’re my Savior. I recognize what You did on the cross for me. You took my death so I could have Your life. It’s the greatest exchange in human history. He took our death.
The reason that we need this eternal life is because from the time we’re born, death is already at work in us. We’re already destined for death unless we receive this gift of life from Jesus. It says in Romans 6:23 (ESV) “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The wages of sin is death. In other words, we have earned death, but there’s a free gift available.
Now, here’s a problem that we all have. Human nature defaults to earning. We always want to earn. We compare ourselves to each other. Oh, I’m better than him, so I’m sure God will take care of me. I’m not perfect, but I’m better than her. We think we can earn salvation by being good enough.
The bible says, here’s what you’ve earned: death. That’s what you’ve earned. You already have payments coming due. Then, He sends His son, Jesus. He is offering us Jesus because He came and took our death so you don’t have to. He came and died our death. If you look at the cross, you look at Jesus, dying on the cross. If you see this, with full understanding, you recognize He died your death; He died the death you earned, so you could receive His life as a free gift. He offers His life in exchange for your death. He offers His righteousness in exchange for your sin. He offers His Sonship, His relationship with the Father in place of your separation from God. Oh my goodness! This is the greatest, greatest gift ever offered . You have to be like a child and say that you don’t deserve it. Just by faith to say, ‘I receive it,’ which is an admission to ‘ I can’t earn it. I recognize I’m a sinner apart from God. And I desire humbly to receive this gift from Jesus.’ It means we have to put to death that human default of earning and say, ‘like a child, I will receive it.’ I say, ‘like a child,’ because no one is born with a bank account. No one is born with a job. We’re all born naked and crying and asking somebody to feed us and to take care of us. Like a child, we need to cry out to God and say ‘I need you. I receive you.’
Have you ever done that? You can ask yourself that right now. Have you ever done that? Have you ever said, ‘I receive You, Lord Jesus, as my Lord and Savior. I receive You.’
“Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine. Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!” A “foretaste” means I’m tasting heaven a little bit before I get there because I have Jesus. Jesus is a foretaste,a promise of it. There’s something in all of us that seems contrary to the realities that we live in. It’s this desire for eternity; for something that will last.Solomon wrote about this in Ecclesiastes 3; he said that God has set eternity in the heart of every man. There’s this eternal desire for things to last, but then they don’t. We’re unique in all of creation in that we have this desire for things to last as if we were meant for it, but something went wrong. And so it has.
To those that are older in the room, I ask, “Have you ever tried to go back to your Mom’s house or to your Grandmother’s house after they’re gone?” If I go to my grandmother’s house today, it’s on the property that belongs to my cousin, which I’m glad it’s still in the family because I can still go and visit. He loves to have visitors. The house is almost 200 years old. It is an old farmhouse, built by my great great grandfather. Nobody lives in the house now. My cousin lives next door in his own but he’s trying to keep the house up so we can still visit. When I go visit, though, it’s not the same because my grandmother is not there. I don’t smell her cooking when I go in that house. I don’t hear her voice, her laughter, her love. It’s not the same. If I go to where my mother’s house was, where I grew up, somebody else lives there. They’re a friend of the family; I could probably knock on the door and they’d let me in, but I don’t want to see it because they might have changed some things. I’m sure they have. Besides, my mom won’t answer the door. It’s not the same. It’s just not the same. Why is that? What is this longing for home that you can’t go to any more? What is that?
It’s eternity set in their hearts. But death is at work in us already. The longing points us to Christ because He is the one for whom we long for. We long ultimately for Him; He’s the only one that will satisfy.
Have you received Him? Have you understood this foretaste heir of salvation? Now, we’ve inherited salvation, a purchase of God. We’ve been bought by God, born of His spirit, washed in His blood. Oh, what a wonderful verse. The chorus starts with this, “This is my story. This is my song. Praising my Savior, all the day long.” Have you received Jesus as a gift from God? That’s our first key. Can you say “yes” to that? I have received Him as a gift.
How we can have assurance of salvation in Jesus: 2. Believe in Him as God’s salvation.
