18th February 2024

Finding Certainty of Salvation and Purpose in the Person of Christ

Passage: 2 Timothy 1:12
Service Type:

Automatically Generated Transcript

I want tonight to speak from 1 verse mainly second Timothy chapter 1 of verse 12 and
That verse you will see it on the screen
Paul was talking about why he suffers persecution? He's talking about
But I am NOT ashamed in other words. He's not someone feeling
It's to be a shame because things are going wrong I
I once went to a Chinese doctor when I'd been unwell.
Had been told that I might die pretty soon and then I didn't
when I explained to her that I hadn't died she said congratulations
Now Paul was suffering and he hasn't been martyred yet
as far as he didn't know what to expect
but he says he's not ashamed
And what he's talking about is actually not the fact that he hadn't died,
but that he'd come to a place of absolutely being convinced
of the Christian faith for which he was suffering as being correct.
And he says, For I know whom I have believed.
Notice that his trust is not just in a theological fact,
though he had many to teach, but it is in a person.
The central person of the Christian faith, as Joey was explaining,
that we have come to trust and believe in.
For I know whom I have believed.
And I am convinced that he's able to guard
until that day, until the Judgment Day, to keep until that day
what has been entrusted to him is how some versions have it.
What he is entrusted to Christ is really what the point is.
And what he's not afraid of is having been trusted his complete existence and future
and all that he is on about to Christ
because of who it is that he is trusting he is not ashamed.
Now I want to talk about the fact of being convinced
and of coming to a place of real conviction and, of assurity, in what you're on about,
and how that can be ours as well.
The Bible talks about being in Christ, Paul talks about trusting Christ,
and he finds there is a truth about God, he is found in Christ.
And the first thing that we know about Paul,
is that he's come to a belief about God.
he's found the truth about God. You'll be surprised about how many people there are
who don't seem to have much idea of what to think about the whole question as to whether
there is a god. There are many people who say they're atheists, some more, less than
the atheist claim, but they say they're agnostic which means they don't know. And so it actually
is quite something to find people who are absolutely convinced though there are
many Christians who are convinced in the world nonetheless we
find ourselves often in the minority but the first thing that we did discover
when we come to Christ is that we discover that we can be certain about
God we can find the truth about God instead of going through much of your
life wandering, going backwards and forwards about it. There's a number of people who talk
about their belief, or not belief in God, and it's quite amazing when you collect up
some of the statements people make about God, some of the famous people who had beliefs
that you wouldn't expect them to have...Recently, I saw that film, Napoleon, and he was quite
a rascal of a character and was, according to the filmmakers, responsible for the deaths
of so many soldiers, even though he might have won lots of battles. But Napoleon, when
he was heading across the Atlantic and it was in the night time and the stars were out
at night and it was a bright night, some of his officers were arguing on the deck. And
As they argued, they argued about religion.
There was one in particular who denied the very existence of God and Napoleon overheard
and he marched up and pointing his finger at the stars, he demanded of the fellow who
then made the constellations.
It appeared that believing in God was useful to Napoleon, at least to satisfy his mind,
if not we give him a Christian behaviour.
There are probably a lot of people in the world who do have some awareness of God
and in some secret part of their heart there is a sense of believing in Him
even though they may not admit to that if you put them in a conversation.
Martin Luther talked about the fact of that most people have a belief in God
He says, if a man does not have any god, then he must have an idol, and his explanation
of why the world has so many idols, and it is as a mechanism not to believe in the true
god or as a mechanism to seek around and try and satisfy those very deep instincts we have
to want and need to have a God.
Muhammad Ali came out to Sydney during one of the Graham Crusades and he was seen in
the audience having everybody listen to him.
Also he'd go and camp in the main entrance to the foyer of the hotel where Billy Graham
and Tim were kept in and there he would hold fort and get people to listen to him.
But he said, I am the greatest.
And when did he come to saying I am the greatest?
Somewhere around the time, as he was being a boxer and changed his name from being Cassius
Clay to Muhammad Ali.
He took on a different religion, and had a sense in which he didn't really know where
the God was, but he could actually talk about Him being the greatest.
There are other people on the other hand who are known in the sporting world who nonetheless
have an awareness of their being a deity that explains their success, rather than them making
their explanation of their successful lives pointing to themselves as something
to be praised and one of them, who is a cricketer
I wouldn't say his name I'm sure I have the right, but he said that he knew that
the reason why he could always make the team was because he had certain skills
that came as a gift from God and in all of his cricketing time that fellow found
himself believing that there is a god which gives explanation for why he had the career that he
was in. it's really interesting to listen in to philosophers and philosophy and the study of it
has been a little bit of my background and as you learn of different philosophers there are some who
to have some substitutions for the Christian beliefs that seem as though they want to believe
in anything except the Christian beliefs.
