Why Hear Assurance of Pardon Weekly?
March 10, 2016 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments
Posted in: Pastoral Encouragement
We hear an assurance of pardon for our sins every week during our worship at Oak Hills. Some may wonder about the value of such repetition. Does it seem to be too remedial? What place does assurance have in worship? Does it have any value in our spiritual growth and well-being?
Let me identify seven values of hearing the assurance of pardon on a regular basis.
1. It reminds us of God’s gracious work on our behalf. We are forgetful people and tend to wander. Just as it is necessary to speak words of love to our spouses and children, it is necessary to hear and be reminded of God’s amazing forgiveness and atonement of our sin.
2. It guards against legalism. One of the chief wanderings of the human heart is into self-righteous reliance. The natural course of sin is towards independence, not dependence. We all too often can fall into the trap of thinking our relationship with God and our spiritual well-being is our work. An assurance of pardon draws attention to our inadequacy and God’s full sufficiency.
3. It plays a part of the evangelism of a worship service. The chief end of a worship gathering is the glory of God. Also a part of the worship service is the building up of the body of Christ and equipping the saints for the work of ministry. Evangelism plays a part as well, with not only unbelieving visitors in attendance, but also our children growing up in the church. The assurance of pardon is a part of the proclamation of the Gospel. We pray that people would respond in faith, receiving what God has done for them through Christ.
4. It provides the foundation for thanksgiving, joy, and hope. The worship gathering is to be marked by gladness and celebration. Why? Because God is infinitely good. An assurance directs the attention of our hearts and minds toward God himself, the center of our worship gathering, and gives a sure foundation for our joy.
5. It helps us fight the good fight of faith. In other words, it is sanctifying. How does a Christian grow other than enjoying God more and more? The more our hearts delight in all that God has done for us through Christ, the less we look to empty satisfactions through sinful pursuits. Hear the assurance and enjoy God all the more for what he has done for you!
6. It deepens our understanding of all that Christ has done for us. The atoning work of Christ is deep and significant. Throughout eternity God will continually be revealing new facets of his kindness toward us (Eph. 2:7). The simple statement, “Jesus died for my sins,” can be received with childlike faith and explored with a scholar’s mind. “Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them” (Ps. 111:2).
7. It leads us to courageous honesty. When we receive the work of God as the foundation of our acceptance, significance, and security, we let go of fearful hiding and deceptive image crafting. We can be ourselves. The assurance of pardon reminds us: we are completely RIGHTEOUS, therefore we have nothing to prove; we are completely FORGIVEN, therefore we have nothing to hide; and we are completely LOVED, therefore we have nothing to fear.