We are at verse 13 now. Basically, John “puts the keys under the doormat” so we can understand the theme of this book. He makes it really easy for us by telling us, here’s why I wrote the book, 13 “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.” He is writing this to believers. 1 John was written to believers. Why? So that you may hope that you have eternal life, right? Is that what it says? So that you may wish that you have eternal life? Is that what it says? So if you work really hard and you try to be really good, you can have eternal life. Is that what it says? No, it says. So that you may know that you have eternal life. Sothat you may know. It has the idea of full understanding to know that you have a thing.
When I was growing up, I used to hear the preacher say that you can know that you know that you know that if you believe in Jesus, if you’ve received Him as your Lord and Savior and you believed in Him. You can know; you don’t have to guess.
Sometimes I’ve talked to someone, maybe I was visiting their home or maybe I was following up with someone who had visited our church and wanted to talk with me. I’ll ask him, “If you were to stand before a holy God and He were to ask you, ‘Why should I let you into My heaven?,’ what would you say?” Often, people will say, “Well, I’ve tried to be good.” That’s that earning default again; ‘I tried to be good.’ Sometimes they’ll give you the right answer. They’ll say, “Well, because of Jesus.” I tell them, “That’s exactly right.” Sometimes, I will ask, “Are you confident that, if you stood before a holy God today, He would receive you into heaven?” Often, I’ll hear them say, “I hope so.” Then, they’ll break eye contact with me. “I hope so.” Probably, what they’re thinking is of a recent sin or a recent failing and they are thinking, ‘You know, I believe, but I haven’t been living right lately. I hope so,’ because they default to earning again. ‘So, I must receive Jesus as a gift. Okay. I got that.’ But then, they think keeping themselves saved is somehow their responsibility. They need to earn it and keep defaulting to that.
The Gospel, the good news, is a free gift. You must believe in His name, not your name. You must believe in His righteousness, not yours. You must believe in His death on the cross and His purchase as being sufficient.
When Jesus died on the cross, how many of your sins did He die for? Did He die for all of your past sins, the ones before today? What about the ones you’ve already done today? What about the ones tomorrow (now, hopefully you’re not planning any tomorrow) but what if you might sin tomorrow? Did you pay for those too? What’s the value of Him giving up eternal life? Even for a moment, it has eternal value. He’s the son of God. He paid for all of our sins, past, present and future. His payment is sufficient. God has accepted that on our behalf, if you believe in His name.
Verse 13, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.” Okay, so, what does that mean? What’s His name in Hebrew? It’s “Ye-shua.” The “Ye” is God, Jehovah. “Shua” is Hebrew for salvation.
Do you believe in his name? It’s not your name that He’ll be looking for when He looks at us and we stand before a holy God; it’s in the name of Jesus. This is why the apostle Peter, when he preaches in the book of Acts, says that there’s no other name given under heaven by which men may be saved. It’s the name Jesus; that’s the name.
Do you believe in the name? Have you given your life to Jesus? This word, “believe,” has the idea of to be persuaded, to have total trust in, faith in. This is why John says, in John 1:12 (ESV) “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” That’s the first two keys, right there, receive and believe. Receive Him as a gift. Believe in His name. He gives you the right to be called a child of God.
In John 3:16 that well, beloved verse, it says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Now, how many “whoevers” do we have in the house? Do we have any “whoevers” here? Whoever believes in Him; whoever should not perish but have everlasting life. Whoever believes that’s the cost of admission is believe and receive. Have you done that? You can know. That’s why he wrote the book of 1 John, so that you may know that you have eternal life; you can have confidence. You can know that you know that you know.
One of the things that I heard after the first service from people who stopped me in the lobby was, ‘Man I needed that. I have struggled with doubt.’ Somebody else came to me and said, ‘When I was young, I struggled with this for years because I kept thinking, I don’t know, I guess I thought it was up to me. I couldn’t grasp the idea that it was totally believing in Him. I sometimes felt like I was trying to believe in me. Maybe, I wasn’t good enough.’
I was like that when I was young. I mentioned to you that my father died when I was eight years old. When my father died, the week after the funeral, my mother possibly had a nervous breakdown. Nobody talked about it. I just remember she couldn’t take care of us. So we moved from Bristol, Virginia to Wayne, Michigan, outside of Detroit, with my aunt so she could take care of the family while my mom grieved and worked it out. I’m the oldest. Here’s my mom, who’s around 32 years old and she’s got three little kids. We’re living in my aunt’s house. I started having nightmares. Now listen, I was brought up by my mother and grandmother. I probably prayed to receive Jesus every day of my life. They constantly were teaching me the bible. But then, when my father died, I started having nightmares that I was going to die and go to hell. I was eight years old. My grieving mom was not really that available during that period. I was talking to my aunt Jerry and she asked me why I was struggling and doubting. She told me to just go forward and commit my life to Jesus this coming Sunday.