Some of them nonetheless started more Christian than they finished, and Friedrich Nietzsche
would be one of those.
But his beliefs became more humanism.
eventually from humanism became insanity, and he died in a very poor mental state.
But his proposals were that humans needed to craft their own identity
through self-realization, without any outside props.
But obviously the tale that finished up in his suicide
didn't prove that he was one for whom it was working.
On the other hand there's people who struggled to find out what was the correct belief,
to work out just how they could believe or not.
Augustine was a theologian in the long run. He was one of the great theologians,
they had been scattered down human history.
a number of different theologians who really sought to think through about God's existence
not only just believing it but to think it through into a lot of theological statements
He said about his journey into believing in Christ he said I sought a way of obtaining
strength sufficient to enjoy God
earlier he might think about God, I think he did believe in God earlier,
but he didn't give him any joy because he was so aware of the judgement.
So I sought a way to obtain strength sufficient to enjoy God as his aim was.
But i found it not, he wrote, until I embraced that mediator betwixt God and man,
The man Christ Jesus. The Bible says there's only one mediator between God
and us and it is the man Christ Jesus emphasizing his humanity
which Jesus took on in order to be, that between-person between God and us.
Now God is infinite and the Bible teaches that so we cannot know all about him.
him and if you seek to understand God by getting your head around absolutely every aspect of
that belief and about his person, you'll never make it.
He has spoken to reveal of himself and that is why in the Scriptures God reveals himself
as, in one part, as the Word, that's Christ, the incarnate Christ, the pre-incarnate Christ
who existed, the eternal Son of God, there's Father the Son, Father the Father, and Father
the Holy Spirit, those three being three persons in the one God, which is in itself not something
that you can really compute and explain fully.
The only thing we can do is either receive it as a belief or reject the revelation of it.
But Jesus was called in the Gospel of John in the beginning was the Word, that's the
pre-incarnate Christ.
And so this second person of the Trinity is the one who is the Revealer, he is the one
who is the Presenter, he is the one that speaks on behalf of the Godhead, he's called the
word in the beginning was the word and the very word was has the idea of WASING, that
is to say he didn't become, he always was. And it is the one who becomes Jesus but he
is the expression, the out speaking of the Godhead. And this one, he has come into the
world in order to reveal God to us.
Jesus then said I am the truth and when it is that you like the apostle Paul
recognize this Jesus the mediator between God and us humans and you accept
him for who he is as the reveal word something happens and you know the truth
about God so the first thing when you know Jesus the person is that somehow I
I want to use the word depression but it brings up different meanings for different people,
but in an essence of existence, in an essence of sheer brood happiness, happiness,
When you come to Christ, you come to God and when you know Christ
you now at last know, the God.
That's why Jesus came ... He that has seen me, has seen the Father
It didn't mean that he was the Father, he meant that he's the revelation of the Godhead.
And so when you know God-Christ, you know the truth about God and you've come at last
to a place where you can rest.
It's not a place where you know everything about God because although God is knowable,
He's too comprehensive to totally know Him, He's beyond our capacity so to do, so you
you know as he reveals himself to you but there's much from him that is beyond us that
we can actually understand, yet you can, He is knowable.
Jesus said I am truth.
And by knowing him personally we find not only the knowledge of God but I find the secret
to the universe.
And so there has been an arisen of science that rather than science being the enemy of
science actually is something that comes out of the Christian belief about God, and because
of the Christian belief about God being unchangeable, our children are learning that in the Sunday
School about the attributes of God, because of how he is like, and because of the fact
that he is this one steady entity in the whole of understanding and of the universe, because
of who Jesus is, then we can actually know God in a stable way and so it is possible
that we can attribute to his world characteristics to expect which, having been done as how the
sciences arose, they expected there to be sensibleness in what God has created and for
there to be logic and order and so the sciences arose under the christian belief of God that
Jesus gave to us and it's something that the modern generation sometimes and
students that you meet they think somehow that science goes one way and
Christianity the other, totally unaware. That's just not the case. There is a wrong
understanding of some scientific facts that comes about by human supposition
but science and Christianity are not opposites at all they actually go best
when they're hand-in-hand. And so it is the case that when we know Jesus, not only do we know
the truth, but we can know what help what the world is actually on about. And that's the reason why
down through history science arose with many scientists being people because of their belief
in God. People sometimes quote the whole business of the idea of whether the earth is flat or
whether you know the the earth rotates around the Sun or whether we rotate
around the Sun, the earth rotates around the Sun and about some wrong ideas that
have been pressed upon people of generate different generations but these
are not actually because of what science says about God in fact just the opposite
but putting away of the idea that we go around that we've been
that the Moon and the Sun are such that the Earth rotates around the Sun or that the Earth
is flat. All those ideas have come from human speculation trying to deal with the facts
and it has been Christian persons opposing those theories who have brought us to the
place where we are now out of knowing a little better. It's interesting that it's when
when you know God you can know about ourselves and you can know how the world is.
