“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain [empty] conversation [manner of life] received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:” (1 Peter 1:18-19).
There is no presumption in believing, and trusting what God has given permission to believe, and trust. There is a know so salvation. An elderly man said to Dr. H. A. Ironside, “I will not go on unless I know I’m saved, or else know it’s hopeless to seek to be sure of it. I want a definite witness, something I can’t be mistaken about!”
Dr. Ironside replied, “Suppose you had a vision of an angel who told you your sins were forgiven. Would that be enough to rest on?” “Yes, I think it would. An angel should be right.” Ironside continued, “But suppose on your deathbed Satan came and said, ‘I was that angel, transformed to deceive you.’ What would you say?” The man was speechless.
Ironside then told him that God has given us something more dependable than the voice of an angel. He has given His Son, who died for our sins, and He has testified in His own Word that if we trust Him all our sins are gone. Ironside read I John 5:13, “You may know that you have eternal life.”
Then he said, “Is that not enough to rest on? It is a letter from heaven expressly to you.” God’s Spirit used that to bring assurance to the man’s heart.
Jesus Christ came into the slave market of sin to purchase, or buy back, with His precious blood, those who are the heirs of salvation, and to give them assurance of salvation.
The price Jesus paid for our redemption was terrible indeed. When we think of the extreme suffering He endured to purchase our freedom from sin’s penalty, our hearts should overflow with love for Him. Leslie B. Flynn told a story that illustrates this truth. An orphaned boy was living with his grandmother when their house caught fire. The grandmother, trying to get upstairs to rescue the boy, perished in the flames. The boy’s cries for help were finally answered by a man who climbed an iron drainpipe and came back down with the boy hanging tightly to his neck. Several weeks later, a public hearing was held to determine who would receive custody of the child. A farmer, a teacher, and the town’s wealthiest citizen all gave the reasons they felt they should be chosen to give the boy a home. But as they talked, the lad’s eyes remained focused on the floor. Then a stranger walked to the front and slowly took his hands from his pockets, revealing severe scars on them. As the crowd gasped, the boy cried out in recognition. This was the man who had saved his life. His hands had been burned when he climbed the hot pipe. With a leap the boy threw his arms around the man’s neck and held on for dear life. The other men silently walked away, leaving the boy and his rescuer alone. Those marred hands had settled the issue. Many voices are calling for our attention. Among them is the One whose nail-pierced hands remind us that He has rescued us from sin and its deadly consequences. To Him belongs our love and devotion” (Our Daily Bread, December 26).