Ever wished you had a little more certainty about the whole Christian story? How do you respond to your moments of doubt, or those episodes when things feel tenuous? Is there a biblical “program” for attaining to full assurance of the faith we confess in Christ?
The Christian faith has numerous several heroes of uncertainty replaced by faith. There are the stories of Augustine and Luther, overcoming lust and guilt, respectively. There are the more modern stories of the likes of Josh McDowell examining the biblical “evidence” for its truthfulness.
So there are, apparently, lots of ways forward toward assurance, depending on your issues, your personality, and the like.
But there’s one that we don’t hear about so much. It’s the way that Colossians offers as the road to assurance. It’s the way of love:
My goal is that their hearts would be encouraged and united together in love so that they might have all the riches of assurance that come with understanding, so that they might have the knowledge of the secret plan of God, namely Christ. (Col 2:2, CEB)
While we so often put a premium on the knowledge we can gain, the understanding of complex matters for which we can muster an argument, as the means to assurance, we find a different route laid out by Paul here.
It is the hearts united in love that attain to assurance and understanding. Hearts united in love pave the road to full knowledge of Christ.
In John, Jesus tells his disciples, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples–if you love one another.”
Apparently, that love is not only a signpost for the outsiders, but for the insiders as well.
A community of heart-knit love is the way to full assurance.