Chapter 1: Assurance
How to shop in your PJs
I’m not a fan of shopping. My tolerance threshold is approximately eighteen minutes. After that I’ll buy anything if it means I can go home, which explains some of the clothes I wear. And so I approach shopping trips in the same way an SAS team approaches covert missions: identify the target; know where it is; do not deviate to the left or the right; be out of the store before the next customer has even advanced to the counter.
The solution to all this, of course, is online shopping. It is wonderful, for four reasons:
- You don’t have to go outside. No need to face crowds, queues and tempers. You can do it in your pajamas in between Scrabble moves on Facebook.
- It means you get interesting post. Now that most personal communication is electronic, it tends to be just junk mail and bills that come through the door. There is nothing to look forward to in the post any more.
- By the time the package arrives you can’t quite remember what you’d bought. It’s like someone has sent you a surprise present. And because the ‘someone’ is you, there is no risk you won’t like it. It is me in the past sending gifts ahead to me in the future. It’s virtually time travel.
- You get to sign for stuff. I don’t know why this makes me feel significant – it just does. It’s something about someone in uniform presenting me with documents needing my signature.
When you think about it, this last point is quite important. If a company or person is sending something of particular value, then it is not enough for them to know that the parcel has been sent: they also need to know it has been received, that it’s all gone through and been completed.
Signing off on Salvation
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is God signing off on our salvation. It is the proof that sin has been paid for. The payment has been made – we know this because Jesus said his death was going to be a ransom for sin (see Mark 10:45). But we can now know that payment of his blood has been received and accepted: we have God’s signature. This is why the true symbol for the Christian faith is an empty cross. A crucifix speaks of death, of a payment made. But an empty cross speaks of payment received: ‘He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification’ (Romans 4:25, my emphasis).
The resurrection means that we can be assured of our salvation. It confirms two things: that Jesus is who he says he is, and that he’s done all that he said he would. The Saviour is vindicated in the face of all who rejected his claims. Salvation is assured in the face of all our doubts.
“Full of great images, clearly organized, encouraging, humorous, biblical, insightful—I could go on. Reading this little volume on this central but neglected topic will benefit your life.”
—MARK DEVER, Capitol Hill Baptist Church
“After Mark Dever recommended Lifted, the pastoral staff of Covenant Life Church all put aside time to read and discuss it—you should too.”
—JOSHUA HARRIS, Covenant LIfe Church
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