How many times do you have to ask Jesus in your life? It says in Hebrews, “I will never leave you nor forsake you. “ Well, I had never really been worried about Him leaving me. I was always worried about me leaving Him. “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” which means ‘I ain’t letting go.’ That’s why he says in John 10:29, NIV: “My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.” If you receive Jesus and believe in Jesus, you can know. . I went forward that Sunday; this was a big church, Prayer Baptist Church, in Wayne, Michigan outside of Detroit. We didn’t have this when I was growing up in the hills of Virginia, but up there they had something called, “Children’s Church.” I went forward and made a public confession of faith. Those nightmares went away that very night. I never had another nightmare from that time forward. I guess I needed to mark the moment in a clear way for my little brain and to know that I could know to know that I could know, so I could write it in the front of my bible, ‘On this day. I said “yes” to Jesus.’ He said “yes” to me when He died on the cross. He said “yes” to me a long time ago.
Here’s the second verse of “Blessed Assurance”: “Perfect Communion, Perfect delight. Visions of rapture, now burst on my sight. Angels descending, bring from above. Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.” This is what it’s like to be in a relationship with Jesus. He lives in you by His spirit and you have this sense of peace that passes all understanding.
The whole idea of earning every time it comes up, His word reminds you I paid for that too. It’s not about earning; you are My child. He puts to death that old nature and He brings us to this newness of life. Those are the first two keys: (1) Receive (2) Believe.
How we can have assurance of salvation in Jesus: 3. Have confidence in Him as God’s answer.
We’re in verses 14 and 15. We’ve “unpacked” the first verses. In verse 14, Paul says, “and this is the confidence.” Paul’s making it simple. You have Jesus, you have life. You don’t have Jesus, don’t have life. That’s your testimony. That’s what you stand on. I want you to have confidence. I want you to have a sense of certainty about this so that you can grow in your faith. You can’t grow in your faith if you keep doubting that you have faith in Jesus, that He belongs to you and you belong to Him. You can’t really grow as long as you’re in doubt. I want you to have confidence; this is the confidence. Paul begins to work this out, 14 “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.” Jesus is God’s answer; “This is the confidence that we have toward him.” The “him” here is Jesus. “If we ask anything,” this is like a logic tree. He’s working this out. You can have confidence that if you ask anything according to His will, He hears it; the Father hears it.
Let me ask you this question. Do you think it’s God’s will for you to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Is it God’s will for you to bow the knee and say, ‘You’re God and I’m not. I’m a sinner; I need a Savior.’ Is that God’s will? Do you believe that? So then, if it says that this is the confidence that if you ask anything according to His will, He hears it, is it His will? I’m hearing a unanimous “yes.” It’s His will for you to believe in Jesus and to receive Him as your Savior. If you say in prayer, ‘Lord, I’m asking you to give me Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I’m saying “yes” to Jesus.’ Will He hear that? He says you can be confident He hears it because it’s His will.
Verse 15, “And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.” What is His will? His will is that you follow Jesus. If you pray, according to His will, He will hear it. The answer is “yes.” In Jesus, you can have confidence. He’s the answer. Jesus is the answer to what you need today.
In 1973, not 1873 when “Blessed Assurance” was released, but in 1973, another song was released that meant a lot to me as a young teenager. I remember that it was also a song I learned to play on the guitar. We used to sing it in my youth group. It was a song written by a fellow named Andre’ Crouch. The name of the song was, “Jesus is the Answer.” I don’t know how many of you might remember that. It actually was such a huge hit that it crossed over onto secular radio. Here’s some of the lyrics: “Jesus is the answer for the world today. Above Him, there’s no other, Jesus is the way. Jesus is the answer.” Beautiful song. He’s the answer. He’s the answer today.
Is it God’s will for you to receive Jesus as the answer? He’s built inside of you this longing for home that this world will never satisfy, that longing for home is Jesus. He’s your home. He’s the one that your heart is longing for and it’s God’s will that you know Him.