It is a knowledge, knowing Christ and knowing God through Christ, that is a certainty in
Down through history there have been different people who have been Christians, sometimes
taken over and put in jail and sometimes persecuted.
There was the story line, the true story line of the interrogation of Justin Nablius of
Palestine, who'd been a philosopher.
He'd come to know Christ.
You'd be surprised how many philosophers do come to know Christ.
Not all of them of course.
But being a philosopher and being interested to think about the deep things doesn't mean
that you won't necessarily end up believing in God because in fact sometimes they're the
people who keep searching and searching and find God and this fellow had been a
philosopher who got converted to Christ to become a Christian.
But he then had a career as an Itinerant Evangelist, for 30
years he went around explaining to people, often, the theological alliance to his
explanation, how Christianity was correct.
He was caught by the authorities of his day
then he was imprisoned and they were planning on getting rid of his witness.
And they interrogated him, are you a Christian?
Wondering whether he'd recant to get out of trouble.
He said, yes I am a Christian.
Listen you who is called learner, they were aware of his reputation and think that you
know the truth.
If you are scourged and beheaded, do you suppose you will go to heaven?
They are trying to threaten him, really.
And he answered though, in a certainty, I not only suppose it, I know.
I not only suppose it, I know.
I think he heard the lights turn on for him in lots of things.
Michael Faraday when he was dying, was asked, What are your speculations?
Where do you think you are going to head up?
Are you going to die?
Speculations, he replied, I have none.
I know whom I have believed, and I rest my soul on certainties.
Christianity is dealing with certainties, and those certainties are linked to knowing
the person of Christ.
You can know about Christianity, you can do a degree in theology if you like, and have
delved into a number of the issues.
Every now and then I get people who want to come and argue with me because they've done
a couple of years in a theological college and believe therefore that they've got a right
to argue out the whole issue.
And they come along and want to talk, but one of the things they can never really display,
They sometimes say they're certain, but when you talk to them, you understand their certainty
is just that they're sticking to their position, they're not someone who's been able to find
the source of assurance that we do have.
Well Michael Faraday said, I have no speculations, I rest my soul on certainties.
Well this is very interesting, and there have been people down through the years who have
taken to believing in God and have become great persons.
Like I mentioned about Augustine, just the same for an Apostle Paul, he wrote the verse
we have up on the screen.
But there has been others as well, like Martin Luther.
Martin Luther greatly turned his generation back to the fact that it's knowing Christ
that gets you to know the truth about god.
What about John Wesley?
What about George Whitefield, who turned their generations into revival times, who,
because their belief in god was strong and sure, they had found for themselves a way
to influence their world around them?
The next thing I want to say here from the passage I know, whom I have believed and am
convinced, is that not only do you find a belief in God, but you will eventually find
a meaning for your life.
Connected to finding out why you are here, connected to finding out what you are here
for, is a prior need to believe about Jesus.
And if you've come to be convinced and can say with
The Apostle Paul, I know whom I have believed, and you have that personal contact with Christ
and he's come to be a person in your life, I want to tell you that because you're convinced,
You know that you're not only the realities about the world, not only the realities about
your going to heaven, but also the realities about you, who find yourself when you find
And because I've been in Christian work for a long time now, it's one of the things that
gives you a real joy when you see someone who comes into a knowledge of Christ.
But in that coming to a knowledge of Christ, they also discover themselves.
And to the surprise of some, they discover things about themselves, they need to change.
And so you'll hear the testimony of people saying well, not only did I come to Christ
but I've come to see how I need to be a bit different.
And sometimes it is that they've understood themselves because of all the things they've
went through because they first of all come to know Christ.
There are a number of philosophers who speak in terms of them being on that journey.
There are theologians as well, some of whom have some crazy views, but yet are in the
business of trying to think through about God.
Paul Tillich is one such philosopher slash theologian.
I wouldn't commend him to you for a lot of his beliefs.
But he does have a lot of things he says that is very true, particularly about intellectual people.
And he said, Paul Tillich did, that the problem of meaninglessness is one of the underlying sources of human anxiety.
He went on to talk about existentialism and to talk about human anxiety being there in the minds of people.
