1997-11-21 - Assurance of Faith
And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end. Hebrews 6:11
Assurance of faith is grounded in the promises in the Word of God and the inward evidences of grace in our hearts. Assurance is an awareness of our position in Christ. The presence of the fruit of the Spirit and the testimony of the Spirit witnessing to our Spirit that we are children of God. Roman :28ff.
Question: How a man may be in conscience assured of his owne election? Answer: Before I come to the question it selfe, this conclusion is to be laid down as a maine Grounde: That Election, vocation, faith, adoption, justification, sanctification, and eternal glorification, are never separated in the salvation of any man, but like inseparable companions, goe hand in hand; so as he that can be assured of one of them, may infallibly conclude in his owne heart, that he hath, and shall have interest in all the others in his due time. William Perkins
We may wait long for assurance of faith. It is possible to have real faith and lack assurance. The Puritans said that assurance in not totally grounded in faith and emphasized the importance of the experience of the Christian and the reality of his or her lifestyle and what that lifestyle revealed. The Puritans were concerned with our conscience and our experience of assurance.
It is the very drift and design of the whole Scripture, to bring souls first to an acquaintance with Christ, and then to an acceptance of Christ, and then to build them in a sweet assurance of their actual interest in Christ.
There are those who struggle with assurance of faith and this can lead to additional struggles. Even struggling that there even exists a struggle about assurance can be discouraging. However, there is nothing wrong with this form of Christian strife. In fact, it is likely that struggling in the Christian faith is a good sign that faith has a real and true presence in the life of the struggler. If there were no faith, there would be no struggle about heavenly things.
Soli Deo Gloria,