The Christian’s assurance of salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ

 

The subject of ‘the assurance of our salvation’ in the Lord Jesus seems one to be rarely mentioned these days. Yet it is taught in Scripture.

My purpose in writing about assurance is to look at what the Bible has to say on this subject. The Lord Jesus spoke about it. The apostles wrote about it. Let us look at a few references where this is mentioned.

Our Lord Jesus speaking as the Good Shepherd, said in John 10:27-28: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of my hand.” In John 15:16 our Lord said: “You did not choose Me, but I chose you…” Are these not the words of assurance as well of security.

The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Romans says in chapter 5 verse 1 (speaking of God’s action in the work of our salvation): “Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Also in chapter 8 verse 1: “There is therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” While these are first and foremost doctrinal statements, they also give assurance to those who believe in the saviour.

The Apostle John in his first letter, on a number of occasions, uses the phrase ‘We know’. These all refer to particular knowledge, certain knowledge, positive knowledge, rather than general knowledge:

1 John 2:3-5: “We know that we know Him if we keep His commandments..... whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in Him. By this we know that we are in Him.”

1 John 3:2: “Beloved now we are children of God ... but we know that when He is revealed we shall be like Him.”

1 John 3:14: “We know that we have been passed from death to life, because we love the brethren.”

1 John 3:24: “By this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.”

1 John 5:13: “These things I have written to you….. that you may know that you have eternal life.”

The gift of assurance of salvation is received by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in your lives, who always points us to the One who is our Saviour (John 16:13-14). The Holy Spirit has been given to us as the guarantee of our salvation (2 Corinthians 5:5).

Some believers have hesitated about emphasising this truth of Scripture because there is the danger, that some, who soon after profession of salvation have fallen away. There is always the need in the believer’s life for perseverance in following the Lord and to show evidence of salvation in a changed life. The letter to the Hebrews is full of warnings about becoming careless in our Christian life (Hebrews 2:1-3).

To close, remember that the Christian faith is the only one that teaches it is possible to KNOW that you can possess eternal life in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is possessed here and now, upon repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus, not just for when we depart this life and go to be with Him in glory.

 

R.John Wheeler