ASSURANCE OF SALVATION
Assurance of salvation is the awareness of belonging to Christ and having complete confidence that He has given us everlasting life. Many Christians lack this kind of assurance. Because of uncertainty about their relationship with Christ, they don't really experience the joy of the Lord. The only thing they are entirely sure of is that they have doubts. Their uncertainty can stem from any of the following:
1) Not being truly converted. A Christian is a person who has trusted in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior:
“If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation" (Romans 10:9-10).
A person who lacks this experience cannot possibly be certain about having eternal life. Salvation is not based on a person's performance, but on his or her relationship with Jesus Christ. Confident Christians
can say, “For I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day" (2 Timothy 1:12).
2) Trusting feelings rather than God's Word. Some people, especially new Christians, expect a sustained, emotional elation; and when this is missing or lags, doubts come. Our eternal relationship with God cannot be based only on emotion. We must rest on facts based on His written Word. We are to commit ourselves to the finished work of Christ on the cross. Having trusted Him, we continue in this relationship, confident that “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6).
3) Sin and disobedience in the life of the Christian. These will result in ambivalence and uncertainty: “A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways" (James 1:8,KJV). Sin must be acknowledged and confessed in order to maintain unbroken fellowship with God.
The Christian who does not nurture his or her life in the Word of God, prayer, fellowship, and witness will dry up, opening the way to uncertainty and doubts. The biblical admonition to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18) is not just an idle phrase. We must be growing in our relationship with Jesus Christ.
Confession of Sin for Restoration:
“I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth-praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord" (Psalm 40:1-3).
"He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy" (Proverbs 28:13).
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1John1:9).
Assurance of Salvation
"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name" (John 1:12).
"l tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life" (John 5:24, NIV).
"When someone becomes a Christian he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same any more. A new life has begun!" (2Corinthians 5:17, TLB).
"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9).
“For l am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39, NIV).
"For God took the sinless Christ and poured into him our sins. Then, in exchange, he poured God's goodness into us!" (2 Corinthians 5:21, TLB).
“And I am sure that God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in his grace until his task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns" (Philippians 1:6, TLB).
"Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day" (2 Timothy 1 :12, NIV).
“God, in his mighty power, will make sure that you get there safely to receive [eternal life], because you are trusting him. It will be yours in that coming last day for all to see" (1 Peter 1:5, TLB).
Adapted from Billy Graham Christian Workers Handbook, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (August 2007)