Assurance of Faith

There are two great questions all of us should be concerned with: How can I be saved? and How can I know that I am saved? The Bible teaches that sinners can be saved. This is the reason Christ came into the world, “to save sinners.” The Scriptures also teach that those who have been saved by Christ can know it: “…that ye may know that ye have eternal life” (1 John 5:13).

It is entirely possible to have true faith in Christ yet still lack assurance. Of course, there are some who feel assured of that which is not true, i.e. they believe they are saved, but are not! They claim to be Christians, and are sure of heaven, but they are false professors.

For assurance of salvation to be genuine, there has to be a proper basis for it. We must believe that God will do for His people exactly what He has promised. Can we trust God and take Him at His Word? This is at the heart of this issue. Assurance is based upon the testimony of the Scriptures! (Romans 15:4) Eternal salvation has been provided for sinners by a God who cannot lie. His Word tells us about salvation from sin and hell, and how it has been provided. John refers to these things that he had written.

The Promises of the Reward of Christ’s Work

The blood of Christ shed for sinners really saves! Note these Bible words and phrases: cleansing, forgiveness, propitiation, to take away sins, that we might live through Him, He hath given to us eternal life. God, in a covenant of redemption, gave Christ to be the Substitute and Surety of His people. Jesus came to live and die to “save them from their sins”. And His work has been successful (Isaiah 53:10-12).

Consider the work of Christ:

(1) Accepted by God (Romans 3:25,26; 2 Corinthians 5:19)

“Because the sinless Savior died,
My sinful soul is counted free;
For God the Just is satisfied
to look on Him and pardon me.”

(2) Announced in the Gospel (Romans 5:8; 1 Peter 2:24; 3:18).
The gospel presents a free salvation upon the merits of Christ. The promise of God is to save all that come unto God by Him. He will save whosoever believes on His Son.

(3) Applied in Grace.
God saves sinners! His Spirit is sent forth to bring to God all those for whom Christ died (John 3:8). It is His function to direct sinners to Christ—to look unto Him and be saved. Therefore, no one is saved by his own work, but by Christ’s work on his behalf (Titus 3:5). Your assurance is in resting upon what God has done for you in Christ (Hebrews 6:17-20).

The Promises of Resting in Christ’s Work

Are you looking to Jesus only as the ground of your acceptance with God? This is the ground of peace: “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus Name!” Luther said he would not give all the world for one leaf of the Bible. God cannot deny His own Word. It is the guarantee of eternal salvation to all that believe. In Scripture, many promises are given to those who rest upon Christ’s saving work. Note that His promise is “sure to all the seed” (Romans 4:16). God has given us His oath (John 6:37). He says: “Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out!” Will you trust Christ’s Word?

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By Stephen Hamilton

Rev. Stephen Hamilton is the minister of Lehigh Valley in Walnutport, PA.