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Enjoying Life as God Intends

2019 Advent Devotional – Day 23

Assurance in Christ

Read Romans 8:31-39.

Nowadays, Christmas is almost synonymous with the practice of gift-giving, which is an opportunity to express our love and appreciation for another. The Magi presented to the infant Jesus three gifts (gold, frankincense, and myrrh) out of love and reverence for him (Matt 2:11). God himself is a master gift-giver, who gives us only good and perfect gifts (James 1:17) – he is the one who providentially sustains his creation (Acts 17:25) and supplies rain and crops in their seasons (Acts 14:17).

But out of all the gifts that God has given, one gift stands far above the rest. In Romans 8:32, Paul rhetorically asks: “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”. He argues from the greater gift to the lesser gifts, that is, because God has given us that which is most valuable (his own Son) for our sake, we can have confidence that he will not withhold any good thing from us. Indeed, it is through Christ that we have already received ‘every spiritual blessing’ (Eph 1:3). It is through Christ that we have multifaceted assurance as Christians, established by Paul in this passage:

  • “Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?” – No one; instead, we have assurance that God has justified us through faith in Christ, whom he presented as an atoning sacrifice for our sins (Rom 3:24-25, 5:9). So even as we continue to wrestle with sin in our life, we can be assured that God will forgive even our greatest sins, since Christ has already paid for them all.
  • “Who then is the one who condemns?” – No one; instead, we have assurance that we have been justified through the death and resurrection of Christ. We also have confidence that the risen Christ, seated at the right hand of God, continues to intercede on our behalf as our advocate (1 John 2:1) and high priest (Heb 7:23-28). Through Christ’s continuing intercession for us, we can be confident that no one, not even Satan, can condemn us before God.
  • “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” – Nothing and no one can separate us from the love of Christ; instead, through this same love, we are declared to be more than conquerors. Thus, even when we face suffering without knowing the reason behind it, we can still know with certainty that God loves us, and that no suffering is too great to tear us away from God’s love for us.

In all these things, our assurance rests not on our love for God, but on God’s love for us in Christ. We can be assured that God’s love for us is incomprehensibly deep, because he has given us his Son for our sake. Therefore, the assurance that we have as Christians rests on an unshakeable and unchanging foundation.

  • Give thanks to God for the gift of his Son and the blessing of assurance
  • Pray that we will develop a deeper appreciation of God’s love for us