But the actual meaninglessness of life is why a lot of people find it meaningless.
And that's the reason why. You know, if you go and investigate a lot of charities, a lot of those helping organisations,
you'll find that many of the people who help in them, and do so for no pay, they do so
because they find meaning. Even we as Christians, and the same is true
for us, when you become a turned on Christian, or if I can put it that way, when you become
someone surrendered to do the will of Christ and seek to find it, when you find your way
in serving Christ with his Gospel, you find activities that even though you spend yourself
them, you wouldn't not do it. I have great memories of my youth, you know why youth
I mean being in, the you know teens and 20s, of going to beach missions and being
kept up late at night and getting up early in the morning, paying money for
the pleasure of being on the mission and getting home exhausted at the end, but I
wouldn't change a thing. Or the Gold Coast Crusade with Youth the
Christ who I used to work with and, and they had two meetings a day for 10-12 days and
you all had other jobs to do besides. I used to not only be a speaker but I was in charge
of counselling and different things. You would get to the end of the day exhausted, but before
I'd go and lie down to get sleep, which I needed, I would go down to where was we used
to have the meals, there was this cafeteria, big area where they had a roll of thing that
roll down the thing to stop people burglaring the food at night time, but
they roll it down thoroughly and then we the ones who are the workers get in the
side door. And we had the best fellowship I've ever had anywhere in my life of
sharing what had happened. And I could share about some of the people who got
counselled and they'll share about some of the issues they had and
And some of the joys, excuse me, some of the hardships in carrying outs, there were things
that we would come against, the workings of the camp but we had to handle them.
And sometimes there were people that came in from outside who had bad motives and we
had to stop them or kick them out or if necessary wrestle them or whatever.
and often you'd be put on midnight duty to come around and investigate the camp and sort
out if they were invaders trying to come in.
There were a thousand teenagers under tents and so there needed to be people who paroled.
But all of that was joy.
I'm telling you now, the greatest years of my life was going to that yearly camp, and
involve, be involved for the action of when we rolled that roller door down and no-one
could see us, these are all the workers, the people who run in the place. And we
shared what God was doing. When you find Jesus, and you find his work,
you don't find something that bores you, you don't find something that irritates
you. You may find some irritating people along the way, but you basically find
something that is the joy of your life, you find yourself in something that
makes life meaningful. That's what you find when you find Christ. And it is
because his are the joys forever more. His is the happiness to have his presence
and his company. Well another thing you find when you find Christ is what the
Apostle Paul, and I had put up on the screen earlier as a barber reading, or had
you put up when Nick was reading it, some of Paul's writings from the book of Romans
talks about the struggles he had with sin. There are some people who think he's talking
about his non-Christian days, which I don't think that for a moment, I think he's talking
about the struggle every one of us has after we come to Christ and then have to learn how
live by Christ's power and not by our own strength. Because when we tried in our
own strength, that would be all our failing. That's not how the
Christian life works. And it's actually a lesson you have to learn to draw on the
strength of Christ within you, to help you to live the Christian life. It's a
lesson that's gradually learned across time, as you confess your failures and
you'd call on Him again, to help you have a fresh start. So Paul said, I do not do,
this is when he wasn't behaving like he wanted to as a Christian, I do not do the
good that I want and the evil I don't want to do, that's what I do. But he goes
on in chapters, the later chapters in seven and eight, to talk about that
through Christ he can do all things,
he can be a conqueror in Christ and when you find Christ you find the person
if you stick with him and work with him, let him teach you
he'll teach you how to be sanctified and teach you how to be holy.
There was a really famous and I discovered you know in studying
philosophy, a lot of the ones who were the leading philosophers
came about as such in Christian days one was Pascal a French physicist he's the one I think
you said that there is within the human person there is a like a blank shape
hole or lack a sense of wanting and longing it's why people who haven't yet come to Christ
are just longing for something to fill the blank. And there are stories of people like
that which is called War and Peace, Tolstoy I think was the writer.
In those stories it writes of one woman, Anna.
Anna Kerinsair, I don't know how to say her surname,
but she is reported to say,
When I came to believe in Christ and His teaching,
I ceased desiring what I wished before,
the direction of my life, my desires, became different,
Good and evil change places.
She's describing what happens in the sanctification that is the second stage of salvation.
The first one is when you get justified, forgive them when you come to Jesus.
But the second stage is sanctification when he gradually changes you to be
like you have become in Jesus.
You've become it in principle but now you are becoming it in practice and you get sanctified.
Those stages have a third one when you get to glory and the process will be made complete.
When I came to believe in Christ's teaching, I cease desiring what I wished before.