2 Peter 3:9 (NKJV) “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” Remember, we’re talking about God’s will. He’s not willing that any should perish. In other words, God’s highest and best will for you is that you believe, but yet, He allows for you to respond. If you turn your back today and turn away from Jesus, you’re saying no, now He’s patient. He’s waiting for you to say “yes,” but He will not force you to say “yes.” Do you understand this? His will is for you to come to Jesus as the answer. Jesus is God’s answer.
Romans 10:9 (ESV) “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord; in other words, you say it with your mouth, ‘Jesus, You’re the boss. You’re the Master. Here are the car keys, You drive. You take over my life.’ If you believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. You will be saved. There is that certainty again here; that assurance, if you say, ‘Jesus, You’re the Lord of my life. I believe that You died on the cross for my sins and that You were raised from the grave. I believe that in my heart’ you will be saved. There’s that certainty. Jesus Himself talks about that. He’s the answer to our broken relationship with God.
He said, “I am the way I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.” This is what Jesus offers; He is God’s answer.
We have this third verse of “Blessed assurance:” “Perfect submission, all is at rest.” In other words, You are Lord; I’ve submitted to You now. There’s rest and peace in my life. “I and my Savior am happy and blessed.” I’m in Jesus and He’s in me. I’m blessed. “Watching and waiting, looking above. Filled with his goodness, lost in his love.” This last verse, like the last couple of hymns we’ve studied, tends to go towards looking up and being ready. Chorus: “This is my story, this is my song. Praising my Savior, all the day long.”
Do you have this assurance that Jesus is the answer to your broken relationship with God? Jesus is the answer to our broken relationships with one another. Jesus is the answer to our meaningless existence. He gives meaning to our lives. Jesus is the answer to all of our worries, all of our doubts. Jesus is the answer to the problems of the world. Jesus is God’s answer. You can have confidence in Him.
We have these three keys. You could pose them as questions to yourself. (1) Have I received Jesus as a gift from God? (2) Have I believed in his name as the Savior? (3) Have I accepted Him as the answer,God’s answer to my deepest need? You can answer those questions; then, you can know with blessed assurance that you belong to Him.
Fanny Crosby may have been physically blind, but she had the blessed assurance that came with spiritual sight through Jesus Christ. Once a well meaning preacher said to her after a particular meeting, ‘I think it is a great pity that the Master did not give you sight when He showered you with so many other gifts.’ Can you imagine someone saying this? But she responded, with great humility, that he shouldn’t pity her “Because when I get to heaven, the first face that shall ever gladden my sight will be that of my Savior, Jesus Christ!” “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine.” Can you say that today?
Let’s pray. Lord, first of all, I pray for that person that’s never given their life to Jesus. Right now, Holy Spirit, I pray that you’re knocking on the door of people’s hearts. Is that you, my friend? Maybe you just came because you wanted to please your mom. That’s fine. But now you’ve heard this word; how will you respond? Will you give your life to Jesus? You can do it right now. You can say, ‘I want to receive You and I do believe in You.’ You can express it in prayer. Prayer is just talking to God, you can pray like this, ‘Dear Lord Jesus, I’m a sinner. I believe You died on the cross for me, that You were raised from the grave and that You live today. Come and live in me, forgive me of my sin, make me a child of God as you promised. I accept You, now, as my Lord and Savior. I give my life to you.’ If you’re praying that prayer, believing, right now, Jesus will save you. You can have confidence. You can know that you know. Others are here and you’ve given your life to Jesus, but you understood what I meant by the doubting thing. You’ve gone back and forth. Maybe, it’s because you’ve fallen back into some habit that you know is not pleasing to God. Maybe, it’s because you don’t feel worthy. Would you hear the good news afresh right now? Let it permeate your spirit. He paid it all. His gift is sufficient. His redemption covers all sin. Would you, right now, say, ‘Lord, give me this confidence. I recognize it’s not about me, but it’s about Your name. I’m believing in Your name. I’m trusting you, Jesus. Give me this certainty, this sense of faith so that I might grow and follow You in every area of my life.’ Thank you that we can be assured. Thank you that we can have this blessed assurance that Jesus is mine, for it is in His name we pray, Amen.