By Ike T. Sidebottom
The world is in chaos and disturbance. Doubt and anxiety is manifested among the multitudes. Even the seasoned saints are not always confident and quiet before the Lord.
How can the human heart have “quietness and assurance” in the midst of worldwide disorder? God answers our question in the language of our text.
“And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever” (Isaiah 32:17).
Such righteousness must be imparted to us from God through His Son, Jesus Christ. “All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6), but His righteousness is perfect, and brings to the trusting soul peace, quietness and assurance.
The heavenly Father wants us to have His peace and glorify His name through a quiet and confident life of faith.
Our Gentile Fathers
had their opportunity to know God and to glorify His name, but they refused to do so; and “their foolish heart was darkened” (Romans 1:18-23). Wherefore:
“God gave them up to uncleanness” (Romans 1:24).
“God gave them up to vile affections” (Romans 1:26).
“God gave them over to a reprobate mind” (Romans 1:28).
The moral and spiritual apostasy into which they drifted is pictured in Romans 1, verses 29 to 32, Read these verses and see the Gentile world “guilty before God.”
What About the Jew?
He is no better. The Jews had the advantage in every way: “Chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles, of God” (Romans 3:l-2). However, “We have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, they are all under sin” (Romans 3:9).
“Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God” (Romans 3:19).
The Gentile’s mouth having been “stopped” by his guilt as revealed in Romans 1:18-32, and God’s perfect law having “stopped” the mouth of the Jew, who was under the law, “every mouth” was stopped and “all the world” became “guilty before God.”
“What the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit” (Romans 8:3-4).
The law was never given that men should be made righteous by their own good works; on the other hand, God gave the law that man might have a scriptural “knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:20).
“As many as are of the works of the law are under the curse.” Why is this true? Because “It is written, cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them” (Galatians 3:21-22).
God’s perfect law demanded more than fallen man could deliver. That is why the “righteousness of God without the law is manifested, even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe” (Romans 3:21-22).
This very righteousness of God is imparted to every one who is really trusting in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. God the Father “made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
O blessed truth! Marvelous grace.
God’s dear Son has taken my place.
In His own body He bore all my sin.
Now I am infinitely righteous in Him.
is used three times over in the Word:
“The full assurance of faith” (Hebrews 10:22).
“The full assurance of understanding” (Colossians 2:2).
“The full assurance of hope” (Hebrews 6:11).
“Full assurance of faith” was exercised by Paul when he said, “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day” (2 Timothy 1:12). We cannot exercise faith without knowing it. If we have faith in the soundness of the bank in which we deposit our money, that faith gives us confidence concerning the safety of our deposit and we feel at ease about it.
The one reason why so many believers lack the “full assurance of faith” is due to their lack of knowledge and understanding of the scriptures. Once the believer thoroughly understands the revealed facts upon which his safety in Christ is resting, he becomes quiet and confident about his soul’s salvation.
“The full assurance of understanding” means a spiritual understanding of at least
Seven Outstanding Facts
upon which the believer’s safety and security rests.
- The finished work of Christ on the cross of Calvary for our sins. He said, “It is finished” (John 19:30). On the day of His resurrection, “By His own blood He entered in once into the Holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us” (Hebrews 9:12). See 1 John 5:11-13.
- The present work of Christ at the right hand of the Father in heaven. He is the believer’s “Advocate with the Father” (1 John 2:1). When we sin He represents us, pleading His own blood for our forgiveness.
- The Father’s faithfulness to His Son in answer to His prayer. The Son prayed, “Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me” (John 17:11). We know that the Father heard this prayer (John 11:42); therefore, we know He must grant the petition (1 John 5:14-15).
- The specific promises of God have been made and He cannot lie. He has spoken concerning His own, saying, “I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish” (John 10:27-28). See also Philippians 1:6 and Romans 8:31-39.
- The choice of God the Father could not have been a blunder on his part. We are told that all the saved people of this age were “chosen” in Him before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:3-4). We were chosen to fit into that “holy temple” of Ephesians 2:19-22. Do you think He would build us into the structure and then have to tear us out?
- The sealing of the Holy Spirit was “until” a specified time; namely, the “redemption of the purchased possession” (Ephesians 1:13-14). The saint, or saved person, is sealed by the Holy Spirit the moment he is saved. That moment he becomes the purchased property of God (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). The seal of the Spirit is God’s mark of ownership upon the saint until he is redeemed or taken in body and soul into God’s glory.
- The believer’s union with Christ is such that could never be broken. God, Himself, adds each believer to the Lord (Acts 5:14 with I Cor. 12:13 and 27), and “whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever; nothing can be put to it, or anything taken from it” (Ecclesiastes 3:14).
“The church, which is the body of Christ,” is an organism, like a human body; and not an organization, like a legislative body (1 Corinthians 12:12). Each saved person has been baptized, by the Holy Spirit, into the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13) and is an essential member of that organism (Ephesians 5:29-30).
God tells us how He adds His blood bought children to the church of the one body; but He doesn’t say anything about taking a disobedient child out of that body. Just one missing member, in the day of our glorification, would violate the truth set forth in Ephesians 5:25-27.
“The full assurance of hope” can never be realized apart from faith and understanding. Hope has to do with the unseen future (Romans 8:24-25).
In Hebrews 6:10-12, the believer is admonished to minister diligently “unto the end,” and follow “them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”
In Colossians 1:24-27 the believers are reminded of Paul’s “sufferings” for them and for “His body’s sake, which is the church.” He declared this dispensation to be a mystery, which had been “hid from ages and from generations.” Then He makes it clear that God, who gave him the mystery was through him, making it “manifest to His saints.” God wants the saints to know the “glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which, is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” This hope will be realized when our Lord calls for the “church which is His body.”
Let us not get our “hope” mixed with that of Israel or that of the Bride. Our hope is not resting upon the “promises made unto the fathers;” because this dispensation was hid from past ages and generations. We are not holding out to “the end.” We are waiting for the glory. Keep looking up! He may come for us any moment.
Trust in the Lord Jesus Christ alone for righteousness, the work of which is peace, and the effect of which is “quietness and assurance for ever.”