Saved ... can I be sure? Can I sing with Fanny Crosby in her hymn, "Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine; O what a foretaste of glory divine!" Many souls have been held hostage to their doubts and fears without the assurance of salvation. It would hardly be salvation, if I wasn't sure of it... because among many things salvation means that I have been saved from these fears. "But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid" (Matthew 14:27). "The torment and the fire mine eyes shall never see; I was a guilty sinner but Jesus died for me."
The question will be asked, where can I find assurance? The answer is, where you find salvation. In His Word! It is His Word, yes God's precious Word, that stands forever true! In the same book where we learned of our guilt and sin, we find His grace and salvation.
If you find yourself in this condition, please open the Bible at Mark 5:25, and read the passage. Let me state at this moment, how important it is for you to go to the scriptures yourself. This dear soul in Mark 5 found herself with an awful affliction of the blood. Allow me to apply that as being where we all have been afflicted, in the blood. Sin and death both run in the blood line! "Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, .. so death passed upon all men" (Romans 5:12). "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive" (1 Corinthians 15:22). Just as life is in the blood, so is death!
She had exhausted every resource or professed remedy available to her, all to no avail. All were simply physicians diagnosing an incurable illness. Why should she put it off so long... why would she not seek the Great Physician sooner? She wasn't out of Determination... not yet... this thing is not going to beat me... even if it takes all I have - and it did! She wasn't out of Doctors... not yet... there was still another doctor that someone would tell her about.
She wasn't out of Dollars... not yet... as long as she could open her purse and there was something there, she would be off to another physician. All she could do was aggravate her condition. Verse 26 says she 'suffered many things'. Sin and suffering go together.
And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague" (Mark 5:27-29).
Why would the Saviour be so insistent on hearing from the one who touched Him, in spite of the objections of the disciples, who questioned His intentions? She felt the change; why not just let her make her way back into the crowd? After all, He knew who touched Him! "But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth" (Mark 5:33). Have you ever done that? Got down before God and just told Him the truth of what His Word says about you? Would she not readily admit all her empty visits to the powerless physicians of earth? We do not know the contents of the conversation, but we do know that to tell Him all the truth was an admission of guilt and sin. We remember that the woman at the well in John 4 could say, "Come see a man that told me all things I ever did; is not this the Christ?" He had mentioned one sin! What did this woman in Mark 5 have now that she did not have before... His Word for it! It is true she felt better, but now she had the assurance that the dreaded plague would never return.
Finally she would find herself without strength, physically and financially and every other way! "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly" (Romans 5:6). 'When she had spent all' ... yes, sin will make you a beggar. Like the blind man: sad enough to be blind, but worse yet to have to beg! Thank God for that moment when she would meet the One who “hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh”. (1 Peter 3:18). He suffered... why would she need to suffer? Tell me sinner, if Christ suffered for sins... need you suffer? But now she makes her move toward Christ.
How important, whether a Zacchaeus, who was to make that move down from the tree (Luke 19:5), or a blind man, or Nicodemus, all must move toward Christ. We make our move to Christ by coming to His Word, where He is to be found, where eternal life and eternal security are to be found: "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me" (John 5:39). "When she had heard of Jesus, she came in the press behind, and touched his garment.
Someone has told of how he first tried to swim. He had assumed that to swim he had to struggle constantly to keep himself from sinking. He would go down to the ocean side when as few people as possible were there to see him, trying to swim. One day there was a professional swimmer lying on the beach watching him. At last when he could bear it no longer he came over and asked, "What are you trying to do?" On being told that the other man was trying to swim he said, "Man, you are beating to death the very thing that wants to save you, the water. Stretch out on it and let it hold you up!" And when the man lay flat on the water without moving his hands or feet, to his amazement and delight... it held him up!
“Why didn’t someone tell me that 35 years ago” cried the man! Dear soul, stretch yourself out on the scriptures; they will not and cannot fail you: "the scripture cannot be broken" (John 10:35b). The water, like Word of God will hold you. "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God" (1 John 5:13). This is Assurance!
If she didn't have His Word, all she would have was her own good feeling from the experience. Would it be blessed assurance to wake daily wondering if this would be the day the plague was coming back? Every time she wasn't feeling good, she would be convinced, the plague is back! Can you imagine the torture of the poor soul?
How kind of the Saviour! Listen to His words: "And he said unto her, Daughter, they faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague" (verse 34). Yes, it was not the plague, but thy plague. It was such a part of her! What did she have now, that she didn't have before? Thank God, the dear soul in such affectionate and endearing language had His Word for it! She had His Word she was whole; never would the day dawn with the dread of the return of that awful plague. She was whole, and she had peace. Peace, how sweet it is! The Saviour could say, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27). Oh, what Assurance!
Either we take His word for it, that it is true ... or He takes our word for it, that it is not true, and we needlessly suffer the consequences. "For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned" (Matthew 12:37).
We conclude that we must satisfy ourselves with His Word. To accept less is to deny His Word and His work, and to want more is to call God a liar: "He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son" (1 John 5:10). "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life" (John 3:36).
Murray A McCandless, 2070 Route 121, Norton, NB. Canada E5T 1E9