You don't have to worry about that bondage sin might have you in.
Because Jesus, his presence in your life, his power in your life is the answer to that.
and I add it in this one little bit, my secretary in my previous church which
was in Sydney, came with me for a crusade when we went back to Tasmania
where once I lived and I got him to preach one of the sermons in the
school where we had the set of meetings. He preached a sermon I'd never
heard before he preached about Jesus being his hero and it struck me that we
do some of us have heroes in fact when I began to think not just because of his
sermon but I was sort of aware that I had a set of people who were heroes. There
was something about the heroes that you need to know need to recognise first of
all when my younger days I loved watching Western movies and I had a
favourite actor Clint Walker and this bloke was a cowboy who embodied
everything a little boy growing up would want to become. Now Clint Walker I just
need to tell you this he was a very good actor and I liked his series but there
was something that I realized along the way watching Clint Walker he was six
foot six. He had enormously broad shoulders right this is even before I
got to be this height and here's me he's my hero but the thing is I wasn't
growing to be any more like him. He had black hair and he was very, very handsome.
He was my hero, one day I'd be like him. But as time went by I didn't sort of
grow up looking like him much at all. And the nature of heroes, sometimes you
discover you're not always quite becoming like your hero. I had a pastor
when I was younger, first becoming a preacher, Trevor Harris, as a man who was
such a gracious man and I saw him as a heroes but I didn't turn out to be quite as gracious
as him and I couldn't do some of the things he did. I still consider him a wonderful person
who is a model and I've copied some of his ways or tried to but one thing about these
heroes is, how are you going to become like them? In fact, the more time goes by you realise
your own limitations so you're not going to quite make it to your hero! Don't know whether
You've got other heroes, I've got a lot of ones that you'd laugh at me if I tell you.
They're other racing car drivers or people like that who do wonderful things.
One is Billy Graham, and he's an evangelist and I can get into evangelism, but I'm never
going to be a world known person like him.
The distance between him, he's big, strong looking, and he has all sorts of aspects that
you realise after a while, well, it's good for you to have had a hero, but there is one
hero I want to tell you about the one who is my biggest hero and the hero is
the one in whom I have believed and if you believe in Jesus and you put your
trust in him and you sell out to Jesus I want to tell you that he becomes your
hero and what's the beautiful thing about it is that even though your
sinfulness like the Apostle Paul had, he had a real problem with caminovenging and he
sin that he had to deal with but Jesus is able to begin to work in you and
he's never through until you get to glory where he's going to complete the
work of making you like him and Jesus is the hero when you believe in Jesus I
know whom I have believed he's my hero now and I'm convinced he's able to keep
that which I've committed to him until that day if you've went to properly
Jesus will guard your commitment, and in your commitment, you can be made step by step more
like your hero. Take it from me, Jesus is available to be the one in whom you believe,
in whom you trust, in whom you are convinced. The one who will guard your future and the
the One who will dictate how you get through the sanctification for the purpose of seeing
you make some progress towards becoming like Him.
The Bible says that when at last He returns at the end of the age we shall see Him and
we will realise as we see Him that we are like Him.
We have been made like Him and to the degree that you still have some cranky wrinkles,
He is going to iron out when He comes and you get changed.
And that's a joy.
That's a thing to do.
Because Jesus is the Ultimate Hero.
That's my message tonight and I know it's a different one.
I've only been in one verse.
I've been on about those words.
For I know whom.
Because the Christian life is actually about a person
and our knowledge of him.
Not just knowledge about him.
And somewhere along the line,
The knowledge about him which is good has turned to something better when it becomes personal,
I know who I have believed
and I'm convinced, I'm persuaded, is the old fashioned translation,
I'm persuaded that he's capable, he's able, he's in powerful mode to be able to do
to keep that which I've committed, he'll keep it to that day,
and when I get to glory.
And so I'm not at all worried about getting to Heaven
and finding that I'm going to have a number of disappointments.
You can be in a position, the vital teachers, of losing your rewards
and finding that there is a judgment seat for Christians
where you maybe have held against you,
times you rebelled and didn't get right.
But you don't have to, you can be like Paul.
and know that your commitment to the person of Jesus is going to safeguard you against that day of judgment.
Let's have a word of prayer.
Heavenly Father, we give you praise tonight for the Lord Jesus Christ,
and for how he came to be the Saviour of the world.
I thank you that he is the God man, fully man and yet fully God.
He is actually God the Saviour.
Lord, there is a mystery there we cannot really untangle with our finite minds,
but we trust you, Father, in the truth that it reveals.
And we thank you for Jesus, and that we can rest in him to keep us until that day.
In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
Thank you.

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